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These cotton table runners were handmade by Shipibo-Konibo artist Olinda Reshinjabe Silvano using ancestral designs known as kené, inspired by the patterned skin of el Ronín, the sacred serpent in the Shipibo-Konibo worldview. Kené is expressed through pottery, weaving, drawing, and music. Sacred and medicinal plants such as ayahuasca and piri piri are ingested in order for these designs to materialize.
61" x 16"
Toad of Love: This textile work features Ronin kené, geometric patterns inspired by the sacred anaconda in the Shipibo-Konibo worldview. According to the Shipibo-Konibo people, the toad represents love and cures illnesses. This piece is made from natural dyes and acrylic.
River & Fish: This textile features the maya kené design—contemporary geometric patterns—to represent the river and the fish that live within the Amazon’s waterways. Aquatic creatures are considered sacred, particularly the anaconda and piranha. This piece is made from natural dye from tree bark.
Hummingbird & Ayahuasca: This textile features Ronin kené, geometric patterns inspired by the sacred anaconda in the Shipibo-Konibo worldview. The ayahuasca flower of life is depicted in the centre of the work.
Xao kené: This textile features the xao kené design—the ancestral geometric patterns—as well as the leaves of the sacred ayahuasca plant. The zigzag pattern that features on the border represents the teeth of the piranha fish, which symbolize protection. This piece was made from the natural dye from the caoba (mahogany) tree.
Flower of Life: This textile piece features the ayahuasca flower of life as well as its leaves. The natural dye is mixed with piri piri pepper.
Flora and Fauna of the Amazon: This textile features the maya kené design to depict the unity of the community. Various flora and fauna found in the Amazon are depicted, including the plant toé that is used by the Shipibo-Konibo people for medicinal purposes.
Maya Kené & xao kené: This embroidered textile uses the contemporary xao kené in the centre and the ancestral maya kené on each side. The xao kené acts as a guide for those who have lost their way, while the maya kené represents the flora and fauna of the Amazon.
Wood of the Ayahuasca Plant: This embroidered textile depicts the wood of the ayahuasca plant intertwined with el Ronin, the sacred anaconda in the Shipibo-Konibo worldview.
As part of the exhibition Arctic/Amazon: Networks of Global Indigeneity, Silvano collaborated with her son Ronin Koshi and Wilma Maynas to create Non Kenébo, 2022, a three-panelled painting of geometric and curvilinear designs that convey creation stories, mythologies, and everyday accounts. Kené art is profoundly anchored in ancestral knowledge of shamanism, traditional crafts, and sacred plants, and it is powerfully infused with political activism in defense of Amazonian Indigenous Peoples.
Across the world, Silvano is renowned for her muralist practice and community activism. Much of the proceeds from her jewellery and embroidery sales are redistributed to fund educational, social, and cultural initiatives in her community of Cantagallo, Lima, Peru.
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