Hapé is a preparation of powdered medicinal herbs. It often with a tobacco base and the Indians of the Amazon basin blow through the nose, either with a small V-shaped self-applicator or with the help of a buddy.
In contemporary Amazonia, sharing hapé is a common social activity with spiritual, pre-Columbian roots. Sacred shamanic tobacco is considered to be a sacred, shamanic medicine. A knowledgeable shaman traditionally prepares it. However, the art of sacred hapé preparation has been passed on to non-indigenous hapé enthusiasts. So, you can find makers of high-quality hapé outside tribal communities and in other parts of Brazil.
Sharing hapé was traditionally done in a ritualistic way. Because, the medicine can have stimulating or psychoactive effects (depending on what plants were used to make it) receiving hapé can bring about a profound experience of the Forest. Because, the medicine is sacred. The Indians take hapé as a prayer calling upon the forces of Nature. Plus, the blessing of the animals of the forest and power of medicinal plants to heal us and give us strength.
Hapé is administered with two different types of pipes. These are typically made of bamboo or bone. The first type of pipe requires the assistance of another person who blows the snuff with a powerful blast. It’s into each nostril of the partner who is receiving the hapé. For that reason, it is generally referred to as the blow pipe and in Brazil, the 2-person pipe; It called the “Tepi”.
If you don’t have a buddy to blow medicine up your nose, don’t worry. You can do it yourself with a self-applicator pipe called a “Kuripe”. A Kuripe is a small V-shaped pipe. It connects your mouth to your nostril. While it’s always harder to blow yourself than to have a friend blow you, trying to get a noob to blow you (who has no idea how to do it). It is the least desirable option. Thus, it’s always good to have your own Kuripe and learn how to blow yourself, if you are a bona fide hapé enthusiast.
Hapé can be hard on your sinuses, so overuse can create sinus problems and damage to your respiratory system. Also, because the medicinal plants in hapé blends vary, its effects on your system can vary. Misuse can lead to addiction. Shamans frequently offer hapé during ayahuasca ceremonies. But, you may want to tune in and decide whether hapé is really what your body needs at that moment.