Cigarette Roller
Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at 9:52AM
[chuck] in Belén market, Iquitos, Other

Every time I walked through the Belén market in Iquitos (which was a lot in the early 1980's), this lady was at her post rolling black tobacco cigarettes. I actually smoked in those days, but I was never brave enough to buy a "100 pack" from her.

These hand-rolled cigarettes were also used as "mapachos" to cast spells on people.  A shaman would put a spell on the cigarette, and the spell would be transferred by lighting the cigarette and then blowing smoke over the appropriate person. I was given three mapachos containing an "undying love" spell before traveling to  Mexico to see Elysa (we weren't married at this point). I felt a little sheepish about lighting up and blowing smoke all over her, but I thought "hey, you never know".  We've been married now for 23 years. Go figure.

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