Vintage Cocama Tribe Shell Bracelets

Vintage Cocama Tribe Shell Bracelets


These bracelets were made by the Cocama peoples in the 1970s of snail shells from the Amazon Basin.

The Cocama, also known as: Cocoma, Cocamilla, Huallaga, Pampadeque and Xibitaoan, mainly live in very remote parts of the upper Amazon region of Peru, where they number between ten and fifteen thousand, with just a few hundred more living in Brazil and Columbia.

Their area of the Peruvian Amazon is sparsely inhabited and not easily reached. The Cocama live anywhere from a few hours to a full day's boat ride from Iquitos -the nearest township- which is the largest place on earth that cannot be reached by road and is more than a day by commercial passenger boat from any launching point.

Despite this remoteness and their language barrier -speaking mostly native Tupi-Guarani- the visitor experiences from the outside world have heavily influenced their ancient way of life. Many Cocama communities now stay in touch with each other — and with the rest of the world — by short-wave radio and are learning to blend the old and modern ways as best they can.