Ancestral culture and traditions in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Ancestral culture and traditions in the Ecuadorian Amazon
Get to know the mystical culture of the amazon rainforest indigenous tribes and discover amazing ancestral traditions that persist to this day.

The amazon rainforest indigenous tribes are a perfect example of how ancestral cultures and traditions can stand the test of time and modernization. The Ecuadorian Amazon, a territory full of vegetation, rivers, green landscapes, and unique animals, has created a fertile field for the most diverse cultures and traditions to flourish and be handed down from generation to generation. Expedition Ecuador brings you some important facts about these timeless and deeply embracing traditions.

This territory is home to 10 nationalities and indigenous communities that, being within the same region, have cultivated different ancestral customs. Many of these amazon rainforest people preserve traditional practices like fishing, hunting, dancing, fruit gathering, and natural medicine. To understand the importance of these customs, we can focus on the Kichwa indigenous community, the biggest ethnic group in the Ecuadorian Amazon.  

The members of this community tend to be farmers, but they also maintain traditional practices like hunting. They have been recognized as experts in the use of medicinal plants and in the sowing and harvesting of yucca, coffee, cocoa, and bananas. There are also deep jungle inhabitants who wear traditional clothes made with local materials. Women, for example, wear a skirt made from tree bark and men wear pants made from deer leather. Check out other fun facts about the Ecuadorian Amazon here.

Foreign travelers watching a traditional indigenous dance

Amazonian shamans are elder healers and leaders of indigenous communities who seek spiritual healing through mystical practices, medicinal plants, and amazon tribe rituals. This indigenous ancestral wisdom has been passed down from generation to generation. The elderly shaman chooses one of his sons as his successor and teaches him all the shamanic practices and rites.

The main task of the shaman is to give well-being to anyone who needs it, to give them relief, and to make them find an energetic balance between them and nature. Some rituals include singing, listening to music made with indigenous musical instruments, and consuming natural medicinal plants.

Tourism reinforces culture

The amazon tribes’ culture has been preserved to this day, but it has also been affected by the expansion of the oil industry, modernization, and globalization. Tourism has reinforced these ancestral traditions by providing a means by which community members can show their practices to foreign travelers. Indigenous Ecuadorian groups that were once nomadic are now divulgators of culture. There are several tours and lodges where it is possible to connect with an Amazonian family that welcomes you into their home and shows you several of their customs. Check out the La Selva Lodge 5-day program here.

You can see how women create eating utensils, use a blowpipe to see how this hunting tool works, buy traditional handmade handicrafts, try typical food prepared by the matriarchs of the families, and much more.

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