Bottle, 25 Ml, 15 Gr from Brazil (SKU 3638)
Another beautiful Rapé from the Shanenawa tribe, again made from sweet scented plants, and what seems to be milder and very balanced tobacco. This is one of the more energetically balanced Rapé’s that has strong but stable initial effects with pleasant after-tones and little production of phlegm. More information below.
Packed in 25 ml clear plastic bottles containing 15 gr.
Another beautiful Rapé from the Shanenawa tribe, again made from sweet scented plants, and what seems to be milder and very balanced tobacco. This is one of the more energetically balanced Rapé’s that has strong but stable initial effects with pleasant after-tones and little production of phlegm.
We are blessed to receive this from a very small tribe who usually do not make Rapé for people outside of the tribe. The Shanenawa are known to make 3 different types of Rapé within their tribe using a range of different plants and ashes. Two of the tribes peoples have been appointed by the chief to make Rapé, and continue the tradition.
This is an extremely fine and dry powder. It takes great effort to produce such a fine powder at a 125 micron fineness. This is our standard. All our products are processed to a high standard and consistent fineness and dryness, using laboratory grade seives and dehydrating equipment, before packaging.
The Shanenawa are a tribe who live in Acre in Brazil in Feijo. They speak Portuguese but the older people and the children tend to speak in their own language Shanenawa. The name ‘Shanenawa’ is composed by the forms shane (blue-coloured bird) and nawa (‘stranger’ people). Hence their name translates as the ‘blue bird people.’
The history of the Shanenawa people is typical to those experienced by most of the indigenous populations in Acre. At the start of the 20th century, they were victims of the rapid and violent occupation of the region to extract caucho and rubber.
After a number of relocations, the Shanenawa moved to live in an area of land that was later homologated under the name Katukina/Kaxinawa. This was due to a mistake since they were confused with Katukina Indians and called as such. Fearing that they would lose the right to their lands, bearing in mind the lengthy history of violence and injustice to which they had been subjected, the Shanenawa decided not to reverse this misunderstanding.
The Shanenawa language belongs to the Pano family and is spoken primarily by the older generation. Despite being prohibited during the period when they were working in the rubber extraction areas, the Shanenawa never forgot their language.
After three or four decades of persecutions and suffering caused by the violent occupation and exploration of Acre, a new period began, leaving little space for the small indigenous groups to take refuge. As the rubber economy developed, the Indians were allocated as the workforce to provide game meat and other food produce, before being integrated later by force into working in the rubber extraction areas and rubber tapping itself. The territory inhabited by the Shanenawa today was first occupied at the end of the 1950s and incorporated as a space where they pursued their subsistence activities and their social, political and cultural organization.
The Shanenawa belief in the existence of forest spirits, the jusin, is very clearly apparent. These spirits are beyond nature and humans alike, making them supernatural and superhuman. There are good and bad jusin. The principal such entity is called jusin tsaka who, the Indians say, takes the form of a monstrous animal that destroys and burns everything as it passes by. The Shanenawa say that it is very common to find the footprints of jusin tsaka in the morning, since the spirit only ‘attacks’ at night. The adults use the figure of this jusin to scare children and make them obey them. The Shanenawa consume ayahuasca (called umi in their indigenous language), a drink based on a particular vine species and hallucinogenic leaves that induces visions. Through these visions, they communicate with the spirits of their ancestors and obtain help to solve their problems. Umi is also used as a medicine, since they believe that by ingesting it will make their body healthy. The Indians claim that the community does not possess a shaman. All the same, their herbal medicine is very rich and includes remedies for practically everything. They also use fauna for cures, the most sought being toad venom or vaccine. The Indians apply the substance, taken from a rare species of giant leaf frog, Phyllomedusa bicolor, to their arms at three points burnt with fire. In a few minutes, they vomit the entire contents of their stomach and thereby renew their strength and disposition to work. The toad venom is associated with the medicinal property of dispelling laziness and panema, a term taken from the Nheengatu general language, which means a lack of fortune in hunting.
Still on the topics of traditional rituals, there are records of very interesting aspects. One of them is mariri, a word taken from Nheengatu to designate a typical event among the Shanenawa and among other Pano populations. Mariri has no set date to take place, but it more commonly occurs in Acre’s summer, a period with little or no rain, spanning from April to September, thereby making it easier to walk around the villages due to the absence of mud. Any member of the group may take part in the dance as long as they rehearse the songs taught by their ancestors. For mariri, the group’s members paint themselves with annatto and genipap and wear a dress made from strips of tree bark. During the mariri periods, many other events are registered such as the act of masquerading as jusin tsaka, which the Indians interpret as ‘werewolf.’ Generally, one of the men is covered in tree branches and banana leaves and enters in the middle of the dancers, frightening everyone.
Among other activities, the Shanenawa also practice archery and swimming as competitions, both of which are very popular and proudly maintained by this people. They also play football. Small pitches are found in the villages and are heavily used on Saturdays. They compete in matches with teams formed by players from the villages themselves or, during larger festive events, against teams from other ethnic groups.
More information on the Shanenawa
AGUIAR, Maria Sueli de. Os grupos nativos "Katukina". São Paulo-SP: IEL-UNICAMP, 1992.
ALMEIDA, Cely Melo de. “Shanenawa: um povo de luta”. In: Povos do Acre – História Indígena da Amazônia Ocidental. Rio Branco, Acre, 2002.
CÂNDIDO, Gláucia Vieira. Descrição Morfossintática da Língua Shanenawa (Pano). Tese de Doutorado. Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem. Campinas, SP: [s.n.], 2004.
“Projeto Fortalecimento da cultura Shanenawa da aldeia Nova Vida”. In: Prêmio Culturas Indígenas – Edição Xicão Xukuru. São Paulo, SESC-SP, 2008.
SALGADO, Carlos Antônio Bezerra. Segurança alimentar em terras indígenas: os Shanenawá no rio Envira – Acre. Dissertação de Mestrado – Universidade Federal do Acre, Rio Branco-AC, 2005
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