The Kuripe is a bit of a contradiction. It is, by far, the best-selling rapé pipe on the Planet. But also the least used rapé applicator in a real rapé ceremony. Let me explain.
So, you already know what shamanic snuff tobacco (a.k.a. rapé) is, right? If you don’t or you think you may want to delve into it, check my essay What is rapé?
Also, here you can find a list of the most common rapé blends.
But before starting, let me share some news with you. I’ve been making rapé pipes for years, and I sell them (tepis and kuripes) both on this website and on my Etsy shop. So, if you are wondering where to buy Kuripe, check my store on Etsy, or the rapé pipes on this website!
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To take rapé you need a pipe. Or a rapé applicator, if you prefer to call it this way. Ok: technically you can sniff it from your hand right into your nose (is that why they call it hippie cocaine?). But I strongly advise against it. Taking rapé has nothing to do with recreational drugs. Really! It is a ceremony, and as such has to be approached. Click here if you want to know what are the effects of rapé.
The traditional rapé ceremony involves a shaman, a skilled person who delivers the rapé into your nostrils. The rapé pipe used during the ceremony is the Tepi, which is designed for the shaman to blow the snuff tobacco into your nose.
The Kuripe pipe is different. It is smaller than the Tepi and v-shaped. It has been invented to allow one to administer the rapé himself. That’s why is also called a self-administering applicator.
So, why this rapé pipe is so popular? Because the shamanic snuff tobacco use is booming everywhere. More and more people buy rapé out of curiosity, just to give it a try, without knowing if and when they will start taking it more seriously.
A perfect rapé companion
In this scenario, the Kuripe is the perfect rapé applicator. It’s small, portable, usually cheaper than the Tepi, and honestly quite cute. Just check online: you will quickly find hundreds of Kuripes in various materials, shapes, and styles.
Don’t get me wrong: I love the Kuripe. I have been taking rapé for a long time and I make my pipes by myself. I own several of those and I use them regularly.
The Kuripe is great to take rapé when you are alone. But if you want to get into the shamanic snuff tobacco seriously, you will need a Tepi pipe too.
That being said, there’s much more to say about this pipe. I’ve broken down what I know in some points. Feel free to jump right to the one which sounds more interesting to you.
A Kuripe is a pipe meant to be used to self-administer rapé. It is small, shaped like a V, and usually (but not always) made out of bamboo. Why bamboo? Because it’s cheap, easy to handle, and fit to be easily turned into a rapé pipe.
Kuripes are also made out of bones. There are much harder to find and usually way more expensive. For those who are into deep shamanism, bone can be preferable because of the spirit of the animal to which belongs.
It’s hard for me to advise you about this topic. I am still finding my way toward shamanism and I am still quite a logic-driven person. I would say: go with bamboo to start and keep listening to the signs.
A Kuripe applicator isn’t something you can buy in the store next door. At least, not for most people. Rapé pipes are made by artisans in small quantities and sold mostly in flees markets, or, more recently, online.
Tip: here is a list of the best Kuripe on Etsy
Where to buy kuripe, then? The answer depends on where you live, on whether or not you are used to online shopping, and on how customized you want your rapé pipe to be.
That being said, let me share something awesome with you. I make rapé pipes and I sell them while I travel, mostly in India and somewhere else in Asia. I sell them here, on this website. But hey: I have my brand new Etsy shop too!
So, if you are looking for a rapé applicator, handmade with love by following the traditional methodology, buy my kuripe! The one you see in the photo above is only one of them: I have several different models and I can also make a special one for you. Just drop me a line at the shop 🙂
If you don’t like the ones I make, no worries: there are plenty of choices around.
Don’t forget the second option, though. How amazing would be to buy a pipe on a flea market from an artisan who actually made it? Remember: rapé is getting more and more popular and the model you are looking for might be waiting for you closer than you imagine.
While I am referring here to a single kind of Kuripe, there are actually three different variations of this pipe.
The most common and widespread is the simplest. A v-shaped pipe with an in and an out only, and no moving parts. Here is a good example of a simple, yet beautiful stone Kuripe.
Another model you may find is the so-called Double Kuripe, which has 2 out, one for each nostril of your nose. I was not using a double when I started to do rapé. But I do it now, with a pipe I have built myself. Here is an example of the best-selling double kuripe right now.
You may also find a 2 in 1 rapé pipe, which can be adapted to be either a Tepi or a Kuripe. I have never tried it. But it seems quite a complicated object to me. Too complicated, maybe?
Remember: if you are looking for a pipe to administer rapé to another person, you need a tepi pipe instead of a kuripe.
Nowadays, bamboo is the most used material to make a rapé applicator. The reason is that bamboo is widely available, cheap, and easy to carve. Wooden kuripe is rarer and usually more expensive because it is often carved out of a single piece of wood and requires more work to be produced. Bone kuripe is also rare and usually considered more precious.
Go for a bamboo rapé applicator if you don’t have a specific alternative idea. A bamboo one will not break the bank and will work just fine. Plus, some of them are really amazing.
Choose a bone kuripe applicator or a wooden one if you want to have something really unique.
In short, no. While the Kuripe is by far the best-selling rapé pipe, it is not the most appropriate way to administer shamanic snuff tobacco.
Buy a Kuripe if you want to experiment with rapé on your own. But if you are an experienced rapé user and you want a new applicator for yourself. Buy one as a present for someone who knows what is doing.
Instead, if you want to practice with rapé ceremonies go for a Tepi pipe and find a trusted shaman.
Finding a kuripe that fits your nose size can be a problem. Most of the makers sell single-sized applicators that fit normal-sized nostrils. But these pipes might not fit small and large noses.
A solution is buying from makers who produce kuripe in different sizes. I am one of them. Take a look at these nose-fitting kuripe: you can buy them in small, medium, and large sizes.
Ehm… I have no idea. Not yet. I asked many rapé people in my network (some of them are Brazilian) and none of them knows the etymology of the work Kuripe. I will keep looking into it, though. I promise!
I am more pragmatic than liturgic. So, if you want to take rapé with your Kuripe pipe you can do it any way you want, as long as it works for you.
However, there are some rituals you may like to introduce in your little ceremony.
Rapé is not a drug (more at my post: Is rapé addictive?). But taking rapé is nevertheless a sort of a trip. Get ready for it, then. Before the ceremony, take a minute or so to relax and prepare. Inhale and exhale deeply. Focus your mind on what you would like to achieve.
When you feel ready, close your eyes and blow the first shot of rapé on one of your nostrils. Wait, feel it in your forehead, try to understand it.
Then go with the second shot, which may be stronger or softer depending on how open your nostrils are. The amount of rapé should be the same in each nostril, but not necessarily. If you feel one needs less or more, follow your intuition. Just don’t overdose!
Amazon, the world’s biggest online shop, doesn’t sell rapé-related products. Not yet, at least. Which is, in my opinion, very good news.
While Kuripe is technically a simple object, it is also a sensitive one. Your pipe will soon become a very personal thing. You want it to be crafted with care and love, by someone who knows and loves what is doing.
What’s my take then? Well, While I make kuripes myself, I encourage you to check them out. You can find my rapé pipes here.
If you want a wider choice, the best online shop to buy a Kuripe is Etsy. While I am writing this post there are more than 1,000 different Kuripe on sale on Etsy. It’s a lot! There are made by hundreds of different artisans in dozen of countries. Some of them live and work in South America, that is where rapé comes from. Others in Europe, India, the US…
Other trusted shopping destinations for Kuripe and rapé-related items include Katukina and Sacred Snuff.
We all have different-shaped noses. Also, the proportions of our faces are different. That’s why there is no such thing as a Kuripe pipe for everybody. At least in theory. Because, well: we are living in an imperfect world and we all have to accept compromises.
My best advice is: make your own Kuripe. It is not that hard and after some unavoidable mistakes, you will eventually craft the perfect pipe for yourself. Read on for more details.
If you don’t want to go down this road, the second-best option is to try the Kuripe before buying it. In Arambol, where I live most of the year, it’s easy to buy pipes at the beach market. You can also easily find Kuripes in most psytrance festivals and hippie communities around the World.
If you decide to buy it online, check the reviews.
Nevertheless, remember: even if you go for the best-selling and best-reviewed Kuripe, you may end up finding your rapé pipe doesn’t perfectly fit you.
When it comes to choosing a kuripe, one of the most important decisions to make is between a single or a double kuripe. The single is by far the most common. It allows you to self-administer the rapé in one nostril at a time, and it’s advisable for beginners.
The double nose kuripe is designed to administer the rapé in both nostrils simultaneously. The double kuripe is gaining a growing popularity among the spiritual community across the world. If you will go for a double, especially if you are buying online, be sure that the size will fit your nose.
I myself started years ago with a single one, and I am now mostly using a double. Which model do I use? Check out my double kuripe here.
As mentioned before, there is no better Kuripe pipe than the one you make by yourself.
I will expand on this topic soon, with some in-depth instructions based on my personal experience. For the moment, let me tell you that you can create a very basic Kuripe pipe using a bamboo straw, a saw, some sandpaper, and glue.
If you want to see how you make your Kuripe, there is a self-explaining video on Youtube about how to make this kind of pipe.
So, you already have your Kuripe pipe, and you want to know how to keep it clean?
Easy job. Like any other pipe, Kuripe fears dust. So, store it in a bag when you are not using it. This should be doing it.
Also, you can buy a cleaning brush to clean the Kuripe from time to time. You can purchase one on Amazon or elsewhere: they are very cheap.
If you are involved with the Ayahuasca tribe, you may have heard many talking about the rapé applicator. That’s because taking rapé is often an important part of the Ayahuasca ceremony.
Shamans administer rapé to people to prepare them for the Ayahuasca journey.