Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Hallucinogenic snuff kits

Psychoactive snuff was commonly used by shamans in Chile’s Far North. The hallucinogenic substance was carried in cane or bone boxes or leather pouches, then pulverized in a miniature mortar and scooped onto a snuff-tray with a tiny spoon. The person consuming the snuff held one nostril shut and inserted one end of the tube into the other nostril before inhaling deeply through the nose to take in the powder.

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Hallucinogenic snuff kits.

Engraved wooden snuff tray. San Pedro. MCHAP, 3691.

‘Shaman’ wooden snuff tray. San Pedro. MCHAP, 3690.

Wooden snuff tray with human figure. San Pedro. MCHAP, 1976

Shaman of the San Pedro culture. Illustration, José Pérez de Arce.