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Native American Capi (Caapi) Mythology
Capi (also spelled Caapi, Kaapi, or Kápi) is the common name of an Amazonian vine that is sacred to many
indigenous South American tribes. Chewing the vines (which are psychedelic in nature) is considered to bring
Capi is the main ingredient in ayahuasca, a psychoactive drink used by South American Indians
for healing, purifying, and visionary rituals. The name caapi may have originated in the Guahibo language.
Arawakan names for the same plant include suipa, thuipa, and xuipa.
The Panoan tribes call it nixi (also spelled nishi) or nixi pae,
the Ashaninka call it kamarampi, and the Tucanoan tribes call it yagé (also spelled yajé.)
Caapi vines play an important role in indigenous religions and are also seen in this aspect in South American legends,
being chewed by shamans or medicine men before they enter a trance or bestowing supernatural powers on people
who partake of them. In some Amazonian tribes, jaguars are said to have received their powers by chewing on caapi vines.
Native American Legends About Capi
South American legend about a family that uses capi vines to ascend into the stars.
Recommended Books of Related Stories from Native American Myth and Legend
Hallucinogens and Shamanism:
Interesting book about the role of hallucinogenic plants in indigenous religious traditions.
Plants of the Gods:
Anthropology book about the importance of psychoactive plants to South American and other world cultures.
Duke's Handbook of Medicinal Plants of Latin America:
Thorough compendium of Central and South American herbs and their traditional uses.
Native Plant Stories:
Excellent collection of Native American stories about plants, by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.
Native American herbs
Indigenous people of South America
Andean Indian cultures
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