House in the Andes | La casa de Aida

Watercolour Paint
30cm (W) x 25cm (H) x 0.1cm (D)
By Paul Ordonez

Canberra, Australia

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Houses made of adobe, a cold breeze, ponchos and skirts of vibrant colours are probably the best depiction of towns at the foot of the Ecuadorian Andes. While traveling in 2016 around Ecuador I decided to visit the Tungurahua province, in which I found many small houses inhabited by Cholos and Cholitas. I was lucky to be invited for lunch at one house not far from Ambato. Aida, the mother of the house, was beautifully dressed with a traditional red skirt and a hat made out of toquilla straws (Panama hat).
I asked her if she could elaborate on why women chose to wear such heavy clothing even when the day is sunny. She explained to me that the main reason is so the men can keep an eye on the women when they are working on the valleys and mountains. For instance, if she was to leave for the afternoon to take care of the cows and there was fog in the air, her husband could recognise her from their house and call her out before it gets too difficult to see. I was inspired by this particular story, and decide to paint a sequence of watercolours that could depict the life style of Aida and her family.

All of the paintings are valued at the same price.

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