Overview of the Culture of Los Tsachillas
Let’s go down to South America where we find the country Ecuador, within these areas we come across a place called Santo Domingo de los Colorados but is now known as Santo Domingo de los Tsachillas. This place we come too is named after its main habitants which are known as Los Colorados but original name is Los Tsachillas. The word Colorado means “colored” and it was given to them because of their way of coloring their bodies and hair with red dye. The red dye became a big part of them because during the time of the colonization of the European in which they were hit by many diseases given that they were brought by their new settlers, the Tsachillas in desperation asked their spirits to give them a sign for a cure or protection from these diseases and during that time a ray of sun was shining on a basket filled with achiote. They considered this ray of sun a sign and covered themselves with the achiote and since then it has been considered a powerful and important part of their culture. All throughout Ecuador are many tribes but the Tsachillas are one of the big cultures that stand out through their ways and their unique look. The Tsachillas like any other society have its own way of dressing, language, way of living, political organization, marriages, gender roles, religion and rituals but despite this the Tsachillas are struggling to preserve their own identity and culture.
As I mentioned their unique look is what allows the Tsachillas to stand out, both women and men have their way of dressing. Traditionally the Colorado Male uses a shirt called chumbillina, this is made by the women. This shirt would be 10- 15cm above the knee and had stripes of color blue and white. These stripes couldn’t be bigger than 4cm or less than 2cm. They would also have a belt of color red called “sendori,” this was a long piece of fabric cut rectangular that is used to hold the chumbillina given two raps around the waist with a knot in the front. They would also have a poncho called “nanun panu” that was used in times of cold weather or for special occasion. The mens hair would be shaved on sides leaving the middle section long to form as a helmet with the red achiote. Some would also have stripes of fabric on the neck with a lot of colors and would wear many bracelets. These bracelets were used in marriage and throughout as a symbol of their marriage and if their wife would pass away they would take them off as a sign of mourning for the love one. The Men would also paint on themselves, on their chest and face, black stripes with the Huito, one of their special trees.
The female Tsachillas wear a shirt also that contains the colors red, blue, yellow and white. This starts across the waist and the length depends on the age, for...