Inca warrior Rumiñahui - The Museo del Banco Central, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Inca warrior Rumiñahui - The Museo del Banco Central, Guayaquil, Ecuador

Rumiñawi’s Perch: The Coolest Building in Guayaquil

This is Rumiñawi, a 16th century Inca warrior who has pride of place on the facade of the Museo Antropológico del Banco Central in Guayaquil. I didn’t see a portrait more confident, fierce and proud in all of Ecuador, warranting this series of five images for today’s Pic du Jour.

Like Atahualpa, the final Incan Emperor, Rumiñawi was also tortured and killed by the Spanish after he led an unsuccessful resistance force against the conquistadors in the northern part of the Inca Empire in 1533.

According to his wikipedia entry, some scholars believe that Rumiñawi was the half-brother of Atahualpa, who conquistador Francisco Pizarro captured, held and killed in August 1533. When Pizarro demanded a ransom of gold in exchange for Atahualpa, Rumiñawi obliged. But when he learned that Pizarro broke his word, it’s believed that he had the gold thrown off a cliff. Despite his capture and subsequent torture, Rumiñawi never revealed where the treasure was located. He was killed on June 25, 1535.

The museum, which sits on the busy Avenida 9 de Octubre a few blocks south of the Plaza del Centenario was founded in 1974. In recent years it’s been overshadowed by the newer and much larger Museo Antropológico y de Arte Contemporáneo on the Malecon 2000 waterfront development. Short on time I opted for the latter but am very glad I at least took a few minutes to collect these shots.

The Museo del Banco Central, Guayaquil, Ecuador
The Museo del Banco Central, Guayaquil, Ecuador
The Museo del Banco Central, Guayaquil, Ecuador
The Museo del Banco Central, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Inca warrior Rumiñahui - The Museo del Banco Central, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Inca warrior Rumiñahui – The Museo del Banco Central, Guayaquil, Ecuador
The Museo del Banco Central, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Inca warrior Rumiñahui – The Museo del Banco Central, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Photos snapped in May 2013

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  1. Wow! This is a magnificent sculpture. We are headed to Ecuador for the month of May. I’ll be sure to stop by and pay my respects to Rumiñawi. I’m going to visit with Lisa, too. I’m so excited.

    1. Excellent! I’m sure you’ll love it. Lisa’s a wonderful person, you’ll really enjoy meeting her and her company. And stepping on the magic carpet, too. 🙂

  2. Oh wow! Indeed this is a great building! That sculpture is impressive and really beautiful! There is so much power in there! Thank you for sharing those images! I’d love to see this place!

  3. Cool pictures! This post makes me feel even more gutted that I missed Ecuador (we opted to sail down the Amazon from Colombia to Peru, instead) but it definitely gives me yet another reason to return to South America soon 🙂

    1. You can’t do it all. 🙂 But I’d definitely recommend a return trip – parts of the coast were fantastic and Quito was a fascinating city.

  4. One a neat look at how one of the best pieces sometimes are displayed before you even go inside a museum. I plan to get to Ecuador. Thanks for this entry in your notebook. Peace: @InTheLoopTravel

  5. When I saw that first photo I would never have guessed it was a statue on top of a walk way. He looks so menacing. What a great statement to make above the museum though – I am intrigued and would like to go inside to see what it holds! 🙂

  6. This is a really cool story and I am sure an amazing experience to see this Inca warrior in person. I have never really been that interested in these types of architectural designs but after reading this post it certainly gives you the inspiration to want to learn more about them and their history.

    1. The history is very fascinating – and knowing it goes a long way to explain the roots of colonial and anti-colonial attitudes are in many parts of the Americas.

  7. Nice reading about you

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Be in touch. Browse through the category sections, I feel you may find something of your interest.

  8. This building is FANTASTIC! I remember there was a Ruminawi cevicheria in Quito, but I had no idea who the guy was! Fab pics as usual. Thanks Rob!

  9. Thats really beautiful. I would have to sit outside for a few minutes and really take it in before heading in the beautiful. I would also hope what I find inside would be just as pleasing to the eye.

    http://www.itsallbee.com

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