Lipstick Tree : Other Uses-Traditional
The dye from the seeds was traditionally utilized all over Central America for a variety of purposes. It was used as medicine and as a seasoning in cooking. Most commonly it was used to decorate weapons, utensils, gourds, pottery, and to stain textiles and feathers. The Spaniards who came to explore South America discovered that the Indians could use it to dye silk a beautiful orange, which they used to export to China and other parts of the world for a substantial profit. It was also used as body, face and hair dye. Some uses may have been decorative, while others used it to ward off evil spirits, guarantee hunting success, or as war paint. Among some Amazonian tribes, the dye was considered so attractive and important that nearly everything had some annatto adorning it.