• Environment and Geography

    The Jama-Coaque culture developed on the Pacific coast of Ecuador between Cabo de San Francisco and Bahía de Caráquez, a semiarid region with abundant marine and land-based resources.

  • Economy and Technology

    Little evidence of the economy or technology of the Jama Coaque people remains, but it is likely that they were an agricultural group that also made use of resources from the sea, rivers and land around them.

  • Art

    The Jama Coaque culture is known mainly for its pottery. They produced vessels such as pitcher-cups and three-legged jugs, but their most notable pieces are miniature dwellings and temples and large human-shaped molded statues adorned with appliqués and painted with pigment. These figures also provide information about the attire and body ornaments worn by this group, which included headdresses, ear ornaments, nose rings, bracelets and pectoral ornaments. However, the most common ceramic pieces are flat, curved and cylindrical stamps, which the Jama Coaque used to stamp designs on their bodies, metal objects, and even textiles and wood.

  • Social Organization

    Jama-Coaque society appears to have been governed by religious leaders and was organized into several districts, each with its own leader.

  • Beliefs and Funerary Practices

    Little is known about the burial practices or ideological aspects of the Jama-Coaque people, although many of the ceramic pieces point to a belief in mythical figures or deities with both animal and human attributes.

  • Settlement Patter

    Very little information is available on Jama-Coaque settlements, although their ceramic sculptures suggest that they may have lived in small urban centers with both public and residential areas.

  • History

    The Jama-Coaque can be traced back to their predecessors, the Chorrera people, but certain iconographic and stylistic features indicate that they were also influenced by Mesoamerican traditions. Later, the territory that they inhabited became part of one of the richest and most complex cultural developments in ancient Ecuador.