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Culture, art and power at tulato in the pacific coast of Colombia and Ecuador

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This article draws on contemporary theory and practice to interpret pre-Hispanic developments on the southern Pacific coast of Colombia, especially among the Tumaco-La Tolita peoples whose boundaries extended as far as present-day Esmeraldas in Ecuador. It sets out to examine pre-Hispanic culture from various relevant points of view, using art and power as the basis of interpretation to infer the cultural, social and political character of these communities. These were hierarchical societies which expanded and exploited their broad dominions to extend their connections and exchange networks to distant coastal and inter-Andean regions. An attempt will be made, in the light of archaeological theory and evidence, to analyse the importance of culture, art and power in Tumaco-Tolita region. These peoples are also known as Tulato, a contraction of the original term which will be used here to refer to the chiefdoms (cacicazgos) of this coastal region. 


archaeology, tumaco-tolita, art, power, pacific coast, Colombia-Ecuador