Carnival in Guaranda, Ecuador, is not what it used to be. Hundreds of years ago, there were no techno-cumbia stars. There were just the haves and have-nots. The haves being the hacienda owners and the have-nots being the indigenous people who worked the land, or slaves.
The hacienda owner, called the Taitico, was given camaris, by all the indigenous people, who were lucky enough to use “his” land. Camaris were offerings of corn, animals, milk, and other food products. The Taitico would bring the camaris down to the square and supply alcohol for everyone to get drunk and wash away their sorrows. During the festivities the natives, or Guarangas, used this opportunity to practice their ancient agricultural rituals. It was the second moon of the year, the coming of spring, or Capac Raymi. The time had come to give thanks to the land and ask for a successful harvest in the upcoming year. - Ivan Kashinsky