Tepi – Dancing Boa
Tepi – Dancing Boa
Our Dancing Boa is carved from wood. It represents a standing boa constrictor ready for the jump. Be careful with the “Sopro de Jiboia” (= Boa application) from this one, it might creep up on you and take you by surprise.
The wooden body is finished with a Maraja mouthpiece and tip. Maraja is the stem of a small tree from the palm family, a great natural material for tepis and kuripes.
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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