I was very fortunate to have found a book about Inti Raymi entitled, Inti Raymi: The ancestral dance of a sun-centered liturgy. Written by Ulpiano Garcia Cobos, a local Cotacachi resident, it's filled with great information about the history and symbolism of the fiesta.
The women are a critical part of the ritual dancing. They are there to provide support and protection. Not only do they carry extra corn alcohol, they provide moral.support and even help fend.off an attacker if needed.
The costumes worn by the men are symbolic of the clothing worn by their oppressors and it's a way of "thumbing their noses at them.
The dancers from the over 30 villages dance around the plaza.e times, stopping at each of the corners to dance in a circle for several.minutes before moving on to the next corner. The taking of the plaza is so symbolically significant becaue the Spaniards would build their plaza.and church on the sacred ground of the local inhabitants.
There is so much more information that I could share but I'm going to stop at this point. I suspect you're pretty tired of hearing about Inti Raymi by now. I'll have a final roundup of photos and information after my computer has been repaired and I can upload more photos.