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Amaguaña Parish (Pichincha, Ecuador)

Last modified: 2021-08-26 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: ecuador | pichincha | quito | amaguana |
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image by Ivan Sache, 09 January 2015

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The parish of  Amaguaña (20,000 inhabitants; 60 sq. km) belongs to the Metropolitan District of Quito; it is located in the valley of Chillos, 28 km south-east of Quito, at an elevation of 2,683 a.s.l.
The origin of the name of Amaguaña is controversial. E. Moreno Yánez (Nueva Historia del Ecuador) claims that the two main parishes of the valley are named after their respective caciques (chiefs), in the north, Sangolquí named after Sangoquiza, in the south, Amaguaña, named after Amaguañuy. Other say that Amaguaña means "love" in Aymara. Anyway, the oldest mention of Amaguaña dates back to 1559, as listed by the Franciscan monk Agustín Moreno in his "Cien preguntas sobre los orígenes Franciscanos" (Hundred questions on the Franciscan origins). In the early years of the Spanish settlement, Amaguaña was inhabited by "doctrinas" (native tribes not incorporating into a parish) and colonists, including Pedro Ampudia, the son of the the founder of Quito.
Teodoro Wolf, Gonzáles Suárez and Aquiles Pérez consistently reports the eruption of volcano Pichincha in October 1660, considered as the biggest ever, which causes the flooding of the valley of Chillos and the opening of the precipice of Sincholagua. The villagers escaped to the hillsides of the Pasochoa and Rumiñahui. Accordingly, the inhabitants of the valleys of Tumbaco and Chillos still believe that the place was once a big lake.
Amaguaña might have become a civil parish during the first term of Gabriel García Moreno, 1861-1865. On 29 May 1861, the National Convention of Ecuador issued the Law on the Territorial Division, erecting Amaguaña as one of the 47 parishes of the Canton of Quito, Province of Pichincha. There is, however, no other decree stating that Amaguaña was already a civil parish, but there are hints in local archives of the existence of a civil administration in 1861 and 1863.
The National Park Pasochoa is located close to Amaguaña. It is made of a sleeping volcano and hosts several endemic or endangered. During 1996 and 1997, Doris Vela and Violeta Rafael, from the Pontifical University of Ecuador, collected specimens of Drosophila (fruit flies)  in the western slopes of the Pasochoa. They described three new species, on e of them being named D. amaguana, after the parish of Amaguaña (Vela, D., Rafael, V. 2004. Three new andean species of Drosophila (Diptera, Drosophilidae) of the mesophragmatica group. Iheringia. Série Zoologia 94, 295-299 - available online.
Maize has been grown in the valley of Chillos since the pre-Inca period; the valley of Chillos is still known as the land of maize.
Accordingly, the flag of Amaguaña is horizontally divided yellow-blue, yellow representing maize and blue representing the clear sky and the water of the rivers.
Source: Amaguaña by Enrique V. Carrera.
Ivan Sache, 24 February 2007

The Flag

The [previously reported] flag is shown upside-down. The flag of Amaguaña is horizontally divided celestial blue-yellow. Blue represents the sky and the honour of the women from Amaguaña. Yellow represents the resources of the soil.
Colours were assigned in mid February 1951 to the 28 parishes of the canton of Quito by the Municipal Institute of Education and Culture and by the Sports Commission to prepare the Inter-parish Olympic Games of Quito (16 September 1951).
Source: - Parish website
Ivan Sache, 09 January 2015

Previously Reported Flag

[Coat-of-Arms of Quito]
image by Ivan Sache, 24 February 2007