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HOME > FILMS > WEAVING THE FUTURE > SCRIPT

WEAVING THE FUTURE

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(En Español abajo)

I traveled to the Andean highlands of Northern Ecuador in search of more than llamas and mountains. I hoped to discover Indian traditions and Inca legends. The reality I found is that most native people remain among the poorest of the poor, lacking basic health care and education. But it's a different story in Otavalo. The Otavalos are weavers and traders. They travel the world selling their textiles and playing their music.

My wife says I make the same movie over and over. I'm an urban, Jewish, cosmopolitan, but I find myself obsessed with ideas about tradition, identity and self-sufficiency. I became fascinated with the storyof the Otavalos--- the most prosperous Indians in Latin America. I believe that they have a right to tell their own story, but inevitably this has

become a story told by me. I was surprised to hear that the Otavalos are called the " Jews of Ecuador." It's true. They are merchants in the rag trade. Selling their sweaters, shirts, tapestries and rugs from Columbia to Chile, in Europe, Japan and the United States.

Otavalos have always been "model Indians." By the 1950s Otavalo was christened the "Awaking Valley," chronicled by anthroplogists and captured by North American tourists and photographers.

Intrigued by the crafts, delighted by the music, curious about the customs, I joined the parade of outsiders eager to understand and explain the world of the Otavalos.

I was invited to film Inti-Raimi a festival celebrating the June solstice and the corn harvest. The men dress in costumes. The most important is the Aya Huma, a nature spirit and masked warrior. The men drink and dance all night, ritually stomping the ground, planting the seeds of life, ensuring the next harvest. I was invited to dance, and when I finally put the camera down I felt swept along---- for a moment part of the community.

To an outsider the rhythms of community life seem timeless and intriguing. But it's not that simple. Otavalos still remember that for too many years the reality of life here was poverty and prejudice.

MIGUEL ANGEL:

THE COMMUNITES HAD SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH RACISM---

IN THE MARKET, WITH POLITICAL OFFICIALS, IN THE STREETS IN THE CITY.

TO BE AN INDIAN IS TO BE BEATEN.

I WAS VERY AFRAID---

EVEN GOING OUT WITH

MY OWN FATHER

TO THE CITY.

BECAUSE IN THE CITY

THOSE WHITES AND MEZTIZOS

BEAT US. MISTEATED US.

MY FATHER COULDN'T

SAY ANYTHING.

My family was living in Quito. The capital is full of young Otavalos selling on the streets. I met Segundo Flores selling his sweaters near my apartment and he invited me to come visit him in his home near Otavalo. To pass the time I watch a traditionally dressed Otavalo woman as she watched Sylvester Stallone.

Segundo Flores lives here with his brother Jaime's family. They have electricity, but no indoor plumbing. Jaime and Rosa have 2 children. Rumin~hui, named after an Inca warrior, and Stalin named after the bolshevik revolutionary. 90 year old grandfather Rafael lives with family too. He spent his life in poverty forced to work for hacendados--- wealthy landowners who ruled their enormous estates like feudal lords.

Miguel Angel:

HE WAS A DEBT SERF.

THEY HAD TO WORK IN THE

HACIENDA MONDAY TO

SUNDAY FROM DAWN

UNTIL 8 OR 9 AT NIGHT.

IT WAS ALWAYS THIS WAY.

MOST OF THESE PEONS

HAD DEBTS, PERMANENT DEBTS.

PASSED DOWN

FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION

.

THERE WAS NO WAY

THEY COULD LEAVE.

THEY WERE TIED TO THE HACIENDA.

The end of huasipingo---debt serfdom ---came too late for grandfather Rafael. But today his children and grandchildren are no longer bound to the land. The Flores are self-employed---entrepreneurs --- weaving and

selling sweaters. Everybody works. Rumiñhui winds the yarn onto bobbins. Segundo works the loom. en do most of the weaving in Otavalo. They even weave their hair into shoulder length braids. Segundo told me he can weave enough cloth to make about 10 sweaters a day. This is production weaving.

Segundo works quickly and with few breaks.

Jaime Flores:

THE FAMILY WORKS TOGETHER.

ME, MY BROTHER,

MY BROTHER-IN-LAW,

MY WIFE AND MY SONS.

WE LIKE TO WORK.

WE ONLY EARN

A LITTLE MONEY.

THE WOOL IS EXPENSIVE.

WE CAN'T MAKE THAT MUCH.

Sweaters. There are always sweaters. But Rosa also cooks, cleans, washes, irons and keeps house for the 3 men and 2 boys in her family.

What struck me most was my own tendency to romanticize the community here. I remember the special quality of the light.. The overwhelming sound I heard was the shuttle looms going back and forth. It seemed like from

every house. And I had this fantasy of a community of people able to support themselves by crafts and artwork.

It took me awhile to see that the story here is more complicated than that.

Luis Morales is a very successful Otavalo businessman and a high priest in the local Mormon church. He owns ejidos Rumiñhui and employs 20 workers in his automated factory. They earn up to $200 a month manufacturing

60,000 sweaters a year. Luis's profits are driven by exports. His markets include Columbia, Chile, Europe and the United States.

JAIME:

WE'RE SMALL PRODUCERS.

WE CAN'T TRAVEL ABROAD.

WE SELL TO MIDDLEMEN.

THEY BUY FOR EXPORT.

NOT US. WE DON'T HAVE

THE CAPITAL.

LUIS MORALES:

SOME FAMILIES DON'T LIKE

TO WORK. OTHERS DO.

SOME ALSO TRAVEL. THEY

HAVE MORE KNOW-HOW.

OTHERS DON'T TRAVEL, SO

THEY CAN'T GET AHEAD.

IT'S A LITTLE TOUGH.

THIS IS THE ONLY REASON

THAT THERE IS A LITTLE

INEQUALITY. FOR NO

OTHER REASON.

After the Flores' sold their sweaters to the wholesalers, Segundo agreed to show me around the Saturday market. The market is remarkably quiet. A young mother works for almost an hour putting her display together. Her baby

holds a wrench, eager to help. By 10 the tourists begin to arrive. Some are just looking. Not buying hats. Trying on blouses. Towering over the Otavalos.

The impact of tourism is enormous. Tourists spend about $7 million a year in Otavalo.

Tim Crowley: "The people here realize that the tourists are their bread and butter. And they like them. And they treat them well. They're very hospitable. That is what brought me here. That's why I stayed because

it's just so charming going out into these villages and feeling like you're actually talking to these bizarre looking people. Beautiful. But they're not all that much unlike us.

WASHO CAHUASQUI:

MOST PEOPLE COME LOOKING

FOR "QUAINT CUSTOMS."

AND THAT'S TOO BAD.

"QUAINT CUSTOMS" ARE NOT

THE SAME THING AS CULTURE

MARIO CONJEO:

THE TOURIST INDUSTRY

ISN'T IN INDIGENOUS

HANDS. IT'S IN THE HANDS

OF WHITES AND MEZTIZOS.

THOSE WHO BENEFIT

MOST FROM TOURISM

IN OTAVALO ARE THE

WHITES AND MEZTISOS.

Every September at the time of the fall equinox the white-meztiso tourist industry celebrates Yamor. It's promoted as an indigenous festival. But the queen of Yamor is never a Native.

LUIS MALDONADO:

THE FESTIVAL OF YAMOR IS

AN INDIGENOUS FIESTA.

BUT THE CELEBRATION

ISN'T ABOUT YAMOR ---

THE BEER ---THE CHICHA-

--THAT'S MADE FROM CORN.

THE ^SCHICHA^S IS PART

OF THE RITUAL ---

THE FIESTA THAT'S CALLED

COYA RAIMI

The festival is held on a soccer field just down the road from the Flores family home. People from many different Indian communities have come together to celebrate the fall equinox ---the festival of Coya Raimi.

The celebration is organized by F-I-C-I The Federation of Indigenous and Country People of Imbabura. F-I-C-I represents Otavalos and neighboring communities as part of a national Indian Rights Movement. In 1990 they

joined with indigenous organizations from throughout Ecuador staging el Levantamiento--- The Indian Uprising.

" We are here for our land. For our people."

Blocking roads from the Amazon rainforest to the Andean highlands native peoples coordinated a national protest demanding land and justice. Although many Otavalos are no longer as impoverished as most, they appreciate the

importance of a united Indian Rights Movement.

MIGULE ANGEL CARLOSAMA:

SINCE THE "INDIAIN UPRISING"

IN 1990, CONSCIOUSNESS

HAS BEEN RAISED.

WE'RE NEVER AGAIN GOING

TO STAND FOR EXPLOITATION.

WE'RE NOT GOING TO RETURN

TO THE TIME OF SERFDOM---

TO THE TIME OF RACISM.

WHEN I WAS A CHILD

ON THE HACIENDA

THE TEACHERS MADE US

SPEAK TOTALLY IN SPANISH.

AND WE DIDN'T KNOW HOW.

WE HAD TO SPEAK

QUICHA SECRETLY.

THEY TAUGHT US SPANISH

BY WHIPPING US.

JAIME FLORES:

BEFORE THERE WAS

A LOT OF EXPLOITATION.

BUT NOW THERE'S NOT.

BECAUSE NOW WE RESPECT

ONE ANOTHER.

THERE'S BILINGUAL EDUCATION---

OUR LANGUANGE AND

SPANISH.

FOR THE KIDS ---I WANT THEM

TO STUDY. IF POSSIBLE

TO GO TO THE UNIVERSITY.

TO GET SOME KIND OF DEGREE.

TO DO SOME KIND OF

PROFESSIONAL WORK.

BECAUSE IN THE FUTURE

MAKING HANDICRAFTS

WILL BE VERY HARD FOR THEM.

BECAUSE THERE'S

LOTS OF HANDICRAFTS.

IT'S NOT POSSIBLE TO DO MUCH.

Like most kids his age Rumiñhui has dropped out of school. He's trying to convince his father Jaime to let him travel overseas--- to sell sweaters on the street. For large numbers of young Otavalos selling overseas is a big adventure. But it's not easy. They don't know the language. They don't know the customs. They have to learn how to get buy.

Tim: "Those people that have gone overseas and started making a lot of money for around here, come back and they're really quite changed. They really want to have a big radio, a car.

They're as much entitled to progress, I'm sure, as anyone is."

Some Otavalos change after living in the States. And some are changed by missionaries coming to Otavalo.

MARIO CONEJO:

ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTALS

OF PROTESTANTISM IS

INDIVIDUALISM.

THE INDIGENOUS TRADITION

IS MORE COMMUNITARIAN.

THIS IS ONE

NEGATIVE FEATURE

ADOPTED BY THE MORMON

OR EVANGELICAL INDIGENOUS.

BECAUSE IT'S OBVIOUS

THAT THERE'S A TREMENDOUS

INDIVIDUALISM.

THIS MAKES US MAKES US

EASY MARKS FOR THIS

PROCESS OF CONSUMERISM

WHICH YOU CAN SEE ALL

AROUND US.

Elder Scott: "The reason why I'm here is that first of all I was called by a prophet of God to preach the word of God. I was sent here by revelation to teach the people here in Ecuador and especially in Otavalo. Some members through becoming members of the church have become more successful. They have received more blessings from their father in heaven. But I've also seen others that have gone through more turmoil."

Mormon and Evangelical missionaries have made great headway among Otavalos.

JAIME FLORES:

BEFORE WE WERE CATHOLICS.

BUT WE'VE CHANGED.

WELL I HAVEN'T CHANGED.

BUT MY WIFE, MY TWO SONS

ARE IN THE FOREIGN CHURCH.

THEY BELONG THERE.

NOT ME.....NOT YET.

Catholic or not, on the Day of the Dead all Otavalo families honor their ancestors. Jaime's asked Segundo to bring flowers for their mother's grave. Jaime's sister-in-law Gladys has come with her newborn baby Diana. Diana's father Alberto is hanging with his friends, wired for his walkman. As tradition requires, Rosa-- Jaime's wife--- has brought food for both the living and the dead. While the Rizadores intone traditional prayers, white-meztizo vendors sell balloons and ice cream. Times have changed. Today Otavalos can hire meztizos to repair Indian graves.

And in town Indian school boys are getting shoeshines from meztizo kids.

LUIS TARQUINO PINTO:

I DON'T KNOW EXACTLY.

THE ECONOMIC SITUATION

OF THOSE [INDIANS] IS GOOD.

MUCH BETTER THAN THAT OF

US [WHITE-MEZTIZOS].

Tim: "Between meztisos and indigenous there's a huge amount of envy. the indigenous work harder. They're more thrifty. They save in order to be able to invest. And they're quickly taking over the economic power in the town."

MARIO CONEJO:

I UNDERSTAND THAT IT'S HARD TO ACCEPT AN INDIAN CAN LIVE BETTER THAN HE

CAN; THAT AN INDIAN CAN HAVE A NEW CAR AND HE CAN'T;

THAT AN INDIAN CAN TRAVEL AND HE CAN'T

Tim: "There's huge envy on the part of the meztizos. And the meztizos still have the political power which is also probably going to change pretty quickly.

MARIO CONEJO:

THERE ARE PARTS OF THE

INDEGENOUS COMMUNITY

WHO BELIIEVE THAT

NOW IS THE TIME

TO GET EVEN WITH

THE WHITES AND MEZTIZOS.

WE DON'T BELIEVE THAT IS THE WAY.

WE BELIEVE THAT

WE HAVE TO

SEIZE THE TIME ---

DEMOCRATIZE POWER

AND DEMOCRATIZE

THE [POLITICAL] SPACE

IN OTAVALO.

Despite inter-ethnic tensions, there is an old Otavalo tradition of seeking out white compadres ---godfathers----for Indian children.

My friend Jaime asked my wife and I to be godparents for his niece Diana. I told him if he didn't mind Jewish godparents we didn't mind buying the pig for the 3 day christening party.

A few days after the party, Jaime and Segundo came to see me in Quito. They hoped I could help get them a visa to travel to the States. Every year about 10% of Otavalos travel to foreign countries. But visas to the United States are the hardest to get.

Jaime Flores:

WE'RE NOT THINKING OF

LIVING OVER THERE.

FOR CRAFTS AND MUSIC

AND GOD WILLING

TO HAVE A LITTLE MONEY

FOR OUR HOME

AND FOR OUR KIDS.

BUT ...THIS IS OUR IDEA.

WASHO M. CAHUASQUI:

REGARDING OUR CRAFTS IN

OTAVALO AND TEXTILES---

ONLY A LITTLE IS

GOING TO LAST.

LOTS IS CHANGING.

WE NEED TO LOOK

FOR [OTHER] KINDS OF WORK.

WE HOPE TO UNDERSTAND

THAT WITH THE PROFITS

FROM CRAFTS,

THE PEOPLE OF OTAVALO,

THE COMMUNITY,

WILL CONCENTRATE MORE

ON STUDY, ON EDUCATING

THEIR CHILDREN,

TO HAVE WORK,

TO HAVE A VISION.

BECAUSE WE AREN'T GOING

TO LIVE OUR WHOLE LIVES

FROM CRAFTS.

IT'S NOT GOING TO BE

THAT WAY FOREVER.

THE WORLD HAS ENOUGH CRAFTS.

The future in Otavalo is far from certain. The U.S. embassy refused to let Jaime and Segundo visit me in the States. Jaime's brother-in-law, Alberto, has left his wife Gladys and our godchild.

MARIO CONEJO:

THE PEOPLE OF OTAVALO

THE OTAVALO INDIANS

HAVE DEMONSTRATED

IN THESE 500 YEARS

A VERY IMPORTANT ABILITY

TO ADAPT

TO NEW REALITIES.

THERE ISN'T ANY OTAVALO

HERE

---A YOUNG PERSON,

NO MATTER HOW

DYSFUNCTIONAL

HE APPEARS,

NO MATTER HOW MUCH

HE APPEARS TO HAVE

LOST HIS TRADITIONS---

THERE ISN'T ONE OF THEM

WHO DOESN'T FEEL PROUD

TO BE AN OTAVALO INDIAN---

A QUICHA OTAVALO

I think in a matter of decades people are going to stop speaking their traditional language; know as much about Inti-Raimi as I do about the ritual meaning of Jewish holidays, and in many ways be cut-off from customs and insights that their grandparents and great-grandparents had.

JAIME FLORES:

THE SYMBOL OF THE

AYA HUMA...

HOW CAN I TELL YOU?

I DON'T KNOW.

LOTS OF US HAVE CHANGED.

AND HAVE LOST

THE CULTURE, THE TRADITIONS.

LUIS MALDONADO:

THE INDIAN PEOPLE

HAVEN'T DISAPPEARED.

WE ARE ALIVE.

WE'EW OUT IN FORCE.

WE ARE BOUND TOGETHER

BY COMMITMENTS, BY THE

PROJECT OF CREATING

A SOCIETY WTHOUT OPPRESION.

WITHOUT RACIAL DISCRIMINATION.

WITHOUT INJUSTICE.

WE WANT TO LIVE IN PEACE.

MIGUEL ANGEL:

WE'RE CHANGING.

WE'RE PROUD TO BE

CHANGING.

TODAY INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

HAVE A VOICE.

BEFORE NO.

AND WE GIVE OUR SUPPORT TO OTHERS.

WE'RE CHANGING.

It seems to me that the Otavalos are weaving their future. Taking threads from the past. Creating new patterns. They keep what they want of tradition. Changing in their own way, to their own rhythm. Skills I'm still trying to master.



SPANISH Narration Script for

WEAVING THE FUTURE

7/17/97



1.

Viaje a los Andes del Ecuador en busca de algo mas que llamas y montanas. Esperaba descubrir tradiciones

ndigenas y leyendas Incas.



2

Encontre que la mayoria de los indigenas aun son los pobres de los pobres; les falta lo mas basico de

salud y educacion.



3

Pero el cuento de Otavalo es distinto. Los Otavalos son tejedores y comerciantes. Viajan el mundo vendiendo

sus telas y tocando su musica.



4

Mi esposa dice que siempre hago la misma pelicula. Soy un hombre urbano, judio, cosmopolita, pero tengo una

obsesion con los conceptos de tradicion, identidad y confianza en uno mismo.



5

Me encontre fascinado por los Otavalos --los indigenas mas prosperos de la America latina. Yo creo que

ellos tienen el derecho de contar su propia historia, pero, inevitablemente, me ha tocado a mi contarla.



6

Me sorprendio oir que a los Otavalos les dicen "los judios de El Ecuador". Es verdad. Son vendedores

en el mundo de las telas... vendiendo sus chompas, X tejidos y tapices desde Colombia hasta Chile,

... del Japon a los Estados Unidos .



7

Los Otavalos siempre han sido indigenas "modelos". Ya en los anos cincuenta (50), Otavalo llevaba el nombre

"El Valle del Amanecer"... estudiado por los antropologos y captado por turistas y fotografos norteamericanos.



8.

Intrigado por sus artesanias, encantado por su musica, curioso por sus costumbres, me hice parte del desfile

de extranjeros con el anhelo de comprender y poder explicar el mundo de los Otavalos.



9.

Fui invitado a filmar el festival de Inti-Raimi cuando se celebra el solsticio y la cosecha de maiz.

Los hombres se disfrazan. El mas importante es el Aya Huma, un espiritu de la naturaleza y guerrero enmascarado.



10.

Los hombres beben y bailan la noche entera... pisoteando la tierra... al sembrar las semillas de vida...

que asegura la proxima cosecha.



11.

Me invitaron a bailar, y cuando al fin solte la camara, me senti arrebatado, y, por un momento, parte de la comunidad.



12.

Para un extranjero, los ritmos de la vida comunitaria parecen algo intrigante que el tiempo no puede medir,

pero no es tan simple. Los Otavalos aun recuerdan que por muchos anos la vida aqui era pobreza y racismo.



13.

Mi familia estaba en Quito. La capital esta llena de jovenes Otavalenos, vendiendo por las calles.



14.

Conoci a Segundo Flores vendiendo sus champas cerca de mi apartamento y el me invito a que lo visitara en

su casa cerca de Otavalo.



15.

Es un viaje largo por autobus, lleno de saltos y golpes . Me pongo a mirar a una mujer otavalena vestida de

ropa tradicional mientras ella mira a Silvester Stallone.



16.

Segundo Flores vive aqui con la familia de su hermano, Jaime. Tienen electricidad pero no hay sanitario

dentro de la casa. Jaime y Rosa tienen dos (2) ninos --Ruminahui, llamado asi en homenaje a un

guerrero Inca, y Stalin, por el revolucionario bolchevique. Abuelo Rafael, con noventa (90)anos,

vive con la familia tambien. El paso su vida forzado a trabajar para los hacendados, --terratenientes

adinerados que gobernaban sus enormes estancias como si fueran reyes feudales.



17.

El fin del huasipingo --servidumbre por deuda-- llego demasiado tarde para Abuelo Rafael. Pero hoy dia

sus hijos y nietos no siguen atados a la tierra. Los Flores son cuentapropistas --tejiendo y vendiendo

sus chompas. Toda la familia trabaja. Ruminahui embobina los hilos; Segundo maneja el telar. Los hombres

son los que se ocupan de casi todo el tejer en Otavalo. Hasta tejen su pelo en trenzas que les llegan a

los hombros. Segundo me dijo que puede tejer suficiente tela para hacer unas diez (10) chompas al dia.

Esto es tejer a nivel de produccion. Segundo trabaja rapidamente y toma pocos momentos para descansar.



18.

Champas. Siempre hay champas. Pero Rosa tambien cocina, limpia, lava, plancha y se ocupa de la casa para

los tres (3) hombres y dos (2) ninos en la familia.



19.

Lo que mas me sorprendio fue mi propia tendencia de ver la comunidad aqui a traves de un lente romantico.

Me acuerdo de la calidad especial de la luz. Y el ruido abrumante que oia eran los vuelos repetidos del telar.

Parecia venir de todas las casas. Y yo tenia mi fantasia de una comunidad que podia mantenerse a si misma

economicamente a traves de sus artesanias.



20.

Me tomo un rato darme cuenta que la historia de este lugar era mas complicada de lo que parecia.



21.

Luis Morales es un comerciante otavaleno de mucho exito, y es un alto sacerdote de la iglesia mormona.

Es dueno de Tejidos Rumin-hui con veinte (20) empleados en su fabrica automatizada. Los trabajadores ganan

hasta doscientos (200) dolares al mes produciendo unas sesenta mil (60, 000) chompas al ano. Las ganancias

de Luis se basan en la cantidad que puede exportar. Sus mercados incluyen Colombia, Chile, Europa y

los Estados Unidos.



22.

Despues de vender sus chompas a los mayoristas,Segundo quizo mostrarme el mercado de los sabados.

El mercado esta muy tranquilo. Una joven madre se pasa casi una hora en poner sus bienes a la vista.

Su bebe tiene una llave en la mano, como si fuera a ayudarla. Para las diez (10) empiezan a llegar

los turistas. Algunos solo miran. No compran sombreros. Se prueban blusas. Al lado de los Otavalos

parecen gigantes.



23

El impacto del turismo es enorme. Los turistas gastan unos siete (7) millones de dolares al ano en Otavalo.



24.

Tim: "La gente de aqui se da cuenta que los turistas son su pan de cada dia. Y les caen bien.

Y tratan bien a los turistas. Son muy hospitalarios. Eso fue lo que me trajo a mi aqui. Por eso fue

que me quede, porque es tan encantador visitar todas estas comunidades y sentir que uno esta hablando

con esta gente que parece tan extrana. Son bellos. Pero tienen mucho en comun con nosotros."



25.

Cada Septiembre para el equinoccio de otono la industria de turismo de los blancos-mestizos celebra

Yamor. Esta fiesta la promueven como un festival indigena. Pero la reina de Yamor jamas ha sido

una joven indigena.



26.

El festival se celebra en un campo de futbol a corta distancia de la casa de los Flores.

Se han reunido miembros de muchas comunidades indigenas distintas para celebrar el equinoccio de otono

--el festival de Coya Raimi.



27.

La celebracion la organiza la FICI, la Federacion Indigena y Campesina de Imbabura. La FICI representa

a los Otavalos y a comunidades vecinas como parte de un movimiento nacional de derechos de los indigenas.

En 1990, en conjunto con otras organizaciones indigenas por todo Ecuador, realizaron "El Levantamiento"

--una sublevacion de los indigenas.



27A.

We are here for our land. For our people.



28.

Los pueblos indigenas bloquearon carreteras desde las selvas amazonicas hasta las montanas andinas

... coordinaron una protesta nacional exigiendo tierra y justicia. Aunque muchos Otavalos no siguen

sufriendo la misma pobreza que la mayoria, se dan cuenta de la importancia de un movimiento unido

para obtener los derechos de los indigenas.



29.

Igual que la mayoria de los jovenes de su edad, Ruminahui deja de ir a la escuela.

Trata de convencer a su padre, Jaime, que lo deje viajar al extranjero a vender chompas.

Para muchos jovenes otavalenos, ir a vender al e extranjero es una gran aventura.

Pero no es facil. No conocen el idioma o las costumbres. Tienen que aprender a sobrevivir.



30.

Tim: "Aquellos que han viajado al extranjero y han empezado a hacer mucho dinero comparado

con estas partes...pues, regresan y en realidad, han cambiado mucho. Sin duda, quieren tener un

tremendo radio, un automobil. Hay cienes (100s) de camionetas nuevas por aqui ahora...y ese es el

simbolo de categoria numero uno (1) ...una nueva camioneta. Y compran una nueva cada ano. La entregan

y la cambian por una de ultimo modelo."



31.

Tim: "Ellos tienen el derecho al progreso, sin duda, igual que cualquier persona."



32.

Algunos Otavalenos cambian al vivir en los Estados Unidos. Y otros cambian por

los misionarios que vienen a Otavalo.



33.

Elder Scott: "La razon por la cual me encuentro aqui es que primero fui llamado por un profeta

de Dios para predicar la palabra de Dios. Me enviaron aqui por una revelacion para ensenar a la

gente de aqui, del Ecuador, y en particular, de Otavalo. Algunos miembros han tenido mas exito por

haberse hecho miembros de iglesia. Tambien han recibido mas bendiciones de Nuestro Padre que esta

en los cielos. Pero tambien yo he visto a otros que han pasado por mas dificultades."



33B.

Los misionarios evangelicos y mormones han logrado un fuerte impacto en Otavalo.



34.

Ya sean Catolicas o no, todas las familias de Otavalo le rinden homenaje a sus antepasados

en el dia de los Difuntos. Jaime le pide a Segundo que traiga flores para la tumba de su madre.

Gladys, la cunada de Jaime, ha venido con su bebita , Diana.. Alberto, el padre de Diana, esta

con sus amigos, enchufado a su Walkman, escuchando musica.

Rosa, la esposa de Jaime, cumple con la tradicion, y trae comida para los que viven y para

los difuntos. Los Rizadores cantan sus ruegos tradicionales y los vendedores mestizos

venden globos y helado. El mundo ha cambiado. Hoy dia los Otavalos pueden contratar a los

mestizos para que arreglen las tumbas indigenas.



35.

Y en el pueblo, los jovenes mestizos le pulen los zapatos a los estudiantes indigenas.



36

Tim: "Hay tremenda envidia entre los mestizos y los indigenas. Y yo creo verdaderamente que

esto se va a convertir en un gran problem ya que los indigenas, usted sabe, esto es generalizar

e la forma mas terrible, --ellos trabajan mas duro. Son mas cuidadosos con el dinero.

Ellos ahorran para poder invertir. Y rapidamente se estan apoderando del poder economico del pueblo."



37.

Tim: "Existe tremenda envidia por parte de los mestizos. Y los mestizos todavia tienen el poder politico

[--algo] que probablemente tambien va a cambiar muy rapido."



38.

A pesar de las tensiones entre los grupos etnicos, hay una antigua tradicion Otavalena de buscar

compadres blancos para sus ninos .



39.

Jaime me pidio a mi y a mi esposa ser padrinos de su sobrina, Diana. Yo le dije que si no le

importaba tener compadres judios, a nosotros no nos molestaba comprar el puerco para la fiesta de

bautismo que dura tres (3) dias.



40.

Unos dias despues de la fiesta, Jaime y Segundo vinieron aQuito con esperanza de que yo les

ayudaria con visas para ir a los Estados Unidos. Cada ano un diez por ciento (10%) de los Otavalos

viaja al extranjero. Pero la visa para los Estados Unidos es la mas dificil conseguir.



41.

El futuro de Otavalo es incertidumbre. La embajada americana no permitio que Jaime y Segundo me

visitaran en mi pais y Alberto, el cunado de Jaime, por ahora se encuentra en Chile vendiendo telas,

y ha dejado a su esposa, Gladys, y a nuestra ahijada, solas...



42.

Yo creo que la gente va a dejar de usar su idioma tradicional. Las generaciones por venir van a

saber tan poco sobre Inti-Raymi como se yo sobre el significado ritual de los dias de fiesta judios.

Se van a encontrar desheredados de sus abuelos y tatarabuelos.



43.

Me parece que los Otavalos estan tejiendo su futuro... Usando hilos del pasado... Creando nuevos modelos

... Se quedan con las tradiciones que desean. Se adaptan a su manera, a su propio ritmo.

Son talentos que yo todavia estoy tratando de dominar.

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   Copyright © 2005 Mark Freeman. All Rights Reserved.