Located along the Ucayali River in the Peruvian Amazon, the Shipibo (monkeymen) and the Konibo (fishmen) became one distinct tribe known as the Shipibo-Konibo through intermarriage and communal ritual. With an estimated population of over 30,000, they represent 8% of the registered indigenous population in Peru. Traditionally practicing slash-and-burn agriculture, the Shipibo-Konibo subsist primarily on plantains and bananas with some sweet manioc, potatoes, and maize that can be supplemented with foods collected from the forest like fish and game.
Like other indigenous populations throughout the Amazon basin, they are threatened by severe pressure from outside influences such as oil exploration and production, logging, palm oil cultivation, deforestation, commercial overfishing and narco-trafficking. Global weather changes have caused drought followed by flooding which also threatens the Shipibo-Konibo means of sustenance. We have been working with the Shipibo-Konibo ethnic since 2017.
The Shipibo-Konibo have a rich and complex cosmology which have inspired their artistic traditions, notably in their ceramics and textiles. They are animists, and to them animals, vegetation, and non-biological beings have spirits, just as humans have two modes: material and spiritual.