Tepi pipe for rapé: what is (and where to buy) a shamanic snuff applicator

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While the kuripe is now the most used rapé applicator, the tepi pipe is the one to use in a rapé ceremony.

Deeply rooted in the South American shamanic tradition, the tepi is a long applicator, to be used by a shaman to administer rapé (aka: hape, rapeh) to another person. The kuripe, and vice-versa, is used to self-administer rapé.

A tepi applicator can have different shapes and be made of various materials. It has to be long enough to allow the shaman to be at the right distance from the taker during the ceremony.

A special kind of tepi applicator called double tepi, is lately experiencing growing popularity in the spiritual community. Compared to the simple tepi, the double tepi applicator allows the shaman to administer the rapé in both nostrils with a single blow.

Most of the people who start doing rapé buy a kuripe, because it is small, usually cheaper, and “cute”. However, it is impossible to hold an authentic rapé ceremony with a kuripe. So, if you are serious about rapé, a tepi pipe is what you want to have.

Looking for a good self applicator? Here is a list of the best Kuripe on Etsy

Let’s dive into it then!


To take rapé you need to have a pipe. Even if you can actually sniff it from your hand right into your nose, I strongly advise against it. Taking rapé is a serious action, which is deeply connected to your intention and your spiritual realm. It is a ceremony, and as such has to be approached.

The traditional rapé ceremony involves a shaman, a skilled person who delivers the rapé into your nostrils. The name of the rapé applicator used during the ceremony is Tepi pipe, which is designed for the shaman to blow the snuff tobacco into your nose.

You can use the same tepi applicator with all types of rapé.

You can have a kuripe to self-administer rapé when you are alone. But when it comes to a ceremony, which is the most compelling way to take rapé, a tepi pipe is what you are looking for.

What is a tepi pipe?

A tepi is a pipe meant to be used to administer rapé to another person. It is long enough to allow the shaman to stay far enough to the rapé takes, and curved so the shaman doesn’t have to bend to deliver the snuff in the other person’s nostril.

A tepi pipe can be made in bone, wood, or bamboo. The bamboo tepi is the most common because it’s cheap, easy to handle, and fit to be easily turned into a rapé pipe.

Tepi can also be made out of bones or wood. They are much harder to find and usually way more expensive.

So, is it a bamboo tepi ok? 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.

Where to buy a tepi pipe?

A tepi 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, on the internet.

Where to buy a tepi, then? The answer depends on where do you live, on whether or not you are used to online shopping, and on how customized you want your rapé pipe to be.

If you are living or traveling in Goa, drop me a line and come to see me! If you are somewhere else, there is a wide choice of tepi pipes on Etsy and other websites. I sell my pipes on EarthShamanic, an Etsy Shop. Check it out.

You can find more on Etsy. Or you can check some other shop out. Sacredsnuff has some interesting options. Brazilian Tobacco Snuff has some more, more expensive, but cute.

The Internet is not the only way, though. How amazing would be to buy a tepi pipe on a flea market from an artisan who actually made it? Remember: rapé is getting more and more popular and the tepi you are looking for might be waiting for you closer than you imagine.

Different kinds of tepi pipes

which tepi applicator choose

The most simple tepi pipe is made of two sections, glued together in an open v-shape.

Some models have more than two sections, so to obtain a more curved shape.

Another tepi pipe you may find is the so-called Double Nose Tepi, which has 2 out, one for each nostril of your nose. Whether is better to use a single nose or a double nose tepi depends on the choice of the shaman. I believe that taking rapé in two blows, one for each nostril, is better for many reasons. For instance, one nostril is often more open than the other one, which requires blowing each nostril with different strength.

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?

Is the tepi the best rapé pipe?

When it comes to real rapé ceremonies, the answer is yes. The tepi applicator is the best rapé pipe for real sacred snuff rituals because it implies that the rapé is delivered by a shaman.

Choose a big one if you want to deliver the snuff in the most convenient way. You can also opt for a smaller tepi pipe if portability is important for you.

How to use your tepi pipe

People have different approaches to rapé ceremonies. Some say you should strictly follow the way of the shamans from South America. Some will give you instructions on how to deliver the “right” ritual.

I believe that being connected with rapé gives you the freedom to interpret the ritual in your own way.

I usually spend some time explaining to people the effects of rapé, telling them about what they will experience. I prepare the ceremony with a short meditation. I hold the tepi pipe for a few seconds to at least three chakras of the person in front of me.

I blow the rapé quickly in a nostril. I wait. Then I do the second nostril.

After having administered the snuff I apply my hands very close to the person’s head to transfer some reiki energy.

But again: this is just my way. How to use a tepi pipe depends on your experience and how you connect to the snuff.

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.

I would be more than happy to discuss your technique if you feel like it. Just use the comments section below.

Where to buy the best tepi online

best tepi pipe

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 the tepi is technically a quite simple object, it is also a sensitive one.
Your rapé 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? The best online shop to buy a Kuripe is Etsy.com. While I am writing this post there are 500 different tepi on sale on Etsy. It’s a lot of pipes!

Click here to find a good applicator on Etsy

Other trusted shopping destinations for Kuripe and rapé-related items include Katukina and Sacred Snuff.

How to choose the right tepi applicator for you

We all have a different shaped nose. Also, the proportions of our faces are different. That’s why there is no such thing as a tepi 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 tepi. It is not that hard and after some unavoidable mistakes, you will eventually craft the perfect tepi pipe for you. Read on for more details.

If you don’t want to go down this road, the second-best option is to try the tepi 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 rapé applicators in most psytrance festivals and hippie communities around the World.

If you decide to buy it online, check the reviews. On Etsy, the most popular destination for this kind of product, the reviews are usually quite reliable.

Nevertheless, remember: even if you go for the best-selling and best-reviewed tepi, you may end up finding your rapé pipe doesn’t perfectly fit you.

How to make your own tepi pipe

As mentioned before, there is no better tepi 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 tepi pipe using a bamboo straw, a saw, some sandpaper, and glue.

How to keep your tepi applicator safe

So, you already have your tepi applicator, and you want to know how to keep it clean?

Easy job. Like any other pipe, the tepi 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 tepi from time to time. You can purchase one on Amazon or elsewhere: they are very cheap.

What the tepi pipe has to do with Kambo and Ayahuasca

If you are involved with the Kambo and Ayahuasca tribes, you may have heard many talking about rapé. That’s because taking snuff is often an important part of the Kambo and Ayahuasca ceremonies.

Shamans administer rapé to people to prepare them for both Ayahuasca and Kambo journeys.

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