Native American Market Otavalo
Ecuador, Otavalo

Otavalo - the famous Indian city of weavers, is located just two hours from Quito, however, is a completely different world in which time seems to have stopped forever. The road to the city, which runs along the picturesque peaks of the Andes, is one large Native American market. Bright outlets are found literally at every step. In these vibrant, colorful Ecuadorian markets, locals traditionally gather for socializing and commerce. The epicenter of such gatherings is the central square, which hundreds of Indians come to from dawn. Everything is sold here: exotic fruits and vegetables, carpets, hides, yarn, parts for looms, leather goods, national clothes, as well as ceramics, silver jewelry and other handicrafts. Poncho Plaza, which is full of hammocks and hats, is especially popular with tourists. Guests of Otavalo are literally bewitched by the beauty and richness of the selection of handmade woolen products, ponchos, colorful tapestries, a variety of wood crafts and many others. Weaving is the most important and main occupation of the inhabitants of Otavalo, the countless technologies of which they begin to master almost from the cradle. Local residents are extremely proud that, despite the obvious commercial success of their craft, the recognition of their talent around the world, they managed to maintain their national traditions, lifestyle and even the native language of kichua, which will be passed on from generation to generation. The Otavalo markets have been known since the Spanish colonization, when the inhabitants of this region were forced to work in textile production in order to pay taxes to the Spanish king. Clothing was sent to workers in the mines of Bolivia. Today, local residents, who have always attached great importance to clothing, can determine the origin and place of residence of a person by its elements. Men in Otavalo traditionally wear a poncho, hat and braid running down to the waist - a legacy of pre-Jinan times. A white blouse, a blue skirt, a shawl, a gold necklace and red coral bracelets, which make up the everyday costume of a girl in Otavalo, copy the traditional Inca women's costume almost to the smallest detail.