Nu-nu, or ‘The Dust of the Elders’ as it’s called down in the Amazon, was my second experience with plant medicine on this trip. As I mentioned in the earlier post, upon arriving to the Adventure Center and after getting all of our things sorted, we gathered in the maloka for our nunu ceremony. This was the first medicine I was to try here in the jungle and knew it was part of the general preparation for the Ayahuasca, which would take place the following night. Nervous and excited would characterize how I was feeling- what was this stuff? What would it do?
Before we began, Dan gave us a brief history of nunu and what the effects would (hopefully) be for us. (I’ve paraphrased from that night as well as the Pulse Website):
This medicine is native to the Matses tribe and has been used by their people for thousands of years. Nunu is composed of tobacco, as its primary ingredient, macambo nut, cacao, as well as barks and leaves of numerous medicinal trees from the Amazon jungle. The shamans they work with at the center collect all the ingredients themselves and make them into a very fine powder.
For ceremony, we all went up and kneeled before the shaman while he loaded a 3 foot blowgun with a small, medium, or large dose into the end. I then fitted my end up into my nostril and POOF he blew it up into my sinuses! One dose in each nostril! Then we raised our arms, took a nice deep breath (with slightly teary eyes), and returned to our mats. We were all supposed to go up twice, and if we were feeling motivated we could add a third time as well. I was motivated… I have to say things in my head cleared up pretty quickly and I did have a jolt of energy, of clarity, after receiving the nunu. To be honest (and Mom/Dad I promise this is the first thing I’ve EVER put into my nose), it felt like I had just done lines of Nestle Quik! The cacao was what I had noticed the most… Ha, it was awesome. Of course we now had a maloka full of runny noses and Kleenex, but we were all fired up for the night and the week to come. What an awesome start!
Reading more about it later, here are some of the spiritual effects of the Nunu powder (again borrowed from Pulse):
It opens up the third eye and the heart chakras, making you feel instantaneous connection to all that is around you, including people, uplifting your mind and spirit. Its also very grounding and calming at the same time, mostly due to tobacco content. Another benefit in using Nunu is that it literally expels all the negative and low vibrations from your being, which are also referred to as the “bad spirits” in the shamanic traditions. Your mind becomes clearer and sharper and you feel overall cleansed and purified.
So badass. I just had a few rounds of ancient energy dust fired up into my brain! WAY better than a 5 hour energy. We were now full of life and off to join the village for their anniversary fiesta!
Although we didn’t take pics in our ceremony, I lifted this from Pulsetours.com:
Just a guy on a hero's journey...