The Shipibo are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Peruvian Amazon.

They are located along the Ucayali River in the Amazonian rainforest.

This tribe has more or less maintained their tribal identity and still practice their shamanic traditions and beliefs.

One of which is the Ayahuasca ceremony.

Ayahuasca is a shamanic medicine hallucinogen made by native plants from the Amazonian rainforest.

 A shaman will transform the visuals into sound, the Icaros songs,

which the female artists will translate in the geometric patterns and designs called: Kené.




Icaro is most commonly used to describe the medicine songs used by shamans in healing ceremonies.

 Traditionally, icaros may come to a shaman during a ceremony,

be passed down from previous lineages of healers, or come to a shaman during a 'dieta'

where plant spirits are believed to teach icaros to the shaman directly.

Due to the complexity of certain performance techniques,

it may take many years to learn certain icaros, and experienced shamans may be able to recite hundreds of them.

You can watch and listening a beautiful icaro click on the video below on the left.


The primordial anaconda Ronin, brought the Universe into existence

by singing a song that was depicted in the patterns of her skin.

This conveys an understanding that existence is essentially comprised of vibrations,

encapsulating the connection between the energetic and material worlds. 

These intricate patterns made by Shipibo, called kené, are seen in their pottery, embroidery,faces,

ink work and visionary paintings and are thought to be illustrations of the underlying vibrational make up of the universe.


The serpentine energy of Ronin can be seen expressed in these traditional Shipibo kené designs,

and every plant, animal and person is thought to possess their own unique design.

The visionary state brought about by ayahuasca medicine is thought to reveal these energetic patterns to the ayahuasca healers. Spiritual imbalance and illness in a patient can be perceived as breaks in or misalignment of that person’s kené.

Disorder in a person’s pattern can be repaired by healers through sining the icaros songs.

These songs are sung as a tool, which can correct imbalances in a person

by bringing their energetic designs back into cohesive harmony.

The video below on right explain very well the kené on the spiritual Shipibo world.