Lipstick Tree : Annatto as a Symbol
The seeds from the Lipstick tree were traditionally used all over Central and South America and were highly valued by the people there. The tree and its seeds seemed to have a sacred divine connection to the people of the area. It was observed that the people of the Yucatan loved the trees so much that they would plant them near their houses. The early people of these areas also had many stories about the tree. The Chiripa people, for example, held myths about the tree growing along the road to heaven. The Bororo of Brazil had a tale about the supernatural origin of the annatto tree. The people of South America used parts of the tree in life-cycle ceremonies. On the coast of Peru, a pot from a burial chamber was found containing the paste and seeds of Bixa. The tree was an important part of the daily lives of the people; it was seen as something prized and sacred.