Shakruna Clothing and Community based projects is a clothing company that makes beautifully styled clothes in partnership with the Shipibo Tribe in the Amazon and uses the funds as a platform to preserve tribal culture and replant the lungs of the earth, the Rainforest.
The Shipibo are Masters of the Medicinal Jungle Plant Ayahuasca which they use in ceremonies to see into another realm, the realm of the plant spirits. In the Shamanic Realm they see many beautiful visions and patterns of the specific plant spirits and then translate them into hand woven tapestries or Telas. Our project combines these powerful patterns with our stunning range of festival and ceremonial clothes.
We believe in living our lives and empowering as many people as we can along the way. Whilst we live in a monetary system Shakruna Clothing and Community based projects intends to take something of the earth, pass it through the monetary system and use that energy created to preserve the tribal wisdom of the planet and the lungs of the earth, the Amazon.
Our vision is to use the sale of our clothes and other Shipibo Embroidered items as a funding platform to reforest part of the Amazon and learn about, preserve and record the culture of the Shipibo tribe before it is lost forever. Tribal cultures are or remaining window into humanity’s roots of living in true harmony with nature in a fully sustainable way.
We are living in a world of change. To embrace this change, we need to do it together and think of new ways to approach our life on this planet and live sustainably ; our volunteer program supports this ideology.
One man can only plant so many trees, together we can replant the world.Please join us and support us on this journey to embrace and learn from tribal culture how we can live in harmony with Mother Earth so that our future generations can thrive in harmonious abundance and balance.
How we came to be
Our foundation premise is to give back to the indigenous healers of the world and preserve the lungs of the earth.
Our journey has taken us on a magical adventure with the Shipibo Tribe and we thank you for joining us upon this journey.
Our project started with a morning cup of coffee being interrupted with the sound of chainsaws hacking away at the life core of virgin forest land. Until that point i had always liked wood, i like its feel and its look, i like how beautiful a material it is, but in the moment my coffee spilt as i had a direct pang to the heart of a very real connection, that wood is life.
I ran to confront the loggers and begged them to stop toppling the lofty trees. They looked at me like some strange gringa (foreigner) and blankly asked me why? In the moment my brain and my heart were struggling for an answer, "because.... because,"I struggled, "because I am going to buy this land!!!"
The answer erupted from me and the project saving the lungs of the earth was born!!
At this moment the loggers stopped logging and then i was faced with the challenge of how to uphold my outburst, how do i find a way to save the trees on this land from loggers without the money to buy the land? How can i find a way to help out Mother Earth and save the lungs of the earth for all of us?
Where we are now....
My journey to answer that question has brought me to the heart of the jungle and the very Lungs of the Earth in the Amazon Basin. I have lived with the Shipibo Tribe and seen the effect of deforestation upon the essence of a tribal jungle based culture, I have sat with the purest and truest Shamanic family and drank Ayahuasca with them and she has shown me that since that moment with the loggers she has been with me and lovingly guiding my hand and my heart to bring this project to the world.
Historically this culture would live form the jungle and all its abundance, eating from the trees and fishing form the river. To purchase basic food items to supplement the jungle larder, the people would make tapestries of the Ayahuasca visions and sell jewelry made from the seeds found in the area. This brought a little money, enough to get salt and rice and the rest was found from the jungle floor or cultivated in small cleared areas in order to grow yucca and other vegetables. The culture was sustainable by its nature and lived in harmony with the earth for generations.
As the area became deforested and the fish pushed further and further down river, the tribal culture changed over one short generation. What once was a lush and abundant larder became scant and a desert to the hungry belly. Trees were sold for money to eat until there were no more trees and part of the community began to sever the roots of their heritage along with those of the jungle plants. There became a move of part of the community to join what we see as the modern world.
As a westerner, this makes me sad, to see this knowledge and essence of what i perceive as humanity die. As our world changes many of us are seeing the value of tribal knowledge as a way for us ALL to return to a sustainable existence before its too late for our planet. For me it broke my heart to see that one section of this tribe has little interest in maintaining its roots. They want the access to hospitals over the use of natural medicine, they want their children to enter into the system so that they can find ways to eat from money. Whilst this saddened me, it is a reality of where we are and who am I, with my ideals about the world, to say different?
This part of the tribe are one foot in tribal culture and one foot in the modern world and currently neither is working sustainably for them, They are trying to pay for all of the modern trappings by the sale of artisan products. This was sustainable for rice and salt but not everything the modern world demands from us.
Shakruna Clothing and Community based projects is helping this part of the community by bringing work directly to their door. We are working with 50 families in the jungle so that they are able to support their life through the continuation of time honoured traditions and skill in embroidery. We are paying them a good wage that values the time and expertise it takes to record the powerful Ayahuasca visions through embroidery onto textiles. All of our products are embroidered by hand and take between 1 and 6 weeks to complete depending on its complexity.
The usual method for method of selling is to wander the streets trying to find people to buy their art. Often women spend all day walking and make few if any sales, as this area is saturated with many women doing the same to support their families. The saturation has seen many Shipibo women leaving their native home in order to seek new customers, leaving behind children and family for many weeks at a time.
The impact of our project to this area is to enable a sustainable and regular income to many women that reflects the time taken to make such exquisite garments and facilitates them to stay in their native community with their families, thus limiting the further dispersal of a tribal world.
San Francisco is a small community of about 300 residents, we are working with over 50 of these individuals which means we are bringing a sustainable income to 20% of this community.
Every family has a story, as all families do and many of these have brought a tear to my eye as i have come to know this community better.
One family has a son of 22 who has both epilepsy and meningitis and when we met them they were struggling to find the $20 a month to pay for his seizure medication, we are working with them to stabilise his condition and find a more holistic approach to his treatment.
As a artisan culture the average day is spent in the house hand weaving tapestries or making bracelets which then the women take to the largest city and walk around seeking trade. Daily life calls for childcare and cooking on open fires, collecting firewood, tending to the animals and land.