Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Kichwas - Indigenous People of Ecuador


The valleys and moors of the Interandean Alley are inhabited by indigenous peoples who originally had their own language.

With the coming of the Incas they were forced to learn another language, Kichwa.

Kichwa became even more widespread with the coming of the Spaniards as they used it for evangelization and trade.

The Kichwa people are located in Amazon basin of eastern Ecuador and in almost the entire region of the Sierra.

The Kichwa nation consists of several indigenous groups who have their own characteristics.

They are identified within the same geographical area, with a dialect, type of clothing, food, festivities and other aspects that make them different from each other.

But despite all of these differences, Kichwas are considered a single nationality.

In recent years there is an awakening of self-identification and reaffirmation of their identity, history, customs and geography. 

“We are like the straw from the fells of the Andes, while you pull it out, it grows again. And with the straw from the fells we shall cover the world… It is natural like the strands in a poncho that you can easily break. Naturally united like a woven poncho that no one can break”.
Dolores Cacuango Quilo

One of the most remarkable experiences for me in Ecuador has been the indigenous people's struggle for their rights.

When I first came to Ecuador it was exciting, dangerous, interesting, exactly what I imagined traveling through the world would be.

Then I started to see then injustice, the unfairness of the social system.

The five centuries of discrimination and struggle.

Read more HERE.

Ecuadorian indigenous nations struggle to maintain their own cultures and languages in the pressure by the outside mainstream Ecuadorian and Latin, or hispanic as it is called in Ecuador, culture.

CONAIE was created to bring the different nationalities together and use it to generate political pressure in questions of importance to indigenous people.

The design of the resting place for the sacred fire is ancient and meaningful.

Read more HERE.

The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Spanish: La Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador) or more commonly, CONAIE, is Ecuador's largest indigenous organization.

Formed in 1986, CONAIE has pursued social change on behalf of the region's significant native population using a wide range tactics including direct action.

CONAIE is most well known for its organization of popular uprisings ("levantamientos populares") that often include blockading of commercial arteries and the takeover of government buildings.

Read more HERE.

Kichwa culture is oral.

The stories and histories are told, not written down.

Teaching is done by telling and showing, moving around and practicing.

Not by copying or reading and writing.

People can sit down and be quiet.

It's a skill you need to be able to concentrate on what people are telling you.

Read more HERE.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing story. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into such wonderful culture rich history.