Katukina Rapé – Nisural
Katukina Nisural was made with a mixture of local organic moi tobacco and the more potent corda tobacco. The medicine is prepared with Tsunu ashes, or Tsono as the Katukina say. There is some variety in pronunciation and writing off indigenous words like Tsunu. Although nearly all the Rapé producing tribes are from the Pano linguistic root there is differences in their pronunciation and with some tribes also in the words. For instance the Yawanawa, Katukina, Shawãdawa and some others speak pretty much the same language. The Huni Kuin language although Pano is quite specific.
Then Nisural or Nissural is added – a minty, nicely scented herb. It is from the same family as Apuxury and Pixuri. It is also know as Katsural. Many of these local herbs go by a variety of names depending on the tribe that uses them. There are many subspecies that are very similar, but for the small physical features that distinguish them. Nissural serves for headaches and the shamans use it to clear negative energies. They use it in teas, baths and burning it to smudge the people that need the healing. This accumulation of negative energies is called Nissun by the Huni Kuin or Panema. A general accumulation of negative energies that first effect the emotional and spiritual and with time manifests in the body as physical disease. The Shamans and natural healers of the tribes resolve this whit herbal baths, smudging, sacred medicines and prayer.
In the words of the maker:
“Rapé from Tsunu is a medicine for healing. We put the Nisural to take away the bad thoughts. Sometimes we have some mental perturbation and we take this rapé to clear our thoughts. When we have bad thoughts we take this medicines to take away our bad thoughts.”
The Katukina live mainly spread over two regions. Originally they lived close to the Yawanawa on the Gregorio river and have many family ties with the Yawanawa through marriage. The rest lives close to highway where they came as workers to build the road. This is closer to the city Cruzeiro do Sul and this brings many of the problems of the big city like alcohol and drugs. This being said the Katukina are one of the tribes that best protect their language and even today children only learn Portuguese around eight years of age. Many of the elders hardly speak any. Luckily they have kept their culture unless these problems and the Katukina have some of the strongest Pajés as they call their medicine men of the region.
There is some very strong Katukina Shamans living on the Gregorio more far away from so called civilisation but in the Tribal lands close to the city they have some very capable shamans as well. They have extensive knowledge about medicines like Rapé Snuff, Kambo and Ayahuasca apart from all the less known medicines and plants of the forest.
Use with respect and care; it is a tobacco product and can be habit forming!