THE ANCIENT LOS YUMBO'S TRAIL
The Los Yumbo's Tribe were an ancient civilisation rivalling the Incas, based upon the mountain slopes of Mindo. The Los Yumbo's Trail was a route through the forest frequently used by the Los Yumbo's as a hunting route. It is a small winding path which borders the Ecuador Forest of Clouds project zone.
The ancient culture of the Yumbo, originated approximately four centuries ago and was discovered by the Spanish chroniclers.
The term "Yumbo" comes from the Quechua language which means sorcerer. In colonial times, this word was used to identify the ethnic groups of 2 completely different regions of origin, language and culture. The ethnic group known as Los Yumbos were a large population living in the territories of the northwest mountains of the Northern Andes. An area that is located on the brow of western and eastern mountains of the provinces of Cotopaxi, Pichincha and Imbabura.
The origin of the Los Yumbo's dates back to pre-Inca periods in the history of Ecuador, when the people of the northwestern Amazon jungle established commercial, social and ethnic contacts with people of the Mindo area.
Evidence believes that the first Los Yumbo's tribe began around 2000 years BC until around 500 BC. The second area began in 800 AD until 1690 AD when it disappeared until 1870 and now continues to this day. The cause of these disruptions to the tribe was due to the disastrous eruptions of the Pichincha volcano. Evidence of the three settlements were found in the Mindo area including cultural materials (ceramic, bones, shells), which testify to each of the villages.
Water was in the cosmogony of the Los Yumbo's. It was the source of all life, as evidenced by the seven pools that were found with descending stairs found where the main religious ceremonies of initiation, purification and fertility were developed.
The religion of the Los Yumbo's tribes transcended the animistic phase of animal worship and the forces of nature. Interpretation of the petroglyphs found shows that abstract concepts were conceived as God made man and man become god.
Pools, located at 1450 meters above sea level belonged to the second occupation, the Colorados Yumbo's, whose archaeological vestiges speak of a people embodied in monumental works of knowledge, astronomy, geometry, architecture and space management. These pools were where Yumbo's honoured their Gods (moon, earth and water) through purification rites. The shamans and priests of the Yumbo used ayahuasca, coca and other psychotropic substances in their rituals of communication with these deities.
The Incas, if they came to the territories of the Los Yumbo's, admired and respected these people. However to demonstrate their absolute hierarchy, the Incas ordered their own temples to be built on the structures of the Los Yumbo's.
The Los Yumbo's came to occupy a large area with about 700,000 people spread over the northwestern valleys of Quito, to the slopes of the Pichincha volcano.
They were basically an agricultural tribe and traded their produce. This allowed them to survive the invasion of the Incas.