#48 Huitoto Ají Yarumo | Spicy Blend
This rapé contains ash from ají Yarumo and N. rustica leaves.
According to Victoria, an elder and very respected female Huitoto Shaman, This Huitoto Ají Yarumo ”heals and is used for ailments. Helps find the right path. Should only be used when the person really needs to heal something specific and not for daily use but for a special purpose, intention, and healing, it contains wild amazonian ají (Hot amazonian pepper).”
During the beginning of the year 2017 Waking Herbs founders, Laura and Wouter were visiting tribes in the Colombian Amazon. They were there reconnecting with old friends and, as always, on the lookout to collect new rapés and exchange ethnobotanical knowledge.
Here, Wouter tells us about their experience:
“While looking for rapés around Leticia amongst the Huitoto native people we were told about a Shaman famous for rapé making from the Macuna tribe, from up the Apaporis river who lived outside the village in a maloka. We went to visit his beautiful dwelling and shared rapé with him. After celebrating life together, he kindly invited us to come with him and visit other shamans along the Apaporis river.
The Huitoto Tribe
“The Huitoto people got the cacao and sweet yuca. That is our medicine. The owner of all, the creator, gave us those elements. Rapé came to us from the Tanimuca people. They taught us how to make and use rapé and we shared the mambe and Ambil. We, the Huitotos reunited with the mucunas, every night when we sit in front of the fire to listen to the elders and get their advice, we share our elements.” – Victoria, female shaman from the Huitoto tribe (January 2017).
This tribe lives in the Amazon forest scattered along the Colombian-Peruvian Border. Even though they have small home gardens they are mainly hunters and gatherers. Their language belongs to the linguistic family bora-witoto.
What is Rapé?
Rapé, pronounced ‘ha-pey’ in Portuguese, is a traditional snuff used by various indigenous tribes of South America. Predominantly tribal people from Brazil and Peru. Rapé blends contain a ground mixture of plants, tree bark, seeds, and ash. The fine powder is blown into each nostril through a bone or bamboo pipe called a ‘Tepi’ or ‘Kuripe’. The Tepi applicator is a long blow pipe that connects the nostril of the receiver to the mouth of the person that administers the snuff. The Kuripe is for self-application. The V-shaped applicator connects the nostril to the mouth allowing the snuff to be self-blown into the nose.
Each tribe has its own rapé formula and usually, it is women who gather the ingredients. The selection, mixture, and grinding process are regarded as a ritual only to be performed by a reputable healer. The snuff is typically made in small batches according to the specific needs of the person being treated or the ceremony’s occasion.
The use of Rapé aims to restore our connection to nature and a sense of grounding. It clears mental fog and confusion eliminating negative thought patterns. These powerful snuffs bring about physical and spiritual wellness.