YASM (Yet Another Saturday Market)
Otavalo Travel Blog› entry 13 of 26 › view all entries
Today we went to the Saturday market at Otavalo with a guide from Happy Gringo. This is one of the biggest markets run by indigenous people in Ecuador. Unfortunately, most of this size simply means there are lots and lots of stalls selling the same thing. Initially, we weren't too excited by the market but after looking around a bit we did start to get into the spirit of things.
After the market, we headed over to see a waterfall and we had a bite of lunch. The waterfall was quite pretty.
Next, we went to see a family that makes musical instruments. Mostly they make different kinds of traditional flutes (like pan pipes). One of the women did a demonstration on how they cut pieces of bamboo to size for the pipes and bind them together.
Our next stop was the house of a traditional weaver. Our guide said that he is the last one in the area who knows how to weave with the traditional backstrap loom and native-plant dyes. The man and his wife were ancient but still very active and friendly. The demonstrated how they card (comb) the wool to make it softer. Next they showed how the wool is spun into thread and finally they showed how the thread is woven into cloth (a scarf in this case). After the cloth is woven, the weaver used a large plant burr to comb the cloth to make it fuzzy and soft.
After the weaver, we returned to Quito to prepare for the Galapagos Islands!