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.

Julia Allwein

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.

Francesca Napoli

Francesca is a current undergrad student majoring in Romance Studies with a specialization in Latin
American Cultures and Literature and minoring in Linguistics. She plans to complete an Andean and
Amazonian Studies minor by participating in the Pachaysana Study Abroad program in Ecuador in
Spring 2023. She is interested in different cultural expressions and perspectives and how that shapes
our relationship with the world around us. She is particularly interested in Indigenous art and food
culture. In her free time, she enjoys knitting, cooking, and reading. After graduating, Francesca plans
to continue her education by pursuing an MA in Museum Studies.

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, and the Graduate Research Associate for the Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Art and Cultural Artifact Collection during the 2022-2023 academic year. Amanda’s 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.

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.


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.