Friday, November 21, 2014

The Queen With The Frozen Heart - Savouring The Chicha


The jaguar men devoured the food and belched after the choice bits.

They picked their teeth and gnawed the bones; few lucky ones popped the eyes and sucked them noisily.

One man cracked a skull with his bare hands and munched the brains while his friends roared in laughter.

- What a fest, the leader raised a bone in his hand, you cook well, old woman. Would you want to cook the next feast for us too? The meat will be even better, I can promise.


- Do you mean those ugly, smelly men downstairs, Iluku shook her head, I don't think I could cook anything tasty from something that skinny and bad smelling. You better fatten them up first!

The kasike roared in laughter and smacked his hand on the table.

- That we shall do, he shouted, that we shall do! But now, bring us some of that delicious chicha of yours. I've been hankering for it since I smelled it earlier. It's a rare treat we get chunta chicha, since only human females know how to do it.

- Everyone has their uses, Iluku answered dryly.




- Oh, that is for certain, kasike laughed out again.

On his nod two men run to the kitchen and carried the vats of chicha out.

Iluku walked to the vat and took out her pilche, the little cup made of coconut shell was decorated with red and black seeds.


The chicha was ready, a special chicha that she had prepared with angel trumpet tree's leaves.


Leaves that we're sure to offer a good night sleep when smelled and unconsciousness when digested.

Ceremoniously she scooped the first portion of chicha and walked slowly towards the jaguar men’s kasike.

She offered the pilche to him and he took the first sip, savoring the taste.


Smiling he looked up and stared Iluku straight to her eyes.


- Delicious, kasike smacked his lips, just like chunta chicha should be!

- Enjoy, he roared to his men, and drank the cup full.

Starting with kacike Iluku offered a drink from her to pilche to each and every one of the jaguar men.

They all drank heavily and laughed, savoring the sweet, fermented taste of chicha.


To be continued....



This is the twenty-eighth part of the story.

To read the first part of the story, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 1  

To read the second part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 2 

To read the third part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 3

To read the fourth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 4

To read the fifth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 5.

To read the fourteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 14

To read the sixth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 6

To read the seventh part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 7

 To read the eight part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 8

To read the ninth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 9

To read the tenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 10

To read the eleventh part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 11

To read the twelth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 12

To read the thirteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 13

To read the fifteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 15

To read the sixteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 16

To read the seventeenth part, go to the The Queen With The Frozen Heart 17

To read the eighteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 18

To read the nineteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 19

To read the twentieth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 20



To read the twenty third part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - At The Mouth Of The Cave

To read the twenty fourth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - The Visiting Star

To read the twenty fifth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - Time To Leave The Home

To read the twenty-sixth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - A Suitable Wife

To read the twenty-seventh part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - Down In The Dungeons

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ñusta Waysa Ishpinku Warmi - The Kichwa Beauty Queen of Tena


"Saint John of Two Rivers Tena" is also known as the "capital of guayusa and cinnamon".

A dance performance in the beginning of the Ñusta Waysa Ishpinku Warmi beauty contest.

The city had its 454th birthday on November 15th this year.


Part of the annual festivities for Tena’s anniversary is a beauty contest for local indigenous nationality, Kichwas.


The winner of the contest has a historical title: Ñusta Waysa Ishpinku Warmi.


It can be translated as The Queen of Cinnamon and Guayusa.

Warriors danced while the candidates first came to the stage.

But usually the shorter version of, Cinnamon and Guayusa Woman or Waysa Ishpinku Warmi, is used.

Former Ñusta Waysa Ishpinku Warmi being interviewed by local TV station.

This year’s reigning queen, Mabbel Andy, comes from the Kichwa area of Pano.


She won the judges over with her fluent Kichwa and ancestral knowledge.

Kuraka purifies the girls and makes them safe from the attacks of sacha supay, forest's evil demons.

In this beauty queen contest the majority of points come, not from the way the contestants look, but from their knowledge of Kichwa culture, language and tradition.

Two of the three judges, all of them women and either Kichwas themselves or fluent in Kichwa.

Another difference from the more familiar beauty pageants is the concept of the beauty in itself.

Tena's mayer (at the right) dancing with the Hispanic Beauty Queen, Reina de Tena, or Queen of Tena.

A beautiful Kichwa woman has a long straight hair that the contestant straightened even more with baby oil.

Contestants in their fantasy outfits.

A traditional beautiful Kichwa woman is also shy.

At the backstage during the contest.

She speaks in a quiet voice.

Depictions of traditional Kichwa way of life and dance performances.

She does not look people straight to the eye and the most important thing of all…

Ñusta Waysa Ishpinku Warmi 2014-2015 Mabbel Andy from Pano in her fantasy outfit.

A traditional Kichwa beauty is a bit round and has a feminine shape.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Salmon soup - Are you a traditionalist or do you enjoy experimenting?


Salmon soup is a perfect, simple, casual food for weeknight.

But it can also be considered to be a delicacy that you can offer to the guests.

The soup can be served as the first or the main course.

And you can spice it up with some cream or cream cheese into a wonderfully rich soup.

Serve it with a genuine rye bread.

And don’t forget the fresh dill.

It will give the soup its exquisite taste.

For me, growing up, salmon soup was one of the culinary highlights.

The creamy soup and rich taste of salmon, together with dill, were like heaven to me.

When I moved to Ecuador I didn’t want to lose this taste of home and childhood.

Sadly it is very hard, or even impossible, to find fresh dill here.

After some experimenting, I’ve learnt to enjoy the taste of rosemary in the soup.

It is not part of the original recipe, so if you want traditional Finnish salmon soup, you should use dill instead of rosemary.

Or maybe you should try both and decide for yourself which one you like the best.




Salmon soup

(For 2 people)

Ingredients

2 - 3. (250 g) in potatoes
1 medium onion
Butter
6 cups of water
4 whole allspices
500 g of salmon fillet
6 cups of water
2 to 3 dl cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small branch of rosemary (or ½ cup of fresh dill)


1. Peel the potatoes and dice or block them. Peel and chop the onion.

2. Cook the salmon fillet in hot water until it’s done. Peel of the skin. Save the fish broth.

3. Put the potatoes and onion to the kettle. Sauté them in butter for a few minutes. Pour into a saucepan of hot fish broth with allspice and rosemary, and cook until the potatoes are almost cooked.

4. Add salmon in the soup broth. Add the cream and heat to a boil, but do not boil. Remove the pan from the heat.

5. Remove the rosemary branch or sprinkle the top of the soup plenty of chopped dill.

6. For the weeknight soup replace the cream with some milk.


ENJOY!

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Queen With The Frozen Heart - Down In The Dungeons


The delicious smell of cooking food wafted down the dungeon corridors.

The men around the king stirred in their cells, it was such a long time since they had eaten.

- I am old, he heard a muttering voice, hundreds of years old and nobody respects me. Who needs to carry food to the prisoners? Killa, of course. No, there's no one else around to do it. It has to be me. No respect for the age...



The aroma of the food grew stronger and the king could hear sounds of something being dragged on the cave floor.

- So which one of you is the supposed king, a grumpy voice asked from the darkness.

The men waited in silence, they had not given him up, even after all that had happens to them in the jaguar men's hands.


- For goodness sake, Killa swore, your son sent me, Amarun. I'm supposed to be here to save you.

King could see the old man dragging large bowl of food.

- My wife sent this to you, he explained, you'll need all your strength to escape.


- To escape, the king repented his bursts instantly.

- Yes, we are here to save you and get you back to your families, the old man sneered, I have bowls for you here somewhere. You need to eat fast so you'll ready when Iluku says it's time to leave. I'm Killa, by the way, nice to meet you and all that.

- Killa, one of the warriors shouted in surprise, the man from the moon?


- Yes, that's me, Killa preened, and who are you?

- I'm Rumi, the man stammered and blushed.

- And I am Umasiki, the king interrupted, what I would like to know is, why should we trust you?


The men in their cells took a step back and waited in silence.


- You don't need to trust me, Killa started serving the food, just eat and be ready. It won't be long anymore.

To be continued...



This is the twenty-seventh part of the story.

To read the first part of the story, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 1  

To read the second part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 2 

To read the third part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 3

To read the fourth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 4

To read the fifth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 5.

To read the fourteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 14

To read the sixth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 6

To read the seventh part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 7

 To read the eight part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 8

To read the ninth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 9

To read the tenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 10

To read the eleventh part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 11

To read the twelth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 12

To read the thirteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 13

To read the fifteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 15

To read the sixteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 16

To read the seventeenth part, go to the The Queen With The Frozen Heart 17

To read the eighteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 18

To read the nineteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 19

To read the twentieth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 20



To read the twenty third part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - At The Mouth Of The Cave

To read the twenty fourth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - The Visiting Star

To read the twenty fifth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - Time To Leave The Home

To read the twenty-sixth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - A Suitable Wife

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fiestas de Tena - 454th Anniversary of the city of Tena


"Land of Cinnamon and Guayusa"


The city of Tena is called by many historians the City of St. John of Two Rivers Tena.


Tena is named after the two rivers, Tena and Pano, that cross the city.


In reality Tena is a small town, divided in two by the rivers.


The tranquility and friendliness of its people can be felt in its narrow streets.


By a Spanish ordinance the founding date of the city was set for November 15th on 1560.



Tena celebrates many important dates


The Tena Canton has a diversity of natural attractions and cultural events that are located in each of the parishes which have the same special features that allow visitors to learn about its history and traditions of the Kichwa and Huaorani ethnic groups.


The foundation date of Tena is on November 15th and this anniversary of the city is celebrated by its municipality and habitants with as much pomp and circumstance as possible.


The anniversary festivities last eleven days, starting at November 6th and continue until the 16th.


On the first day there is a civic parade but most of the people feel that the real festivities start when the carnival parade is held on the second day.


This is where the local barrios, organizations, companies, schools and everyone else has the chance to participate with their carnival float to honor Tena.


Tena's two beauty queens


This is also where the candidates for the Beauty Queen of Canton and Waysa Ishpinku Warmi, the Kichwa beauty queen of the canton, have their own floats and the chance to present their charms to the public.


Ishpinku is Kichwa for cinnamon and waysa (or guayusa) is a local plant that is used to make an energetic drink by indigenous people, warmi is the Kichwa word for woman, so the beauty queen is called Guayusa and Cinnamon Woman.


Tena is often called the land of cinnamon and guayusa because of they are both native to the area and traditionally very important to the people.


This year’s party


This year’s celebration has been full of color and culture.


The different organizations had done their best to top each other and every float from last year.



Besides the parades and elections of the two beauty queens there are different cultural and sport events, music, gastronomy and a fair lasting through the festivities with its own activities.