Most of the indigenous Indians of Ecuador who are women wear colorful clothing consisting of Panama hats, long breaded hair, and velvet pleated skirts that are embroidered with distinct village designs. With the exception of tourist places, these are not costumes but the clothing they wear every day. The men rarely wear indigenous clothing except those men who live in the outlying villages.
These two women are perfect examples of the clean, neatly dressed Indian women of Cuenca. Though probably quite poor, they dress as well as they can.
A sight we never get used to is the huge loads women carry on their backs, bent over with only a strap holding the sack against her back, she may walk a mile to her destination.
It is not a frequent sight to see a small child dressed as their parents. Most children we see are in school uniforms or in regular pants and shirts.
Another woman carrying an imense load on her back. You will notice that a hat or shawl is almost always worn over the head to protect them from the intense sunlight.
This woman is shopping at a store that specializes in saddles and other horse related gear.
These three women at the flower market are having a chat. Just around the corner are a dozen stalls selling every flower imaginable for almost nothing.
An old woman, at least it looks that way. She might be 50, 60, 70, 80 or more. There is no way to tell as a life time of hard work ages Ecuadorian Indian women rapidly. It is a rainy afternoon and she has covered her hat with a plastic bag.
We see this very old woman almost every time we walk into town. We see her in Centro and then, an hour later, find she has walked miles to the another part of town. Walking and hard work may be the answer to the long life we see among so many of the indigenous Indian women in Cuenca.