Otavalo is a largely indigenous town in the Imbabura Province of Ecuador. The town has about 90,000 inhabitants
The indigenous Otavaleños are famous for weaving textiles, usually made of wool. Although the largest market is on Saturday, there is a very wide range of wares available throughout the week in the Plaza de los Ponchos, and the many local shops.
During the market’s peak, almost one third of the town becomes full of stalls selling textiles, tagua nut jewellery, musical instruments, dream catchers, leather goods, fake shrunken heads, indigenous costumes, hand-painted platters and trays, purses, clothing, spices, raw foods and spools of wool.
Otavaleña women traditionally wear distinctive white embroidered blouses, with flared lace sleeves, and black or dark over skirts, with cream or white under skirts. Long hair is tied back with a 3 cm band of woven multi coloured material, often matching the band which is wound several times round their waists. Men wear white trousers, and dark blue ponchos.