Saturday, June 15, 2019

A Note on Sapo and Nü-nü

Someone wrote me a wonderful letter about how much she liked my Sapo book. And she asked why I described using the medicines with the indigenous Matses appears much more intense than videos she's seen of people using the same, or similar, medicines. Here's my response:

Dear X: Thank you for writing, and thanks for liking my book!
   I've found that every darned medidine from the jungle is hard. You have to really want to do them, and they don't make it easy on you.
    Sapo is the version of the frog sweat that I use. That is mixed with saliva and generally applied through skin burned with a fairly large stick, while Kambo, the Brazilian version, is generally mixed with water and applied through very small burns. I find the sapo version considerably more intense.
    The first time Pablo gave me sapo it was very intense. I had no reference point for it at all. And it remains intense hundreds of times, maybe thousands, of times later. But knowing that the peak will be passed after 13 or so minutes, at the most (with rare exceptions) in 18, well, that allows a person to panic a lot less than if they had no idea how long the intense part of the experience would last. Most people these days are prepped before hand, have people taking care of them, etc, so for most people it's difficult but not impossibly hard.
     As for nu-nu, well, again, most people doing snuffs are doing different mixtures than what the Matses utilized. And very few people are doing the amounts of snuff the Matses used: I'd be served 15 half-gram hits in each nostril in a matter of two minutes. They still serve me 5-7 half-gram hits in a minute these days. That accounts for the difference in experience. Most people I know are taking two or three small hits in each nostril, which don't add up to a half-gram altogether. Which is fine, it's still good medicine, but it won't produce the hunting visions the Matses needed.
     I hope that helps. And again, thank you for writing.
Peter G

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