Rapé – Awiry


Rapé Awiry has a flowery scent and literally smells like being in the middle of the jungle. This green snuff is very opening and deeply subtle. This Rapé serves as a mild yet intelligent tool for the beginner, or for those that prefer a tobacco-free Rapé.


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About Awiry

The Apurinã are also known as the people of the Awiry. This is because the Awiry plant is of great value to them. Its the main plant their Pajés (shamans) uses in diagnosing and healing their people. The Apurinã make their famous green Rapé from this plant. There are no ashes or other herbs used in this snuff. The Awiry is unfermented and still has its natural green color and can be considered a raw and alive snuff. The Apurinã traditionally inhale this snuff through a bone or a wild bamboo tube. This is different from other indigenous tribes in Brazil who blow their Rapé with either a Kuripe or Tepi.

Rapé Awiry presented on a platter together with a wooden kuripe

Rapé Awiry

Still, there is a bit of mystery around the Awiry plant. It is still not clear what plant Awiry really is. Western science has still not identified this plant. Some people say Awiry is wild tobacco from the forest. Others say it’s not a tobacco plant and for that reason, Rapé Awiry contains no nicotine. Known is that Awiry grows close to the rivers banks. It can only be harvested in the dry season when the rivers are low. It grows wild but nowadays some communities also cultivate it. Because this flooding this rape can only be made in the dry season and for that reason is quite rare and special, as said before they are starting to cultivate it as well now this makes it more available.

Young Brazilian Indian in traditional clothes holding tepi. Rapé apurina

Young Brazilian Indian in traditional clothes.

About the Apuriná tribe

The Apurinã language is a member of the Purus branch of the Maipure-Aruak family (Facundes, 1994). The nearest related language is that of the Manchineri, or Piro, who inhabit the upper Purus in Brazil and, in Peru, mainly the lower Urubamba Valley. Scattered over sites close to the banks of the Purus, the Apurinã possess a rich cosmological and ritual universe.

The violence of the two rubber cycles in the Amazon region has heavily affected their history. Today they are still fighting for their rights. With some of their lands still not officially recognized and other constantly invaded by loggers the Apurinã the battle is ongoing. The Apurinã inhabit 27 Indigenous lands at differing stages of the official recognition process. twenty have been fully demarcated and registered.  three have been declared to be for their sole use. The Apurinã people are with 9500 members and live very spread out. They live in the states of Acre, Amazonias and Rondônia.

If you like to know more about the Apurinã tribe and culture you can click on this link to a PDF file in Portuguese. The next link is to a PDF in Inglish called “I turn into a  pink dolphin”by Pirjo Kristina Vitanen.

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.

Tepis receiving blessings from their creators

I sieve this Rapé Awiry and all other Rapé coming from my shop through a 120-micron high-grade stainless steel mesh. This makes an extremely fine powder. It’s labor-intensive but guarantees a consistent fineness, cleanness and optimal absorption of the Snuff. I store the Rapé stock dry and in vacuum containers to prolong freshness and quality.