Tobacco is a sacred shamanic medicine or tool, which has been used by the tribes of the Amazon for thousands of years and is an essential part of their tribal culture and history. Rapé (HAPÉ) is the name of one of many of these tobacco, and its base lies in numerous indigenous tribes in Central and South America as well as in Mexico. Interestingly, Rapé is not inhaled, it is administered blown (with purpose and intention) in the nostrils with a special blowpipe called “kuripe” or “Tepi”.
The appearance of a Rapé (Hapé) is a gray powder, very fine and dry. It is traditionally prepared by ceremonially striking the Tobacco (N. rustica) with tree ashes, followed by patient filtration through a fine cloth, which results in a powder as fine as 125 microns. The most commonly used tobacco varieties known as N. tabacum, N. rustica, “Corda” or “Moi” and, in some cases, also “Mapacho”.
Given the potency of tobacco, rustic Nicotiana, which is stronger and darker than Nicotiana tabacum, can cause mental alertness and grounding effects.
The ashes that are the second important component in a Rapé come from the bark of a variety of medicinal or sacred trees.
Shamans in America use tobacco as a sacred medicine and to cure health, there is a very close connection between tobacco use and shamanism that has little in common with our western form of tobacco use. Indigenous tribes use tobacco in ceremonies, to predict good weather, fishing or harvest, and for spiritual purposes (for example, vision seeking, trance, etc.) and healing, but rarely for smoking.
The use of tobacco by indigenous tribes in America, such as the Kaxinawá, Nu-nu, Yawanawá and Katukina, is deeply rooted in their culture, and has been used at least since Mayan civilization for ritual, medicinal and recreational purposes.
The use of snuff, Rapé, has many different purposes for indigenous tribes, of which the rites of puberty, the rites of initiation, the festivals of drinking cashiri, the social rites and the healing ceremonies. However, each tribe has its own routine: some apply it every day after breakfast and dinner, other tribes use it three times during the night.
A typical Rapé ceremony involves a mutual administration of two people. The Rapé is blown into the nostrils with a bamboo or bone cane. The intense blow immediately focuses the mind, stops the chattering and opens up all the mental space released for the intentions of the spirit in us. In addition, this helps to release emotional, physical and spiritual diseases and relieves negativity and confusion, allowing a complete grounding of the mind.
Similarly, shamans use Rapé to realign with their energy channels and with their higher self, and intensify their connection to the world and the universe. In addition, Rapé paves the way to detoxify the body and cleans all excess mucus, toxins and bacteria, thus helping to fight colds and migraines. In addition, Rapé stimulates the mind with its nicotinic content that in turn releases epinephrine, acetylcholine and dopamine, which favors greater focus, presence and intuition.
There is information that Rapé could decalcify the pineal gland, which is involved in the secretion of melatonin, the perception of circadian time and the metabolism of medications. Calcification of the pineal gland has been associated with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and fluoride exposure, which further emphasizes the importance of a healthy pineal gland. However, if Rapé can really help the decalcification of the pineal gland, it is still a mystery to the mind and an opportunity for our light to manifest itself in all its splendor.