Woman Opium Smoker Figurine

Socializing in opium dens was very important, not for the conversation, which was essentially nonexistent, but for the mere presence of other bodies. Rare were the smokers - in literature or factual accounts- who chose to smoke alone...

The intimacy of teh den struck writer Louise Latzarus, a contributor to Volia, a French weekly scandal sheet, as beneath contempt:

"One day I went into one of tehse sanctuaries, and aI looked with curiosity at the men and women draped in kimonos who, without disgust, passed a pipe from one to one another, putting it to their lips, even though they would have shivered with horror at the idea of sharing the same spoon. Their solemn faces made me want to laugh... I contemplated them, while smoking an honest French cigarette, and when I'd seen enough I got up to go."

- p. 71, Opium: A Portrait of the Heavenly Demon by Barbara Hodgson (1999)

Woman Opium Smoker Figurine
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