Piaroa Rapé | Peregrina seeds and Giant Amazonian Snail Shell | Mapacho Free Rapé | #37
This Piaroa rapé is one of our strongest. It is made with A. peregrina seeds and the powdered shells of local giant snails. No ‘mapacho’ has been used at all. Please do not confuse this rapé with Yopo snuff which some shamans prepare in the same region.
This is a very special and robust snuff from the Piaroa tribe in Venezuela.
While there was lots of political unrest in Venezuela, one of our team members traveled all the way from Colombia to Venezuela and found a shaman with the knowledge and willingness to share with us this unique rapé. In preparing this rapé, the shaman first powdered the seeds and the shells. Then he added some water and turned it into a smooth paste. The paste was then dried on clay pots next to the fire. Finally, once the paste was solid, it was milled by hand into a very fine powder.
The Piaroa people
The Piaroa is an indigenous tribe of no more than 20.000 people living in the Amazon rainforest near the Orinoco River in Venezuela. They are considered one of the most peaceful societies in the world, with very little violence in their communities. They naturally prefer to work with one another, embracing group success instead of individual satisfaction. Due to this trait, they seem to live in harmony among themselves without competing or fighting. It is a community that mostly thrives as hunter and gatherers. The Piaroa place a very high value on spontaneous social life and gentle interpersonal relationships. They show respect and consideration toward others on decisions regarding food choices, sexual behavior, and housing. The Piaroa view competition and greed as leading to cannibalism and violence. They reject individual ownership. Instead, they approve of egalitarian sharing for everyday human needs.
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.