Chakapa | Chacapa | Shakapa | Ceremonial Leaf-Bundle Rattle
This natural rattle of bundled leaves was made by a shaman friend from the Kichwa tribe in Rio Napo Province in the upper Amazon in Ecuador. He goes into his chakra(forest garden) with his wife and child to gather these wonderful leaves for us. Our chakapa is made with leaves from the typical chakapa bush (Pariana spp.) that Kichwa shamans traditionally use.
To send chakapas out of Ecuador and into any country, we fully dry the chakapas. Fresh leaves cannot be shipped to any country without numerous official documents, as they would be considered fresh plants. Drying the leaves does have implications for the functioning of the ‘chakapa’. By purchasing this item you accept that you will receive a fully dried chakapa. We wrap it carefully and ship it in custom-made cardboard boxes.
After receiving the ‘chakapa’, we recommend you carefully unwrap it and hang it in a moist area for a while, like in the bathroom near the shower. After that, you can straighten the leaves into their original shape.
Chakapa (sometimes spelled ‘shakapa’ or Latinized to ‘chacapa’) is a Kichwa word for a shaker or rattle constructed of bundled leaves. The ‘chakapa’ is possibly the most important shamanic tool used by shamans in the Amazon. ‘Chakapas’ are used to produce healing and relaxing sounds. They are a great tool to activate the powers in medicinal plants and to support deep cleaning of energies and forces.
Voice of the Spirits
Among the Yagua, an indigenous people from Colombia, the rattle is held to be the voice of the spirits. This rattle is used in Ayahuasca, Kambo and other ceremonies. Often in combination with the singing of ‘icaros’ (sacred chants) when calling for spirit helpers and to carry the sacred rhythms needed for healing and cleansing (in healing rituals in other parts of the world it is known as ‘Chi Banishment’). Tobacco, rattle, and chants are mythologically interconnected and are very powerful when combined correctly and with strong intent.
The sound of the chakapa is said to comfort patients in ayahuasca and Kambo ceremonies and cleans the energy surrounding the patient. Shamans have a large variety of chakapa movements that create different sounds and energy waves. These movements match the coinciding icaro and healing that is being done at the time. Once the shaman or ‘curandero’ catches the bad spirits in a chakapa, it is then blown out of the leaves into the forest. The spirits are taken in by mother earth (Pachamama) transformed into dirt, food, love, or life itself.