Woven Songs of the Amazon

"Through awareness we can make a
difference. Understanding is the first step
to affecting change."

Woven Songs of the Amazon is a documentary film about the ancient Shipibo tradition of song patterns. The Shipibo are one of fourteen indigenous tribes living deep within the Amazon basin of Peru. Throughout history they have recorded their songs, or Icaros, in a unique system of elaborate geometric designs that correlate and interact directly with the natural world which appear on everything from their textiles to their pottery, jewelry, and even body art.


This film tells the story of this rich, colorful and ancient cultural tradition that is rapidly being lost, and the efforts by one family to preserve, protect and keep the vast knowledge of the icaros and the song patterns alive. The film focuses on Herlinda, a Shipibo elder, carrier of the song pattern tradition and the matriarch of her village. Through interviews, demonstrations, personal accounts, Shipibo mythology, the film shows the origin of the song patterns, what they are, how they are used, and the Shipibos struggle in preserving it and passing it down to the younger generations as the western world continually encroaches, threatening their culture.

Green Spider Films is a documentary production company, founded in 2002 by Producer Anna Stevens, dedicated to telling the stories of indigenous, shamanic cultures and peoples around the world for preservation and education through the beauty and power of the moving image.

For details about the recorded Icaros for this film and CD, please go to the Barrett Martin artist page.




Center for Shamanic Education and Exchange


We support the preservation of indigenous traditions worldwide and provide quite a few scholarships for indigenous youth to receive higher education in such things as sustainable land management, cultural studies, botany and the use of medicinal plants, etc. This was dreamed up partly after filming woven songs as we saw the need for it. Many of our scholarship recipients are Shipibo. So if folks are interested in how they can make a first hand difference in the preservation of indigenous culture,

this is a good organization.