Support Our Projects by Purchasing Indigenous Artisan Crafts
By Mary Olivar, Vice President
We are so blessed at the Center for Shamanic Education and Exchange to be able to offer you the artisan crafts of the communities we support. Each handmade item is uniquely created with the intentions of connecting with and honoring spirit allies, and carries with it the protection and blessings of these allies.
Read on to learn more about some of the crafts in our shop, and the communities who have made them.
Shipibo Conibo Rattles and Song Cloths
Shipibo Conibo Rattles and Song Cloths The Shipibo Conibo, Indigenous people of the Ucayali river basin in South America, live in close relationship to the Earth, to nature, to the weather, to the river and water, and to the rich and diverse plant and animal life that surrounds them. Their Icaros, the sacred songs that embody healing vibrations of nature, plants, and allies are a foundational part of their healing traditions. From a Shipibo view, the healing vibrations of these icaros are both sound and geometric patterns, with every design carrying its own specific meaning.
The designs of the patterns of icaros are reproduced and painted on Shipibo houses, boats, and tools, or hand stitched into colorful, intricate embroidered clothes and cloths. This allows the medicine of the icaro songs, and the healing vibrations they hold, to also be received by seeing and wearing these designs. These designs, or kene, hold powerful healing properties that connect with helping spirits and support health, love, success, good protection, happiness, and more.
We also feature Shipibo crafted gourd rattles. Rattles are used to break up static energy and to call in power, energy, and allies. These rattles are hand-carved with traditional design patterns.
Click here: https://shamaniceducation.org/shop/ to see these beautiful designs, and select the rattle or song cloth with the healing vibration you are looking for to welcome their blessings, while also sharing support for the preservation of Indigenous traditions.
Learn more about our partnership with the Shipibo Kurtin Metsa School here: https://shamaniceducation.org/preserving-shipibo-wisdom-with-the-kurin-metsa-school/
Wixarika Huichol Beadwork and Yarn Paintings
For the Wixáritari, or Huichol people, Indigenous to the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range of Central Mexico, the beliefs and traditions of their ancestors are still alive and present in their rituals and practices.
In their exquisite artisanal crafts are depictions of their history, development, and creation story. Many of these crafts include intricate designs and symbols representing the powerful spirits and allies who are deeply meaningful in the Wixarika cosmology.
Some of the primary allies and spirits in Wixarika art include:
FIRE – Considered a very valuable gift from the gods, fire is called Tai. Tai is believed to enable the gift of visions. The fire god, Tatewari, is always honored at Huichol ceremonies, and receives many offerings such as corn meal, sacred water and artwork.
THE SUN – Brings light and illumination to the world. Tayaupa is father Sun, master of the heavens, and his wife is the Eagle, mother of the sky and goddess of life. The Huichols believe all living things receive their power from the sun, and that he guarantees healthy crops and abundant food.
PATH OF LIFE – Wavy lines represent the “vine of life”, which the Huichol Goddess of Life gives to every soul, including plants, animals, and humans at birth. This vine is the soul’s spiritual connection to the breath of the goddess in the ethereal realm. When people choose to follow her “path of flowers”, they receive her blessings: prosperity, abundance, creativity, health, and their hearts’ desires.
DEER – The spirit guide Kauyumari leads the shamans on their visionary pathways and teaches them how to gain their special knowledge. One of the most commonly seen motifs, the deer, or maxa, in the Huichol language, often appear in male and female pairs, symbolizing the unity between men and women on their spiritual journey. Legends about the deer abound in Huichol culture. The deer mother is the guardian spirit, the important animal in Huichol shamanism. The Huichols believe that deer give their lives willingly to those who hunt them in a sacred manner. After a deer hunt, the hunters have to perform purifying rituals for many days to insure that the animals are properly thanked for giving their lives to the benefit of the people.
FLOWERS – Play a part in all Huichol ceremonies, and all flowers are considered sacred in healing rituals; the patient’s head is anointed with flowers. Flowers are used to prepare for the deer hunt and during harvest ceremonies to adorn the new corn.
PEYOTE CACTUS – A symbol for life, sustenance, health, success, good luck, and spiritual powers, the peyote appears in most Huichol artwork and is considered a gift from the gods to the people to enlighten their lives and bring them into the mystical realm.
CANDLES – Represent the illumination of the human spirit, Catira, candles hold the sacred gift from the sun and fire gods. Along with flowers and ribbons, attached candles serve as offerings and payment to the deities who have granted special wishes.
These symbols are featured in Wixarika yarn paintings, which are created by pressing yarn into beeswax melted over a flat base. Often, these are made after a vision or dream to capture specific symbols and images. Beaded figures are made in a similar manner, using colorful beads pressed into a wax covered shape. The Wixaritari/Huichol place these items in spaces to bring in powerful energy for ceremony, offerings and inspiration.
Shop for Wixaritari/Huicol beaded earrings, necklaces and yarn paintings here: https://shamaniceducation.org/shop/
Your purchase from our online shop makes a difference! Purchase one-of-a-kind, hand made items that come directly from the Shipibo and Huichol people we work with.
Your donations support our projects, helping us continue our mission to perpetuate the shamanic wisdom, culture, practice, and traditional ways of life of Indigenous people worldwide. Please accept our gratitude for your continued support and contributions.
Thank you for being a part of our vision for a future that values the unique wisdom and culture of Indigenous peoples and for your generous part in supporting this vision.