"A member of the wrong tribe in Silvia" Silvia by richiecdisc
Silvia Travel Guide: 15 reviews and 54 photos
Silvia is an unremarkable mountain town a mere fifty kilometers northeast of Popayán. This distance is a mere geographical one as it is worlds away with regard to what you will find as a person exploring. Though in a picturesque setting, there is little that would draw visitors here if not for a weekly descending of the Guambiano people who largely inhabit the surrounding region. This indigenous group is noted as the most traditional of all Colombian “tribes” and their traditions express themselves most obviously in their colorful clothing and style. But there is more to the Guambianos than meets the eye even if few will learn anything about them or perhaps even care to. For it appears the reason for a trip here is mostly to take photos, not so much of the town, but of the people whose appearance garners attention for Silvia in the first place.
My feelings were a bit mixed about Silvia and my guess is I am not alone. It's an odd feeling being there so obviously to do something the people there do not want. I read a few accounts of people being asked to pay for the privilege of taking photos. That's not a good thing and spells bad things for Guambiano tradition, the reason you come here in the first place. Other accounts of people that explored further afield in the Guambiano region express feelings they were objects of ridicule. I guess it is to be expected considering how our “tribe” also descends on this small town like hunters on a safari ready to bag their prize. Interactions between the two tribes can only mean a watering down of Guambiano culture. Is it a good thing? Probably not. Is it inevitable? Perhaps
There is little reason to spend the night in Silvia and bringing a lot of luggage on the mini-bus might not be the... more travel advice
The Guambiano do not actually live in Silvia, but just use its central location for selling purposes. They come down... more travel advice
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