At night he gathered around the men’s circle in the long house, taking coca and tobacco, watching and listening as the voices became more and more animated. The talk was less conversation than ritual discourse. Reviewing the important events of the day or anticipating future problems, the capitán would begin a long rambling monologue that was soon echoed by three or four other speakers who would rework the same ideas over and over until the sounds blended into one another. Finally, as the thoughts and opinions achieved a certain harmony, the men would nod and one by one dip their fingers into a large pot of tobacco placed prominently in the center of the ring.
From One River, by Wade Davis.