A jurupari ceremonial wooden trumpet donated by Richard Spruce is being exhibited at Kew
Kew's Jurupari ceremonial Brazilian trumpet is just one of the treasures held in Kew’s Economic Botany Collection. It was donated to Kew's collection by 19th-century plant collector Richard Spruce.
Jurupari is a ceremonial trumpet used by people of the Rio Uaupes, Brazil. It is held in Kew’s economic botany collection and was donated by prolific 19th-century plant collector Richard Spruce.
It consists of a tube made from the paxiuba tree (Socratea exorrhiza), wrapped in bark from the walaba tree (Eperua falcata).
Spruce noted that the jurupari was a highly respected item. Women weren’t allowed to see it, and any who did – even accidentally – were put to death. Boys were not permitted to touch a jurupari before the age of puberty, and had to undertake a series of fastings beforehand.
Author: Christina Harrison