thailand, snuff, moesgaard museum, de etnografiske samlinger, ethnography, collections, museum, aarhus, denmark

Snuff Box – Thailand

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Something for the trendy hipsters?

Growing up in Denmark, I have always associated the practice of snuff-sniffing with old-fashioned Swedes and Norwegians in our neighboring Scandinavian countries. But within the last year, my very own local 7Eleven shop has started carrying modern versions of the tobacco treat, now packed in neat pockets, easy to flip inside the upper lip without anyone noticing. And without any sniffing at all! Well, they say that if you wait long enough, everything will come back into style.

And apparently snuff-sniffing has quite an interesting history to it, and a much more prestigious one than I thought! Did you know that the American Senate Chamber of Congress used to hold well-filled boxes of snuff for anyone to sniff? Or that Napoleon Bonaparte was particularly enthusiastic about the nasal powder?

Aside from this silver snuff box having been collected in the North of Thailand in 1970 by Jesper Trier, the item doesn’t come with much information as to how the Thai practice this custom. But I see this beautifully decorated container having the potential to very quickly become a must-have item among young people engaging in this returning practice. What do you think?

/ Ciara Coogan



Photo: © 2007 Photo/Media Department of Moesgaard Museum.

Byline portrait: © 2015 Line Beck,



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putting thought to things

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