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July 26, 2010

A Peruvian Folk Art Give-Away!

Many blogs and websites sponsor give-aways, especially when doing product reviews.  We would be thrilled to do product reviews (hint, hint), but in the meantime we do want to have a few give-aways.  Readers will know that I am in the Amazon region of Peru working with international volunteer veterinarians.  There are many beautiful artisan crafts here that are unavailable in the US.

Another reason to offer give-aways?  We spend a lot of time on our blog.  Much is focused on our work in Peru.  However, we carefully cover many topics relevant to a broader group.  We highlight pet-friendly companies, donors, volunteers and volunteer opportunities.  We want you to read our blog and learn about us and the topics we cover.

While in peru, I am collecting a sampling of beautiful handicrafts that I would like to pass on to loyal readers.  Here is a sampling:

How to enter: 
1) Simply subcribe to this blog
2) Add a comment to one of the posts from the month of July
3) Follow us with Google Friend Connect (bonus entry)
4) Tweet "Peruvian Folk-Art Give-aways from @amazoncares"

We´ll choose our first winner on August 1st, at random.  The first give-away is for a small. over the shoulder purse that is hand-embroidered by the Shipibo Indian tribe.  It is perfect for a wallet, cellphone, and some cosmetics!


More about the Shipibo Indians:

The Shipibo Indians reside at the southwestern edge of the vast Amazon Basin in Peru. Shipibo Indians are River Indians living along the banks and tributaries of the Amazon River. The Shipibo people are primarily artisns, hunters, and fishermen and some practice slash-and-burn agriculture. Primary tools are machetes and spears. Virtually none of the villages have electricity. A small number of Shipibo people live in Iquitos where they make and sell their uniquely patterned art and craft.

The Shipibo-Conibo consist of around 35,000 people living in three to four hundred villages located north and south of the town of Pucallpa on the Ucayali River, which connects Cuzco to the Brazilian Amazon.  All of the villages use barter for trade, but their proximity to the burgeoning town of Pucallpa makes it inevitable that the people will soon be drawn into modern trade and exploitation.

They speak a language of the Panoan family, though some of them are starting to learn Spanish. Despite 300 years of sporadic contact with white or mestizo civilization, and massive conversion to Christianity in the 1950’s and 60’s the Shipibo-Conibos maintain a strong identity and retain their ancient ways. They are known for their intricate designs on their pottery and their bright clothing.

The Shipibo are well known for their distinctive pottery and textiles. In their culture the designs they use are traditionally copied from the skin of the Giant Anaconda or the heavens, such as the Southern Cross. Many other designs were given to them by their culture hero Incan ancestors. Their cotton cloth is hand painted in traditional designs. The cloth is worn as a wrap around loin cloth by the women of the tribe as well as being used for other functions.

(Text from the Peruvian Amazon Indian Institute)