Coca boxes were typically used to store coca leaves, which were chewed in Peru before the arrival of the Spaniards and continued to be consumed in colonial times. They could also be used to store yerba maté tea and sweets. Most coca boxes were made of silver, but a few wood examples survive from the Jesuit missions in Moxos and Chiquitos in Bolivia, which were established to convert and educate the natives and train them in arts and crafts. The wooden boxes would originally have been covered with silver leaf to resemble the more expensive gold and silver versions.
Ilona Katzew, 2008