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.


Anais Fernandez Castro

Anais Fernandez Castro is a current undergraduate student with majors in Political Science 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.



Shima Karimi

ShimaShima is a first-year Ph.D. student in Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies. She has years of experience teaching Spanish to different age groups and at various levels. She has also worked as a cultural tour guide.
Shima, a native Persian speaker, is also fluent English and Spanish. She has a BA in Spanish Language and Literature and an MA in Latin American Studies. Her research interests lie with the tradition and culture of Indigenous people of the Americas. Shima plans to to travel someday to the Andes and explore Indigenous art and culture.


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.





Tamryn McDermott

Tamryn McDermott 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. She served as the Graduate Research Associate for the Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Art and Cultural Artifact Collection from Spring 2021 – Spring 2022. 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.



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.






Kareen Darwich

Kareen is a current undergraduate majoring in Health Sciences with a minor in Spanish. She aspires to pursue a career in dentistry upon completing her degree. With a diverse background stemming from her Lebanese-Venezuelan heritage, she has cultivated an appreciation for various cultures and traditions. Kareen’s passion for exploring new parts of the world was evident when she had the opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica over the summer, where she honed her Spanish language skills with native speakers. She also journeyed to Lebanon to utilize her Arabic language skills. 

In her role as a curator on her team, Kareen aims to bridge her expertise in the healthcare field with indigenous healing practices. She eagerly anticipates the opportunity to compare the Western Medical Model with the diverse healing modalities she encounters during her research. She firmly believes that integrating different medical approaches into our healthcare system can contribute to enhanced overall well-being in society. 

Ivan Ng

Ivan Ng is a Graduate Student in the Master of Fine Arts program at Ohio State University. 

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.