The Process of Mambe

The pictorial process of yarumo and coca leaves mixed, creating the Huitoto’s “special powder” also known as mambe.

“…In my ignorant head I was expecting feather crowns, bamboo spears, bows and arrows, with their naked little children running around. But who knew that indigenous tribes also wore Nike shoes? But I didn’t let the modern shoes fool me, I knew that the native people carry with them wisdom that we gente de la ciudad seem to have forgotten. While showing me the process of  mambe, they began explaining to me what the leaves meant. The yarumo leaves represent the masculinity of the world while the coca leave represents the femininity. While this was going on I couldn’t wait to see the outcome once all the roasting, burning ashes, and grinding coca leaves was over. Because of my poor understanding of the coca plant I was expecting a white powder to be the end result. And surprise, surprise, it was not white. They started laughing when they noticed my expression. But all those movies including ScarFace showed me a white powder! And on went a speech of how modern-man has stained a spiritual plant such as coca. Making it into an addiction to their own people while commercializing off of it. Although this is a mixture only reserved for the men of their tribe they let me try a spoonful of the mambe. Seconds later my whole mouth and tongue started going numb and tingly. That’s how I know drugs are not for me, I can’t stand having my tongue feel like ants are having a party up in there…”




mambe 7




mambe 9


mambe 10


Final mambe



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