Urucum Paste In Bamboo Tube from Brazil (SKU 4397)
The facial paint with Urucum is an integral part of most tribes from Brazil and South America in general. In many cultures it is part of the daily routine after the morning bath to paint the face with Urucum. There are specific designs that are used as tribal identification and for aligning with spirit animals or the enchanted forces of the forest. There are also more individual designs that they paint on their faces that are particular to each person. The Urucum can also be mixed with other plants and oils for instance for war paint or sweet oils for sexual attraction. Urucum is made from the seeds of the Achiote (Bixa orellana) plant also called "lipstick tree". More information below.
Throughout the rainforest, indigenous tribes have used Urucum seeds as body paint and as a fabric dye. Body-painting with Urucum remains an important tradition of many Brazilian native tribes. It was reportedly used for body paint among the native Taínos in Borinquen, Puerto Rico. The use of Achiote hair dye by men of the Tsáchila of Ecuador is the origin of their Spanish name, the Colorados. The Aztec people of Mexico used Achiote seeds as source of a red ink for manuscript painting in the 16th century. It has been traced back to the ancient Mayan Indians, who employed it as a principal coloring agent in foods, for body paints, and as a coloring for arts, crafts, and murals. Although mostly only the seed paste or seed oil is used commercially today, the rainforest tribes have used the entire plant as medicine for centuries. A tea made with Urucum is used as an aphrodisiac and astringent, and to treat skin problems, fevers, dysentery, and hepatitis. The Annatto tree is believed to originate in tropical regions from Mexico to Brazil. It was probably not initially used as a food additive, but for other purposes such as ritual and decorative body painting (still an important tradition in many Brazilian native tribes), sunscreen, and insect repellent, and for medical purposes.
The facial paint with Urucum is an integral part of most tribes from Brazil and South America in general. In many cultures it is part of the daily routine after the morning bath to paint the face with Urucum. There are specific designs that are used as tribal identification and for aligning with spirit animals or the enchanted forces of the forest. There are also more individual designs that they paint on their faces that are particular to each person. The Urucum can also be mixed with other plants and oils for instance for war paint or sweet oils for sexual attraction.
Urucum is made from the seeds of the Achiote (Bixa orellana) plant. It is a shrub or small tree originating from the tropical region of the Americas. North, Central, and South American natives originally used the seeds to make red body paint and lipstick, as well as a spice. For this reason, the Achiote is sometimes called the lipstick tree. The tree is best known as the source of Annatto, a natural orange-red condiment (also called "Bijol") obtained from the waxy arils that cover its seeds. The ground seeds are widely used in traditional dishes in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, such as cochinita pibil, chicken in achiote and caldo de olla. Annatto and its extracts are also used as an industrial food coloring to add yellow or orange color to many products such as butter, cheese, sausages, cakes, and popcorn.
The species name was given by Linnaeus after the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Orellana, an early explorer of the Amazon River. The name Achiote derives from the Nahuatl word for the shrub, āchiotl. It may also be referred to as aploppas, or by its original Tupi name uruku, urucu or urucum ("red color"), which is also used for the body paint prepared from its seeds.
Other names: Bixa Orellana, Achiote, rocou, roucou , Annato, Urucu, Achote, Arnotta, Arnotto, Orellana, Orlean, Orlea, Lipstick tree.
The color of Annatto comes from various carotenoid pigments, mainly bixin and norbixin, found in the reddish waxy coating of the seeds. The condiment is typically prepared by grinding the seeds to a powder or paste. Similar effects can be obtained by extracting some of the color and flavor principles from the seeds with hot water, oil, or lard, which are then added to the food. Annatto and its extracts are now widely used in an artisanal or industrial scale as a coloring agent in many processed food products, such as cheeses, dairy spreads, butter and margarine, custards, cakes and other baked goods, potatoes, snack foods, breakfast cereals, smoked fish, sausages, and more. In these uses, Annatto is a natural alternative to synthetic food coloring compounds, but it has been linked to rare cases of food-related allergies. Annatto is of particular commercial value in the United States because the Food and Drug Administration considers colorants derived from it to be "exempt of certification".
This natural product is offered for its ethnographic and historical value and is delivered with no expressed or implied fitness for a specific purpose. It is simply a raw botanical specimen, or a scientific sample. The information provided is purely meant for historical, scientific and educational purposes and should never be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific use. The use and application of our product is at the customer's decision, responsibility and risk.
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