Rapé, pronounced “ha-peh” in English, Rapay, hapai, hapi or ruma (hoo-ma) is a legal amazonian shamanic medicine in the form of a snuff and has been around in South America for thousands of years. It is traditionally used for sacred and spiritual practices and provides an array of physical, mental and spiritual benefits. The use of rapé is a whole world on its own and has developed mainly in the amazonian portion of Brazil, Colombia and Perú.
Usually rapé comprises of finely ground and powdered medicinal plants, depending on the intended use, it could include tobacco leaves (Nicotiana Rustica), tonka beans, cinnamon, clove buds, alkaline vegetable ashes, Anadenanthera, Erythroxylum, Virola, among a diverse and wide range of medicinal plants, herbs, leaves, flowers, barks, seeds and also in some rare cases, may also include animal parts such as boa skin (Gibóia). Although tobacco is present at the core of most rapés, there are also those that do not include tobacco and generally tend to be more gentle in comparison.
At Allinkana we provide rapé sessions to those who wish for it following the ceremony and at other instances during the workshop, if required. There are an array of different rapés, here are some of the ones we usually have available: Yanawana, Nu-Nu, Apurina, Tsunu, Huni Kuin, Nukini, Shawadawa, Nawa, Katukina, Rio Croa and Gibóia.
To administer rapé the practitioner uses a blowpipe called Tepi, often made from a large bone, chonta or bamboo. One end is inserted in the receiving nostril while the giver blows the rapé from the other end. For those who wish to self administer, there are personal ‘V’ shaped blowpipes known as Kuripé.
Rapé is often used to clear cloudy head syndrome, to clear sinuses of excess mucus and bacteria, to clear staganting energy and even to trigger a purge. Usually the intense blow of the powder up through the nose immediately focuses the mind, quiets the chatter, and brings one into the present for grounding and intention setting. Energetically, it is said that rapé helps to re-align energy channels and facilitate connection with the higher self, the world and the universe at large. In those rapés containing tobacco, the nicotine content releases neurotransmitters including epinephrine, dopamine and acetylcholine, supporting increased focus, mood, presence and intuition. Rapé can be used in conjunction with other treatments for addiction and mental disorders.
There are different ways to use breath in order to blow rapé, Deer, Hummingbird, Snake, etc. Typically this is directly linked to the given moment and the practitioner’s experience with the medicine while intuitively assessing which form is needed to proceed with intention.