More about Apurinã Awiry Snuff
The Apurinã are famous for their Green Rapé Snuff: Apurinã Awiry, so unique and different from the other tribes of the region. They call their Rapé ‘Awiry,’ which is also the name of the plant they use to make this medicine. The Awiry is considered by some a type of wild tobacco although usually the Apurinã Green Rapé Snuff is considered Tobacco free snuff. It is not clear if it contains nicotine. It grows on the banks of the rivers. Awiry can only be harvested at certain times of the year. This is because when the river rises in rainy season the area where it grows submerges under water. Although it grows wild, nowadays some communities also cultivate it.
Awiry the plant
Because of its connection with the rivers, this rapé is usually only made in the dry season, and for that reason it is quite rare and special, until its increased cultivation will make it more available.
Normal Nicotinum rustica tobacco in Brazil is fermented when dried and rolled up into sticks or strings for keeping. The Awiry is neither fermented nor heated; they just let it dry naturally, allowing it to keep its green color. It is then ground up after drying. The Awiry is not mixed with ashes; only the ground plant material is used, so you could consider it a raw and alive Rapé.
While most Indigenous Rapés are blown either by oneself with a Kuripe, or by another person with a Tepi, the Apurinã Awiry is inhaled through a tube. Some of the tribes that use Yopo do this as well. They take some in their hand and sniff it either through a bone or a wild bamboo tube.
Use with respect and care!