Francisco Montes Shuña

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earth, ecology, nature, shamanism, spirituality
Visual Arts (mural painting, painting)
America, South
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created on:
July 28, 2003
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The Spirit Lives of Rainforest Plants

A visionary artist and traditional ‘vegetalista’, practising shamanic herbalism in his native country, Francisco Montes Shuña lives and works in the Peruvian Amazon. Working with his wife, the artist Yolanda Panduro Baneo, he has created a refuge for medicinal plants near the town of Iquitos. The two artists are inspired by the rainforest, its plants, myths, spirits and visions and create magical works which engage with nature, ecology and healing.
Francisco Montes Shuña is a renowned visionary artist and shamanic herbalist from Peru. He lives in the Peruvian Amazon, near the town of Iquitos, where he created a refuge for medicinal plants in 1990 called La Sachamama Ethno-Botanical Garden. The garden comprises 150 acres of land, holding thousands of species of cultivated medicinal trees, plants, vines and herbs.

Montes Shuña is known as a ‘vegetalista’, practising in Peru as a traditional shamanic herbalist, using the ayahuasca vine and other medicinal plants. Trained by his grandmother, he is honoured as a teacher of ancient indigenous healing methods with the title ‘Don’ and has founded a school for healing in Peru.

Widely recognised as a talented and inspirational artist, in 2001 he was commissioned, together with his wife the artist Yolanda Panduro Baneo, to create rock face murals at the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK. Within the award-winning project’s lush Humid Tropics Biome, the two artists painted a stunning series of images depicting Peruvian folklore and plant life. In keeping with Montes Shuña’s shamanic teachings, the murals depict the spirit lives of the rainforest plants, creating a magical narrative quality that presents a unique, spiritual vision of the native Amazon plants growing all around.

The Eden Project´s Art Director, Sue Hill explained why the new exhibit was so important: ´Francisco and Yolanda´s work is ideally suited to Eden, dealing as it does with the plantlife of the rainforest. Indeed, we are growing many plants that are familiar to them and the magical quality of their painting is proving very appealing to our visitors.´

Francisco Montes Shuña and Yolanda Panduro Baneo have exhibited around the world and have had several exhibitions in London.
Author: Judith Staines


Francisco Montes Shuña is a distinguished visionary artist from Peru. A practising ‘vegetalista’ (shamanic herbalist), he lives and works in the Peruvian Amazon near the town of Iquitos where he has created a botanical refuge for medicinal plants. He works with his wife Yolanda Panduro Baneo to create images of the rainforest and of the spirit lives of its plants. He exhibits regularly in London and in 2001 was invited to create murals at the award-winning Eden Project in Cornwall.


Panama to the Outback

Exhibition / Installation,
Exhibition at October Gallery, London

Elvis Luna: plants, spirits and animals of the Peruvian Amazon

Exhibition / Installation,
Exhibition at October Gallery, London

Eden Project: mural paintings

Exhibition / Installation,
Mural project with Yolanda Panduro Baneo in tropical Biome, Cornwall, UK.

Inner Visions: Art of the Peruvian Amazon

Exhibition / Installation,
Exhibition at October Gallery, London


October Gallery

London gallery representing artist.

Eden Project

Reports on mural painting project, 2001

Sacred Plant Medicine

Interview with Don Francisco Montes Shuna.

BBC World Service

Report on work of Francisco Montes Shuna.

Kindred Spirit

Article on Francisco Montes Shuna.

Apex Pictures

Image of artist and his wife at Eden Project murals.

Green Events

Article on Francisco Montes Shuna.
The Dance of Ayahuasca Leaves
The Dance of the Spirits