Samaúma Ash


Clean and powerful Samaúma ash that was prepared by the Yawanawa tribe. It is the same ash as used in the popular Samaúma Rapé from my shop. Its said that Samaúma connects to the ancestral energy and it will hot he head.


About Samaúma ash

Clean and powerful Samaúma ash was prepared by the Yawanawa tribe. It is the same ash as used in the popular Samaúma Rapé from my shop. It is said that Samaúma connects to the ancestral energy and it will hot the head.

About Samaúma/Kapok

Samaúma or Kapok (Ceiba pentandra) is a tree found in the Amazon. Is considered sacred to the ancient Maya and the people that inhabit the forests. Samaúma trees easily can reach a height of 70 meters and therefore it is one of the largest trees in the world flora.
This tree can remove water from great depths of the Amazonian soil and not only bring it to fuel itself, but also to share with other species.

The bark of this tree Samaúma Ash. The yawanawa use it for snuff

The giant of the forest

The natives consider it “the mother of all trees. Its roots are called sapobemba. These roots are used in communication through the forest, which is done by tapping on them with a piece of wood.
In addition, the tree presents medicinal properties and is considered by the people of the forest, a tree with magical powers, protecting even the remaining trees and the inhabitants of the forest. The bark is also used as an additive to some versions of  Ayahuasca.

Samaúma ash is made from the bark from this tree and used for rapé

One of the largest Samaúma trees in the Amazon

place in nauture with a fire in the foreground and tools in the background, burning bark for samaúma ash for the production of snuff

The start of a long session at the fireplace,

The burning fire

Three bark ashes are a fundamental part of the majority of the Brazilian types of Rapé. The bark comes from various medicinal trees. Many times found in the region where indigenous tribes live and other times bark types from other trees from other regions in Brazil.

The production of ash is a process I have witnessed and participated in. The way of burning the bark to obtain a good result requires experience. The fire that burns the bark should not burn to hard but also not too soft.
A wood bark fire can burn for many hours and needs some attention. In a good burning session, you want as much as possible reduced to ash. Leaving as little as possible charcoal in the pit.

man putting his fire stick in the fire pit where bark burn for the production of samaúma ash used for rapé

Sieving and cleaning

After collecting the ash the next day a series of sieving steps follow. The sieving process removes several impurities like sand and tiny bits of unburned charcoaled wood. Now the cleaned ashes are ready. Reheating the ashes in on a hot fire makes sure the ashes are bone dry.

Reduction of mass

Burning bark to get ashes naturally brings a huge loss of mass. In general, with good knowledge of making ash, you can get around 500 grams of ash from 10 kilos of bark. So after the burning of 10 kilos of bark and processing the leftovers, 20% of the starting weight is clean and useable ash.
This number may vary depending on the type of bark,  the style of burning, the humidity of the bark and other factors.

The alchemical body, salt

From an alchemical point of view, ashes represent the body of the bark in a concentrated form. These ashes contain the mineral salt of the bark. The use of medicinal ashes has a long history. Already in ancient Indian alchemical tradition working with ashes has been recorded.
This dates back to at least 4000 BC. (source). It is interesting to know that during our earthly history the knowledge of working with ashes somehow found its way to the Amazon Indians. An interesting article about the use of ash by the Amazonian Witoto Indians can be read here. In the neo-alchemistic tradition of Spagyrics, alchemical salts also have an important function.

excerpt from the book. the alchemical body. it has referencen to ash that coonect to the Tsunu ash used for rapé/snuff

Excerpt from; The Alchemical Body: Siddha Traditions in Medieval India

How to use

You can use this ash to mix with a pulverized tobacco and or with other herbs to create your own Rapé variety. If you like to study and learn about the energy and power of only the ash then use it in the same way as you would with Rapé.
Wetting your finger and putting a little bit of ash from your finger to your tongue you can feel a short prickly numbness sensation that lasts for a few seconds.
Some ashes give you these sensations and others don’t (this does not mean one is less strong than the other). It is just another simple way to learn more about ash and connect to its energy. The alkaline ashes help to basify the tobacco mixture. In rapé the higher PH value frees the tobacco alkaloids and stimulates absorption. The ash potentiates the power of tobacco.


Ashes are hygroscopic. This means that they have the tendency to attract water from the air towards it. When you make your own Rapé blends, keep the time you expose it to the open air limited. After blending its advisable to put your newly made rapé in any type of airtight container. The rapé ashes you find here have all been dehumidified before storing.

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 dehydrate this Samaúma ash and all other ashes coming from my shop. I then sieve the ash through a 35-micron high-grade stainless steel mesh. I also store the ash stock dry and in vacuum containers to prolong freshness and quality.

This results in.

  • an extremely fine powder.
  • a guaranteed consistent fineness
  • optimal absorption of the snuff