Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Presented at “Textiles and Settlement: From Plains Space to Cyber Space,” Textile Society of America 12th Biennial Symposium, Lincoln, Nebraska, October 6-9, 2010. Copyright 2010 Textile Society of America.


indigenous Shipibo communities. In Part One, we will describe our work with a 1952 film on the Shipibo by Harry Tschopik, Jr., Associate Curator of Anthropology of the American Museum of Natural History. In 2007, one of the presenters compiled this footage into a DVD, called El Pueblo Shipibo: Men of the Montaña. This silent film is unique; no other historic film of these people and their heritage has been found to exist. Shipibo communities at preliminary screenings in 2008 reacted with delight as they saw images validating their ancestral knowledge. Men of the Montaña provides authentic visual images and knowledge, (including textile practices) essential for remembering and rebuilding Shipibo artistic and cultural identity. This film was shown at a 2009 Lima film festival.

In part two of the presentation we will present 8-10 minutes on our recent research on 21st century Shipibo textile practices. We will compare these practices to those documented in 1952, and note how new traditions have evolved in 57 years. For example community leaders are looking to support 21st century textiles’ continued use as markers of cultural identity and at the same time exploring how to market these beautiful textiles in the larger global market. The presentation will include clips from the 1952 film and also clips from the 2010 research trip. Textiles from our collections will be available for the audience to view and examine.