Now one of the most renowned weavers of Ecuador, José Cotacachi recounts his childhood experiences and the "business" of weaving back in the 60's before tourism changed the business of the weaving community forever.
Miguel Andrango is Ecuador’s most famous weaver!  Miguel has dedicated his life to the art of weaving and the traditions of rural agriculture.  He is a man of “bastante paciencia”, a quality necessary to survive as a weaver in today’s world.
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Ecuador’s most famous weaver, Miguel Andrango offers us his vast knowledge and demonstrations.  He still works on a backstrap loom, the weaving tool that predates the Incas.  Carefully preparing all by hand, tio Miguel has spent a lifetime reinforcing his culture.
Making hats for over 60 years, Taita Marco is a true master and the last of his kind.  The wide brimmed hats used by the Otavalo campesinos were replaced with factory made fedoras many years ago but Taita Marco continued to find a market for his work.
Otavalo is a center of Andean folklore music.  The charango, similar to a mandolin, must be handmade with precision.  I ran into Rafael Saltos and his wife today and they allowed me to film them in their workshop a couple of blocks from the plaza.
Taita Luis Maldonado and his wife have owned and operated the “El Obraje” museum for over 7 years.  They guide us through the details of the weaving process from cleaning the raw wool to carding to spinning to weaving to the final preparations.
The Ali Shungu Foundation was formed to improve the Health, Education and general Welfare of the people of five Indigenous communities.
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   Maestro Rafael Saltos, Instrument Maker                            

  The Weavers of Otavalo                            

   The Weavers of Otavalo                            

   The Weavers of Otavalo                            

   The Weavers of Otavalo                             
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  Artisans of Otavalo                         
At one time, 90% of the indigenous families of Peguche were involved in the weaving process, even before tourism.   Tio Mario Tontaquimba and his wife offer demonstrations at their workshop, “La Casa de Mis Abuelos” .       Spanish          Quechua
The ancient weaving technique of Ikat was common throughout the Andes.  I made this video a while ago for the Otavalo Anthropological Institute.  A workshop was financed to reestablish and  reenforce old methods of producing bolts of material with Ikat patterns .

   Paradero Inca Tambo, Weavers of Peguche                            

  Ikat Weaving in Otavalo                            

  Miguel Andrango, Master Weaver                           

  El Obraje, Otavalo’s best Museum                            

  Taita Marco, Hatmaker of Illuman                            
Few weavers continue to earn a living working at their craft.  The earnings are just not high enough or quick enough to attract young people.  Luzmilla Andrango, daughter of don Miguel Andrango, speaks of the need to preserve the ancient technique.
Don Miguel Andrango speaks of the evolution of the textile industry here in Otavalo.  Looms that had been used for forced labor on the haciendas were later used to make cashmires for whites in Quito.  Soon the Otavalos began to travel and offer other products abroad.

   Susana Perugachi, Machine Embroidery                             
The typical blouse of the Otavalo Indigenous women is embroidered, usually by machine.  Susana Perugachi is a master at her trade.  She works at home producing embroidered blouses which she sells to two stores in Otavalo.

   Manuel Rodrigo Cadenas, Boot Maker of Otavalo                                     
For 57 years maestro Manuel Rodrigo Cadena has made shoes and boots for  both foreigners and Otavaleños.  He is the last of his kind in Otavalo and perhaps the last of his kind in the province.  Custom made quality leather boots are his specialty!
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All videos are owned and copyrighted 2013 by Frank M. Kiefer.  Reproduction is prohibited.  All rights reserved.
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Paradero Inca Tambo espanol

Paradero Inca Tambo


Miguel Andrango

El Obraje

Taita Marco

Rafael Saltos

José Cotacachi Interview 1

M. Andrango Interview 1

L. Andrango Interview

M. Andrango Interview 2

Susana Perugachi

Basket Weaver

Boot Maker of Otavalo

Segundo Lomas Tailor

M. Andrango Interview 3

Apprentice Weaving

José Cotacachi Interview

José Cotacachi Interview 2

José Cotacachi Interview 3

Lucita Fichamba Interview

Luis Llamberla Interview

Luis Llamberla Interview 2

José Cotacachi Weavings

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The Ali Shungu Foundation
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   Taita Gavilano Oyagato, Basket Weaver                                     
Less than 50 years ago, the village of Punyaro was dedicated to the production of Baskets with a market that extended throughout Ecuador.  Today, only one individual still practices the trade, Taita Gavilano Oyagato.  Visit his workshop with us.