THE YUMBO CULTURE
Written, illustrated & paintings by George Cruz B.
A lost culture of Andean trail builders, astronomers and civil engineers. Dr. Jorge Cruz, founder of The Magic Birding & Photography Circuit of Ecuador, has written his latest book on the Yumbo culture that thrived in what is now Ecuador from approximately 800BC to 1600BC. This Jumbo Civilization was very sophisticated. They were the builders of road systems in distant areas, astronomers and experts in medicinal plant systems all around the different climate steps they visited. The Jumbo chiefdom knew many concepts and technical procedures in engineering, medical treatments and astronomical positioning. This allowed them to be responsive and sharp in their knowledge and worldviews. The Jumbo nation had its own identity and well defined geographic boundaries. The Jumbo built road systems through difficult terrain such as vertical mountains, as far as 900 square km. from their home. Dr. Cruz examines this trade culture in his book and develops an interesting and accurate explanation of the tropical and zoonosis diseases and sickness that affected this ethnia during different ages and their possible native plant treatments they used for getting cured. He explains how the Yumbos sold their hard worked agriculture goods, and in return, they were able to export their products to other pre-Columbian nations and trade for exotic products from distance areas. The building of Andes trails and several temples required architectural knowledge and planning. Ceques, or imaginary lines used as geographic markers. These markers helped the Yumbo understand geographic cartography and allowed them to accurately use mathematical functions for their structures. Astronomy was important to the Yumbo culture. The reflection of the moon and sun in pools and waterfalls transformed water into a real astronomical laboratory. This method predicted the forecast of climate events that could be applied to their harvest. There were 8 sacred pools used for spiritual cleaning. Most of the pools have no drainage system and are filled with water through channels made of stone. These pools have been well preserved despite the passage of time and intact today. There are 12 sacred waterfalls located at San Jorge de Milpe Orchid & Bird Reserve. The archaeological ruins have circular rings of water stones to create a dam and hold a large amount of water around the waterfall. Purification ceremonies to the moon and sun occurred.
This unique book is filled with an abundance of archeological history, brought alive by Dr. Cruz’s from his studies of the Yumbo Civilization and ruins the found on San Jorge’s property. It also contains Yumbo paintings drawn by Dr. Cruz. Natural History tours are offered at San Jorge de Milpe, which provide a deep and rich historical understanding of the Yumbo culture.