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Agato is a small village located on the outskirts of Otavalo. The area is populated mainly by indigenous people whose income stems from small-scale agriculture and the sale of textiles.

Agato is arguably best known for being the home of master-weaver Miguel Andrango. Andrango founded the Tahuantinsuyo Weaving Workshop, a home-based cooperative whose purpose is to promote the use of backstrap loom, traditional weaving designs and techniques.

Tahuantinsuyo products are made from natural fibers (sheep or alpaca wool) and dyes.

In Agato, ask for directions to the workshop. A small retail area is located on the second floor.

Due to the labor-intensive work and higher quality, the woven items at Tahuantinsuyo cost more than what you could find at near-by Otavalo market.

Even if you don't feel like shopping, the workshop is still worth a quick visit to learn about traditional weaving techniques and see the backstrap loom in action.

The workshop also occasionally offers classes in backstrap weaving to visitors.



Other places nearby Agato: Lagunas de Mojanda, Peguche and Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve.

By Rachael Hanley
A sometime newspaper journalist with a heavy side of wanderlust, Rachael moved to Quito in November to work on the V!VA staff. She is currently...
10 Dec 2008

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