Pucallpa, a city on the Ucayali River, is home to the legendary society of the Shipibo Conibo people. This city in the Peruvian Amazon is named for the spectacular colours that occur naturally in the earth. Pucallpa means “red earth” in the Quechua language, and the naturally occurring vibrant colours lare deeply ingrained in the wondrous crafts of this region. The Shipibo people are known for their knowledge of the natural environment and their techniques for communicating with nature spirits. The iconic proof of this are the art they produce. The Shipibo art takes us back to the beginning of time. Known as healing designs, the Shipibo artisans, inspired by the spirits of the rainforest, translate sung prayers into visual patterns on all the crafts they produce.
The Shipibo people are on an ancient mission to heal with this art, the art of the sacred medicine of the Amazon rainforest, known as “Kené”, the art that heals.
Kene - Art that Heals
For the Shipibo - Conibo people of the Peruvian Amazon, all things are intertwined, their homes, their souls and the Creator. In our ancient tradition, Shamans communicate with cosmic worlds during sacred ceremonies: singing their visions of anacondas they bring protection to the community, radiating light, colour and sound. Duly inspired, Shipibo - Conibo artisans paint and stitch the energy of these songs. Each handcrafted collection of these products transforms music, myth and belief into one harmonious creation. The Shipibo - Conibo people of the Amazon are renowned for their spirituality. Known as masters of shamanism, they are capable of channeling the energy of the natural world and express it in their wondrous crafts. There’s a sophisticated symbolic language embedded in these timeless patterns that the Shipibo - Conibo continue to honour in a rapidly modernizing world.
Adelina Maldonado is master craftswoman from the native Shipibo Conibo people. She lives in the city of Pucallpa in the department of Ucayali, where she captures and shares the ancestral knowledge transmitted by her mother, Teresa Agustin. Her textiles feature a distinctive geometric design known as Kené, which represent the paths of life, the patterns and movement of the Cosmic Serpent and the meanderings of rivers. Her embroidered wall hangings, pillow covers, and cushions are inspired by the songs of the shamans. In keeping with custom, Adelina weaves on a backstrap loom and uses natural dyes and earth pigments. She learned these skills from her mother and is passing the traditions on to her daughter and others. As she produces some of the best examples of vibrational design, that is to say, art that heals.
Shipibo Collective a brand that transmits identity, through its contemporary proposal born in 2015 with a project to change the perspective of traditional art, bringing together more than 25 Shipibo Conibo artisans creating pieces of biojewelry and textiles with traditional Kené design, traditional Shipibo-konibo iconography, declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation.
Each one fulfilling a very important role. Thanks to Adelina Maldonado Agustín, founder of this collective, has been working with 2 communities of shipibo Conibo families since 2011 to develop a market for their beautiful artworks to continue sharing the ancestral art of Kené.
“Each of these pieces are unique, inspired by the sacred plants of the Peruvian Amazon, all handmade with love for the world.
On Shipibo Collective we seek to honor, share and preserve our culture and traditional art in a rapidly modernizing world. We seek to create a community where the Shipibo Conibo women can be revalued and respected for the immense ancestral knowledge they inherit. Create doors for new opportunities with our art, a heritage to share, something that was inherited from our ancestors and that we still preserve in our memories. Every piece is also a testament to the beauty and wisdom of the artisans who made them. These are products for people who love the world”
-Adelina Maldonado founder of Shipibo Collective