This book examines ritual practices and public festivals in the Otavalo and Cotacachi areas of northern Andean Ecuador's Imbabura province. Otavalenos are a unique group in that they maintain their traditional identity but also cultivate a cosmopolitanism through frequent international travel. Rituals have persisted among this ethnic community as important processes for symbolically capturing and critically assessing cultural changes in the face of modern influences. Ritual Encounters thus offers an appreciation of the modern and mythic community as a single and emergent condition.
Michelle Wibbelsman is a research fellow at the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and an adjunct professor of anthropology at St. Edward's University.