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Project:: Cursos de Plantas Medicinales Y Expiritualidad Huachiperi, Centro Wanamey, Peru

Huachiperi Cultural Heritage, Education and Preservation Project

We are currently seeking support for Centro Wanamey's Youth education (8-10 yrs. kids of “Huachi” descent) in the traditional use of medicinal herbs and plants, language preservation (only a handful of elders are currently fluent in this endangered language)

Completed projects include the Project for the Preservation of Traditional Medicine and Arts of the Huachipayri Culture, including the Art of Hand-Woven Bolsas, Taller de Cerámica Huachipayri, and Traditional Medicine and Spirituality.

The Art of Hand-Woven Bolsas

In June 2002 at the new Centro Wanamey in Philcopata, Peru, CECUWA (Centro Cultural Wanamey) conducted the third cultural preservation workshop of traditional Huachipayri arts and crafts, "The Art of Hand-Woven Bolsas", "Jempu" as they are called in Huachipayri, for women and children from the villages of Qeros and Huacaria.

Several of the elder women from Q'eros and Huacaria acted as instructors during the weekend for the younger women and girls many of whom had no knowledge of "how to make" the woven shoulder bags. The bags are very strong and are used to carry fruit from the forest, yucca and other vegetables from the chacras and other personal uses. In addition, the bags can be sold to tourists visiting Philcopata for additional income.

The Course teachings included

  • Identifying the correct trees from which to obtain the bark for weaving
  • Preparation of the fibrous bark material
  • Weaving the baskets utilizing hands, feet and toes!

The Goals

Besides preserving the art of bolsa weaving, the Course increased the baseline number of persons well-trained in the practice. This increases the chances of future survival of this ancient art!

Taller de Cerámica Huachipayri
Workshop in the Traditional Ceramics of the Huachipayri Culture

Pot in fire

During the Autumn of 2001, Living Bridges Foundation sponsored a project of CECUWA (Centro Wanamey Foundation) to train thirty youth of the village of Huacaria (ethnic Machigenga) and from Qeros (ethnic Huachipayri) in the traditional methods of construction of ceramics both for home and ornamental use and for sale to local tourists. The "art of ceramics" was currently known well by only one elder woman from Q'eros. It was feared that without utilizing her knowledge, that the art would be lost to the remaining members of the culture. During the workshop, which was held in the village of Huacaria, the elder woman demonstrated the gathering constructing and firing and painting of ceramic ware

.Huachipaeri pots

Traditional Medicine and Amazon Spirituality Project for the Huachipayri Nation of Peru

During the month of May 2001, Living Bridges funded a project offered by CECUWA, Cultural Center Wanamey, directed by the son of Don Alejandro Darikiking Jahuranchi, Joel Jahuranchi. The project was centered on training a group of youth aged 15 to thirty years from the Huachipaeri community of Qeros in the theoretical and traditional practical knowledge of the ethnomedicine of this Amazon region.

graduates of MEdicina Tradicional workshop


The need to train youth in the use of traditional plant and spiritual "medicine" has been well established. During the last five decades cultural exchange with the outside world in the form of religion and commerce has greatly impacted both the interest in and possibilities for training.

Both the work of AMETRA (Application of Traditional Medicine) in 1986 and FENAMAD (Native Federation of the River Mother and Flowing) in 1991 had previously developed activites in this region with the objective of "revaluation" of traditional medicine and in the case of the latter, with the publication of a small manual on medicinal plants and their uses.

Most recently the Shamans Encounters sponsored by Pro-Naturaleza and Tropical Rainforest Coalition have increased the interest and involvement of the remaining elder teachers from the Huachpaeri tribe and other tribal ethnic members from the extended bio-region in the training of the Youth.

Activities and Methods

The thirty youth participating in the training workshop were divided into two groups each facilitated by an elder male Maestros. The Shamans of the Shamans Confederation refer to themselves as Maestros. The workshops held in the actual forest areas focused on identifying and teaching about the healing properties of various plants and actually practicing the application of "cures".


The workshop was well appreciated by all those youth in attendance. It is hoped that other trainings with the youth will continue to inspire them to uphold the original values of their cultures and to foster the revived use of medicinal plants and "cures" for everyday ailments.


The Living Bridges Foundation • P.O.Box 667  • Aptos CA 95001 USA • Contact us

©1999-2009 Living Bridges Foundation

Updated: August 17, 2009




Centro Wanamey

Traditional Potter


Taller de Ceramica graduates

Ceramica class

Foot Weaver


Maestros Preparing Plants

Traditional MedicinesCEWA's new buildings

Centro Wanamey Center