This ancient ceremony is performed by native experts from the Matses tribe.
The ceremony starts by catching a frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor). The Matses expert immobilizes it by tying its four extremities, extracts the poison from its back with a small wooden stick and places it on a piece of cane. He subsequently dries and stores the stick to be used for the ceremony.
The expert heats up a thin piece of vine “tamshi” and burns several spots on the participant’s arm or chest, producing instant blisters on his skin. The amount of burn marks will depend on the tolerance of each person. The blisters will then be scratched open one by one and the poison extracted from the frog will be applied on the wounds.
This practice is usually performed on rainy days by the Matses in order to get more energy, trust and improve their shooting skills for hunting purposes. Several days after having been “bitten” or “stung”, the Matses will go hunting and try their best shot with bow.
According to research, the substance segregated by the frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor) contains deltorphin, acting as an emetic and dermorphin, acting as a powerful analgesic. This practice is actually used as a treatment in alternative medicine.
AMAZON EXPLORER offers this little-known ceremony with genuine Matses natives.