This rapé is made by a member of the Kaxinawá tribe who learned this art from his father and grandfather. Besides Syagrus coronata, the Uricuri rapé contains ashes from the Solanaceae plant, Nicotiana rustica.
The Uricuri or Ouricury (Syagrus coronata) is a palm tree that grows in Acre, Bahia, and Pernambuco all places in Brazil. The Kaxinawá call the Licuri palm “Tashka” which means spear. It is said they have been using the Uricuri in their rapés since mythological times.
The Kaxinawá people
The Kaxinawá people or Huni Kuin are indigenous people of the Brazilian and Peruvian Amazon. Their villages are located along the Purus and Curanja rivers in eastern Peru and the upper Juruá and Javari river valleys in western Brazil in the State of Acre. Their language belongs to the Pano linguistic family, which they call hatxa-Kuin (true language). The population is approximately 4,000 people, and they account for 42% of the indigenous population in the state of Acre. Although this Amerindian group has some contact with whites, they still avoid it and prefer to live isolated in the forest living according to their traditional ways.
As opposed to other Amazonian Tribe Rapés that can have three or more ingredients, the Kaxinawá blends are characterized by having only two components.
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.
Step by step guide to using Rapé.
What is Rapé – Waking Herbs blog