Tepi – Bone Three Mysteries


Tepi – Three Mysteries

This bone tepi is a work of art. We baptized it “Tres Misterios” or “Three Mysteries”. It has on top a pajé or shaman, in the middle the sacred Kambo frog and on the point the Boa constrictor or Yuxibu. It is bigger than average and is a great piece for ceremonial use of rapé.

The boa constrictor is the most sacred of snakes in pano mythology, the Huni Kuin call it the Yuxibu and is their creator. They also call the non physical entities Yuxibi

For the Kaxinawa, the concepts of agency and power are based on the fluidity of perceptible form. The non-human beings, yuxin and yuxibu, are the masters of form transformation, and the human condition resides in the conquest of a certain fixed form in the midst of a multiplicity of possible forms. The production of people as “thinking bodies”, that is, subjects with shared social principles, depends on a specific logic that governs the attention given to the power of images and form.

Source: https://www.scielo.br

The Kambo frog gives its secretion for healing. There is a legend about a medicine man asking the creator for one medicine for all diseases, while he’s praying he spits on the ground and it hits a frog. Then he gets his answer that the medicine will be on that frog.

The pajé or medicine man is the one who directs the healing power of the sacred plants and the spiritual beings of the forest.

There may be slight varieties from batch to batch since this is a hand crafted product.

This model was made by our handicrafts experts at the Tetê Pawã arts and crafts studio. They are located in the upper Juruá region of Marechal Thaumaturgo municipality, way up on the Amazon. The only way to get there is a two day boat journey or with a four seater airplane. They have been our close partners since 2014, always delivering state of the art handicrafts and their excellent Kuntanawa Rapés.

The Kuripe and Tepi

Kuripe and Tepi are two different kinds of pipes for administering rapé, the sacred snuff of the Amazon.


A snuff auto applicator is an instrument with a V shape. In the native language they call it a Kuripe.

When blowing Rapé you use a Kuripe in the following way. You load it with the right amount of Shamanic Snuff for your personal need, then you put one end in the mouth and the other in the nose. Without inhaling one gently blows the rapé into the nose. Kuripes exist from a variety of materials. The most common materials are bamboo or bone but they also make them from metal, stone or wood.


A two person applicator is a Tepi. The people in the forest use it for ceremonial rapé sharing. There are an endless variety of models and possibilities. In the old days the indigenous used a long bamboo or reed to blow, as became famous from anthropology movies. Nowadays they are usually a bit less dramatic but depending on the quantity of medicine and strength of the blow, the rapé experience can be very strong.

Application of Sacred Snuff

The secret of a good application is in the way you blow the rapé into the nose. Always before blowing clear and elevate your mind. Think positive and visualize positive things; your intentions will flow with your breath.

There are many different breath strengths and styles that can be used for blowing. The most common blows are the beija flor (the hummingbird), and the jiboiá (the boa constrictor).

The beija flor is a short and fast blow, the jiboia is long and slow. The beija flor is a more uplifting hit, waking you up. The Jiboia starts gentle and gains strength towards the end. With smaller amounts it is gentle and meditative; with bigger amounts it slowly creeps up on you and gains strength at the end.

You always finish the blow bringing the point of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. This gives an ending to the application, so to speak. It’s a good idea to train a bit without rapé – just take the tepi on its own and practice your technique.

Receiving the Medicine

When you receive rapé, never breath in through the nose – hold your breath and let the rapé enter.

After you have blown yourself, or received the rapé from someone else, it’s best to close your eyes and concentrate. Don’t breathe through your nose but through your mouth and let the rapé sweat a bit. When it starts to run down your throat, either spit it out or blow your nose, or both.

Working with rapé is a cleansing process, so spit out any residence you feel dripping down your throat. Keep some tissue to hand and let nature and the rapé do its work.

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