What Is A Tepi?

What Is A Tepi?

 Tepi is a traditional pipe used by the Indigenous people of the Amazon to partake in a Rapé (also known as rome’ poto) Ceremony. It’s a device made from bamboo or another natural material that has been hollowed out and carved with holes. A tepi can come in different shapes, sizes, and materials.

Some are carved with images of animals or sacred figures, while others are simple cylinders. However, most tepis have some combination of three basic parts: a space inside for holding rapé, a long skinny pipe for administering the rapé, and a mouthpiece where you put your lips. Tepi pipes are typically used by the Shaman during an ayahuasca ceremony as an offering when partisipants would like to receive the Hape’ medicine. 

In this article, we’ll explore what exactly a tepi is and its many uses.

Introduction to Tepi Pipe

A tepi pipe is a device used during the hape’ceremony ritual of administering rapé to another person through the nostrils.

A tepi pipe or a kuripe pipe is absolutely necessary to obtain the full benefits of rapé.

Is a Tepi Pipe the Best Kind of Rapé Pipe?

The Tepi Pipe is used in a rape’ ceremony. They are made from natural materials that are sourced from the Amazon rainforest such as natural woods and bones of animals. A Tepi Pipe due to its longer pipe length can allow for customization, and beautiful art work to be created as you can find many tribes in the Amazon make beautifully elaborate Tepi pipes decorated with their kene’s (their sacred art work) beadwork, shells, feathers, animal skins,  teeth, and even armadillo tails.

A tepi pipe would certainly be the best kind of Rape’ pipe for you if you are seeking to administer Rape’ to somene else. You can find rapé tepi pipes in a variety of assorted shapes, colors and sizes. V shape, U shape, L shape and a straight line —- shape. 

The Tepi pipe is the perfect rapé pipe for true sacred snuff rites. If you want to administer the snuff in the most powerful method, get a large, long one. If mobility is vital, you might use a smaller L- shaped tepi pipe that is easier for transportation. Rape’, Kuripes and Tepis are not illegal and you can travel with them. However, it is always best to put it in your checked luggage keeping your sacred tools safe. 

How Tepis are Made

Tepis are made from a variety of different materials depending on the region and the maker. They can be made from bone, bamboo, wood, gourd, or even stone. In most parts of the Amazon, tepis are carved out of wood, or bone. 

To make a tepi, one first finds the material of choice. Usually materials that already have a hollow structure work best and are less labor intensive. Then you cut the material to your desired nose to mouth ratio distance. Keeping in mind you will be administering to another person.  Next you want to clean and sand the inside and smooth any rough edges inside and out. Connect the joints if there is more than one piece with glue, fimo (a type of modern art clay) or natural earth clay. Let these pieces dry well. Next is the fun part of decorating! You can use all sorts of foraged natural elements like shells, feathers, stones, crystals, snake skin, claws, teeth, beadwork from an old bracelet. The options are endless, allow your mind to expand and create one unique and special to you and your energy signature. 

Different Kinds of Tepi Pipes

Simple Tepi Pipe

Some tepis are made with a very simple design that has been cut into the edge of the pipe. These pipes are simply an extended U shape curve, long cylindrical shape with a hollowed out center to allow the administration of the rapé. These tepis are mostly made out of bone or wood and easy to spot because they’re the most basic type that you’ll find in the Amazon.

2-in-1 Rapé Pipe

2-in-1 Rapé Pipe

This 2 nose blow hole pipe traditionally comes from the Ande’s and has been used for Yopo and Wilka ceremonies and administration. Because receiving wilka or yopo by way of the nose is quite an intense and painful experience. They created the 2 in 1 pipe to make this process a bit more pleasant and faster. 

However, westerners have adopted this pipe to be used for Rape. The 2 in 1 Rape Pipe consist of two long, straight cylindircal pipes on one end. This is  where you would put both nostril ends into. This creates an angle of the two conjoining pipes, turning two into one. The ends of these two pipes are then joined together to one long straight cylicdrical pipe. Creating the 2 in 1 Rape Pipe. 

These pipes are good for adminsitering hape’ all at once.

L Shaped Rape’ Pipe 

L Shaped Rape’ Pipe

An L shaped pipe consists of one long end, the end used to administer the rape’ medicine to the person receiving and a shorter end used for the person receiving the rape’ medicine to put into the nostril. These pipes are generally smaller in size and a good for travel.

V- shaped Rape’ Pipe

V- shaped Rape’ Pipe

A V shaped rape’ pipe consist of 2 equal lenghts distance of pipe and cut at the bottom at a very high slanted angle to create a v shape. These pipes also tend to be a bit smaller in size and are good travel pipes.

Straight Shaped Pipe

Straight Shaped Hape Pipe

A straight hape’ pipe consists of one piece of natural material tubing long enough to create a distance of 1-2 ft from end to end. These pipes are generally longer and more traditionally used as older models of Tepi pipes.

U - Shaped Rape’ Pipe

U - shaped Rape’ Pipe

A U shape pipe is an extended U curve shape. The kind that you will see most indigenous serving Rape’ from. This hape’ pipe consists of one piece of natural material tubing long enough to create a distance of 1-2 ft from end to end. These pipes are generally longer and more ornate and the most used shape within the indigenous tribes of the Amazon as they are the best for administering Rape to get a good smooth blow and force of the medicine. 

Traditional Uses of Tepi

Shamans use tepis for a variety of different purposes. Some common uses of a tepi are: 

  • Communication with spirits - a tepi pipe allows a shaman speak directly to the spirits. They can ask for help with healing or ask the spirits how to help people in daily life. 
  • Treatment of illness and spiritual healing - a tepi helps a shamans administer medicine to the ill or people who need healing to clear their energy field and blocked energies. 
  • Community rituals - one of the most common uses of tepi is during community ceremonial rituals. A shaman may use a tepi to help the others in the group to connect with the spirit world and receive blessings or guidance.

Where to Get the Best Tepi Pipe

To get the best Tepi, you must consider the pipe's quality. Many people want high quality  pipes because of the power of the pipe and the energetic transmission that it emparts upon the receiver as well as their durability and sturdiness. 

The best ones are made out of bone and long with a curved middle. These are the best to administer the medicine and should last you a very long time if not a life time. There are a lot of different brands out there with different materials and designs, so it is important to ensure that you get one that fits your needs.

You can buy a tepi online in our store if you want an amazing quality tepi pipe made by indigenous tribes that can be used for a very long time. We have many different kinds, so there is bound to be something for everyone. If you have any questions about a tepi in our online store, feel free to send us an email at customerservice@tribuspirit.com. We’d be happy to help you out!

Final Thoughts

The tepi is one of the Amazonian shamanic traditions' most important ceremonial objects. It allows everyone to draw in and share the healing properties of rapé. The tepi is an incredibly versatile and easy-to-use tool that can be used by those who want to participate in a rape’ ceremony. The tepi pipe has been used by indigenous people for thousands of years. 

Back to blog