Cosanga Panzaleo

The Cosanga Panzaleo culture was located between the Sierra and the Ecuadorian Amazon, and had its origins in the Quijos valley. Its territory extended from the southwest part of the province of Pichincha to Tungurahua and Napo. It was administered by three chiefdoms: Mulahaló, Latacunga y Píllaro. Mulahaló was the central chiefdom, and the seat of the Hacho (head chief). As was the case with most pre-Columbian peoples, their social organization was radically hierarchical and vertical.

This culture devoted itself to overland trade, taking advantage of its strategic geographical position. The diversity of climates in its territories meant that it could raise corn, manioc and other crops. Ritual was of great importance to the Cosanga culture, as were purple corn liquor (chichi), dance and music, which all formed part of its rites.

They specialized in pottery production, both for daily and domestic use and for ritual purposes. Cosanga pottery figures are characterized by having bulges in both cheeks, indicating that they chewed coca leaves. Their techniques included coiling, orange slip, white paint, shortening and stone carving.