Rumiñawi’s Perch: The Coolest Building in Guayaquil

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

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. Gypsytoes says

    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. Bob R says

      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. jazzytower says

    It is the coolest building I have ever seen.

  3. Marie-Carmen says

    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!

  4. Emily says

    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. Bob R says

      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.

  5. JR says

    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

  6. Tam @ Travelling Book Junkie says

    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! 🙂

    1. Bob R says

      Exactly. I’m a little disappointed in myself for not making the time to check out the museum. Alas, had very little time.

  7. Chris Boothman says

    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. Bob R says

      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.

  8. Ajaytao2010 says

    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.

    1. Bob R says

      I enjoy your work and will visit regularly. Don’t be a stranger here. 🙂

  9. The Crowded Planet says

    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!

  10. Bianca @itsallbee says

    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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