Airmid Institute commissioned Shipibo elder Artemio Pacaya to write an ethnobotanical monograph about the types and uses of the medicinal and aromatic plant, piripiri Cyperus spp.).

An excerpt from the monograph –

Piripiri to know who comes to visit (Chikoro waste)

“This species of piripiri is very rare in the Shipibo culture, because it is used especially by people who practice curanderismo. It is believed that this plant has its owner, who during the night hours goes out to take care of its owner. His (piri piri) spirit sings during the night hours as if he were a little bird (it is very rare when he sings) only the owner of this plant knows why he sings. When at night this little bird sings in a desperate or strong way it is known that there will be a regrettable news (death of a relative) or it may also be that a relative will arrive sick. But when he sings normally, it is that the next day a visit will arrive from a relative very close to the house, who for a long time has not visited.”

Artemio has served as Director of Education in the Ucayali region, President of the Family Association of Agroforestry and Aquaculture, and secretary for the Shipibo Konibo Cultural Foundation. He is a professor and author of multiple books including Recetas de Plantas Medicinales Non Rao, Shinanxon Biti adivinanzas, and Cuaderno de Trabajo 4-Shipibo.

The monograph will be available for sale soon; proceeds will be given to Artemio and his community in Peru.


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