Top 500 places to visit before you die (P.57) Otavalo: The famous market of indigenous American


( Otavalo is a famous market town in the north of Ecuador, sitting 2500 meters above sea level and surrounded by lush green hills.

Otavalo, the capital of Otavalo Canton, has a population largely made up of the Otavalo indigenous group. It is located in the Imbabura Province of Ecuador.


The indigenous Otavalo people are famous for weaving textiles, usually made of wool, which is sold at the famous Saturday market. Although the largest market is on Saturday, there is a very wide range of wares available throughout the week in the Plaza de los Ponchos, and the many local shops. The shops sell textiles such as handmade blankets, tablecloths, and much more.


The Otavalo market consists of mushroom-shaped concrete umbrellas with benches. The market was designed and built in 1970.


During the market's peak, almost one-third of the town becomes full of stalls selling textiles, tagua nut jewelry, musical instruments, dream catchers, leather goods, fake shrunken heads, indigenous costumes, hand-painted platters and trays, purses, clothing, spices, raw foods and spools of wool. As the city has become more of a tourist attraction, many of the goods sold in the markets are mass-produced in nearby factories and sold in the market by middlemen. More artisan products can be purchased in neighboring communities or at the Museo Viviente Otavalango.


Many people come to Otavalo to visit the market, but the city and surrounding area are also home to its traditional music and musicians. Every summer the music of Otavalo, and the surrounding areas, plays a primary role in the indigenous festival for the summer solstice, called Inti Raymi. There are many musical groups currently traveling around the world promoting their music (sometimes known as Andean New Age). This style of music has had notable commercial success worldwide.

According to the Wikipedia

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