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History of Otavalo Ecuador

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Otavalo city, handicrafts in OtavaloThe Indians increasingly fought for land rights, but even after law suits they were not granted rights. Because the Indians were infuriated by the exploitation of their land, they made it very difficult for the textile industry to have a stable labor population. 

The industry suggested reforms in 1620 that would grant the Indians the land that had been acquired by the Spaniards. This reform never happened.  The exploitation continued as Indian lands became alienated due to a great population decline.

The land once used by Indians for intensive agriculture was turned into land for raising livestock. Indian communities were forced to turn to other forms of produce and labor.

They raised chicken and sheep for food.  The sheep also provided wool, which was used for trading and weaving. 

This may explain why Otavalo is famous for its wool and textile production even today.

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