(350 B.C.E. – 600 A.C.E.)
Vestiges of this culture are found along the coast in the provinces of Guayas and southern Manabí. Their delicate ceramics were made in diverse forms and colors, including black, gray, and a range of reds.
The human figure had great importance for this culture. Men and women are frequently standing up, kneeling, or sitting with a solemn attitude, suggesting some type of adoration or religious cult. There are perforations in the ears and nose which surely relate to the bodily decorations they used. Cranial deformation was another custom related to decoration of the body.
There exists an abundance of containers made of shell to hold llipta, an alkaline substance with which they mixed the coca for chewing, another ceremonial tradition. These ancestors of today’s Ecuadorians were already practicing agriculture. Their remains also show their development in the exchange of products with the inhabitants of other areas both near and far.
You can view this piece and more like it in our Quito Museum. Purchase your own unique Ecuadorian art in one of our 5 shops in mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos during your next Ecuador tour. If you are interested in learning more about Ecuadorian culture and the history of Ecuador, please visit our Art in Ecuador page for many great articles about each region’s artisans and arts.