Inti Raymi

Inti Raymi (in-tea-ray-me) is an indigenous holiday where they worship the sun god. Our friend Marcelo, invited us to dance with his community, San Pablo as a part of the celebration. We started at the edge of town then danced to the square. The rest of his community marched all the way here to Cotacachi from their homes, traveling 3.8 kilometers (2.4 miles).

Marcelo told us that his group would be wearing leather chaps. They wear chaps because they are from the Spanish and this is the natives’ way of reclaiming their land from Spain.

The hat I am wearing in the picture above has four corners that represent the four directions of a compass and the point at the top represents the sun. The hat is made of wood. I would also wear the hat to stop people from bumping into me

At some points in the dance, everyone marches in a circle to mimic the rotation of the earth. They stomp because they are waking up the earth for planting season.

me and Marcelo dancing

Marching with the group was kind of stinky because of the sweaty men and it was very loud. When I was in the center of the group I couldn’t see over all the people. The dancers stomp the ground and I could feel the ground shaking.

My favorite part was the conch you blow and it makes the sound of a horn.

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