Photo of The Day #74, Indigenous Men Dressed in Indigenous Attire, Are Very Rare in Cuenca

One sees the Indigenous women all over Cuenca Ecuador and never thinks twice about the attire or manner of dress. Each various tribe dresses in a distinguished manner and has it’s own colors of shawls, skirts, hats, etc that signifies their heritage and what part of the Andes they are from. The apparel ranges from loud bright colors to a more demure earthy tone in some cases and in my humble opinion, they are all beautiful in their own manner.


Indigenous Man in Cuenca Walking To Me

Indigenous Man in Cuenca Walking To Me


It is more uncommon to locate or visualize Indigenous men associated with the various tribes. The majority of the men seen accompanying the brightly adorned and hatted women have converted to a more western style of dress, including blue jeans, khaki shirts and ball caps. The men you do see dressed in Indigenous apparel, are as a whole dressed in sold black, as these gentlemen in my post are outfitted. I am also guessing the Indigenous men originate from the same tribe and are the last hold outs wearing their native garments.


Indigenous Man in Cuenca Walking Away

Indigenous Man in Cuenca Walking Away


They all wear the black bowler hat, have a long ponytail tied back, wear heavy black work boots and the pants are shortened and come to just below the knee. I am not sure of the reasoning for this or the purpose, but I am guessing it as to do with not obstructing their work. You will not find any Indigenous people in what we classify as shorts. It is just not accepted or practiced. A few of the men smoke, but I have never seen any of the Indigenous women light up. Who knows you might just be lucky and see an Indigenous man on your next trip to South America and the Andes range. I truly hope you are fortunate enough to experience this, as I have a feeling the men dressing in Indigenous clothing will soon become a thing of the past!


Photo of The Day #33

Woolen Hats

Woolen Hats


I have been debating purchasing one of these hats with the tassels, while I am staying in Cuenca. They are quite popular across all age groups here in Ecuador. They appear to really be a heavy wool and have great flaps to keep your ears warm.


I am just afraid that if I wore these back in Texas I would get a plethora of adjectives hurled at me. You know I love #Hats, but this might just be a little too much. Guess I will hold off until my next trip! Saludos!

Photo of The Day #10

The Hats on The Airplane

The Hats on The Airplane


As I boarded my flight in DFW heading for Miami and eventually Ecuador, I found my self sitting beside two sisters that were lovely, intelligent and worldly traveled. They both were fair skinned and blond headed, but spoke perfect Spanish. I was puzzled to say the least. We started a conversation as I inquired about the hats one of them was holding. You know how I love hats! This was after hearing them converse in excellent Spanish. I asked them where they were headed and where they lived, etc.



One was 23 and working on her Master’s thesis in London and was studying Neurology and Photography. She was mature and we discussed her eventual plans to lecture. The other happened to go to high school in Austin and now was attending The University of Texas studying Fine Arts. I was amazed and asked them how they came to be such excellent Spanish conversationalists. They replied they were raised in Argentina, Switzerland, a few other stops and had moved on.



One particular story from Sofia and Victoria was very charming and I must relay it. It seems that one of them went to school in Austin on their first day and when the teacher came to class (a male) she kissed him on both cheeks, as is custom in Argentina. The teacher immediately drew back and stated that they would have to discuss this after class. She was shocked and did not know what she had done.


The teacher after discovering her heritage, instructed her on appropriate customs in the US and relayed to her that this was inappropriate in the US. She was very upset and made sure she didn’t perform this custom again. They also told me in Switzerland that it is customary to kiss three times on the cheeks. I thought that was a little extreme. I thoroughly enjoyed an intelligent conversation with these two young ladies for two hours and was grateful I ran into them.  They proved that all is not broken in the world!

Thanks to our Sponsors

Recognition and Awards


Latest Tweets

Flag Counter

Amateur Traveler Episode 471 - Travel to Austin, Texas