Hapé (also referred to as Rapé or Rapeh) is the preparation of powdered medicinal herbs, often with a tobacco base. Hapé is typically made with mapacho, which is an Amazonian variety of tobacco that is considered by tribal shamans to be a master plant. In addition to the tobacco, rapé usually includes the alkaline ashes of other plants such as cinnamon, tonka bean, clover, banana peel, or mint, but many shamans keep the exact ingredients of their particular rapé a secret. Hapé elicits a feeling of alertness and elevation that surpasses most other natural plant-based effects.
The effects of hapé are experienced rapidly and intensely because the powdered snuff is administered through the nose. The practice of consuming powdered plant medicines through the nose is much more ancient than we realized (dating from the pre-Columbian days) and was first observed among the Brazilian indigenous tribes.
Today, indigenous tribes in the Amazon basin continue to use hapé in all aspects of life, from formal ritual use in rites of puberty, initiation, social gatherings and healing ceremonies, to simply tuning into Nature and the healing power of sacred plant medicines alone or with friends.
There are several tribes that traditionally used hapé – which include but are not limited to the Katukina, Yawanawa, Kaxinawa, Nukini, Kuntanawa, Apurinã, Ashaninka, and Matses – often produce their own specific kinds of Hapé blend and have different ways of preparing the herbal snuff, from techniques to songs that are sung during the rapé rituals.
From the indigenous point of view, hapé is a sacred shamanic snuff medicine with profound healing effects. Hapé is made from different medicinal plants for different purposes – to induce visions, to have energy, and to enhance the senses with the aromatic fragrance of the plants used in the blend. Given that there are myriad medicinal plants you can blend into hapé, there are many various hapé recipes in existence – and these recipes are often closely guarded by the tribes as secrets.
Sharing hapé – is traditionally a ritualistic practice among Amazonian tribes that may include specific chants to activate the force of the hapé and to confer the healing power of the forest upon the hapé recipient.
The ritual use of hapé is also making its way around the world, introduced to the West through ayahuasca ceremonies by traveling shamans and by visitors who have spent time in the jungle with indigenous communities.
Benefits of Using Rapé
Rapé can help you in the following ways:
- Helps focus and sharpen the mind.
- Clears a person or space of distracting, bad energies in preparation for intention setting.
- Detoxes both body and mind and clears your energetic field. Because of this, rapé is often used in conjunction with ayahuasca ceremonies.
- Clears sinuses of mucus and bacteria, thereby helping to combat colds and respiratory ailments.
- Provides a calming, grounding effect on the emotions that lasts much longer that the initial sensation.
- Can be used in conjunction with other treatments for addiction and mental illness.