Hekula spirit beans, hallucinogenic snuff powder, legend say in the beginning, the Sun created various beings to serve as intermediaries between Him and Earth. He created hallucinogenic snuff powder so that man could contact supernatural beings. The Sun had kept this powder in His navel, but the Daughter of the Sun found it. Thus it became available to mana vegetal product acquired directly from the gods. As far back as 1496, an early Spanish report mentioned that the Taino of Hispaniola inhaled a powder called Cohoba to communicate with the spirit world.

Hekula spirit hallucinogenic beans

It was so strong that those who took it lost consciousness; when the stupefying action began to wane, the arms and legs became loose and the head nodded, and almost immediately they believed that they saw the room turn upside down so that men were walking with their heads downward. Mainly because of the disappearance of aboriginal peoples in the West Indies, this snuff is no longer employed anywhere in the Antilles. In 1916, ethnobotanical research established the identity of this Cohoba quite generally until then thought to have been a very potent kind of Tobacco snuff with the hallucinogenic snuff of the Orinoco called Yopo and derived from the beans of Anade better known in the literature as Piptaa!enia peregrina.

Protect the tribe against epidemics

The center of use of this snuff is and probably always has been the Orinoco. The West Indian tribes are thought to have been, in the main, invaders from northern South America. It is very probable that the custom of snuffing the drug, as well as the tree itself, was introduced by invaders from the Orinoco area.

As far back as 1496, an early Spanish report mentioned that the Taino of Hispaniola inhaled a powder called Cohoba to communicate with the spirit world. It was so strong that those who took it lost consciousness; when the stupefying action began to wane, the arms and legs became loose and the head nodded, and almost immediately they believed that they saw the room turn upside-down so that men were walking with their heads downward.
Protect the tribe against epidemics
Mainly because of the disappearance of aboriginal peoples in the West Indies, this snuff is no longer employed anywhere in the Antilles. In 1916, ethnobotanical research established the identity of this Cohoba quite generally until then thought to have been a very potent kind of Tobacco snuff with the hallucinogenic snuff of the Orinoco called Yopo and derived from the beans of Anade better known in the literature as Piptaa!enia peregrina. The center of use of this snuff is and probably always has been the Orinoco.

The West Indian tribes are thought to have been, in the main, invaders from northern South America. It is very probable that the custom of snuffing the drug, as well as the tree itself, was introduced by invaders from the Orinoco area. It is now suspected that Yopo was used much more widely in earlier periods. There is evidence that in pre Hispanic times, this snuff was used by Chibchan tribes from the Colombian Andes east across the Ilanos, or plains, to the upper Orinoco.

The active principles of Anadenanthera peregrina belong to both open chained and ringed tryptamine derivatives and, therefore, to the important class of iridole alkaloids. Tryptamine is also the basic compound of the amino acid tryptophane, widely distributed in the Animal Kingdom. Dimethyltrypta- mine (DMT) and 5-hydroxydimethyltryptamine (bufotenine) are representatives of the open chained Anadenanthera tryptamines. Bufotenine has also been found in the skin secretion of a toad (Bufo) hence its name. Ringed tryptamine derivatives found in Anadenanthera are 2-methyl- and 1 ,2-di- methyl-6-methoxytetrahydro-13-carboline.

Hekula spirits; to prophesy or divine; to protect the tribe against epidemics of sickness; to make hunters and even their dogs more alert. There has been a long and complicated confusion between the hallucinogenic snuff prepared from Anadenanthera and that from Virola and other plants. Consequently, the numerous distribution maps in anthropological literature showing immense areas of South American using Anadenanthera derived snuff must be used with due caution.

In 1741, the Jesuit missionary GumilIa, who wrote extensively on the geography of the Orinoco, described the use of Yopo by the Otomac: “They have another abominable habit of intoxicating themselves through the nostrils with certain malignant powders which they call Yupa which quite takes away their reason, and they will furiously take up arms.”

Following a description of the preparation of the snuff and a custom of adding lime from snail shells, he reported that “before a battle, they would throw themselves into a frenzy with Yupa, wound themselves and, full of blood and rage, go forth to battle like rabid jaguars.”

Baron von Humboldt, who botanically identified the source and reported that the Maypure Indians of the Orinoco, where he witnessed the preparation of the drug in 1801, broke the long pods, moistened them, and allowed them to ferment; when they turned black, the softened beans were kneaded into cakes with cassava flour and lime from snails. These cakes were crushed to make snuff.

These effects are due to the freshly calcined lime. Later, Spruce offered an extremely detailed report on the preparation and use of Yopo among the Guahibo of the Orinoco. He collected a complete set of ethnographic material connected with the substance, and seeds that he col- lected for chemical study in 1851 were chemically analyzed only in 1977.

A contemporary observer described the effects of Yopo snuffing as follows:

“His eyes started from his head, his mouth contracted, his limbs trembled. It was fearful to see him. He was obliged to sit down or he would have fallen. He was drunk but only for about five minutes; he was then gayer.”

There is appreciable variation from tribe to tribe and from one area to another in the preparation of Yopo.

The seeds are usually toasted and pulverized. Lime from snails or the ashes of certain plants are normally added, but some Indians use the snuff without this alkaline admixture. It appears that other plant admixtures are never employed with Anadenanthera snuff. Anadenanthera peregrina occurs naturally and sometimes apparently cultivated in the plains or grassland areas of the Orinoco basin of Colombia and Venezuela, in light forests in southern British Guyana, and in the Rio Branco area of the northern Amazonia of Brazil.

It may occur also in isolated savanna areas in the Rio Medeira region. When it is found elsewhere, it may probably have been introduced by Indians. There is evidence that a century ago, it was cultivated in more localities outside of its natural range than at present.


Black folk Odo’Sha album Name: Hekula… Voz de los EspĂ­ritus