Arrowhead Tepi with lizard skin
Wood tepi covered with the skin of a Lagarto (lizard). This is a relatively long tepi.
Diameters: 1,8 cm and 0.7 cm
Length: 43 cm
This is a Tepi mode from ony wood is the work of my dear friend Paco. He lives in the South of Brazil near Porto Alegre. I visited Paco at his house in the South and spend some time together to learn more about him and his work. Paco’s work ethics are rather special. The wood he uses comes from demolished houses or is taken from dead trees in nature. The bones he uses are from roadkill animals or animals that died in a natural way. Paco nor others had to directly sacrifice a tree or animal to make any of his art. And every piece he makes is unique. Paco work is an integral part of Brazilian Tobacco Snuffs.
The Tepi and Kuripe Paco makes all have a very organic feel to it. All pieces have their own character. He uses various techniques to make very clean and solid connections between the sections of his shamanic instruments. A common problem with a V-shaped Kuripe is that some Snuff gets trapped in the bottom of the V. Paco solution is to create a bottom inside the Kuripe that has a curved shape. In this way, you will always blow all snuff out of your blowpipe. His pieces are very powerful. In general, the blow strength of his blowpipes is quite high and assures a deep entering of the Rapé. These are all high-quality pieces that will last a very long time.
In the week I spend with Paco I enjoyed the time as was sitting next to him and watch him while he was working. Together we made my new personal Kuripe. I enjoyed our time together a lot. To help Paco a bit I bought him some new basic tools like a wood file and rasp. Some of his tools were just too old and slowed him down a lot. Paco uses various types of wood. From a local pine variety, cinnamon wood to an Amazonian wood called “Roxinho”. All pieces have their specific unique look/frequency. The high level of craftsmanship makes his pieces outstanding. Simple, organic, beautiful and powerful are some words that express what I feel from watching and holding his art.
Paco used to work as a car mechanic but and felt called to change his life completely. Living in the countryside together with his wonderful wife and daughter he has managed to find another way to support his family. His only income comes from his artwork and this does not mean he is producing in an assembly line. Paco loves to have personal contact. To get a close relationship with his clients so he can translate that energy/wishes into the piece he will be making. If you have any specific wishes for a Tepi or Kuripe you would like to have made by him, please contact me.
Tepi and Kuripe
Traditionally Rapé is administered through a pipe made out of bamboo or bone. The Tepi is a blowpipe that you can use to administer another person. When receiving Rapé the other blows it through both nostrils. In general, the shape of the Tepi is straight, curved or V-shaped. A different form is self-administration. For this, you use a Kuripe. The Kuripe has a V- shape and connects the mouth to the nostril. In this case, you blow the Rapé to yourself.