Nomaboan Nete
Women and Girls

What We Do

Alianza Arkana has facilitated a number of initiatives to support Shipibo women and girls, including hosting annual residential workshops with Girls For The World, kick-starting Nomabaon Nete, a Shipibo led NGO for young women, and running midwifery courses within Shipibo communities.

Girls For The World:

We have worked with Girls for The World, a US based NGO, for four consecutive years, organizing weeklong workshops on the themes of self-empowerment, communication, nutrition and personal health, reaching over 60 Shipibo women and girls in four different communities. For a link to the blog, click here, and to visit the Girls For The World website, click here.

Nomabaon Nete:

In 2014, a coalition of Shipibo and international allies came together with the goal of empowering Shipibo women and girls. With the support of Alianza Arkana, the group founded the nonprofit advocacy organization, Nomabaon Nete ("Young Women’s World"). The group’s mission is:

"To create a world in which young Shipibo women and girls can retain their ancestral knowledge and culture while working to protect the environment in which they live, where they can pursue healthy lifestyles now and plan a better future for the next generation. Through the theory and practice of our values, we aim to keep our legacy alive."

Initiating and sustaining transference of knowledge across and within generations is at the core of the organization’s purpose. Workshops and activities involve dialogue between elders, mothers, daughters and mentees, often including Shipibo teachers and nurses as well. Ultimately, Nomabaon Nete aims to facilitate a supportive and enjoyable space for the transmission of traditional knowledge and practices to younger generation of Shipibo women, creating an environment for youth to maintain and develop their traditions in accordance with the issues brought on by their entry into an evolving, globalized cultural economy.

Nomabaon Nete works to support women in taking power over their bodies and their social and economic lives, to educate around the media and the interests it prioritizes, and to help facilitate spaces for women to unite in order to wield positive influence in their communities. Our projects are structured so as to be led and sustained by the Shipibo long-term. In the interim, Alianza Arkana fosters collaboration between our female Shipibo staff and our international volunteers in order to provide mentoring, technical and logistical support, and wider education where appropriate.

Midwifery:

Alianza Arkana has also organized two courses within Shipibo communities with the aim of supporting traditional midwife practices and introducing Shipibo women to the best of Western medical midwifery practices. The first course included six midwives from San Francisco and the second included 15 midwives from San Francisco, Dinamarca, Paoyan, Bene Jema and John Hawking communities.

Why is working with Women and Girls important?

Today, there exists a fast-widening generational gulf in Shipibo culture. This trend is largely due to changing attitudes resulting from processes of globalization and social degradation. Little by little, the environmental and human resources necessary to ensure the transmission of traditional knowledge are deteriorating—and with it the plant wisdom, stories, customs, and cosmovision so integral to the preservation of Shipibo life and culture. Given the dramatic differences in their socialization, there can be a dramatic lack of common ground in attitudes between Shipibo women generationally. In workshops, mothers and daughters consistently emphasize the difficulty of communicating with one another, particularly on the subjects of sexual health, wellbeing and aspiration.

Additionally, while traditionally the Shipibo were a matrilineal society, the patriarchal influence of colonialism has resulted in the diminishing presence of women in positions of influence and power within their communities (as well as within mainstream society). There is a great deal of discrimination against and marginalization of indigenous women in the Peruvian media.

Many young Shipibo women express desires to work as teachers, politicians and actors, and we encourage girls to engage in this type of visioning. Yet the entry of indigenous youth into modern cultural and economic systems is sensitive terrain given the high levels of discrimination they face in their daily lives. We aim to educate girls about how mainstream (particularly media) systems function, equipping them to use these systems wisely rather than allowing themselves to be abused by them. The aim is to enable Shipibo women to proactively represent their own culture, should they desire, thereby elevating visibility and respect for indigenous cultures globally.

Support Intercultural Education

Your donation to Alianza Arkana helps us provide much-needed university scholarships to gifted Shipibo students, create a cultural center, revive ancestral knowledge and empower Shipibo women and girls.