The Weavers of Otavalo                           
Tia Lucita Fichamba of Peguche remembers the early days of the textile industry and how it evolved from supplying ponchos for Colombia to production for tourists.  Her father eventually worked for Olga Fisch and “La Bodega”, two major influences on the industry.
Tio Luis Alberto Llamberla continues to tell his story of 24 years as a weaver in Esperanza, San Rocé near Otavalo.   In this part, he remembers when he was able to expand his business to production of jackets in addition to wall hangings, but then………...
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These are video images shot a few years ago of a weaver’s apprentice.  It is doubtful that the young man is making a living today as a weaver of fine textiles.  At this time, there is simply not enough demand for back strap loomed textiles and art from Otavalo.
José Cotacachi reminisces about his decision to use special combinations of colors in “traditional” and original designs for the high quality “tapis” he started producing in the early 80’s.  His unique style created a contemporary market for the Otavalo weaving.
Striving for quality was the goal of José Cotacachi and he has created a great reputation for himself.  But few young people can earn enough money weaving  and though José has passed the tradition down to his son, it is unclear whether it will be carried on.
Another segment of an interview with Tio José Cotacachi, the internationally acclaimed weaver of Peguche.  An opportunity to work with the famous designer Olga Fisch in the late 70’s inspired don José to experiment with new color combinations and designs.
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   José C.,  Weaver of Peguche
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  Artisans of Otavalo                         
Segundo Lomas has labored in his workshop on the corner of Calle Roca and Calle Gonzalo Suarez as a tailor for 50 years and survives as an artisan despite many changes in Otavalo.  We chatted briefly the other day while he worked.
Tio Miguel Andrango speaks of the migration from the communities to the cities, especially of the young Indigenous, and the impact on weaving, agriculture and rural life in another segment of an ongoing project documenting the textile industry here in Otavalo.

   Segundo Lomas, Tailor of Otavalo                   

  The Weavers of Otavalo                            

  The Weavers of Otavalo,  Apprentice Weaver                            

  The Weavers of Otavalo                           
Tio Luis Alberto Llamberla began his career as a weaver as a young boy after working in construction and at the molasses factory.  He describes the early years of weaving tapestries for the Saturday market and how his business grew during the 80’ and 90’s.
See some of the weavings and designs of the most popular weaver of Otavalo.  José Cotacachi of Peguche is known for his original designs and contemporary color combinations.  Travelers can sift through hundreds of high quality weavings!

Artisans of Otavalo
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All videos are owned and copyrighted 2013 by Frank M. Kiefer.  Reproduction is prohibited.  All rights reserved.
If you have any questions or any videos of the Otavalo area that you wish to contribute, please write to

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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