While the shamans sing their Ayahuasca-Icaros at night, people become aware of extensive, beautiful visual patterns. The next morning, the women of the tribes concentrate on their work of embroidering and painting these patterns on fabric. Shipibo textile 140 x 72 cm
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While the shamans sing their Ayahuasca caros at night, people become aware of elaborate beautiful visual patterns. The next morning the women from the tribes concentrate on their work of embroidering and painting these patterns onto fabric.
The various small motifs have meaning. For example: thinking man, soul of a child, star of the south, leaf of a medicinal plant, stream of rain, etc., and as such can be interpreted as a narrative. The overall pattern is inspired by the different layers of the skin (and insides) of the Anaconda Serpent, in the Shipibo cosmology an earth deity which sang all forms into existence at the beginning of time.
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. Shipibo textile patterns are visual representations of sacred songs (icaros) sung during spiritual ceremonies.
If one were to project a song onto a 2-dimensional surface, it would appear as these patterns. Those tuned in can read the patterns like sheet music. The songs are used to purify, heal, illuminate, protect, and unify with the source of creation.
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