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Selva (Ecuador)

Selva (Ecuador)

Selva (Ecuador), the forest regions of Ecuador. The selva of the coast has long been of great economic importance to Ecuador. In the early national period the selvas were open public zones in which mixed-blood freemen, known in Ecuador as montuvios (part Amerindian, African, and European), collected a variety of wild plants: tagua (vegetable ivory), paja (straw, used for weaving "Panama hats"), rubber, quinine, and cinnamon. In the late nineteenth century, great cacao estates appeared on the open lands. The labor force gravitated to cacao production, and the export of wild forest products all but ceased.

See alsoCosta (Ecuador); Sierra (Ecuador).


Details on Ecuador's geography can be found in Preston James, Latin America (1986). For information on the natives of Ecuador's selvas, see Handbook of South American Indians, vol. 2, The Andean Civilizations, edited by Julian H. Steward (1963).

Additional Bibliography

Cerón Sularte, Benhur. Los awa-kwaiker: Un grupo indígena de la selva pluvial del Pacífico Nariñense y el Nor-Occidente Ecuatoriano. Quito: ABYA-YALA, 2000.

Silva, Erika. Mushuk allpa: La experiencia de los indígenas de Pastaza en la conservación de la selva amazónica. Quito, Ecuador: COMUNIDEC Fundación: I. AMAZANGA [Instituto Ambiental Amazónico de Ciencia y Tecnologa], 2002.

Varea, Anamaría. Ecologismo ecuatorial. Quito: ABYAYALA, 1997.

                                        Ronn F. Pineo

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