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Shipibo Tapestry - Hand Embroidered Textile from The Amazon 45 x 32 cm

Shipibo Tapestry - Hand Embroidered Textile from The Amazon 45 x 32 cm

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The Shipibo-Conibo are an indigenous people who live along the Ucayali river in the Amazon basin east of the Andes. They are expressed in their shamanistic religion and in their visionary arts – notably in the patterns that the Shipibo women paint on their pottery, clothing, textiles and their bodies. 

     The Shipibo are known for labyrinthine geometric designs that reflect their culture and their cosmology.  The main elements of the designs are the square, the rhombus, the octagon and the cross, which  “represents the southern Cross constellation which dominates the night sky and divides the cosmos into four quadrants…”* Other symbols featured in the designs are the Cosmic Serpent, the Anaconda and various plant forms, notably the caapi vine used in the preparation of the sacramental drug Ayahuasca. 

     The designs are traditionally drawn with natural huito berry pigments on hand-woven cotton fabrics that are worn as wrap-around skirts.  The fabric is either natural or dyed with a red-brown dye made from mahogany bark.  Today most of the fabric is machine-woven, and increasingly the hand-drawn designs are supplemented with patterns embroidered with bright-colored commercial yarns.  The results can be stunning.  The truly psychedelic color combinations are consistent with ayahuasca visions. More often than not the designs are asymmetrical within a border or frame – like a landscape viewed through an airplane window:  “Although in our cultural paradigm we perceive that the geometric patterns are bound within the border of the textile or ceramic vessel, to the Shipibo the patterns extend far beyond these borders and permeate the entire world.”

By having this product you support sustainable income for the artisan families, wildlife conservation and local communities.

Please note that these handmade crafts may vary from the photos shown.

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Shipibo women making shipibo patterns on the tapestry

Mystic pattern

Traditional patterns embroidered by Shipibo women are songs, are painted music