Smoke Signals

Smoke signals and smoking were very popular methods of communication. Not only Native Americans used smoke signals for communication purpose. The Chinese have also widely used smoke signals as well as the Boy Scouts of America.  This variety of communication is practiced by making puffs of smoke using a fire and a blanket. The smoke signals must be used in a place where they will be noticeable to the receiver and is typically sent on top of a hill or mountain.

Smoke Signals

Three smoke rings as a signal of a danger

The significance of smoke signals is not as clear cut as other varieties of communication. There is no common style or regular definitions for the various shapes, numbers, and type of smoke puffs. The cause for this is because opponents are also observing the smoke signals. That is why, the signal is established by the sender and the receiver.

Even though smoke signals do not have a clear style to decipher the smoke signals, there are a number of messages that are popular.  Delivering only one smoke puff is typically a call of attention. Giving two puffs of smoke is generally a sign that everything is good.  On the other hand, three puffs of smoke can be a sign that something is wrong.

The Boy Scouts of America also use the three smoke puffs in their smoke signals codes to say about a danger. They consider this very seriously.  Actually, even three various fires, three gun shots, and three whistles can also mean that a boy scout is in danger. It is best to stay away from using this signal unless you are requiring real help.

Smoke signals have been very useful in certain cases. Native Americans and others made it possible to communicate from long distances presenting warnings and other smoke signals. Even though technology may have substituted the need for smoke signals, there is still a place for them in certain cases.

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