The Shipibo are distinguished by their extensive knowledge of medicinal plants and their beautiful craftwork traditions in ceramics and textiles. Their textiles, which are also known as ‘telas’ are a central pillar of their culture and have been recognised by the Peruvian State as ‘Patrimonio Cultural de la Nación’ (National Cultural Heritage).
The patterns (‘kené’) painted onto their telas are said to represent the geometric patterns seen whilst working with the hallucinogenic plant Ayahuasca. The patterns are an ongoing dialogue or communion with the spiritual world and powers of the rainforest. Shipibo art interprets these paradigms and visions into a physical form. The ethnologist Angelika Gebhart-Sayer, calls this: “Visual Music”.
It is important to understand that these designs not only serve the purpose of ornamentation and decoration, they represent an entire communication system with plant spirits. As well as coming from the imagination of the individual, each piece is based on the collective consciousness of the whole Shipibo tribe.
Size: 145 x 125cm
Lines of Life is a special report we produced all about traditional Shipibo-Konibo ‘Chitonti’ textiles. Please allow us to take you on a journey deep into the Peruvian Amazon with us to feel and learn.