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Their magic, traditions, customs, and legendary rites make of the land of the Tsáchilas, Santo Domingo de los Tzáchilas, a unique and charming paradise.

Three hours to the southeast of Quito, the capital of Ecuador, at 550 metres of altitude and with a fluctuating temperature of 18 and 25 Celsius degrees, we find the nation of the Tsachilas or Colorados. This community has 3000 inhabitants and is located over 10,500 fertile hectares. The Tsáchila group is one of the few ethnic pre-incasic communities that remains pure due to the isolation in which they have lived during many years.


The nation is divided into eight communities: Chiguilpe, Post, Peripa, Cóngoma, Mapalí, Naranjos, Tawaza and Búa. The community organization has a political and cultural importance, since it is a way of defence from external forces and it helps them to maintain their identity. Their native language is Tsafiki, spoken in old times by the Caras, a community that preceded the Tsáchilas. The meaning of Tsafiki makes reference to their location in middle of the world; this indicates us their old geographic knowledge; as, in fact, they developed close to the line that divides the world in two hemispheres. Some word of their language and the colours of their clothes indicate their possible origin in Central America.

 


THEIR UNIVERSE CONCEPT

For this culture, the Universe is a vital space, inhabited by several Gods, beings and spirits. They are able to connect themselves with the universe by Cosmo Vision. 

PIPOWA, is their god. He is carved in golden clouds and a spirit who gathers to the men through their rituals. This god pronounces himself by the horizons at the sunsets. He created the sun, to illuminate and to warm up the planet. 

MAPIYAN, is their goddess. She is the creator of mountains, fields, rivers and all life in the oceans. She protects agriculture, fishing and hunting. She will determine the end of the world when she decides to feed herself with the terrestrial creatures. 

 

WOMEN AND CULTURE

The beauty of the women of this culture is expressed through their pure glance and their ability, through their multiple activities within the community. Women are very good managing the family and very creative and skilful in crafts confection. They are in charge of cooking and cloth making for the community. 

MUJERES TSACHILA-11

 

CLOTHES

The women’s clothes, called TUNAN, are multicolour skirts that bring them together with the rainbow. Whereas the MAMPE TSAMPA is the black and white clothes of men; it represents the snake TSAPINI. In general, their colourful clothes represent people who can live in harmony with other cultures, traditions and races.

Women paint a black line in their forehead as a mourning sign and men dyed their hair with Annatto (bright orange colour) as gratefulness sign. Everyone in the community wears several colourful necklaces and bracelets. 

 MUJERES-TEJIDO-11         MUJERES-TELAR-11

  

MUSIC

The musical instruments used by the Tsachilas for their rituals and celebrations are mostly made of hard wood, bones or the skin of animals or fruits and leaves of different plants. The most important musical instruments are: marimba, boxes of percussion, drums, chilinka and towelo. 

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CURATIVE TECHNIQUES

The Tsáchilas use natural poisons, baths and plasters as medicine. This knowledge of mixtures and forms has been transmitted from generation to generation and it is maintained until the present time, although some ancestral knowledge has been lost. The Tsáchilas are recognized in the world of natural medicine because of their skills, knowledge and the power of Shamans, who are considered religious men, authority and ministers. The Shamans travel to diverse dimensions to be in contact with the Gods in representation of their communities. They take their patients to ecstasy in different natural ways. Ecstasy is the flight of the soul to heaven for reaching freedom. 

 CEREMONIAS-SAUNA-11        C TRAPICHE-11

   

ECOLOGICAL RESERVE AND TOURISM

Tsáchilas’ main objective is the conservation of the natural areas and the equilibrium between them and the environment, in order to take advantage of the solar energy, air, land, vegetation and the fauna in a sustainable way. 

The ecological tourism has become an important source of income for Tsáchilas. This tourism is based on the visit of the area that covers the Baba River’s catchments, conformed by the rivers: Mapalí, Otongo, Peripa, Pupusa, Poste and Chiguilpe, with native guides.  (Fagromen, 1995) 

A lot of people travel towards the zone to receive medical treatments, increasing therefore the tourism. 

 

WORK WITH BIOLCOM

It is our desire to contribute in certain way to the maintenance of this culture and their knowledge. For this reason we have been working with the community for some months and we are developing a project of identification and planting of medicine plants.

 We would like to share with the world the wealth of the nature and the Tsáchila culture, in a respectful and sustainable way. We do not want to see how this amazing knowledge is lost. 

Contact us for further information. 

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CITED TEXTS

Fagromen, Estudio de Base de Mercado y Comercialización. 
Tomo I: Diagnóstico y Resumen Ejecutivo. Ecuador, 1995

Fundación Museo Etnográfico Tsáchila. Quito, 2003

 

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santo_Domingo_de_los_Colorados

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiCVJ7VUZXk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cnzCdRUKJs

http://chiguilpe.blogspot.com/2006/11/tsachilas-santo-domingo-by-maya.html

http://www.sifat.org/ecuador.html

http://www.yanapuma.org/BuaMaria.html

 

 


 

Last Updated (Wednesday, 17 December 2014 15:26)

 

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