Rapé [“ha-peh” – in Brasil] is a snuff that various South American indigenous tribes use. It is made from dried ground tobacco that is mixed with ashes of herbs, roots or treebark. Each tribe and each shaman has his own recipe and usually they are a bit secretive about the exact mixture. Tobacco is a very sacred plant to indigenous people which is used for offerings, prayer and energetic cleaning. Traditionally the natives of North America smoke tobacco but without inhaling it, the smoke carries the prayers to the spirit world. Used in this way tobacco is considered a sacred medicine. In the west we add tons of toxins and additives to the tobacco and inhale it which unfortunately leads to addiction and diseases.

In South America tobacco is often times consumed in form of a tobacco snuff, known as rapé. It is administered by the shaman with an applicator, typically made of bone or bamboo also called tepi, or it can be self-applied with a smaller applicator known as kuripe. Rapé is used in special times of the day or in certain moments that require, cleansing, grounding or focus. It helps to realign the chakras and the energies of the body. It is also meant for protection. And typically, since there is no body-mind dualism in indigenous cultures, rapé is as much a spiritual medicine as a physical medicine that cleanses out mucus, and disease from the body.

Interview with Haru Kuntanawa

Cultural, political and spiritual Authority of the Kuntanawa People, Acre, Brazil. Haru explains the use and effects of rapé.

applying rapé
By | 2017-06-23T18:34:49+00:00 June 3rd, 2017|Categories: VIDEO|Tags: , , , |

About the Author:

Six years ago I, I had just turned 27, I received my master’s degree in Anthropology. At that moment I was supposed to transition into a working life mode. My passion was with documentary film making, which had been a substantial part of my education. I imagined how a job in that field would be like: I saw myself taking the metro everyday to work, sitting in an office and realising other peoples’ ideas. My heart cramped up at this outlook on life. It just seemed wrong, I didn’t want to be stuck in a treadmill, executing other people’s ideas, I wanted to realise my own. So instead of looking for a job, I separated from my boyfriend, moved back in with my parents and began looking for myself. I spent 9 months exploring shamanism, meditation, systemic therapies, past-life therapies and meditation. I participated in a vision-quest and spend 4 days alone without food in a forest and encountered my deepest fear - the fear of death. I participated in camps that practiced community life and taught the way of the circle, the ancestral way of sharing oneself in a talking circle. I felt the power and the beauty of the shamanic approach and by the end of that year I finally encountered with the amazonian plant teacher ayahuasca. She showed me the perfect harmony of the universe and then she brought me all the way from Germany into the savanna of central Brazil, where I am based now. For the last 5 years I have been drinking a lot of Ayahuasca in various lineages, intensely exploring my Self. I passed through various crises and got stronger along the way. Since the plant medicines and healing modalities that I have encountered have helped me greatly on my path of deconditioning myself of everything alien to me and of becoming more and more who I am meant to be, I feel the call to share this information and my experiences with healing and medicine with more people. I wish for all of us to be conscious and openhearted human beings so we can co-create a new reality on this beautiful earth. Mapping Medicine is a project straight from my heart to yours. I hope it inspires you on your healing journey!