#46 Huitoto Yarumo | Female Classic
Huitoto Yarumo is a classic snuff that gives concentration and clarity. It is the one we share with other people to feel warm community togetherness.
‘Yarumo Blanco’ is a sacred towering tree of the tropical rainforest also known by the tribes as ‘silver cecropia’. It has medicinal properties for cleansing the lungs.
The Huitoto Tribe
In the Amazon, every tribe has developed its own medicines.
“The Huitoto people got the cacao and sweet yuca. And 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 rapé and we share 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. They belong to the linguistic family bora-witoto.
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 who was famous for rapés 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.
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.