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.


  1. Wow, what a cool show. I love the differences between your beauty contests and the ones here in the US which are almost disgusting.

  2. You have some beautiful dance photos! And, it's unreal to me to think that this city is celebrating it's 454th birthday! That makes for some serious history!

  3. What a passionate performance.. Those pictures are amazing.

  4. What a celebration!! And beautiful pictures!!

  5. You got some amazing pictures! I would love to witness a celebration like that!

  6. These pictures are truly beautiful and it looks like a very nice celebration too!

  7. Your photos are amazing! If I were you, I'd try getting them into a travel magazine! You really take us there!

  8. All of this looks gorgeous. I would have loved to have seen something like this in person.

  9. It's awesome that it's based on so much more than beauty. I wish all pageants were!

  10. Wow, so amazing beauty contest. I was enjoying to see all the pictures of the beauties. Nice post.

  11. Everyone looked amazing. I can't imagine holding that snake...they freak me out. lol.

    1. It is not an actual snake, just a replica of one, made from wood. It would be too hard to dance with a real one. But a lot of people, me included, thought that at first that it was real.

  12. It looks amazing! Love all the pictures.
    Wish I was there.

  13. I love learning about other cultures. This was very informative for me and the pictures are amazing.

  14. wow, how amazing! Thanks for sharing your culture to us.

  15. It looks like it was a very fun time! I love learning about other cultures. Happy birthday to the city!

  16. Loved the photos and the backstory to all of this. Seems like a great show to sit down and enjoy and I would love to see it in person.

  17. Wow. there's tons of reason why I want to visit this beautiful place.

  18. What a beautiful show. I love the feather on their head: It is so cute

  19. That is quite the celebration. I love the smoke and lights and all the dancing in celebration. Definitely a great event to see.

  20. What an interesting sounding ceremony. You got some great pictures!