In this article I compare the Quichua oral history of Oyacachi—one of the last autochthonous settlements of the cloud forest of Amazonian Ecuador—with written and iconographic ecclesiastical traditions regarding colonial-era events. This offers a unique opportunity to understand momentous political, economic, and religious change and how it is experienced locally. It also reveals the ways in which different histories are constructed out of shared memories, events, and spaces. Rather than viewing native histories as present-day constructions, I try to see how oral traditions make history meaningful in ways that do not necessarily obviate their fundamental connection to the past.
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American Society for Ethnohistory