on Sep 21, 2013 • by The City Paper Staff

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Guambiano in Silvia, Cauca.

Painted doors and ochre-colored walls are emblematic of the Colombian Cauca. Located in southern Colombia, this department is known for its high mountain plateaus and Pacific coastline. Popayan, its capital, is a colonial jewel and in 1983 much of the town, including its graceful cathedral, was destroyed by an earthquake. The city was rebuilt and today retains its original splendor. The Cauca department is home to many indigenous communities such as the Guambia. Since the Spanish conquest, the Guambianos have worked the fertile land near Popayán and bustling markets thrive in towns such as Silvia and Piendamó. Holding steadfast to their traditions and customs, the Guambianos have a distinctive dress code, particularly regal and colouful. Royal blue gowns and black wool skirts are worn by both men and women. Round felt hats keep away the cold and mountain boots are good for walking the steep misty trails of the Andes.

The colors of Cauca


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