Making Pilche Drinking Gourd, scraping fruit


Making Pilche Drinking Gourd, scraping fruit
Sumak Kawsay


Andean; indigenous people; fruit


Pilche means drinking gourd in Spanish and produced mostly in the amazon rainforest where this particular fruit grows. The Kichwa communities of the amazon rainforest use the hard shell of the fruit to create a functional drinking gourd for everyday use. The process consist of cutting the fruit in half and removing all the excess from inside the shell. Once removed the shell is cooked on a fire for a few seconds and dried in the sun for a day, as a way to cure and harden it.
This project was funded by Bernard and Anne Spitzer Travel Fellowship for research projects involving travel abroad and incorporating the study of architecture, landscape architecture, or urbanism.
Sumak Kawsay means Good Living in the Kichwa language. It guides a harmonious life through egalitarian principles related to community and reciprocity. According to the Andean Cosmovision (the world view of the indigenous people of the Andes region); nature, mankind, and Pachamama (mother earth), are one whole cosmic family that is perpetually related. Within this spectrum transcendental elements form the fundamental bases of an indigenous society. It was my intention to return to my roots in Ecuador and experience this form of thought. From my experience I was able to conclude that Sumak Kawsay is manifested in the coexistence between all beings. Within the Kichwa community it is manifested through the solidarity and reciprocity held in daily activities.


Delgado, Michael
Community of Sarayaku


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Michael Delgado


Humanities and Social Sciences




Sarayaku, Pastaza, Ecuador




Delgado, Michael and Community of Sarayaku, “Making Pilche Drinking Gourd, scraping fruit,” Spitzer School of Architecture, accessed July 15, 2024,

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