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Ecuador » Museums »
Manteño – Huancavilca


Manteño – Huancavilca
(ca. 500 – 1532 d.C.)

the Province of El OroThe peoples of this culture settled an extensive territory, from Bahía de Caráquez on the north to the coastal plains in the Province of El Oro on the south. According to ancient historic documents, these existed three different groups: the paches or manteños, in Manabí; the huancavilca, in the Peninsula of Santa Elena, and the punáes, in the Island of Puná.

People were organized in independent lordships, Salangome being the most influential chiefdom along the shores of Manab. The capital city corresponds to the monumental site of Agua Blanca, which probably had both ceremonial and administrative functions. This lordship extended over northern Manabí and southern Esmeraldas (Atacames) as a result of its interest in controlling the strategic points of connexion among the terrestrial and maritime exchange routes.

The Manteño-Huancavilca culture was formed by experienced seamen who navigated to Central America and Peru. Their export staples were spondylus shells, cotton weavings, objects of golden, silver and copper, and obsidian mirrors.