Salasaca - History and Cultural Relations

A much-discussed theory is that the Salasaca were brought from Bolivia in the fifteenth century by the Inca ruler Pachacutic (Yapangui II). Within the framework of his newly introduced mitimae system, a small number of men and women were supplied to colonize the present Salasaca zone. Salasaca origin as mitimaes is supported by certain characteristics in family names, terminology, fiestas, and music. Another suggestion is that the Salasaca are a fusion of two former communities, one from an eastern zone in Tungurahua Province and the other from the Chimborazo Province. Although the Salasaca fiercely defend their ethnicity, interrelationships of an economic and ritual nature are frequent. Regular interaction is maintained with the Niton and Chiquichas peoples to the east, the Chivaleos to the northwest, the Picayhuas to the northeast, the Rumipata people of the Chimborazo Mountain range to the west, and the Canelos Quichua in the eastern lowlands. Relationships with people in towns and abroad are increasingly common and enable economic exchanges and coparenthood.

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