Ecuador is a South American country that lies on the earth's equator. The capital of Ecuador is Quito, but the largest city is Guayaguil. In 2016, Ecuador's estimated population was 16,385,068 people.
History and Slavery
In the 16th Century, various Amerindian groups settled in Ecuador. Eventually, the Incas inhabited the land. Once the Spanish arrived, they brought slaves with them to the land. The first group of slaves arrived in 1533. It is said that the ship was carrying slaves to Peru when it crashed in Ecuador, and the slaves escaped from the ship. The escaped slaves established Maroon settlements in Esmeraldas, and others escaping slavery settled in this town.
Today, Afro-Ecuadorians mainly live in the Esmeraldas Province and Chota Valley in the Imbabura Province. Many Afro-Ecuadorians live in Quito and Guayaquil. Afro-Ecuadorians make up about 7 percent of Ecuador's population.
Afro-Ecuadorian cuisine derives from a mixture of cultures: African, Spanish, and Incan. The main staples in this cuisine are bananas, seafood, and coconuts. One popular Afro-Ecuadorian dish is seafood curry. It is made up of coconut, coconut milk, shrimp, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and rice. Once fact I found from my research is that the coconut was brought to Ecuador by African people.
Marimba Music and Dance
The marimba is an instrument consisting of wooden bars and metal mallets. Marimba music derives from the Bantu and Mande groups of West Africa. Afro-Ecuadorians believe marimba dancing is an expression of freedom. However, at one point they needed a permit to perform the sacred dance due to racist structures within the government. In 1970, there was a mission to revive the African heritage among Afro-Ecuadorians. Today, marimba music and dancing is an important aspect of Afro-Ecuadorian life.