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Shipibo - Textiles
Shipibo-Conibo, Amazon, Peru
Approximately 30 years ago, as many as 150 different ethno-linguistic groups could be identified living in the rainforest jungles of Peru. Today less than 30 ethnic groups remain. Among these survivors is one of the oldest ancestral groups, the Shipibo people, who now are at risk of becoming extinct. It is estimated that perhaps only 35,000 Shipibo remain living spread out in as many as 300 different family villages. For centuries, these people have survived primarily through their relationship with the jungle and through activities such as hunting, fishing and traditional agriculture.
Shipibo artisans are well known for their colorful designs on pottery and textiles. Inspired by Ayahuasca-induced visions, creation stories and mythic folklore, these refined geometrical designs are sophisticated interpretations of cosmic realities
Icaros are medicine songs, used as part of the rituals of shamans and curanderos in the Peruvian Amazon Basin. The doctor spirits teach the shamans their icaros. They are expressed in the form of song and are a major system of delivery of the shaman's spiritual energy. They are used to bring on mareación (the visionary effects of the ayahuasca), take mareación away, call in different plant spirits, call in the spirits of others or the deceased, take away dark spirits and dark energies, and manage the ceremony. Icaros are either whistled or sung, and can be expressed in any language. The shamans generally sing in a spirit dialect that is a mixture of their native language (i.e., Quechua, Shipibo-Conibo, Asháninka, etc.), Spanish, and different evocative sounds.
Icaros represent a system of communication between the shaman and the spirits, and the shaman and the participants in the ceremony. The shamans believe that every living thing has an icaro and that these icaros can be learned. The singing is sometimes accompanied by the chakapa, or shacapa, a leaf rattle that is used to carry the rhythm of the ceremony. The shaman will use his chakapa to direct energy and the icaros, as well as send away dark or unwanted energies. Each icaro is used to contact a different spirit, for use of healing. Source: Wikipedia.