What ever happened to the treasure of Atahualpa? The little shepherd boy of Otavalo goes against his mother's orders to lead his brother and sister and friends into the forbidden caves of Otavalo looking for gold and encountering El Dorado………..
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 on Calle Quito in Otavalo, two blocks from the plaza.
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28 rural Indigenous communities gather each year to celebrate the Summer Solstice.  San Juan or Inti Raymi  has been celebrated for millennium by the Andean people.  Music, dancing and local food dominate the lives of the campesino  for three weeks!
Little remains as proof of the pyramids, or Tolas, in Otavalo except the geographical positions.   These Tolas have been systematically destroyed over the years.  Sr. Hernan Castro speaks of the main pyramid that we now know was the ceremonial center of Otavalo.
A Saturday morning visit to the Otavalo Animal Market is still one of my favorite things to do!  Cuy is a Andean Indigenous delicacy offered to guests of honor at fiestas.  Buying a cuy is not easy.  It involves close examination and good negotiation technique.
Sr. 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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   Buying a Cuy                            

  El Pastorcito de Otavalo; Buscando El Dorado                            

   San Juanitos of Otavalo, a mini Otavalo opera                   

   Maestro Rafael Saltos, Instrument Maker                           

   Manos a la Obra                             
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An anciano plays the harp and chants  during the Inti Raymi gathering at the San Juan church and ceremonial site.  In ancient times, each community sent representatives to the fiestas to dance and to pay homage.  The tradition continues today.
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.

   Images of Inti Raymi                              

  Miguel Andrango, Master Weaver                             

  The Inti Raymi Celebrations in Otavalo                            

   El Obraje, Otavalo’s best Museum                             

  The Pyramids of Otavalo w/ Sr. Hernan Castro                                                                        
This is a music video I made over 10 years ago.  The theme is not complicated.  Boy meets Girl.  Boy loses girl. Boy wins back girl. Let us celebrate and give thanks to Mother earth.
This is a no-budget 18 minute movie I produced in 2009. Slapstick comedy is universal. This is a take off on an old Laurel and Hardy Hal Roach 1931 comedy, "The Music Box", one of my favorite L & H shorts.
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All otavalovideos.com 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 videos@otavalovideos.com
Images of Inti Raymi

Buscando El Dorado

San Juanitos

Buying a Cuy

Miguel Andrango,
Master Weaver

El Obraje

The Pyramids
of Otavalo

Maestro Rafael Saltos

Inti Raymi in Otavalo

Manos a la Obra


  Minga - a documentary                              
Community unity through Minga brings water to the Otavalo campesinos.  Five communities lived without water for almost four years.  With funding for materials, the reparation of the main reserve tank was achieved through this ancient Andean tradition.
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The Culture of Maize

Legends of Otavalo
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Politics in Otavalo

Celebrations in Otavalo
Andean Communities

Yachacs, Medicinal Herbs
and Shamanism in Otavalo
The Ali Shungu Foundation
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