Shipibo cloth embroidered

Shipibo cloth embroidered



XO Kene refers to the chakana (the inca cross which means “four stairs”). But  its pattern existed long before incas and have spread in many south American civilizations. The conquistadores saw in this representation a sign that was legitimating the conversion of natives to christianity with the result we know. Hopefully natives like shipibos conibos found a way to keep their cultural identity and spiritual  connections with the help of the drawings embroidered on their cloths and the transmissions of their medicine songs. Both of them seem intimately connected as if the songs (ikaros) and the drawings were just different manifestations of the same energy, the sacred medicine of plants.



Kene designates in shipibo the drawing. These drawings are energetic depictions of shipibo medicine under the microscope of Ayahuasca. There is as much kene as there are medicinal plants in the Amazon. From an early age, shipibo women drink or use special vision plants that teach them how to embroider these energetic patterns.



The appearance of “Tocuyo” coincides with the arrival of the conquistadores in South America. The term “Tocuyo” refers to a wild cotton fabric manufactured in the region of the same name in Venezuela, but some say that it could be Quechua because “cuyu” means “twist the thread with your hands”.

However Tocuyo’s production seems to appear first in Venezuela under the pressure of the Spaniards. Exported to Peru as well as Ecuador and New Granada, it even served as a bargaining chip when gold and silver were scarce. It was formerly used for the making of costumes and ornaments, and produced by indigenous peoples. This heritage of colonialism is still used by indigenous communities such as the shipibos conibos living on the banks of the Ucayali river in Peru. They usually color it with natural dyes such as Tobacco or mahogany bark.

The term Tocuyo still refers to the piece of manufactured cotton while the piece of hand-woven cotton is called tejido.

Fair Trade

This cloth is hand made and has been embroidered by shipibo women of Santa Rosa de Dinamarca near Pucallpa in Peru. We bought this cloth at a fair price in order to help financially shipibo people as we try to sell it at an affordable price to spread their beautiful artwork all over the world.

Traditional shipibo conibo design (hand made) embroidered on tocuyo tinted with natural dyes

Weight 0.2 kg
Dimensions 150 × 65 cm


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