Taita Carnaval from Guaranda

Ecuadorian Festivities & Traditions

In the Ecuadorean Andean cosmovision, the mythical character of the Taita (Quichua word meaning father) Carnival represents abundance and fortune. And the way to receive him among the families of their communities is with offerings of abundant food and the traditional chicha de Jora (Fermented corn beer). According to the local indigenous people’s traditions, transmitted by their ancestors, a week before Carnival, this character emerges from the interior of the mountains to live with joy this time of fertility, reciprocity, and gratitude for the harvests.

It is believed that this character appears from the mountains, walking through the grasslands singing soft melodies, with the pingullo (Ecuadorian flute made from a deer bone) and a drum, evoking the spirits of nature.

The Taita Carnaval is a character who dresses in a zamarro (leather pants or chaps), red poncho representing the highlands. The hat denotes the European fusion, the boyero (a pole to guide the oxen), and a cane, that symbolize power. White shirt and black pants complete his attire. He leads the carnival parades and dances while tasting the legendary and traditional Pajaro Azul (Liquor made from sugar cane).

Among the characters that accompany the Taita Carnaval is the Carishina, a man who dresses like a woman who goes in front of the floats. These are decorated with flowers and straw; the Huasi Tupac, who are the characters that receive the carnavaleros (People watching the parade and visiting the village) with brotherhood and courtesy, represent the soul of the Carnival of Guaranda.

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