Ecuadorian Artifacts


Ecuadorian Artifacts


Artifact Interview


This is an interview with Vanessa Pozo-Luna, Mayra Luna, Kristopher Luna, and Romeo Amari describing their Ecuadorian culture and artifacts.


Daniel MacNeil and Gianmarco Venditti


April 30, 2023


Oral/Artifact History


0:06 | Interviewer- Well, thank you everyone for coming today. Today is April 30, 2023, and we are conducting interviews for the CCSU History Harvest. My name is Dan MacNeil, and we’ll just go down the line. Can you tell me your name?

0:25 | Vanessa- My name is Vanessa Pozo-Luna.

0:29 | Notetaker- Can you spell that for me?

0:29 | Vanessa- V-A-N-E-S-S-A Pozo P-O-Z-O and then there’s a hyphen. Luna is L-U-N-A.

0:39 | Interviewer- Okay, and can you tell me your date of birth?

0:42 | Vanessa- August 17, 2001.

0:46 | Interviewer- Okay, and uh--

0:50 | Kristopher- Oh, Kristopher Pozo-Luna.

0:52 | Mayra- Kristopher with a K.

0:53 | Kristopher- Yeah, K.

0:55 | Interviewer- Okay, okay. Alright. And uh, what was your date of birth?

1:06 | Kristopher- Oh, March 23, 2006.

1:11 | Interviewer- Okay!

1:12 | Mayra- My name is Mayra M-A-Y-R-A. Luna L-U-N-A.

1:20 | Interviewer- Okay.

1:22 | Mayra- de Pozo D-E P-O-Z-O.

1:25 | Interviewer- Okay.

1:27 | Mayra- ‘Cuz I’m the ma.

1:27 | Interviewer- Okay. (laughter)

1:33 | Mayra- October 8, 1975.

1:35 | Interviewer- Okay.

1:39 | Romeo- Romeo Amari. A-M-A-R-I. And my birthday’s September 29, 2001.

1:53 | Interviewer- Alright, thank you all very much. So, um--

1:56 | Mayra- A pleasure to be here.

1:58 | Interviewer- So, is everyone originally from Connecticut?

2:07 | Mayra- Uh, two? (laughter)

2:08 | Interviewer- So, two of you. So, where did you live before Connecticut?

2:13 | Vanessa-- We migrated from Ecuador.

2:16 | Interviewer- Ecuador! Okay.

2:17 | Vanessa- And South America.

2:23 | Interviewer- Okay. Great. And uh, yeah! At what time did you uh, migrate or what year?

2:31 | Mayra- Um, 2004. Or, two thousand--

2:35 | Kristopher- 2003, actually.

2:37 | Mayra- November 2003.

2:45 | Interviewer- Alright, thank you very much. Um, so, these are the uh-- for these interviews, we’re gonna be discussing some of the artifacts you’ve brought in. So, uh, is there one you would like to start with? In particular?

3:07 | Vanessa- We can start with me.

3:08 | Interviewer- Yeah, sure.

3:08 | Vanessa- So these are shoes that I got in Ecuador.

3:12 | Interviewer- Okay.

3:12 | Vanessa- They’re handmade, right? And they’re from indigenous people, and they’re what they wear on their feet. As you can see, they are very close in detail with um, flowers, and at the end it’s not-- kinda like a sandal where you tie it? So, you have a string here, and you tie it to your ankle, and yeah.

3:36 | Interviewer- Wow! Yeah, and those are-- yeah, that’s a beautiful design on there. So, um, so, does-- Let me ask about the design on those. Does the flower design have any uh, cultural meaning?

3:56 | Mayra- Yes, it does. The colors for them means different things. Like, you see the yellow with the, you know, money-- how do you say that?

4:05 | Vanessa- Dinero?

4:07 | Mayra- Yeah, pero richness?

4:09 | Vanessa- Oh, like richness, like touching--

4:10 | Interviewer- Oh?

4:12 | Vanessa- Kinda think like, goldness. It’s like touching wealth, right?

4:17 | Mayra- Mm-hm. Like, how wealthy you are. And then the blue would be kind of, health. How healthy they are and stuff.

4:22 | Interviewer- Oh, okay.

4:23 | Mayra- And then also, um, they do it a lot for visitors. Like, um, this one we got for visitors and it was different for little girls. You wear it for like, other people would be a different sign.

4:37 | Interviewer- Mm-hm. Oh, okay.

4:40 | Vanessa- So the design is flowering bright for little girls.

4:44 | Interviewer- Oh, okay. Okay, wow. So, these-- these shoes, did-- when did you-- did you actually-- you got those in Ecuador?

4:56 | Vanessa- Mm-hm!

4:57 | Interviewer- Okay, wow. So uh, so you said that it’s uh, some of the symbolism, uh, you said it’s tied to the indigenous culture there. Can-- can you elaborate a bit on any connection you hold with the indigenous culture?
5:16 | Vanessa- So, within um, Ecuador, there’s obviously-- a lot of indigenous people have their own community still. But, um, for people within the city, or people who are more mixed, or more like, mestizo, so some of us are indigenous and white, some of us are indigenous and black, some of us are all three. So it’s in different regions. So for us, our connection would be that, because we are mestizo, we also uphold and we are very mindful of our indigenous connections and our roots.

5:49 | Interviewer- Okay.

5:51 | Vanessa- So a lot of the things you are going to see today connect to our indigenous people and it’s always gonna go back to that.

5:58 | Interviewer- Wow. So that’s uh, so that’s not just a, so-- like, it’s a connection to culture, but would you say it’s a connection to a feeling of being at home, I would say?

6:16 | Vanessa- Mm-hm.

6:18 | Interviewer- Wow. Okay. And are there any personal stories that you have associated with that particular item?

6:30 | Vanessa- Um, personal stories? I would say uh, not that I can think of right now--

6:42 | Mayra- So, I can um, talk a little bit about it. We got those when-- we are from Quito, the capital of Ecuador. So when we went to this place called Cayimbe, C-A-Y-I-M-B-E. Maybe a (unintelligible) in e.

7:01 | Interviewer- Mm-hm.

7:01 | Mayra- So when we went up there to visit this place and is when she got those shoes. What happened is that there is a huge community of--

7:12 | Vanessa- Indigenous?

7:12 | Mayra- So, and they were doing this uh, kinda, how do you say?

7:20 | Vanessa- Like a festival.

7:22 | Interviewer- Yeah.

7:24 | Mayra- And then they use those kind of shoes and (unintelligible) and all of the dresses for them, and that is where they can put it out for, you know, sale too. And that’s when we’ll get it-- those for her.

7:38 | Interviewer- Okay. Wow, so uh yeah. And um, let me ask one more thing about this item. So, so these items, they’re uh… so… and again I’m sorry if I missed anything, but the shoes, they’re-- are these simply just to wear, or do they have another..?

8:10 | Mayra- They wear those like they’re daily.

8:12 | Interviewer- So just like, daily? Okay. Wow. Well, they’re beautiful! They’re better than my footwear. (laughter)

8:17 | Mayra- And they wear them since they’re little, and when they grow up, when they reach their major age, they decide if they want to keep their culture with them, or they can dress normal.

8:30 | Interviewer- Oh, okay.

8:31 | Mayra- Some of them, they switch it and then they only use it when they work with their communities. If they leave and they go to other places to work, they can use regular clothes.

8:45 | Interviewer- So, clothes like this-- it’s also a way to hand down culture, physically?

8:50 | Vanessa- Mm-hm. It connects them back to their roots, and then for people who’s affected by colonization, and stuff like that, like us, we’re able to go to these festivals and still have a connection. For me, like, I don’t really wear them, but I look at them, and I-- For me, it reminds me of like, other roots that I have within, if that makes sense.

9:13 | Mayra- Yeah, one more thing is like, this is for a female. They do it for male, too, for boys. And then for adult males, too.

9:20 | Interviewer- Ah, okay.

9:21 | Mayra-- So they have different things.

9:25 | Interviewer- Yeah, wow. It’s wonderful. Okay.

9:28 | Mayra- And while they change in the color of the fabric they use, but the way they are shaped would be the same way for both.

9:39 | Interviewer- Ah, okay. Are they always made out of-- are they typically made out of the same material, or has that changed over time?

9:45 | Mayra- Yeah, I think so. They got changed. Now it looks a little like, more comfy for your feet. But before, I think it was harder for them to use. Make them some type of way.

10:00 | Interviewer- That's great. Is there anything else you’d like to share about that item?

10:04 | Vanessa- I think we covered it all.

10:07 | Interviewer- Wow, well thank you for bringing it in. I think we’re ready to move on to the next one. (paper shuffling, inaudible speaking) Alright, so who wants to go next? So what have you brought today?

10:21 | Kristopher- I brought this hat. I had this like, um, three and a half years ago, the last time I visited Ecuador, found it in Quito, handmade, so we can dress like this, you know for festivals, and annual like parades. Look all fancy. Yeah. Found the hat, and I’m like wow, this looks amazing, great to take from Ecuador as a representation of my people.

10:43 | Interviewer- Yeah, and Quito’s, you said that’s the capital?

10:46 | Kristopher and Mayra- Yeah. Yes, Quito.

10:49 | Interviewer- Okay. (inaudible murmurs)

10:51 | Mayra- So this hat, um, used people from the community, too. In the way how he’s dressing now is for a male. And then when a girl, or female, use this, they put in here a little feather, which would mean like she’s single. And she use it the same way like now, it would be like that she’s already married so she doesn’t need to put, you know to use the, um, the feather over there. And you know sometimes, they have beautiful huge ones, and sometimes they have little ones. All depends on your age, so if you are a teenager, you are going to have a little one, and if you are in your probably twenties, you are going to have a huge one. [Laughter] And then, um, before they used to do this by hand, too, and now they use kinda, you know, more like not factories but they have more tools to help them. And they usually this is the color they use, but they have different colors, too, like black, dark gray, and they use like in our culture all the time.

12:11 | Interviewer- Okay so does this, does that tradition go back awhile, with the hats, with you using the feathers?

12:19 | Mayra- No, they, its current. They use it until now. The indigenous community, they use it. It’s a way how they know who is who.

12:30 | Vanessa- (Speaking in Spanish to Mayra) Yeah, this is a tradition that went way back, so this isn’t new. They didn’t just, this is a tradition that has been carried on from years to years.

12:49 | Interviewer- Wow, wow. And you said you picked up the hat and there was, when you were in Quito…

13:00 | Mayra- Yeah but, uh, the communities who more use these ones are called, um, I forgot the name, they are from a place who call Pujili, which will be P-U-J-I-L-I, Pujili, so when you go over there, almost everybody does this. In the different indigenous communities, so so when you see different shapes of hats, you can guess, you know, where they belong to cause you can have like in the north, in the center, or in the south of Ecuador, and then you see the hat as like a oh okay and you know that hats and where they’re coming from because of the hat, you know where they are coming from. It’s one way that we can identify them, too, from my point of view but for them, I don’t know. I don’t know exactly, they switch it, you know the hats, but the most of them, I can tell.

14:09 | Interviewer- Wow, so, when you did buy the hat, you said in the beginning of this interview this is something that you feel ties you back to your home.

14:22 | Kristopher- Whenever I see them, I’m like, Wow, this is it, this is a lot like um, home country of Ecuador, so I decided to take it, and then I wore it, and I’m like wow this looks amazing on me.

14:31 | Interviewer- Yeah, well I love the enthusiasm. That’s a nice hat.

14:35 | Kristopher- I even wear these on banquets sometimes.

14:39 | Interviewer- There we go! [Laughter] And, um, alright, so are there any other personal stories you would like to share that are associated with the hat?

14:57 | Kristopher- Like, whenever, like I always also wear this on Cultural Day, too, as well, I like to in my school. It was a few months ago, when Culture Day I was like, hmm, I’m gonna wear this to look all nice and fancy and show I’m from Ecuador, ya know, I’m from there. And a lot of people can recognize it cause there’s like a huge Ecuadorian community where I am of course. A lot in my school, a lot of Ecuadorians, they were all praising me and liking me and all that. Yeah, and I just feel all happy and glad, like I’m just showing off my traditions.

15:30 | Interviewer- Nice, so it’s a sense of pride, too.

15:33 | Kristopher- Yeah, pretty much.

15:34 | Interviewer- Definitely. Alright, right on. And just to backtrack once, just once more, back to when you bought the hat. When you were in Ecuador at the time, were you just visiting?

15:50 | Mayra- Yeah

15:51 | Interviewer- Okay. Alright, is there anything else about the hat that you’d like to share with us?

16:01 | Kristopher- No, nothing more.

16:03 | Interviewer- Alright, cool. (conversation between interviewers).

16:28 | Interviewer- So now we will move on to the next item.

16:33 | Mayra- So we have this, I don’t know how you can call it. But I hang this in my wall. So, first this is made by hand so you can see like it is like a tool, a manual tool that you have to move it and make it, so, and this make the same indigenous people, too. And then they sell this to the visitors when you go to this place where there is they have an open mall, where it is in Quito, so they have like this huge, um…

17:12 | Vanessa- It looks exactly like that.

17:12 | Mayra- Yeah, and inside you can go inside here and there is a museum inside here. So you use the elevator and everything here, but why the beauty of this, why I like it is like they make like you know with manual tools and then the colors. These are the colors of the flag so in Ecuador, all the communities it doesn’t matter where they are in the country, they identify by these colors of the flag.

17:40 | Vanessa- And that’s in the half of the world in (tando mundo?) in Ecuador we’re right between the equator so you put one foot one part, one foot another way and you’re literally, like, in a different…north and south and you’re in the middle of the world. So that’s also why we bought, well why I wanted to bring this because I wanted to talk about that. How this was in the north end, but there is a south one (Mayra said: “that says south”) Yeah, because it’s literally the equator’s right there and then we’re really in the half of the world.

18:11 | Mayra- It’s nice while all the visitors are over there, and the pictures “North and South” [Laughter]

18:18 | Interviewer- Okay, wow. Alright and again, when did you get the item?

18:24 | Mayra- Was he, he was probably three years, four years and a half, so a long time ago. Probably twelve years ago.

18:33 | Interviewer- Wow, okay, so yeah. So that looks like another connection to home, but it looks like its in almost a more literal sense since you were speaking about the whole thing with the equator and the colors of the flag. Could you tell me a bit more how it really connects you back to Ecuador?

18:59 | Mayra- Because what happened when we came, you know, you only come with like the two suitcases for each person, it’s not like you are going to bring all your belongings here and then I realized it when we moving everything here that you don’t have nothing from there. So you don’t realize it how rich is the culture over there until you left. For me, since I was little, I was always, you know, my parents educate me to respect them because, um, that was the land for them and then the Spain people came, made slaves of them, do cruel things to them, and whatever they survive, we have to respect them. They have their own language, they have their own culture. Even, um, they all could sing, they have different kind of roots, so, and then you see these every day over there. You always see there, you know somebody walking there, with their own clothes, and even the food that they selling, so for me it was normal, but when I came here, that felt empty. So, I didn’t like it - you don’t really like something, you know, when you’re away from them. So then when I went over there to visit because I wanted to show this place, and when I saw I said “Well, that would be nice to have it there” because it’s something that I can connect to and I can remember where we’re coming from and what the people - who - all of the people together is Ecuador, it’s not only “this kind of people” or “this kind of people,” it’s all of us together.

20:34 | Interviewer - Yeah, so you’re really able to hold onto your identity with items like this, and no matter where you are in the world, you’re Ecuadorian.

20:49 | Mayra - Yeah, and the bad thing about our government is like, they don’t educate us with the Quechua, and they try to don’t to lose it, you know, and like we realize like “we have it,” but at least - because they can talk between each other and we don’t know what they’re saying, like we’re just waiting over there to see what they can tell us. Looking at it like you have this or this, and they talk between them and you are like, “What are they saying?” but they are bilingual; They know Quechua, they know Spanish, and they know English, and French and all these languages.

21:26 | Vanessa - Quechua is the native tongue within Ecuador. That’s why a lot of, like when we - at least me, when I first - going really into school and stuff, I was talking to other people who were Latino. I started to notice that a lot of words in Quechua that we say, they don’t say. And it didn’t click with me until I was talking to her and I found out that our language is Spanish dialect, but it’s also mixed with Native dialect.

21:55 | Mayra - Castellano. Yeah, that’s a good point; I didn’t realize that my Spanish was mixed with Quechua. When I came here and started speaking to Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, they were like “What’s that mean?” The thing is, like when Vanessa said, it clicks - it is a Quechua word that you never knew, or hadn’t known, in your vocabulary.

22:32 | Interviewer - We’re learning a lot of stuff about what these objects mean to you and it’s all amazing, and let me just ask one more about this one - do you have any personal stories you’d like to share that are connected with that item, or anything else you’d like to add?

22:55 | Mayra - When some Ecuadorians come to my house, they’re like “Oh I love that one, I will have it too next time!” I say “Yep!” I ran it from there - because I bought it over there and I ran it all the way over here.

23:10 | Vanessa - I also think like, for me - (Vanessa turns to Mayra) Is it shut down now? La Mitad Del Mundo? Is it shut down?

23:19 | Mayra - No.

23:21 | Vanessa - Well one of my first memories, after coming to here and then going back to Ecuador, was that, and I think it has such importance because Ecuador is a very small country and sometimes I feel like because it’s so small that people tend to forget about it. But Mitad Del Mundo, I think it’s such an important place because it allows - like for example in the Galapagos it’s different because a lot of people in Ecuador can’t go there because it’s a lot of money, or they don’t have the money to go there because it’s a lot of money, but for this, this is like anyone can go there, sometimes for twenty dollars or even less. And I think that, for a person starting with that, for me is, that was one of the first times I was able to go with my mom and my dad’s family and see such beauty in Ecuador. And you know, when you’re an immigrant kid sometimes it’s hard for you to fit in, so I think going there allowed me to root - ground myself in where I truly come from, and it allows me to come here and understand the difference, and stuff like that. So for me, I really wanted to talk about how beautiful it is and how much it connects to even like the - like she said - the different colors of the flag that connect to our indigenous roots; And I think that’s important because it allows anyone from Ecuador to go there and to visit, unlike places like Galapagos, where it’s harder for people of Ecuador to even touch, so it’s a place where anyone can go. It’s a tourist place, but it’s something that we have.

25:06 | Interviewer - Thank you for bringing it in, it’s a beautiful item, and again, there’s so much symbolism that’s behind it, it’s amazing. Really, honestly, thank you for bringing it in.

25:35 | Interviewer - My name’s Gianmarco Vinditti, and I will be interviewing for the other artifacts that you guys have - other artifacts you’d like to share with us. I know your name is Romeo, correct?

25:50 | Romeo - Yes.

25:51 | Interviewer - Hi, Romeo. So why don’t you start telling me what this item is that you have in front of me, over here?

26:01 | Romeo - Hopefully I can remember.

26:03 | Interviewer - That’s alright.

26:04 | Romeo - I’m a family friend, so I really don’t speak on their behalf but I know this is from the Shuar people?

26:11 | Mayra - Shuar. It’s spelled S-H-U-A-R.

26:15 | Note Taker - S-H-A-U-R?

26:17 | Mayra - S-H-U-A-R.

26:20 | Interviewer - Thank you.
26:21 | Mayra - Shuar. That is the community of them.

26:25 | Romeo - I think she said they’re located in the Amazon, of Ecuador. And they use this to, I think she said for fishing, collecting fruit, and I think there’s different sizes for little kids and then the adults use it, and material - I think they make it out of recycled material now.

26:49 | Mayra - Before they were, um, using the real, you know - from the trees - they would dry it and go through this process, but now they are trying to use recycled things to sell it. They are still using, you know, the natural for that, for visitors. Over there it is very hot, humid, so you can see the little kids sometimes put on skinny clothes and huge of these ones coming in here, allow fruit for them, and then sometimes when they go to school this is the way they can put away stuff for school.

27:29 | Interviewer - Oh, like their school bag.

27: 30 | Mayra - Yeah, they use it for a lot of things. And you can feel it like, it is very light so that helps to put stuff inside of it.

27:37 | Interviewer - Perfect. Yeah, wow. I mean helping the environment and selling to tourists - recyclables, right? I mean there’s so many different aspects of how to keep it, so that it is useful in more than one way. That’s great. Could you tell me who brought this? Like who in your family brought this? So that was you? Alright, and where was that - how did you acquire these items?

28:04 | Mayra - So we went to visit Ecuador, and then we went to the Amazon, because the last time I went to there - you know, to the Amazon provinces - looks very different then how it’s now. Now it’s huge cities. Then I was missing stuff like that because I remember when I was little, I used to go to those places and then I used to have a lot of stuff from there, like they’ll tell, a coat, a necklace with the beads here, stuff like that. You can have like the, you know, how you call the crown?

28:41 | Vanessa - Crown?

28:42 | Mayra - Yeah, the crown in here. They make it and they plant here feathers and stuff like that, so very fancy stuff. But I don’t have anymore so I want to give something to them so that’s why I get these ones. And, um, I also, I have when I was little - two - I used to play with my dolls over there. Old ones, I never found it again. I found two new ones for them when I went over there to visit places.

29:12 | Interviewer - So it was a great reminder, not just for yourself but a way to remind them of part of that culture, of what they have.

29:19 | Mayra - It’s very different, this is from what is a hot place, and all this it’s like springtime every time - over there it’s always hot.

29:30 | Interviewer - Well it’s next to the equator of course, right? So, obviously it means a lot to you because when you were a little girl you used it, especially when it came to collecting dolls, even for school maybe. Are there any other personal stories you have, regarding that bag?

29:51 | Mayra - Yeah, my father, he used to have the - these buses, you know like interstate buses?

29:59 | Interviewer - Yeah.

30:00 | Mayra - So we were going to those places and I remember this woman. She was very young and she was pregnant and she was with another little, you know, baby here. She had all her belongings and you could see all her stuff in here because it was so transparent and I told my father, can I have one of those?

30:23 | Interviewer - So it was like–

30:24 | Mayra - I wanted my personal

30:25 | Interviewer - So the first time you ever saw it, you wanted it for yourself.

30:28 | Mayra - Yeah. I saw somebody from those communities. Because what happened was they are not like the other ones where you can see them everyday. Those communities they are deep inside. Like you can not see it. So the buses that go over there was once a day or twice a week and they coming like they’re using a boat you know. [unintelligible] eight hours maybe through the river to go to these little towns. But they are deep in the woods. So–

31:01 | Interviewer - The Shuar?

31:02 | Mayra - The Shuar. So that was amazing when I saw somebody using this different stuff than we usually see. In the way how they dress and everything. It’s amazing to see how they coming in these boats with a lot of food to – they sell it so they can have stuff for them.

31:21 | Interviewer - Right. Wow. That’s amazing. And once again, what are those bags called specifically.

31:27 | Mayra - They’re called Shicra. [Unintelligible] like even I don’t know the Spanish what it would be. S-H-I-C-R-A. Shicra. That would be like [unintelligible] In Shuar I don’t know how they call it. [laughs]

31:48 | Interviewer - [laughs] Anyways it’s great to know how to pronounce it. It’s great. No, that was a great story. Is there any stories that you have about the Shicra that you’d like to share with us?

32:01 | Mayra - No.

32:02 | Interviewer - No?

32:03 | Mayra - Like I say, they use, for them it’s kind of – they’re used for a lot of stuff.

32:05 | Interviewer - It’s like an everyday use bag. Okay. Well, if there’s anything else that comes to mind about it, please feel free to share it. Thank you. Thank you so much for sharing that and for all the other artifacts you guys brought. Are there any other artifacts you’d like to share with us?

32:21 | Vanessa - Oh yeah I want to share this one.

32:24 | Interviewer - Okay. Sure.

32:25 | Vanessa - So I really wanted to bring – they come, they were in like a pair, but I really wanted to bring this one because before colonization, especially within like Latin America with indigenous people, specifically Ecuador, it was a – what is it when it’s not patriarchy but is for women? –

32:50 | ??? - Monarchy?

32:51 | Interviewer - A matriarchy.

32:52 | Vanessa - A Matriarchy.

32:53 | Interviewer - A matriarchy. Okay.

32:54 | Vanessa - So it was a matriarchy and women were the ones who were in charge and women were the ones who – protected. Even Pachamama, that’s what it is?

33:07 | Mayra - Yeah. That’s–

33:09 | Vanessa - That’s mother nature, but in our language. I wanted to bring this cause it just shows how strong women are. And it shows specifically how strong indigenous women are. She’s carrying something with the baby in the back tied up like this. And this is really how when you walk around the streets of Ecuador you see how babies are carried like that cause she needs both of her hands because she’s working hard.

33:34 | Interviewer - Right.

33:35 | Vanessa - And you can see that her hair is very long. And it shows a sense of like wisdom. It shows the longer your hair is, the more wise you are.

33:43 | Interviewer - Wow.

33:44 | Vanessa - She has this beautiful necklace and it shows like – women how the sense of like [unintelligible] and wealth.

33:55 | Interviewer - Yeah

33:56 | Vanessa - And then she has the flower bonnet. I just really wanted to show this because I wanted to show the empowerment of women. The empowerment of our indigenous women and especially throughout history after everything they went through, they’re still able to keep going.

34:16 | Interviewer - Absolutely. Oh yeah

34:17 | Vanessa - I think that’s extremely powerful.

34:18 | Interviewer - Yeah.

34:19 | Mayra - The shoes. Don’t forget that.

34:20 | Vanessa - Oh and then the shoes.

34:22 | Mayra - Those shoes

34:22 | Interviewer - Similar to the shoes, yeah. In the beginning of the interview. Yeah. Yeah. Amazing. So showing how that culture still thrives, right?

34:31 | Vanessa - Exactly.

34:32 | Interviewer - Wow. How would you, what’s the, how would you call this doll or this figure? What would you, what would be a way of titling it?

34:45 | Mayra - Um, the way how they sell it to me. First the person who sells it was probably from them. So he told me it is an indigenous with a baby. She said a mama with a baggy. A working mom with a baby.

35:07 | Interviewer - A working mom with a baby. Yeah. Okay. Nice. Great. So you already told us how it meant to you and your personal stories associated with it. Are there any other stories you’d like to share regarding the actual – that specific figure?

35:29 | Vanessa - Yeah I would like to say that her and especially in South America women we tend to suffer. There’s a lot of crime and a lot of – it’s hard.

35:41 | Interviewer - Yeah.

35:42 | Vanessa - And I wanted to bring this here because I think this is such a great life for me. And even my mom, who’s going through a lot. As a remembrance of our roots and how powerful we can be. So for me it really, every time I see it, it really reminds me – especially right now I’m in college and it’s hard sometimes. So it just reminds me of like where I come from. The roots that I came from. All the history that I’ve learned of indigenous women, especially within our country.

36:13 | Interviewer - Yeah.

36:14 | Vanessa - So yeah. It’s something very close to me.

36:17 | Interviewer - That’s great. That’s amazing. An amazing way the connection not just for your own culture, but for women around the world. To show there’s always ways to pull forward. It’s great. It’s a great way of explaining that. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. I really do appreciate it.

36:34 | Vanessa - Oh and I how motherhood is very important. How child are very important. How even with a child on her back she’s still working.

36:44 | Interviewer - Absolutely

36:45 | Vanessa - I think that’s also very important to highlight. Especially in Ecuador, children are blessings.

36:52 | Interviewer - Yeah yeah. The hardworking conditions that and the work ethic that comes with it.

36:59 | Vanessa - Exactly.

37:00 | Interviewer - No. Great. Wonderful.

37:02 | Mayra - They go like milking the cows with a baby in the back. That’s how they work. They go like the farming with a baby.

37:11 | Interviewer - So everyday work. The baby’s right–

37:13 | Mayra - Yeah.

37:14 | Interviewer - Wow. That’s amazing. Thank you for sharing that. I really do appreciate that. Were there any other artifacts you’d like to share with us today?

37:23 | Mayra - Do you want to share one?

37:24 | Kristopher - Yeah this is a whistle here. Or a flute. Don’t know where I found this specifically.

37:32 | Mayra - He was very little.

37:33 | Kristopher - I was like four years old.

37:34 | Mayra - He really loves this one.

37:35 | Interviewer - Okay.

37:36 | Mayra - You can blow a little so they can hear it and know it.

37:40 | Kristopher - All I remember is this is a symbol of Ecuador to me. It feels like – it always reminds me of South America and the beauty of it. That’s what I get. Because you see down in Ecuador, but a lot of countries have or a few have a few whistles like these and whenever I see them it always reminds me of this. It’s like a reminder of South America.

38:04 | [whistling sound]

38:06 | Kristopher - That’s how most of these whistles sound.

38:09 | Interviewer - Yeah yeah yeah.

38:10 | Kristopher - The indigenous people have their own music and stuff and it involves the flute. Its very calming and peaceful, this type of music.

38:19 | Interviewer - Absolutely.

38:20 | Vanessa - And I think it also connects to like everyday Ecuadorian music specially there’s a lot of, even like classic music you listen to when somebody has a birthday party or somebody has a quinceañera, you hear the flute in the background. You know it matches with the beat and the feet and walking around and making sure you’re clapping – it all matches. I think that’s also important to highlight. That even though it usually looks like this, it really does make music and it influenced our music.

38:53 | Interviewer - Right.

38:54 | Vanessa - It even connects to Afro-Ecuadorian culture, too, where a lot of them also use this flute to involve more into the music and it shows how intertwined, I think the music is. Especially in the Ecuadorian music it’s not just Spaniard, it’s also a lot of Afro-Latino and Indigenous-Latino influences. And that flute literally represents that.

39:20 | Interviewer - Yeah. Absolutely

39:21 | Vanessa - There’s a lot of it in our music.

39:23 | Interviewer - It’s like a mixture of music, not just from the European perspective, but from what you found right there as well in Ecuador.

39:30 | Mayra - Cause this size is little. They have huge ones, too.

39:34 | Interviewer - Oh they have various sizes?

39:35 | Mayra - Yeah it depends like is it for a boy or it depends what kind of sound they are going to do because they have a whole team. You know like here you have the rock band, it is the same over there for the music. They play a lot of music so it depends what they’re doing. They have huge ones, too.

39:53 | Interviewer - That’s amazing

39:54 | Mayra - It is not only that size. And its name is Rondador.
39:59| Interviewer- How do you spell it?
40:00| Mayra- R-O-(?) A (?) O R ..rondador.
40:10| Interviewer- Okay, beautiful…alright amazing. And is there any personal stories you have with the flute?
40:17 Kristopher- I always um love to…I remember when I was like seven or ten I would always take the flute when they found blew blah like ah I always loved it…it always reminds me of home and all that.
40:30| Interviewer- It’s amazing. Thank you for sharing that for me. Thank you it really means a lot. Um, alright and I see that we have a few more artifacts, is there any other ones that you particularly want to share
40:44 Kristopher- Yeah, the Ecuadorian flag of course.
40:45| Interviewer- Ah, of course. A beautiful flag.
40:47| Kristopher- But there is a lot of symbolism. So, the yellow you know represents like the richness and beauty of Ecuador and all that. And the blue represents the ocean that we have you know not just the Galapagos but like the beaches as well and beauty and the red represents like independence you know we fought, sacrifice a lot and like the red is like their blood and all that. I love that. Us as a people have to do to make independence and then we get to like the coat of arms. So this is the Indian Condor, fun fact our national animal.
41:18| Interviewer- Oh, yeah?
41:19| Kristopher- Yeah, this represents the Quichua cultures sun and all that. Like behold or high because most Quichua cultures that they hailed the sun god called Inti pretty much…
41:32| Interviewer- Hm, yes.
41:33| Kristopher- And this would be it. And the other symbols too, represent like unity and as one pretty much. And if you see here its like the mountains like in Ecuador like the Andes Mountains right here we have it and like the beautiful sky and we even have like a boat colored in our flag of course and the ocean and the green and everything represents the beauty. And this represents authority and like us as a republic you know.
42:01| Interviewer- And that’s the, um, the axe on the bottom?
42:05| Kristopher- Yeah, that’s the axe represents the authority.
42:08| Kristopher- Yeah, and these are like for green and grass just represents like our beauty and all that.
42:10| Vanessa- And Peace
42:14| Interviewer- Beauty and Peace?
42:15| Kristopher- Yeah, and these would be kinda like a coat of arms here as well pretty much. See all these like sharp um things sticking out…
42:25| Interviewer- Yeah, yeah absolutely.
42:29| Kristopher- And these are like our colors.
42:30| Interviewer- Okay. Yeah, it morphs in with the rest of the flag, for sure. Amazing, and um what does this item mean to you guys? And anyone can answer this question, but what does this item mean to you when you see the Ecuadorian flag with all its symbolism?
42:48| Kristopher- I see is just beautiful you know when I see the Ecuadorian flag I’m just like wow so much meaning like you can see it like so many things in this one flag that you can easily tell…to me I’m just like wow this is beautifully inspirational
43:05| Vanessa- I think it also, for me, also represents beauty but also reminds us of, um, the blood shed that was a lot of indigenous people that did die for independence but not only that it also reminds that so many symbolisms but also reminds the different areas of Ecuador within one picture. There’s a river and then there is mountains and then there’s a beautiful sun. For me it just reminds me how beautiful my country is and how strong it is. And it reminds me how resilient we can be. It also reminds me of our national anthem which is very beautiful. It is a very beautiful national anthem. Yes, it’s the third best national anthem in the world. And I think this flag like it’s such a beautiful flag there so many symbolism within just the middle and the colors its just…I love it.
44:03| Interviewer- Yeah, it shows a lot of geography, but also represents history, um and also nationality... um
44:08| Vanessa- It also like they involve a lot of indigenous…you know like the sun god…they involve the indigenous into it too in a way like its able to show the kind of mixture of things. Its very beautiful and very thought out.
44:23| Interviewer- Yeah, absolutely.
44:24| Vanessa- And I think that’s why I really like it.
44:27| Interviewer- Yeah, can you actually spell out the name you had before, for the sun god?
44:32| Vanessa-Oh, can you spell the sun god?
44:34| Kristopher- Yeah, Inti, I think it's I-N-T-I?
44:37| Interviewer- And it was part of what culture was it?
44:39| Vanessa- Quichua
44:41| Kristopher- Yeah, Quichua
44:42| Interviewer- And how do you spell that?
44:43| Kristopher- oh, C…
44:44| Mayra- Quichua is with a Q.
44:45 Kristopher- Oh..
44:47| Mayra- Q-U-I-C-H-U-A, Quichua, In Peru they say Kiwcha, but we say Quichua
44:56| Interviewer- Dialects right? [Laughter] Well that’s great.
45:01| Mayra- And then, what she say about the Inti [inaudible]. So one thing I can add in here is like eh, is the (Canos?) in here because we are respective of (canos?). many series um when under when there were (canos?) road so this is respect the (canos?) too. You see there was many here who died for our petroleum the coming all the way to, like they say, to the ocean but this um they call the magnet river wires because it’s the huge one that goes all the way to the ocean where all our petroleum goes which is coming from all the way in there…
45:45| Interviewer- Wow, Beautiful. Very detailed the flag. Uh, especially when you look deeper into the story. It’s a lot a detail into it, absolutely. Well, thank you for sharing that. Is there any other stories you would like to share with us regarding the flag?
46:01| Kristopher- Well, the funny thing about the flag is it’s kind of recent. Cause like I think around the 1900’s it was a thing thanks to the leader Eloy Faro he was a very good leader. He was pro women’s rights, he was pro equality. So he decided to stick all this in the flag because before kind of like was just red, blue, yellow, you know kind of like Columbia basically so he stuck it in like no only just to give a sign of Ecuador and all that but to distinct this as our own people. That’s what I love about this symbol and why Eloy Faro is one of the greatest figures in Ecuadorian history.
46:42| Interviewer- Wow, that’s amazing. Well, well thank you for sharing that. I appreciate that. Um, is there any other artifacts you guys would like to share?
46:50| Mayra- So, I’m going to talk a little bit about this and Kristopher is going to say the rest because he [Inaudible] [Laughter].
46:55| Interviewer- Okay, so what do we have here?
46:57| Mayra- So this is a plate with kind of a picture right? But you can see many things in here. So, what is outside, this is the culture for our different indigenous people over there like we call Valdivia which is from MonaVie and another one like they were making this kind eh, jars and for liquid like wine or stuff like that. So all this represents our culture, indigenous culture around Ecuador and then our people love the gold so that’s why they are making this. Actually, the central bank of Ecuador they have the original ones over there and their stuff is in gold. This is kind of for representation. Now this is where you know the independence of South America and that happened in Ecuador in Guayaquil so that is something like meaningful for Ecuador because from there is where all these countries got independence from Spain. And then Kristopher, you can tell all about what all those countries [inaudible]
48:57| Kristopher- Yeah, so the first one you see here is actually, Bolivia yeah right there you can easily tell because the red, yellow and green. Next is Peru, so over there, this is Venezuela if I remember correctly. And this is Ecuador because its bright. Then we have Colombia over there, Chile like I said it’s got the star. We have Argentina and then we have Uruguay and then Paraguay. And over here one of these people was actually Simon Bolivar El Libertador, he was a good man, he freed us from Spain basically. And over there is José de San Martín, he was also like Bolivar. The two of them teamed up and both like destroyed Spain and prevent them…basically freed us from Spain.
49:03| Interviewer- Wow!
49:05| Mayra- In the Andes, it’s still you can go over there and take a picture of the huge monument over there.
49:10| Interviewer- Wow, and that’s where they declared their independence from the Spanish. Wow, that’s crazy.
49:15| Vanessa- That’, what is it?
49:15| Mayra- Guayaquil
49:20| Vanessa- Guayaquil was the first place and then it spread from there. That was where the first sense of independence in South America was like…
49:26| Interviewer- Wow, that’s amazing.
49:28| Vanessa- So, its prideful! In a sense its like we were the starting of independence.
49:36| Interviewer- Yeah, it was the heart of the beginning, right?
49:36| Vanessa-Yeah [laughter]
49:37| Kristopher- The beginning of the Fire
49:38| Interviewer- That’s amazing! The beginning of the fire, I like that. And is this plate from this area…from Guayaquil?
49:49| Mayra- No, I found this in a tag sale, yeah in tag sale a long time ago when they were very little. And I was like wow I don’t know, cause textile then cost nothing, for us, for me, it really means a lot. So, I’m going to get it.
50:06| Interviewer- Well yeah, of course! It means a lot, right? It’s the beginning of the country, right? And where it started this revolution.
50:15 Mayra - And actually this one is still over there, and you can take a picture, I like this plate because they put it inside (?). The people.
50:31 Interviewer - Yes, not just representing the people of Ecuador the country but the indigenous people who came before them. Beautiful Beautiful wow
50:41 Mayra - The place where this is from is called Maelcon in Spanish, the name where this is from.
50:52 Interviewer - Beautiful I’m learning a lot from this as you may see um that's amazing um Is there any other personal stories um regarding the place that you guys have to share?
51:16 Mayra - That Guayaquil is a very powerful like if you are talking about Guayaquil where all the money and economy you can saym like you know the case of the… so its the same over there, where there is money and power.
51:27 Interviewer - Yes its the place to go, the place to be in Ecuador
51:44 Mayra - Its hot over ther though, its no like hey because what happened in Ecuador, its hot everywhere. Where in the mountains go its beautiful, its like spring break all the time. If you want it hot got to the Amazon, you want to go to the because its hot at night in Guayaquil, you can travel one day from a very cold place to a hot place.
52:10 Interviewer - Depending onthe Geogrpahy yeah
52:15 Mayra Because you dont have the four seasons over there. We have two seasons. Dry - Summer because its hot and Rainy = WInter because there is rain.
52:25 - Interviewer - Yeah LOL
52:29 Interviewer - i really appreciate you guys sharing all of these artifacts they are all truly beautiful and thank you for taking the time with us. If there is anything else that comes to mind regarding these artifacts please feel free to come back and let us know we will be more than happy to get more detail
52:30 Vanessa - She wants to say something else
52:40 Interviewer - Oh oh okay.
52:45 - Mayra - The male statue is representing the harvest season. Inti, Paut cover is sheep fur. The longer the hair the more knowledge they have.The hair represents their culture so even if they go to the city and wear modern clothes, they never cut their hair. Spiritual ritual bringing good energy to the crops to provide a good harvest. At a festival she was able to witness the ritual at the festival and the statue looks exactly like in real life. They do this to show pride and roots and connection to the culture.


Daniel MacNeil and Gianmarco Venditti


Vanessa Pozo-Luna, Mayra Luna, Kristopher Luna, and Romeo Amari


Central Connecticut State University


Daniel MacNeil and Gianmarco Venditti , “Ecuadorian Artifacts,” Latino History Harvest, accessed April 17, 2024,

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