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Woman's skirt

Shipibo chitonte
(woman’s skirt)

ca. 1925
Ucayali River, Peru
Cotton, paint
64 x 66 cm
Collected by Wilhelm Schaeffler

Traditionally, Shipibo women wore wrap-around skirts, woven on a backstrap loom, and beads around their waists. In contrast to the rectilinear designs on the upper section of this skirt, its lower band is painted in curvilinear designs. All Shipibo designs mirror patterns found in nature—on animals, fish, or plants—and are derived ultimately from cosmological visions of murayá (shamans). The curvilinear designs on this skirt are said to be based on the patterns found on a boa constrictor’s back.

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