A Short Note on Art & the Shipibo Women

In order to tackle the hate we are inflicting to each other and our environment, as many anthropologists have done so before, such as Henrietta Moore, is it possible that by looking at particular peaceful societies, their access to resources and the amount of economic and political autonomy they possess, we can incorporate a more humane philosophy of daily living, starting with ourselves and our immediate community?  

 

By looking for peaceful cultures throughout history, and those few that remain today, they are often matrifocal societies, where power is shared equally among men and women (not the conceptualized mirror image to patriarchy of the 1970s). The Shipibo of the Upper Amazon is one such society, who Carolyn Heath has given voice too, having lived closely with the Shipibo for twelve years (2003). She reveals to us, "women are in no way subordinate to men" and that the women's artistic and spiritual power is a major source of their strength and self-confidence. 

 

Can we restore art, in our own corner of the world, to a place where it can be used as a major source of strength and self-confidence, that has the potential to enhance relationships within the community, and heal the environment?

 

 

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