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Culture - coca leaf powder ritual use

Discussion in 'Coca' started by Benga, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. Benga

    Benga Platinum Member & Advisor

    Reputation Points:
    Aug 15, 2005
    from japan
    I've been trying to read up on use of coca in ritualised settings, uses which might differ from the traditional chewing (for lack of a better word, since you don't actually crush leaves with teeth)a bolus of leaves with an alkali. this is effective, but not very comfortable way of using leaves, and leaves one pretty much unable to talk for 45 minutes...no problem if you're walking in the Andes, or digging in a mine or in the fields, but in other settings

    one description i've found which struck me as interesting is a coca leaf powder preparation, basically ground coca leaf with an alkali which is then swallowed by teaspoonfuls...this implies oral absorbtion of alkaloids.

    the coca used is wild amazonian coca, which has a high alkaloidal content.

    here's an extract of an article

    will begin speaking about the Erythroxylum coca var. ipadu known by the Hupda as “Patu.” There are three distinct types: Ipadu de Peixe, Ipadu de Pau, and Ipadu Abiú, which are valued according to flavor, Abiú being the most flavorful. Close to all Hupda villages in the region you encounter small fields with enough mature “Patu” plants for the Hupda’s traditional use of the species. The Hupda “eat Patu,” as they say, daily. Starting at 4:30 pm the sound of the “pilão” (wooden mortar and pestle) can be heard in almost all of the households. The recently collected “Patu” leaves, dried in a manioc toasting pan, are beaten and the resulting powder is mixed with ashes of dried Embaúba (Cecropria sp.) leaves. The final product is then sifted through cloth to be taken orally in doses of a teaspoonful, or more, at a time in the “roda dos homens”; the circle of men. At this time the events of the day are discussed. Taking “Patu” has an important role in the socialization of the Hupda men, being present as a stimulant when they relate to each other the trails used in hunting, discussing problems effecting the group, or when they are organizing a party. These conversations last from 5:00 to 10:00 pm, when the “Patu” prepared for the the day is finished they begin preparing for sleep, which they all will be doing by midnight.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009