The culture of the Otavalo Indigenous people has been documented only very little since the advent of photography.  These photos were taken from two publications, Peguche and The Awakening Valley.  There are few copies of either book in existence!  
This is an reenactment of an Indigenous wedding and the rituals, customs and portocol involved.  This video was made with the collaboration of the village of Quinchuqui.  Because of the length of the video (1 hour total) it has been divided up into five parts.
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The legend of an infamous gang of cattle thieves that terrorized Otavalo during the 30s, told through the eyes of a little shephard boy.
A modern day legend about two very modern, hip young boys that need money for the local dance.  They know that the only way to get money is to find easy work, but their plan turns out to be not quite what they had in mind……….
We have always collected photos of Otavalo.  There are so few available actually.  These photos are often all that is left to remind us of the Otavalo before the industrial revolution and globalization arrived.  These few represent a time in between 1914 and 1940.  
The memories of Otavalo 40 years ago from Tia LuzMaria Maldonado, wife of tio Luis Maldonado accompanied by black and white photos images of Otavalo.  The Maldonados are the owners and operators of Otavalo’s best Museum, “El Obraje”.
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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   Old Photos of Otavalo                            

  More Great Photos of Otavalo, circa 1940                            

   Reenactment of an Indigenous Wedding, 1935                             
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  Otavalo, Legends, Memories and the Past
What ever happened to the treasure of Atahualpa? The little shepherd boy of Otavalo goes against his mothers' orders to lead his brother and sister and friends into the forbidden caves of Otavalo looking for gold and encountering El Dorado………..

Otavalos' oldest and most famous legend, the Andean version of Hansel and Gretel.

   El Pastorcito de Otavalo Buscando El Dorado                              

  La Chipicha                            

  The Little Shephard Boy of Otavalo                          


  Manos a la Obra                                                                          
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Images of Otavalo
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
Buscando El Dorado

La Chipicha

The Shephard Boy


Manos a la Obra

Old Photos of Otavalo

Old Photos of Otavalo 2

Indigenous Wedding 1

Indigenous Wedding 2

Indigenous Wedding 3

Indigenous Wedding 4

Indigenous Wedding 5

   Part 1 - Boy Meets Girl                             
An idyllic day washing clothes becomes ............the most important day of her life.

   Part 2 - The Preparations                              
Many formalities and rituals are strictly followed before any marriage can take place.

   Part 3 - Matrimonio                              
The three stages of the ceremony, marriage in the community, city hall and the church.

   Part 4 - Celebration                            
More rituals, more beautiful cultural formalities, the wedding night and a fiesta!

   Part 5 - The Celebration goes on and on                            
The ritual of Navi Mishay is a cleansing and purification, then the big party begins!
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