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Kuripe Tobacco Pipes: What They Are and How to Use Them

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

With the rising popularity and widespread use of powder tobacco products this once relatively unheard of niche has given birth to a growing demand for Rapéh and its collectable paraphernalia. However shamanic tobacco enthusiasts still have many questions on how to apply Rapéh snuff correctly. In this concise article, we will investigate and answer many questions including; 'what is a Kuripe?', 'What is a Kuripe used for?' and cover the differences between a Kuripe and a Tepi.

Sitting comfortably? Let's begin.


What is a Kuripe?

Kuripe tobacco pipes are most commonly used for the self-administration of Rapéh tobacco - a type of dry shamanic snuff powder with calming and psychotropic properties. From ceremonial Rapéh to recreational usage, Kuripe pipes are convenient, pocket-sized self-applicator pipes often hand-made from wood or bone.

Rapéh (pronounced ra-pay or hah-pay), also frequently known as hape' or Rape', is a type of South American tobacco snuff used in both shamanic and alternative medicine ceremonies. Rapéh enthusiasts often prefer the Kuripe tobacco pipe (over a Tepi pipe), which allows the user to conveniently self-administer Rapéh without the aid of an assistant to blow the powder tobacco - this method is typically done using a Tepi pipe, customary in Rapéh and healing ceremonies (covered later in this article).

What is a Kuripe Used For?

A Kuripe is a small handheld powder tobacco pipe occasionally attached to a string and worn around the neck. Designed to make Rapéh application as clean and mess-free as possible, the tool originated from South American native tribes, giving birth to a unique and decorative handcrafted style, highly desired by a growing western market.

What is a Tepi Pipe?

Traditionally, in Amazonian ceremonial circles, the Rapéh tobacco is administered to the user by a hierarchical senior - usually, a shaman using a longer hollow 'Tepi' pipe made from animal horn or bamboo. Tepi pipes are often used during sacred rituals or rite of passage initiations, often by tribal leaders or respected village elders.

However, with a growing global demand for Rapéh products, the Kuripe has become a far more appealing choice for those wanting to experience the benefits of Rapéh without attending an event or ceremony. Alternative to cumbersome Tepi pipes, the Kuripe's handheld convenience makes it far easier for solo Rapéh users to self-apply the powdered tobacco themselves, without the aid of a third party.

The Different Types of Kuripes

With various shapes, sizes, and materials available on the market, Rapéh users will likely be spoiled for choice when picking out the perfect pipe.

There are many different types of Kuripe pipes, the most common being hollow V-shaped pipes. With an angle of between 45-50 degrees to ensure a comfortable fit for the nose end of the pipe to the pipe's mouthpiece.

There are also more rarely found Double-Nosed Kuripe, which has not one, but two exit pipes, snugly fitting each of the user's nostrils. There are even "2-in-1" pipes with dual Kuripe or Tepi functionality, allowing the user to either self-administer Rapéh themselves or apply to another person without needing to carry two separate application tools.

How Are Kuripes Made?