Our kawsay waqaychaqkuna

Our research collection is managed and maintained by an interdisciplinary team of undergraduate and graduate student kawsay waqaychaqkuna (those who safeguard, keep and preserve with cariño and care), working under faculty supervision.


Micah Unzueta

Portrait of Micah smiling in front of a mountainous landscape.Micah Unzueta has taken an interdisciplinary approach to his education. He is currently a third year majoring in Spanish: Latin American Literature and Cultures, and minoring in Education, Latin American Studies, and Andean & Amazonian Studies. However Micah’s interests and coursework span many fields, including philosophy, history, and linguistics. As a language student Micah also studies Portuguese and Quechua at OSU. This Spring, Micah plans to incorporate Quechua traditions and knowledge into the Collection in a meaningful and non-tokenizing way. He also hopes to co-author a decolonial children’s book, combating euro-centric educational frameworks, and introduce experimental education into children’s literature.

In his free time, Micah loves participating in sports— especially rock climbing— reading, and practicing mindfulness. After graduating, Micah plans to teach English and Spanish abroad and promote multi-lingual education in Latin America. There, he wants to travel, climb, continue to learn new languages, and make indigenous literature available to larger audiences.

Hallie Fried

Hallie Fried is a current fourth-year student with majors in International Development and Spanish, along with a minor in Public Policy. Her studies within these departments tend to focus on sustainable development, women’s empowerment, and indigenous communities. Within the collection, Hallie is working on interviewing indigenous artists to learn more about cultural practices, the intricacy that goes into each piece, and the best ways in which we can appreciate and display their artwork.

After graduating, Hallie is hoping to get her Master of Education in Social Studies Education 7-12. She is looking at ways in which she can incorporate “unlearning” and a decolonial emphasis on the ways in which we teach history and government courses.
Aside from her coursework and studies, Hallie enjoys traveling, trying new foods, being outdoors with her dog, Ruth, and spending time with her family and friends.

Anais Fernandez Castro

Anais Fernandez Castro is a current undergraduate student with majors in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE), and Spanish with a linguistics concentration. She approaches her studies from an intersectional lens, focusing on the Anglo North and Latin America. She has taken coursework in Quechua and Portuguese. During her free time, Anais seeks meaningful experiences and enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also loves to learn different festival dances from the Andean region.


Anna Freeman

Anna is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Arts Administration, Education, and Policy. Anna has a background in art history and museum practices. Her research interests include Indigenous art and culture, museum education, and community-based outreach. Anna looks forward to working alongside students and learning more about the collection.  

This semester, she will focus on learning about the Amazonian cultural objects within the collection. She will also help coordinate the study abroad trip to the Toronto Biennial of Art in May 2022. She looks forward to drawing connections between the collection and biennial’s programming.     

In her free time, Anna enjoys exercising and discovering new movies and documentaries. She is a former competitive swimmer and enjoys cycling on the many bike paths throughout Columbus.  

Amanda Tobin Ripley

Photograph of a white female with long brown hair and a gray shirt against a white brick wallAmanda Tobin Ripley is a doctoral student in the Arts Administration, Education, and Policy department, specializing in museum education. Her work within museum and gallery spaces seeks to create and support opportunities for individuals to use the imaginative and connective power of the arts to foster a shared sense of belonging, responsibility, and humanity. Amanda holds an M.Ed. in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Art History and East Asian Studies from Oberlin College. She most recently served as the Associate Director of Education at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), where she developed community and school engagement programs, including establishing the museum’s inaugural Gallery Teaching cohort with an emphasis on critical self-reflection in practice. In her work with the Kawsay Waqaychaqkuna curator group, Amanda is investigating the intersection of decolonial methods and transformative pedagogies.

Emily Brokamp

Emily Brokamp is currently a second-year MA student in the History Department specializing in Public History and has completed a BA through the English Department focusing on Rhetoric, Writing, and Literacy. Her research centers on human-object interaction and museum display. She believes in using a multidisciplinary approach to research and frequently overlaps the spheres of History, English, and Anthropology. As a curator, she is assisting in the creation of a trilingual Quechua-English-Spanish children’s book based on the Fox and Partridge tapestry by Santusa Quispe held in the Collection. The goal of this project is to introduce children to Quechua and the storytelling techniques of weaving as a way of presenting non-Western forms of knowledge.

In her free time Emily loves to travel, write, and hike. She also loves theatre and has worked in set and costume design. After she graduates, Emily plans to continue her work at the Blackfriary Community Archaeology Site located in Trim, Ireland.

Cameron Logar

Cameron Logar is a current second-year Biochemistry major pursuing minors in Spanish & Andean and Amazonian Studies. His interests are in medical research and the benefits of applying different worldviews and perspectives in the biological sciences. As a curator, he is pursuing further study of indigenous cosmologies, cultural practices, and worldviews, especially as they relate to the collection.
After graduating, Cameron intends to pursue academic research in the medical sciences. In his free time, he enjoys photographing nature around campus, reading, and practicing music.


Claire McLean

Claire McLean is a current fourth-year majoring in Linguistics and Spanish with a track in Hispanic Linguistics and minoring in Communication. She will also be completing a certificate in Translation & Interpretation this semester. Some of Claire’s additional academic interests include archaeology and creative writing. Within the collection, her research this semester focuses on the textiles and embroidery of the Andes. She is especially interested in the role that color and pattern play in Andean art. Additionally, she is focused on applying her knowledge of translation to various aspects of the collection. In her free time, Claire enjoys traveling, making and appreciating art, cooking, and meeting new people.

Alice Cheng

Alice is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Arts Administration, Education, and Policy department. Alice is interested in how art encounters in classrooms can engage students in critical dialogue on the foundation of being culturally responsible and social justice-oriented. She has teaching experience in various informal and formal classroom settings and age groups, including arts-integrated English in Taiwan. Alice is currently helping with the collection’s online engagement for reaching more students and fostering relationships with local artists and organizations. She is looking forward to participating in building programs and curriculums that center Indigenous voices and interrogate settler colonialism.

In her free time, Alice is trying to figure out the difference between different coffees to build her preference, but mostly so she can deceive herself that her love for coffee is about taste and not caffeine dependency. Alice also loves tea.

Victor Vimos

Victor Vimos is an anthropologist currently studying in the Ph.D. program at The Ohio State University. His research is focused on the Andean zone, between studies of rituality and poetic languages. His book Acta de Fundación received the second Premio Internacional de Poesía Pedro Lastra in 2020.


Tamryn McDermott

Tamryn McDermott joins us this year as the Graduate Research Associate for the Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Art and Cultural Artifact Collection. Tamryn is a PhD student in the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy. Tamryn is an artist and educator with a background in museum practices. Tamryn looks forward to sharing curatorial, exhibit design, educational program design, and collections management experience with other student curators this year. She views exhibition design and programming as a creative platform for engaging with objects and the knowledge embedded within them. Tamryn is an avid traveler and hopes to someday travel to the Andes and learn more about Indigenous weaving and fiber dyeing practices. She is currently teaching herself how to weave on a backstrap loom.

Tamryn will develop a searchable database of our collection this year. She will also work on designing an interactive, digital version of our traveling pop-up exhibition, The Hidden Life of Things.

Michelle Wibbelsman

Michelle Wibbelsman is Associate Professor of Latin American Indigenous Cultures, Ethnographic Studies and Ethnomusicology in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The Ohio State University. She holds courtesy faculty appointments in the School of Music and the Department of Anthropology and directs the OSU Andean Music Ensemble. Dr. Wibbelsman specializes in the expressive culture of indigenous peoples of the Andean highlands. She has conducted fieldwork in her native country of Ecuador since 1995 and is the author of Ritual Encounters: Otavalan Modern and Mythic Community (2009) as well as articles on topics including religion and ritual; musical expression; public festivals; history, myth and memory; performance and politics; aesthetics and power; intra- and inter-ethnic conflict; ritual violence; indigenous transnational migration; Andean and Amazonian epistemologies; and alternative pedagogies.

As Faculty Curator of the Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Art and Cultural Artifact Collection at Ohio State, Dr. Wibbelsman works closely with student curators to care for the collection, develop undergraduate student research projects, faculty-student and student-student collaborations, conference presentations and workshops. Our endeavor as a team revolves around making the collection more visible and accessible, useful for classroom use, a resource for research and teaching, and above all presenting new ways of engaging with indigenous cultural knowledge and practices.

Dr. Wibbelsman is also lead Co-PI (Principal Investigator) of the K’acha Willaykuna Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Arts and Humanities Collaboration (https://globalartsandhumanities.osu.edu/cross-disciplinary-research-focus-areas/immobility/kacha-willaykuna) under Ohio State’s Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Theme. This interdisciplinary research initiative has enabled short-term Andean and Amazonian artist residencies that foster critical encounters with indigenous artists and artisans who can comment on, contribute to, and critique our work with the Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Art and Cultural Artifact Collection as well as interact with broader publics on pressing topics of cultural understanding.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her son, Kai, playing music, being involved with her community, playing soccer, sledding, skiing the bunny hills and working on collaborative projects.

Select list of publications:


Ritual Encounters: Otavalan Modern and Mythic Community, Ethnographic Series: Interpretations of Culture in the New Millennium. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009.

Encuentros rituales: la comunidad mítica y moderna de los otavalos. (Spanish translation of Ritual Encounters, 2009). Columbus: AlterNativas E-Book Series, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-941373-03-3 http://alternativas.osu.edu/es/ebooks/catalog.html

Articles and Chapters in Edited Volumes

“Northern Andean Cosmology and Otavalan Hip Hop” in The Andean World, edited by Kathleen Fine-Dare and Linda Seligmann. Routledge, 2019.

“Gender Performativity and Indigenous Conceptions of Duality in the Inti Raymi-Jatun Puncha Festivals of Cotacachi, Ecuador” in The Routledge Companion to Gender, Sex and Pop Culture in Latin America, edited by Frederick Aldama. Routledge, 2018.

“Andean and Amazonian Material Culture and Performance Traditions as Sites of Indigenous Knowledges and Memory” in TRANSMODERNITY: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World Special Issue: Indigenous Knowledges and Sites of Indigenous Memory. Spring 2017 (7:1) https://escholarship.org/uc/item/5223g28c

“Otavalan Transnational Music Making: The Andean Music Scene in Japan” in Made in Latin America. Studies in Popular Music, edited by Christian Spencer and Julio Mendívil. Routledge Global Popular Music Series. Routledge Press, 2016.

Purijkuna Otavalan Transnational Migrants: Indigenous Global Mobility and the Politics of Destination” in ALTER/NATIVAS Latin American Cultural Studies Journal Special Issue: New Approaches to Transnational Migration and Cultural Change. Autumn 2016 (7) http://alternativas.osu.edu/en/issues/autumn-7-2016/essays#/wibbelsman.html

“La pugna de los aciales: Batallas rituales y el papel de la violencia en el contexto del Inti Raymi, Cotacachi, Ecuador” in Sarance No. 34, Winter 2015.

“Encuentros rituales—Las danzas del Inti Raymi en Cotacachi y Otavalo, Ecuador” in Sarance No. 33, pp. 26-36, Summer 2015.

“The Way of Sorrows: Performance, Experience and the Moral Society in Northern Ecuador” in Performativity, Power, and the Poetics of Being: Soundscapes from the Americas, edited by Donna Buchanan. Ashgate Press, August 2014.

“Encuentros: Dances of the Inti Raymi in Cotacachi, Ecuador” in Latin American Music Review 2005, 26(2):189-220.

“Otavaleños at the Crossroads: Physical and Metaphysical Coordinates of an Indigenous World” in JLAA (Journal of Latin American Anthropology) 2005, 10 (1): 151-185.