Monday, January 27, 2014

Otavalo


Otavalo is a little town in the Northern Ecuador.

It is very famous for its artisan fair where indigenous Kichwa people from the nearby villages sell their products.
The Otavalo market consists of ninety mushroom-shaped concrete umbrellas with benches. The market was designed and built in 1970 by Dutch architect Tonny Zwollo.
During the market's peak, almost one third of the town becomes full of stalls selling textiles, tagua nut jewelry, musical instruments, dream catchers, leather goods, fake shrunken heads, indigenous costumes, hand-painted platters and trays, purses, clothing, spices, raw foods and spools of wool.

When I first came to Ecuador in 1996 I lived in a bit bigger town near to Otavalo called Ibarra.

On Saturdays we would go to the Plaza de los Pochos to see all the products, the people and maybe buy something.

Otavalo, capital of Otavalo Canton, is a largely indigenous town in the Imbabura Province of Ecuador. The town has about 90,000 inhabitants and is surrounded by the peaks of Imbabura (4,630 metres (15,190 ft)), Cotacachi (4,995 metres (16,388 ft)), and Mojanda volcanoes.
The indigenous Otavaleños are famous for weaving textiles, usually made of wool (that is sometimes as black as a raven), which are sold at the famous Saturday market. Although the largest market is on Saturday, there is a very wide range of wares available throughout the week in the Plaza de los Ponchos, and the many local shops. The shops sell textiles such as handmade blankets, tablecloths, and much more.


It is still one of my favorite places in Ecuador.

The colors are magnificent, and the people, stalls and handmade artisan products make it look magical.
Otavaleña women traditionally wear distinctive white embroidered blouses, with flared lace sleeves, and black or dark over skirts, with cream or white under skirts. Long hair is tied back with a 3 cm band of woven multi coloured material, often matching the band which is wound several times round their waists. They usually have many strings of gold beads around their necks, and matching tightly wound long strings of coral beads around each wrist. Men wear white trousers, and dark blue ponchos.

Did you  like this post? Would you like to see another on about Imbabura area?

Locro de Papa or Traditional Potato Soup

27 comments:

  1. What beautiful items! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I've been to Otavalo and LOVE the cloth founds there. glad you enjoyed your trip

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    1. It is a wonderful place, Cristina. Although nowadays I usually just go to the Artisan Market in Quito, since it's closer, lol

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  3. That looks amazing. I love to shop at fairs & bazaars.

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    1. It is wonderful with so many interesting things to see, Ellen

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  4. I would love to visit! It looks like a lot of fun.

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    1. It is, Daisy, I definitely recomend coming here.

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  5. Oh I just would have a hay day there! I love shopping like that! I find the neatest things!

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  6. Wow, that looks gorgeous! I love the colors, the people and the jewelry!

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  7. When we lived in Germany, we went to markets like this all the time! They always had the best handmade goods and at much better prices. I would love to visit this one in Ecuador!

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  8. oh, what a beautiful place to spend the day! and i'd probably spend a lot of money there too

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  9. These items are so colorful! Sometimes we forget how much talent it takes to create such beautiful work!

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  10. Everything is so beautiful. I would love to just walk around and see everything.

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  11. Such a beautiful place and fair. I would love to visit these one day. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Such beautiful artwork and craft. Love the colors.

    Michelle F.

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  13. These are gorgeous photos. All of the arts and crafts for sale are beautiful.

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  14. Wow, what gorgeous items. I love the bright colorful bags. I would need to bring multiple suitcases to bring everything I dreamed of home.

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  15. Thanks for sharing.. I love to walk the markets and fairs.. they always have amazing things... thanks for sharing...

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  16. What beautiful pictures. I love the colors. It reminds me of when I was in Ayacuccho, Peru. I love all the artisans sharing their wares.

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  17. Wow! So beautiful... the pictures and the scene itself!

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  18. I love things like this. All the colors and excitement over finding something special. When I went to Jamaica I loved going to their market as you just never knew what you would find. Beautiful pics and thanks for sharing:)

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  19. Love all of the colors!! That jewelry is beautiful, too. I love shopping at places like this!

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  20. You make me want to go shopping so badly! I'm totally eyeing that lapis necklace, by the way.

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  21. A very interesting post. Your images show these people are quite skilled in their crafts.

    «Louis» thanks you for linking with his Wordless Wednesday

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  22. Looks like they have some great items to buy. I remember going to Mexico when I was little with mom and I brought back a blanket and other goodies. I still have the blanket!

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