Except intravenous injection, the indigenous people of South America used the snuff through all means humanly possible (gastrointestinal, respiratory or percutaneous) and in a variety of ways. The snuff is chewed , is taken as juice or syrup , pasta licks, suppositories and edemas are used, is drawn as dust snuff , snuff smoke is aspirated and products of snuff are applied on the skin and eyes.
Indigenous people shaped snuff smoke cigars, cigarettes and various forms of pipes. Snuff dried by sunlight or wind is ground before being put into envelopes of various types. Sometimes whole snuff leaves or pieces of them are used for this purpose. Indians used most frequently leaves of various kinds, estípulas palm and banana leaves corn leaves.
Men normally roll their own cigarettes; in several indigenous communities however it is assumed that women should do the job. The practice of smoking is the most common form of consumption in the indigenous South America. Also they light up cigars and take a few puffs themselves before passing them to men.
The natives of South America usually smoke with deep breaths or hyperventilation, but rarely holding a puff of smoke in the mouth before expel or inhaled. Inhalation is described as absorbing cigarette smoke into the lungs with “deep aspirations”, “using the lungs like bellows” (Huxley 1957: 195).
Giant cigars are nearly a meter long and two centimeters wide, they are smoked with hyperventilation by the Warao people in the Orinoco and several other tribes, such as indigenous Vaupes.
A peculiar method South America respiratory absorption of nicotine is inhaled snuff smoke is floating in the atmosphere. As already mentioned, this happened on the east coast of Brazil, where those who practiced the custom blew smoke cigars snuff by reeds and wide mouth on the heads and faces of warriors dancing.
Men in this community also inhale snuff smoke that has been burnt in human head shaped rattles. Adults between the Kuna of Panama used snuff smoke being blown over their faces from an inverted cigarette, and men in Peru Jíbaro blowing smoke snuff through long tubes into the open mouth of another person.
The distribution of the habit of drinking juice is similar to snuff chewing; however, it is absent in the Gran Chaco region. Most of the native peoples of the Great Guyana drink snuff as well as a considerable number of groups in the upper Amazon and Ecuador and Peru mountains. A few cases of snuff drinking have also been reported in the coastal area of northwestern Venezuela, northwest Colombia and in scattered locations in Bolivia and Brazil.Likewise, the people of the Upper Amazon and the Mountain soaked squeeze and stir the leaves of snuff and chewed in water.
In this western area of distribution, however, the Indians did not seem to add salt or ashes to the snuff juice, although occasionally peppers (Capsicum sp.) is added. Several psychotropic substances may be consumed together with the snuff; for examples are ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi), Coca (Erythroxylum), Datura (Brugmansia aurea Lagerh .; huanto, Brugmansia sp .; maikua, Brugmansia sp.) parica snuff (Virola calophylloidea Marcgraf) and takini latex (helicostylis tomentosa [Poepp. & Endl.] Macbride or H. pedunculata Benoist). Snuff juice is ingested orally or nasally, using hands or pumpkins. Drinking snuff has not been widely accepted as a way of consuming snuff besides South America.
Psychotropic rapés snuffs are little known in North and Central America but are widely common in South America and the West Indies.In order to make snuff, leaves of the plant are dried in the wind or sun, over a fire or on a pot placed upside down on the hot coals. The dried leaves are crushed, pulverized and sifted often. Nutshells and pots can serve as mortars.
The snuff tobacco is stored in containers made of bamboo, gourds or shells of mollusks. Psychotropic powders, including tobacco snuff may be aspirated directly from the hand or a leaf.
More frequently however they ingested through nasal tubes, single or double, branched or angular absorption, made cane or perforated bones. Nasal tubes, simple and relatively short absorption are used as inhalers consumption. The earliest example in South America is the bone inhaler which Junius Bird found near a snuff box made of whalebone, in the pre-agrarian site Huaca Prieta, on the coast of Peru, around 1600 BC
Chewing, or more precisely, sucking pieces of snuff is widely distributed in South America and the West Indies.
Chewing snuff in North America was primarily an activity of the indigenous people of the Northwest Coast. Indigenous preparing snuff in rolls of about ten centimeters long, with green snuff, sometimes spreading ash or salt on the wet leaves and mixing them with certain types of land or honey. Also, it is normal to combine a mixture of crushed snuff leaves with soil containing nitro obtaining a mass that snuff tablets are made.
Similar tablets are obtained simply by mixing with ash and crushed leaves wetting the powder with water; in order to make a smooth paste. Other additives for chewing that do not contain salt or and salt substitues include among many others lime obtained from shells of mollusks, caraña resin (Protium heptaphyllum March.), Pepper (Capsicum fructescens L. Willd.) And medicinal herbs such as peel yellow rose, a emenagoga plant. As mentioned, the Amerindians suck more than chewing snuff and swallow the juices that come out gradually.
The application of snuff products on healthy or excoriated skin has a widespread distribution in the indigenous South America, including the practice of smoking and blow smoke in general; blowing spitted juice snuff, nicotine mixed with saliva, and snuff powder; massage with saliva; ablutions juice; snuff rapé and leaf wrappers and napkins.The use of snuff in this context focus on therapeutic purposes.
Smoke and snuff juice are applied to the eye so that the nicotine is absorbed from the conjunctiva of the inner surface of the lid and the front of the eyeball. The main purpose of this application is magical – religious.
In other groups ashes are achieved simply burning red shell and sifting cocoa, banana peels and green pods yoco (Paullinia yoco Schultes & Killip). Salts are combined to make AMBIL before focus on a thick syrup or paste (Schultes 1945: 20-21).
The pepper (Capsicum sp.) Is also mentioned as an ingredient of AMBIL and guacate seeds (Persea americana L.), coarse sugar, tapioca or manioc juice, as well as the aforementioned cassava starch. The paste is stored in many ways, wrapped in leaves, tubes of bamboo, walnut shells, small pitchers and today, glass bottles and tin cans.If it is properly storaged, AMBIL last for several months before it must be replaced by a fresh one.
AMBIL is placed in the mouth by dipping a finger or removing a small amount and rubbing it on the teeth, gums, or tongue. Although it is consumed alone, the ambil is sometimes ingested simultaneously with other snuff products. Some villages in the Peruvian Highlands lick along with coca (Erythroxylum), ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi) and possibly other psychoactive plants.
Licking snuff has limited distribution in South America. It is found among people of the northern end of the Andes in Colombia and Venezuela , some parts of the Northwest Amazon , and in some other places.This particular practice is very similar to chewing.
However, instead of sucking a piece of snuff leaf or a tablet made of paste , an extract syrup or jelly known as AMBIL is sucked .In the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia , Indians make a thick, black jelly through a baking snuff leaves which lasting hours or even days .
The product gets thicker because they add cassava starch ( Manihot esculenta Crantz) or arrowroot ( Maranta arundinacea L. ) .Salt or alkaline ashes are used by local villages of the mountains as part of its recipe for AMBIL. The greenest leaves from the bottom of the snuff plant are selected to be cooked over low heat. At the same time, salts are obtained by certain peoples through evaporation of water has been poured and percolated through the ashes of parts of a large tree of the genus Lecythis, outbreaks of Bactris and Chamaedorea palm leaves.