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The Wichana Foundation cordially invites the public to attend the Otavalo exhibit opening of Imbabura Taytamamakuna Kawsay in the Kinti Wasi gallery in Otavalo.

Photojournalist Rafael Perez Anrango of Tunibamba, Cotacachi captured fifteen inspiring personal life stories and character portraits of indigenous elders who live in the rural communities of the Imbabura province of Ecuador will be displayed in the Kinti Wasi art gallery in Otavalo between April 4 and April 29.

The exhibit’s intent is to reveal and preserve for future generations the inspiring lived histories of local indigenous elders. The Imbabura Taytamamakuna Kawsay exhibit is presented in three languages: Kichwa, English and Castellano. Wichana Foundation hopes that this trilingual presentation will facilitate the transmission of the elders’ knowledge and wisdom to a greater numbers of people in Ecuador and around the world.

Yachak (shaman) tayta Willka Guillermo Santillan will lead a traditional Andean ceremony honoring the elders of Imbabura’s community just before the opening of the photo gallery doors. This yachak lives in the Agato community of Otavalo.

Inside the photo exhibit gallery, Tayta Emilio Guadinango will play traditional harp tunes for two hours between 4:00 and 6:00 pm. Come listen to the beautiful tunes of this master harpist who also is featured in the exhibit. Tayta Emilio lives in the San Pedro community of Cotacachi.  Listen to his music here: 

Throughout the event, Jose Manuel Fuerez of Yakupata, Otavalo will demonstrate the ancient art of backstrap loom weaving. After studying with master weaver Miguel Anrango of Agato for over twenty years, Jose has become a master weaver in his own right.

Master potter Mama Carmen Anrango also will exhibit her handmade pottery made from clays that her family extracts from nearby mountains. Mama Carmen is one of the elders featured in our photo exhibit. She lives in the Cotacachi community of Alambuela.

Throughout the event, yachak (shaman) tayta Rafael Salazar will explain the traditional use of ancestral medicinal plants. Tayta Rafael also is featured in the portaits displayed in the exhibit.

In addition to smaller-sized prints of the taytamama portraits, we will display eight photos of natural beauty and Kichwa runa inidgenous celebrations photographed by Tayta Rafael.

Killa Sisa (Moon Flower) will perform live in the Kinti Wasi Theater. Killa Sisa is a traditional dance troupe from the community of El Cercado in Cotacachi.

DIRECTIONS: Kinti Wasi is a municipal arts and cultural center that looks like a hummingbird (kinti) above the Otavalo city center. The map below provides the exact location. The easiest way to find Kinti Wasi is to take a taxi from Cotacachi or the Otavalo bus station. All local taxistas know where it is located. Fare from Cotacachi $5; fare from Otavalo bus station $1.25.

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