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Cayapa also known as “Chachi” Pitek, Emily


The Cayapa are an aboriginal group who live along the Rio Cayapas in Ecuador. Around the time of the Spanish invasion in the 1530s, the Capaya migrated to their present location. The Cayapa have had contact with Europeans and North Americans, and interact with Ecuador's provincial and national government (Barrett, 1925:30, 37). With the Spanish invasion also came the arrival of Catholic missionaries, who have left a lasting influence on the Cayapa religion, which is now a syncretic blend of Christianity and animism. Shamans are present but do not have an important position. Priests visit the Cayapa, and these visits are times of religious ceremonies and celebrations. Political leadership is not associated with religious leadership, but the religion permeates many spheres of life. This entry considers the Cayapa religious group to be coterminous with the society at large. Additionally, this entry focuses on the area of the Rio Cayapas drainage circa 1908.

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Attribution 4.0 International