Ecuador Art

Ecuador Art is famous for its beautiful paintings, woodcarving art, weaving and bread figures.


The people of Ecuador are truly innovative and creative. Handicrafts specially are valued amongst visitors for their practical use and beauty.

Weaving is one of the Ecuadorian arts that you will find during your trip in Ecuador. According to history, the art of weaving was taught to the people of Ecuador by the Spanish.

ecuador art

Even though they learned the art from the Spanish, the people of Ecuador exploited it to form something even more beautiful.

They added different colors to this art and formed exclusive patterns and certainly made the art of weaving their own.

Otavalo is the most important city to admire the art of weaving and handicrafts.

Ecuador Paintings (Tigua)

The artists of Tigua are renowned for their colorful paintings depicting village life of Ecuador's Highlands still reflecting their ancient heritage.

The paintings, mostly done on sheep hide, depict the customs, festivals, myths and dreams of indigenous people. This Ecuador art originated with the painting of small drums used in traditional festivals and ceremonies.

Oswaldo Guayasamin

He was an Ecuadorian artist that dedicated his entire life to painting, sculpting, collecting and fighting the injustices of life.

All of Guayasamin's paintings or sculptures evoke an immediate reaction. The strong colors, often disturbing images and forceful themes are meant to make the patron stop and take notice. Since early in his career, Guayasamin used Ecuador art to fight against the cruelty of life, violence and injustice.

The Guayasamin Foundation was created to showcase his most important works. It includes a collection of pre-Colombian sculptures, Ecuador colonial art and his contemporary master pieces.

Panama Hats

Are originally made in Ecuador. The hat is made out of a plant called "Carludovica Palmata". These plants are boiled, then dried and finally taken to weaving centers, such as: Azogues, Biblian, Sigsig, Montecristi and Jipijapa in Manabi Province. See More About Panama Hats

It takes up to three months to manufacture these hats. Montecristi, produces the best Panama hat called "Superfinos" that when turned upside down, these hats should hold water same as a glass. When rolled up, they should be able to go back to its original shape without a scratch or wrinkle.

Otavalo Weavers and Handicrafts

Otavalo city is one of the most important weaving and trade centers also known for its famous handicrafts market.

This Ecuador art of weaving is focused mainly on visitors and exportation. The people from Otavalo are famous, not only for their weaving, but also for their success as traders.

Along similar lines, plant fibers are used to make bags (shigras), backpacks and other articles. Otavalo Indians frequently travel worldwide in order to find new markets for their products. See More About Otavalo Ecuador

Woodcarving Art

Between the 16th and 17th century, woodcarvers from Spain settled in San Antonio de Ibarra (North of Ecuador). Now is considered to be the most important woodcarving center in South America.

Everybody in San Antonio is dedicated to woodcarving art. As a matter of fact, every shop sells carved wooden figures of all sizes.

Bread Figurines

The most famous village to see this form of Ecuador Art is in Calderon (north of Quito). You will find shops selling colored figured made of flour and water in every corner.

Here artists have perfected the art of making small, colored dolls in the shape of men, woman and donkeys from bread dough.

While the little figurines were originally used in the celebration of All Souls Day, they soon became popular as gifts.

Leather Art

At Cotacachi Village you will find some of the best leather work in Ecuador.

The traditional methods of tanning leather, stretching and molding skins, shaping, sewing and painting are passed down from generation to generation and the people living in this region have perfected this kind of Ecuador art.

Most of their goods are both functional and decorative and the painting and dying is often very beautiful.

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When visiting Quito make sure you go to the Casa de la Cultura to see a collection of the most impressive Ecuador art in all its forms (paintings, sculptures, literature, music, folklore and Indian art)

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