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TEXTILE&BEADWORK CATALOGUE

CollectionbyHowardG.Charing

ARTOFTHESHIPIBOCATALOGUE EACHPIECEISUNIQUEANDHANDCRAFTED CONTENTS


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 EMBROIDEREDANDPAINTEDCHITONTI HANDPAINTEDTEXTILE(TOCUYO/HOMESPUNCOTTON)PAINTINGS SMALLHANDPAINTED&EMBROIDEREDTEXTILES HANDPAINTED&EMBROIDEREDBAGS CEREMONIALMAITI(CROWNS) CEREMONIALCUSHMAS BEADWORK HOWARDSSHIPIBOPHOTOGALLERY PRICELIST,LINKS,&CONTACTINFO ARTICLECOMMUNIONWITHTHEINFINITE:THEVISUALMUSICOFTHE SHIPIBO

ALLIMAGES:HOWARDGCHARING.ALLRIGHTSRESERVED.
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TheArtoftheShipiboIntroduction
UnderlyingtheintricategeometricpatternsofgreatcomplexitydisplayedintheartoftheShipibo peopleisaconceptofanallpervadingmagicalrealitywhichcanchallengetheWesternlinguistic heritageandrationalmind. Thesepatternsaremorethananexpressionoftheoneness ofcreation,theinterchangeabilityoflightandsound,the unionorfusionofperceivedopposites,itisanongoingdia logueorcommunionwiththespiritualworldandpowersof theRainforest.ThevisionaryartoftheShipibobringsthis paradigmintoaphysicalform.TheEthnologistAngelika GebhartSayer,callsthisvisualmusic. TheShipiboareoneofthelargestethnicgroupsinthePeru vianAmazon.Theseethnicgroupseachhavetheirownlan guages,traditionsandculture.TheShipibowhichcurrently numberabout20,000arespreadoutincommunities throughthePucallpa/Ucayaliriverregion. Allthetextilepainting,embroidery,andartisancraftiscar riedoutbythewomen.FromayoungagetheShipibofemalesareinitiatedbytheirmothersand grandmothersintothispractice.TeresaaShipibawhoworkswithusonourAmazonRetreatstells thatwhenIwasayounggirl,mymothersqueezeddropsofthePiripiri(aspeciesofCyperussp.)ber riesintomyeyessothatIwouldhavethevisionforthedesigns;thisisonlydoneonceandlastsalife time. TheintricateShipibodesignshavetheirorigininthenonmanifestandineffableworldinthespiritof theRainforestandallwholivethere.ThedesignsarearepresentationoftheCosmicSerpent,theAna conda,thegreatMother,creatoroftheuniversecalled RoninKen.FortheShipibotheskinofRoninKenhas aradiating,electrifyingvibrationoflight,colour,sound, movementandistheembodimentofallpossiblepat ternsanddesignspast,present,andfuture.Thedesigns thattheShipibopaintarechannelsorconduitsforthis multisensorialvibrationalfusionofform,lightand sound.Althoughinourculturalparadigmweperceive thatthegeometricpatternsareboundwithintheborder ofthetextileorceramicvessel,totheShipibothepat ternsextendfarbeyondthesebordersandpermeate theentireworld. OneofthechallengesfortheWesternmindistoacknowledgetherelationshipbetweentheShipibo designsandmusic.FortheShipibocanlistentoasongorchantbylookingatthedesigns,andin verselypaintapatternbylisteningtoasongormusic. From:CommunionwiththeInfinitebyHowardGCharing

EMBROIDEREDCHITONTIS
OftenwornasawraparoundskirtbyShipibowomen.Usedasornamentalwallhangings andtablecovers.Typicalsize:62cm(24.5inches)X148cm(58inches).
Figure1

Thispieceisacombinationwithintricateembroiderycraftedinthetraditionalappliqustylewith thesidepanelspaintedusingthejuiceofthecrushedhuitoberryasadyeonmahoganybark.

Figure2

Thispieceishasintricateembroideryonmahoganybarkdyedwhitecotton.
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EMBROIDEREDCHITONTIS
OftenwornasawraparoundskirtbyShipibowomen.Usedasornamentalwallhangings andtablecovers.Typicalsize:62cm(24.5inches)X148cm(58inches).
Figure3

Acombinationpiecewithintricateembroiderywiththesidepanelspaintedinthetraditionalstyle usingthejuiceofthehuitoberryjuiceasadyeonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark.
Figure4

Intricateembroiderywiththesidepanelspaintedinthetraditionalstyleusingthejuiceofthehuito berryjuiceasadyeonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark
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EMBROIDEREDCHITONTIS
OftenwornasawraparoundskirtbyShipibowomen.Usedasornamentalwallhangings andtablecovers.Typicalsize:62cm(24.5inches)X148cm(58inches).
Figure5

Anintricateandrichlyembroideredpiecewithcomplexwideborderpatterns.
Figure5a

EMBROIDEREDCHITONTIS
OftenwornasawraparoundskirtbyShipibowomen.Usedasornamentalwallhangings andtablecovers.Typicalsize:62cm(24.5inches)X148cm(58inches).
Fig.6

Acombinationpiecewithintricateembroiderywiththesidepanelspaintedinthetraditionalstyle usingthejuiceofthehuitoberryjuiceasadyeonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark. Fig.7

Intricateembroiderywiththesidepanelspaintedinthetraditionalstyleusingthejuiceofthehuitoberryjuice asadyeonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark.ThecornerpiecesexhibitconcentricShipibocross 7 motif.

EMBROIDEREDCHITONTIS
OftenwornasawraparoundskirtbyShipibowomen.Usedasornamentalwallhangings andtablecovers.Typicalsize:62cm(24.5inches)X148cm(58inches).
Fig.8

Acomplexdualembroiderysymmetricalpatternandwideborderdesignonwhitecottondyedwithmahogany

Fig.8a

EMBROIDEREDCHITONTIS
OftenwornasawraparoundskirtbyShipibowomen.Usedasornamentalwallhangings andtablecovers.Typicalsize:62cm(24.5inches)X148cm(58inches).
Fig.9

Acomplexdualembroiderysymmetricalcircularpatternandwideborderdesignonwhitecotton dyedwithmahoganybark. Fig.10

Acomplexdualembroiderysymmetricalcircularpatternonwhitecottondyedwithmahoganybark. Aninterestingfeatureisthatthepanelborderispaintedinthetraditionalstyleusingthejuiceofthe huitoberryasadye


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EMBROIDEREDCHITONTIS
OftenwornasawraparoundskirtbyShipibowomen.Usedasornamentalwallhangings andtablecovers.Typicalsize:62cm(24.5inches)X148cm(58inches).
Fig.11

Anintricateembroideryonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark. Fig.12

Acomplexdualembroiderysymmetricalpatternonwhitecottondyedwithmahoganybark.
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EMBROIDEREDCHITONTIS
OftenwornasawraparoundskirtbyShipibowomen.Usedasornamentalwallhangings andtablecovers.Typicalsize:62cm(24.5inches)X148cm(58inches).
Fig.13

Anintricateembroideryonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark. Fig.14

11 Anornateembroideredpatternonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark.

EMBROIDEREDCHITONTIS
OftenwornasawraparoundskirtbyShipibowomen.Usedasornamentalwallhangings andtablecovers.Typicalsize:62cm(24.5inches)X148cm(58inches).
Fig.15

Intricateembroiderywiththesidepanelspaintedinthetraditionalstyleusingthejuiceofthehuito berryasadyeonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark

Fig.16

Intricateembroiderywiththesidepanelspaintedinthetraditionalstyleusingthejuiceofthehuito berryasadyeonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark

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EMBROIDEREDCHITONTIS
OftenwornasawraparoundskirtbyShipibowomen.Usedasornamentalwallhangings andtablecovers.Typicalsize:62cm(24.5inches)X148cm(58inches).
Fig.17

Thisclothhasbeencraftedinthetraditionalappliqustyle,theconstructionsofthecentralpatterns arebothsimplerandbolder.Thesidesofthispiecearepaintedwithhuitodyeonmahoganydyedcot Fig.18

Anornateembroideredpatternonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark.Withtheside panelspaintedinthetraditionalstyleusingthejuiceofthehuitoberryasadye
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EMBROIDEREDCHITONTIS
OftenwornasawraparoundskirtbyShipibowomen.Usedasornamentalwallhangings andtablecovers.Typicalsize:62cm(24.5inches)X148cm(58inches).
Fig.19

Acombinationpiecewithintricateembroideryandthecenterdesignpaintedinthetraditionalstyle usingthejuiceofthehuitoberryasadye.Onawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark. Fig.20

Acombinationpiecewithintricateembroideryandthecenterdesignpaintedinthetraditionalstyle usingthejuiceofthehuitoberryasadye.Onawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark.This pieceisanexceptionalexampleoftheShipibocraftwork.

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EMBROIDEREDCHITONTIS
OftenwornasawraparoundskirtbyShipibowomen.Usedasornamentalwallhangings andtablecovers.Typicalsize:62cm(24.5inches)X148cm(58inches).
Fig.21

Intricateembroiderywiththesidepanelspaintedinthetraditionalstyleusingthejuiceofthehuito berryasadyeonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark Fig.22

Anornateembroideredpatternonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark.

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EMBROIDEREDCHITONTIS
OftenwornasawraparoundskirtbyShipibowomen.Usedasornamentalwallhangings andtablecovers.Typicalsize:62cm(24.5inches)X148cm(58inches).
Fig.23

Anornateembroideredpatternonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark. Fig.24

Intricateembroiderywiththesidepanelspaintedinthetraditionalstyleusingthejuiceofthehuito berryasadyeonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark
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EMBROIDEREDCHITONTIS
OftenwornasawraparoundskirtbyShipibowomen.Usedasornamentalwallhangings andtablecovers.Typicalsize:62cm(24.5inches)X148cm(58inches).
Fig.25

Intricateembroiderywiththesidepanelspaintedinthetraditionalstyleusingthejuiceofthehuito berryasadyeonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark Fig.26

Intricateembroiderywiththesidepanelspaintedinthetraditionalstyleusingthejuiceofthehuito berryasadyeonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark
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EMBROIDEREDCHITONTIS
OftenwornasawraparoundskirtbyShipibowomen.Usedasornamentalwallhangings andtablecovers.Typicalsize:62cm(24.5inches)X148cm(58inches).
Fig.27

Anornateembroideredpatternonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark Fig.28

Anornateembroideredpatternonawhitecottonclothwithdeepborders,dyedwithmahogany bark.

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EMBROIDEREDCHITONTIS
OftenwornasawraparoundskirtbyShipibowomen.Usedasornamentalwallhangings andtablecovers.Typicalsize:62cm(24.5inches)X148cm(58inches).
Fig.29

Intricatedualpatternedembroiderywiththesidepanelspaintedinthetraditionalstyleusingthejuice ofthehuitoberryasadyeonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark Fig.30

Anornateembroiderywithdeepbordersonawhitecottonclothdyedwithmahoganybark.

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EMBROIDEREDCHITONTIS
OftenwornasawraparoundskirtbyShipibowomen.Usedasornamentalwallhangings andtablecovers.Typicalsize:62cm(24.5inches)X148cm(58inches).
Fig.31

Thisagainisacombinationoftraditionalpaintingandembroidery.Interestinglythecottonusedin theembroideryhasbeendyedwithmahogany.Theornateoutermotifonthebordersrepresentsthe CosmicAnaconda. Fig.31a

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HANDPAINTEDTOCUYO(HOMESPUNCOTTON)TEXTILES.
InShipibotheseareknownasChupaQuenaya.Theydyethefabricsinmahoganybark toproducethecharacteristicbrowncolours.Typicalsizes:160cm(60inches)X155cm
Fig.32

Fig.32a

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HANDPAINTEDTOCUYO(HOMESPUNCOTTON)TEXTILES.
InShipibotheseareknownasChupaQuenaya.Theydyethefabricsinmahoganybark toproducethecharacteristicbrowncolours.Typicalsizes:160cm(60inches)X155cm
Fig.33

VerydetailedpiecewiththeAyahuascavinemotif(crosssectionofvine)inthecentre.Paintedon tocuyowiththejuiceofcrushedberriesofhuito.

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HANDPAINTEDTOCUYO(HOMESPUNCOTTON)TEXTILES.
InShipibotheseareknownasChupaQuenaya.Theydyethefabricsinmahoganybark toproducethecharacteristicbrowncolours.Typicalsizes:160cm(60inches)X155cm
Fig.34

DETAIL

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HANDPAINTEDTOCUYO(HOMESPUNCOTTON)TEXTILES.
InShipibotheseareknownasChupaQuenaya.Theydyethefabricsinmahoganybark toproducethecharacteristicbrowncolours.Typicalsizes:160cm(60inches)X155cm
Fig.35

DETAIL

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HANDPAINTEDTOCUYO(HOMESPUNCOTTON)TEXTILES.
InShipibotheseareknownasChupaQuenaya.Theydyethefabricsinmahoganybark toproducethecharacteristicbrowncolours.Typicalsizes:160cm(60inches)X155cm
Fig.36

Averylarge180cmx 175cmpaintedtextile. Withanintricatesym metricpattern. Thisisanoutstanding exampleofShipibogeo metricdesigns.

DETAIL

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HANDPAINTEDTOCUYO(HOMESPUNCOTTON)TEXTILES.
InShipibotheseareknownasChupaQuenaya.Theydyethefabricsinmahoganybark toproducethecharacteristicbrowncolours.Typicalsizes:160cm(60inches)X155cm
Fig.37

DETAIL

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HANDPAINTEDTOCUYO(HOMESPUNCOTTON)TEXTILES.
InShipibotheseareknownasChupaQuenaya.Theydyethefabricsinmahoganybark toproducethecharacteristicbrowncolours.Typicalsizes:160cm(60inches)X155cm
Fig.38

DETAIL

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HANDPAINTEDTOCUYO(HOMESPUNCOTTON)TEXTILES.
InShipibotheseareknownasChupaQuenaya.Theydyethefabricsinmahoganybark toproducethecharacteristicbrowncolours.Typicalsizes:160cm(60inches)X155cm
Fig.39

DETAIL

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HANDPAINTEDTOCUYO(HOMESPUNCOTTON)TEXTILES.
InShipibotheseareknownasChupaQuenaya.Theydyethefabricsinmahoganybark toproducethecharacteristicbrowncolours.Typicalsizes:160cm(60inches)X155cm
Fig.40

DETAIL

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HANDPAINTEDTOCUYO(HOMESPUNCOTTON)TEXTILES.
InShipibotheseareknownasChupaQuenaya.Theydyethefabricsinmahoganybark toproducethecharacteristicbrowncolours.Typicalsizes:160cm(60inches)X155cm
Fig.41

ThisisanexceptionalKendesign.Largesizepiece180cmx175cm.

DETAIL

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HANDPAINTEDTOCUYO(HOMESPUNCOTTON)TEXTILES.
InShipibotheseareknownasChupaQuenaya.Theydyethefabricsinmahoganybark toproducethecharacteristicbrowncolours.Typicalsizes:160cm(60inches)X155cm
Fig.42

DETAIL

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HANDPAINTEDTOCUYO(HOMESPUNCOTTON)TEXTILES.
InShipibotheseareknownasChupaQuenaya.Theydyethefabricsinmahoganybark toproducethecharacteristicbrowncolours.Typicalsizes:160cm(60inches)X155cm
Fig.43

DETAIL

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HANDPAINTEDTOCUYO(HOMESPUNCOTTON)TEXTILES.
InShipibotheseareknownasChupaQuenaya.Theydyethefabricsinmahoganybark toproducethecharacteristicbrowncolours.Typicalsizes:160cm(60inches)X155cm
Fig.44

DETAIL

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SMALLHANDPAINTED&EMBROIDEREDTEXTILES
Fig.46.20cm(8inches)X36cm(14inches) Fig.47.30cm(12inches)X30cm

Fig.48.30cm(12inches)X30cm

Fig.49.36cm(14inches)X23cm(9inches)

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SMALLHANDPAINTED&EMBROIDEREDTEXTILES
Fig.5025cm(10inches)X25cm Fig.5130cm(12inches)X25cm(10inches)

Fig.5230cm(12inches)X25cm(10inches)

Fig.5330cm(12inches)X25cm(10inches)

Fig.5430cm(12inches)X25cm(10inches)

Fig.5530cm(12inches)X30cm

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SMALLHANDPAINTED&EMBROIDEREDTEXTILES
Fig.56.20cm(8inches)X20cm Fig.57.30m(12inches)X20cm(8inches)

Fig.58.30m(12inches)X20cm(8inches)

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SMALLHANDPAINTED&EMBROIDEREDTEXTILES
Fig.59.23cm(9inches)X28cm(11inches) Fig.60.23cm(9inches)X20cm(8inches)

Fig.61.23cm(9inches)X23cm

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HANDPAINTED&EMBROIDEREDBAGS

Fig.62

Fig.63

Fig.64

Fig.65

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HANDPAINTED&EMBROIDEREDBAGS
Fig.66 Fig.66A

Fig.66ADETAIL

39

CEREMONIALMAITI(CROWNS)Fig.67Front&Rear

40

CEREMONIALMAITI(CROWNS)Fig.68Front&Rear

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CEREMONIALMAITI(CROWNS)Fig.69Front

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CEREMONIALCUSHMAS.Fig.70

DETAIL

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CEREMONIALCUSHMAS.

ShipiboShaman:EnriqueLopexwearing ceremonialCushmaandMati.

ShipiboShaman:LeoncioGarciawearing ceremonialCushma

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CEREMONIALCUSHMAS.Fig.70aFRONT

DETAIL

45

CEREMONIALCUSHMAS.Fig.70aBACK

DETAIL

46

SHIPIBOHANDCRAFTEDBEADWORK

Fig.71

Fig.72

Fig.73

Fig.74

47

SHIPIBOHANDCRAFTEDBEADWORK

Fig.75PectoralPiecewithShacapaseeds
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SHIPIBOHANDCRAFTEDBEADWORK

Fig.76PectoralPiecewithShacapaseeds
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SHIPIBOHANDCRAFTEDBEADWORK

Fig.77PectoralPiecewithcholoqueseeds
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SHIPIBOHANDCRAFTEDBEADWORK

Fig.78PectoralPiecewithShacapaseeds
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SHIPIBOHANDCRAFTEDBEADWORK

Fig.79

Fig.80

Fig.81

Fig.82

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SHIPIBOHANDCRAFTEDBEADWORK

Fig.83.AnexceptionalPectoralpiece(Museumquality).Withconvexpendantsmadefrom aircraftaluminium
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SHIPIBOHANDCRAFTEDBEADWORK

Fig.84.PectoralPiecewithShacapaseeds
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SHIPIBOHANDCRAFTEDBEADWORK
Fig.85

Fig.86

Fig.87

Fig.88

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SHIPIBOHANDCRAFTEDBEADWORK

Fig.89PectoralPiecewithHurayruroseeds
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SHIPIBOHANDCRAFTEDBEADWORK

Fig.89PectoralPiecewithHurayruroseedsDETAIL

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SHIPIBOHANDCRAFTEDBEADWORK

Fig.90AbeautifulbagmadefromthesmallroundseedsofAchira(Canna)seedswiththe'clasp'the redandblackHuayruro(Ormosia)seed.ThetwineismadefromTamshi(Heteropsisjenmanii).
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HOWARDSSHIPIBOPHOTOGALLERY

59

HOWARDSSHIPIBOPHOTOGALLERY

ShipiboShaman:BenkaminOchavanowithfamily

BEADWORK

60

HOWARDSSHIPIBOPHOTOGALLERY

BANNERATICPNA(LIMA)EXHIBITION OFSHIPIBOART; UNAVENTANAHACIAELINFINITO 2002

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HOWARDSSHIPIBOPHOTOGALLERY
MewithShipibaslookingattheir artisanwork.

PabloAmaringo withtraditional Shipibowoodbark paintingusingthe resinofthetree 'Sangrede grado'(Croton lechleri)aspaint. Photo:March 2009Pucallpa

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HOWARDSSHIPIBOPHOTOGALLERY

Teresa:Asupersweet friendoflongstanding, whoworkswithusat ourRetreatsinthe Amazon. Shehasshownand taughtmemuchabout thethemagicalartof theShipibo.

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INDEX&PRICELIST:CHITONTIS
ITEM
Fig.1 Fig.2 Fig.3 Fig.4 Fig.5 Fig.6 Fig.7 Fig.8 Fig.9 Fig.10 Fig.11 Fig.12 Fig.13 Fig.14 Fig.15 Fig.16 Fig.17 Fig.18 Fig.19 Fig.20 Fig.21 Fig.22 Fig.23 Fig.24 Fig.25 Fig.26 Fig.27 Fig.28 Fig.29 Fig.30 Fig.31

EUROS
160 100 160 100 160 140 120 160 160 160 120 160 120 140 160 160 NFS 160 140 NFS 160 100 100 160 160 160 140 120 160 120 NFS
64

US$
200 130 200 130 200 180 160 200 200 200 160 200 160 180 200 200 200 180 200 130 130 200 200 200 180 160 200 160

INDEX&PRICELIST:PAINTINGSONTOCUYOS&SMALLTEXTILES
ITEM
Fig.32 Fig.33 Fig.34 Fig.35 Fig.36 Fig.37 Fig.38 Fig.39 Fig.40 Fig.41 Fig.42 Fig.43 Fig.44 Fig.45 Fig.46 Fig.47 Fig.48 Fig.49 Fig.50 Fig.51 Fig.52 Fig.53 Fig.54 Fig.55 Fig.56 Fig.57 Fig.58 Fig.59 Fig.60 Fig.61

EUROS
100 140 120 120 NFS 120 120 120 100 140 120 120 120 10 10 10 40 NFS 10 15 15 15 15 30 30 30 25 NFS 25
65

US$
130 180 160 160 160 160 160 130 180 160 160 160 13 13 13 52 13 20 20 20 20 40 40 40 32 32

INDEX&PRICELIST:BEADWORK,BAGS,&CUSHMAS
ITEM
Fig.62 Fig.63 Fig.64 Fig.65 Fig.66 Fig.66A Fig.67 Fig.68 Fig.69 Fig.70 FIG.70A Fig.71 Fig.72 Fig.73 Fig.74 Fig.75 Fig.76 Fig.77 Fig.78 Fig.79 Fig.80 Fig.81 Fig.82 Fig.83 Fig.84 Fig.85 Fig.86 Fig.87 Fig.88 Fig.89 Fig.90

EUROS
30 50 15 NFS 15 40 100 140 140 200 200 40 40 50 65 120 120 120 120 50 40 40 40 P.O.A 120 40 40 40 50 80 60
66

US$
40 65 20 20 52 120 180 180 260 260 52 52 65 85 160 160 160 160 65 52 52 52 160 52 52 52 65 105 78

Underlying the intricate geometric patterns of great complexity displayed in the art of the Shipibo people is a concept of an all pervading magical reality which can challenge the Western linguistic heritage and rational mind.

COMMUNION with the

INFINITE
The visual music of the Shipibo people of the Amazon
HOWARD G. CHARING

Above left: Shipibo women (shipiba) in traditional dress gathered at Iquitos to show their craft and artisan work Above right: Shipibo textile, a combination of embroidery and traditional painting with huito dyes on mahogany bark dyed white cotton

The Shipibo are one of the largest indigenous peoples in the Peruvian Amazon. These ethnic groups each have their own languages, traditions and culture. The Shipibo, who currently number about 20,000, are spread out in communities through the Pucallpa Ucayali river region. They are highly regarded in the Amazon as being masters of the hallucinogenic vine, Ayahuasca, and many aspiring shamans and Ayahuasqueros from the region study with the Shipibo to learn their language, chants, and plant medicine knowledge. In their visionary art the Shipibo create complex geometric patterns which convey an all pervading magical reality which can challenge the Western linguistic heritage and rational mind. These intricate patterns are more than an expression of the one-ness of Creation, the inter-changeability of light and sound, or the union of perceived opposites. They are an

ongoing dialogue or communion with the spiritual world and powers of the Rainforest. Their art forms bring this paradigm into a physical form. The Ethnologist Angelika Gebhart-Sayer, calls this visual music.

Initiated women
All the textile painting, embroidery, and artisan craft is carried out by the women. From a young age the Shipibo females are initiated by their mothers and grandmothers into this practice. Teresa, a Shipiba who works with us on our Amazon Retreats, tells that when I was a young girl, my mother squeezed drops of the piripiri (a species of cyperus sp.) berries into my eyes so that I would have the vision for the designs. This is only done once and lasts a lifetime. The intricate designs have their origin in the non-manifest and ineffable world within the spirit of the Rainforest and all who live there. They are a representation of

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WINTER 2005

the Cosmic Serpent, the Anaconda, the great Mother, Creator of the universe called Ronin. For the Shipibo the skin of Ronin has a radiating, electrifying vibration of light, colour, sound, movement and is the embodiment of all possible patterns and designs past, present, and future. The designs that the Shipibo paint are channels or conduits for this multi-sensorial vibrational fusion of form, light and sound. 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.

Painting music
One of the challenges for the Western mind, is to acknowledge the relationship between these designs and music. For the Shipibo can listen to a song or chant by looking at the designs - and inversely, paint a pattern by listening to a song or music. As an astonishing demonstration of this I witnessed two Shipiba paint a large ceremonial ceramic pot known as a mahuet. The pot was nearly five feet high and had a diameter of about three feet. Neither could see what the other was painting, yet both were whistling the same song. When they had finished both

sides of the complex geometric pattern were identical and matched each side perfectly. The Shipibo designs are traditionally carried out on natural un-dyed cotton - which they often grow themselves - or on cotton dyed in mahogany bark (usually three or four times) which gives the distinctive brown colour. They paint using either a pointed piece of chonta (bamboo), or an iron nail, with the juice of the crushed huito berry fruits (genipa americana) which turns into a blue- brown-black dye once exposed to air. Each of the designs are unique, even the very small pieces, and they cannot be commercially or mass produced. In Lima I met with a woman who had set up a government-funded community project which, amongst other matters, established a collective for the Shipibo to sell their artisan work and paintings. She tells that a major USA corporation (Pier 1

Left: traditional embroidered Shipibo textile bag

Imports), enamoured by these designs, ordered via the project twenty thousand textiles with the same design. This order could never be fulfilled - the Shipibo simply couldnt comprehend the concept of replicating identical designs.

Singing the patterns of healing


The Shipibo believe that our state of health, both physical and psychological, is dependent on the

Below: a traditional Shipibo chupa on mahogany dyed cotton painted with huito dye. The designs at the edge of the textile represent the sacred Anaconda

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WINTER 2005

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Above: typical Shipibo painted ceramic bowl

balanced union between mind, spirit and body. If an imbalance in this occurs - such as through emotions of envy, hate, anger - this will generate a negative effect on the health of that person. The shaman will re-establish the balance by chanting the icaros, which are the geometric patterns of harmony made manifest in sound, into the body of the person. The shaman in effect transforms the visual code into an acoustic code. A key element in this magical dialogue with the energy which permeates Creation and is embedded in the Shipibo designs, is the work with ayahuasca by the Shipibo shamans or muraya. In the deep ayahuasca trance, the ayahuasca reveals to the

shaman the luminous geometric patterns of energy. These filaments drift towards the mouth of the shaman where they metamorphose into a chant or icaro. The icaro is a conduit for the patterns of Creation, which then permeate the body of the shamans patient, bringing harmony in the form of the geometric patterns which re-balance the patients body. The vocal range of the Shipibo shamans when they chant the icaros is astonishing; they can range from the highest falsetto one moment to a sound which resembles a thumping pile driver, and then to a gentle soothing melodic lullaby. Speaking personally of my experience of this, it produced a feeling as if every cell in my body was floating and embraced in a nurturing allencompassing vibration, even the air around me was vibrating in acoustic resonance with the icaro of the maestro. The shaman knows when the healing is complete, as the design is clearly distinct in the patients body. It make take a few sessions to complete this, and when completed the geometric healing designs are embedded in the patients body, this is called an

arkana This internal patterning is deemed to be permanent and to protect a persons spirit. Angelika Gebhart-Sayer, Professor of Ethnology, University of Marburg writes that Essentially, Shipibo-Conibo therapy is a matter of visionary design application in connection with aura restoration; the shaman heals his patient through the application of a visionary design, every person feels spiritually permeated and saturated with designs. The shaman heals his patient through the application of the song-design, which saturates the patients body and is believed to untangle distorted physical and psychospiritual energies, restoring harmony to the somatic, psychic and spiritual systems of the patient. The designs are permanent and remain with a persons spirit even after death. Whilst it is not easy for Westerners to enter and engage with the world view of the Shipibo, which has been developed far away from

Right: Teresa, the Shipibo craftswoman who helps the author when he takes groups to visit the Shipibo. She is painting onto white cotton with huito dye using a steel nail as a brush Inset: The wife and daughter of the shaman, maestro Benjamin. She is wearing a traditionally pattered, painted fabric dress.

32 SH

WINTER 2005

radiating power of the Cosmic Serpent which turns this way and that, betwixt and between, constantly creating the universe as it moves. The circles are often a direct representation of the Cosmic Anaconda, and within the circle itself is the central point of creation.

The primal rhythm


In the Western tradition, from the Pythagoreans and Plato through to the Renaissance, music was used to heal the body and to elevate the soul. It was also believed that earthly music was no more than a faint echo of the universal harmony of the spheres. This view of the harmony of the universe was held both by artists and scientists until the mechanistic universe of Newton. Joseph Campbell, perhaps the foremost scholar of mythology, suggested that there is a universe of harmonic vibrations which the human collective unconscious has always been in communion with. Our beings beat to the ancient rhythms of the Cosmos. The traditional ways of the Shipibo and other indigenous peoples still reflect this primal rhythm, and their perception of the universal forces made physical is truly a communion with the infinite.

Above: Shipibo ceremonial pot or Mahuet

our linguistic structures and psychological models, there is an underlying sophisticated and complex symbolic language embedded in these geometric patterns. The main figures in the Shipibo designs are the square, the rhombus, the octagon, and the cross. The symmetry of the patterns emanating from the centre (which is our world) is a representation of the outer and inner worlds, a map of the Cosmos. The cross represents the Southern Cross constellation which dominates the night sky and divides the cosmos into four quadrants, the intersection of the arms of the cross is the centre of the
Above: Shipibo textiles. The one at the top of the page showes the cosmic cross within the circle of the Anaconda Right: Painted Shipibo textile. As with all Shipibo paintings, they start in the centre and the pattern moves out from this point. The cosmic cross is again at the centre

universe, and becomes the Cosmic Cross. The Cosmic Cross represents the eternal spirit of a person and the union of the masculine and feminine principles the very cycle of life and death which reminds us of the great act of procreation of not only the universe, but also of humanity, and our individual selves. The smaller, flowing patterns within the geometric forms are the

HOWARD G. CHARING has organised journeys to the Amazon Rainforest for the past seven years to work with the ayahuasca shamans and the sacred jungle doctors (healing and visionary plants) of this area. He has written numerous articles about the Amazonian plant medicines, and has worked with some of the most respected shamans in the region. He was baptised into their tribe by the Shipibo Indians in the Amazon If you would like to discover more about this work, he conducts Plant Spirit Medicine journeys to the Amazon Rainforest working with the Shipibo people. Enquiries to Eagles Wing BM BOX 7475 London WC1N 3XX, tel: (01273) 882 027, or website www. shamanism.co.uk Photos: Howard G. Charing

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WINTER 2005

33

Los shipibo-conit peruana. Perteneo Ucayali y sus afluei JamayayYanna. Se no arriba el Conibc dos zonas, porque personas repartida nes arqueologicas ha sido ocupada p El g r u p o shipibo Dicen que sus ant< bianco c o m o el shi El primer europe

Reaparecen e n r o j o y negro sobre las paredes de una ceramica para tomar masato c tallados en la paleta de u n remo. Aparecen de nu< disehos azulados de genipa en el rostro de la mujer. por disehos, dice una cancion shipibo. El significado d e los disehos casi se ha perdido. explique su simbolismo, ella sonrio y dijo que solo Ic

como telaraha en los fino<

nundo entero esta cubiertc

>edir a u n a mujer que me

itepasados lo sabfan. Esta<

las representan serpientes,

viejita, la boa misma no^

Artif

En los pueblos shipibo se encuentran arboles de ale proximidad de la casa fam\\\ar con sus flores rosadas
r

de color r o j o y morado, ademas del bianco corriente sin embargo, en la mano de una aspirante, el hifo se r shipibo que la araha les enseho a hilar. A sus hijas re< muhecas telarahas para asegurar su habilidad c o m o Las mujeres pintan la tela tejida con los disefios sirr corto pincei de caha brava (shetan). Se trazan los disc oro, que se obtiene de u n arbol. Luego cubren toda

Chitonte tima, Shipibo-Uvayali, c. 1920. Algodon, t e j i d o y pintado. 81 x 76 cm. Coleccion Sucesion Jimenez Borja. Museo de Artes y Tradiciones Populares. Inst. Riva Aguero, PUCF

el bermejo del achiote (mashe), el amarillo tornado de la rafz del guisador (conron) y el purpura que viene de la hoja de una planta (ami). Esos colores no son permanentes y hay que evitar lavar la tela.

La alfarena
La ceramica polfcroma del grupo shipibo destaca en Sudamerica por su belleza. Cuando morfa una mujer shipibo era costumbre quebrar sus ceramios para enterrarlos j u n t o con ella. Los arqueologos han encontrado vinculos entre la ceramica prehispanica de Cumancaya (territorio actual de los shipibo) y las vasijas contemporaneas. Una mujer ceramista siempre escoge a una de sus nietas como aprendiz. A la edad de cuatro o cinco ahos la chica ira a vivir con su abuela para aprender el arte. Cada alfarera tiene su taller particular cerca de la casa, pero en u n lugar apartado. A l l se encuentran piezas en todas las etapas de produccion. Hay que predsar que tradicionaimente u n gran lote de ceramica era elaborado para la gran fiesta (Ani Sheati) que tenia lugar cada ocho o diez ahos. En u n pueblo shipibo la vida de u n ceramio es breve. Se rompe. Lo que no tiene mayor importancia para ellos pues mahana se puede fabricar otro para remplazarlo. De los muchos ahos que pase en el Ucayall nunca vi pieza que
?

Chitonte quehueya, Shipibo-Ucayali, c. 1920. Algodbn, t e n i d o y bordado. 70 x 77 cm. Colecci6n Sucesi6n Jimenez Borja. Museo de Artes y Tradiciones Populares. Inst. Riva Aguero, PUCP

tuviera mas de u n aho de antiguedad.

Tres colores, rojo (ocre), negro y crema figuran < grupo. Sin embargo, entre las tres zonas del Uca^ cias en su combinacion. Los disehos de los Conib delicados, especialmente alrededor del cuello de m u n d o celestial. Disehos curvilfneos, y bien espa f o n d o claro, evocador del mundo-cielo. Por el r predominan los colores rojo y negro. Los disehos dos con fuerza y determinacion. La Jinea princip deada de negro. EI tiempo nos vencio

Dolicroma de

?s las diferer-

ayali son ma:

representa a acan sobre e

Bajo Ucayal ilea, esta bor

ntes, ejecuta

El hombre shipibo tenia la costumbre de pelear con la macana, u n palo de del adversario. Hace poco un shipibo trajo una de las ultimas macanas verda

chonta largo de mas de u n metro, con el que propinaba golpes en la cabeza

deras adornada con sus disehos simbolicos y dijo: Yo hice esta macana hace pe!ear. "iY peleaste?", pregunte yo, viendo en su rostro que algo le preocu clonyya no habia tiempo para pelear. Todo se cambio.

veinticinco ahos. He ayunado para darle mas poder. La hice bien dura para

paba. <(No", contesto el hombre triste, "el tiempo nos vencio. Vino la civiliz

Curadora Cancion del c u r a n d c r o d e Cushushcaya

Joni chomo, Conibo-Alto Ucayali, c.

1950. 77 x 4 1 . 5 x 4 7 cm. Coleccion Alfonso Cabrera Ganoza

Joni chomo, Conibo-Alto Ucayali, c.

1950. 78.3 x 48.5 x 52 cm. Coleccibn Vivian y Jaime Uebana

Actividades complementarias en el marco de la exposition U n a ventana hacia el infinito: Arte shipibo-conibo" 11, 12 y 13 d e j u l i o de 10 am. a 12 m. y de 5 a 7 pm. Demostracion de las tecnicas alfarera y textil shipibo-conibo a cargo de maestros artesanos 15 de j u l i o de 10 am a 1 p m . Seminario: Tecnicas del arte shipibo-conibo (previa inscripcidn) 24 de j u l i o 7 pm. Conferencia: Arte shipibo-conibo a cargo de Felix Oiiva 7 de agosto 7 pm. Conferencia: Simbolismo del arte shipibo-conibo a cargo de Carolyn Heath (curadora de la muestra) .fC.de agosto 7 pm. Presentacion del libro "Una ventana hacia el infinito: arte shipibo- conibo"

Del 10 de julio al 1 de setiembre del 2002

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