Shipibo - History and Cultural Relations

Archaeological evidence suggests that the origins of Shipibo culture lie in the Cumancaya tradition of the ninth century AD., meaning that Shipibo culture, or something similar to it, has existed in the region for over 1,000 years. There are indications (the presence of head binding, panpipes, raised beds, and fire fans) that some Shipibo may have experienced contact with the Inca. Contact with Westerners began in the seventeenth century, when Franciscan missionaries entered the region. During this time, the Shipibo and Tupí-speaking Cocama/Cocamilla tribes were resettled in neighboring missionary-created villages. Because of their contact with Spanish colonists and their strategic location on the Río Ucayali, the Shipibo had access to guns and, in the nineteenth century, raided other Panoan and Arawakan tribes who lived nearby along "backwoods" interfluves. Shipibo were employed as wage laborers during the rubber boom of the nineteenth century and as peones (laborers) in agriculture and timber extraction for mestizo patrones (bosses) during this century. Other contacts with Whites have come from physicians and nurses, Protestant missionaries, and representatives of the Peruvian government. Today, the Shipibo range from the well-acculturated, such as those living near the frontier city of Pucallpa, to moderately acculturated groups who reside in remote areas downriver.

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: