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Indigenous Amazon archive

Shipibo Indians

A Shipibo woman

The Shipibo-Conibo consist of around 35,000 people living in three to four hundred villages located north and south of the town of Pucallpa on the Ucayali River, which connects Cuzco to the Brazilian Amazon.

They speak a language of the Panoan family, though some of them are starting to learn Spanish. Despite 300 years of sporadic contact with white or mestizo civilization, and massive conversion to Christianity in the 1950’s and 60’s the Shipibo-Conibos maintain a strong identity and retain their ancient ways. They are known for their intricate designs on their pottery and their bright clothing.

The Shipibo-Conibos are primarily hunters and fishermen, using some slash and burn farming, and still today none of the villages use electricity; machetes and spears are the primary tools. All of the villages use barter for trade, but their proximity to the burgeoning town of Pucallpa makes it inevitable that the people will soon be drawn into modern trade and exploitation.

Information taken from the Peruvian Amazon Indian Institute

Shipibo textile designs

Here’s some examples of textile patterns that the Shipibo-Conibo people of Peru are noted for. These designs are inspired by ayahuasca visions, and can also be found on Shipibo pottery, which in turn is seen in many paintings by Pablo Amaringo.