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Each civilization developed its own distinctive architecture, pottery, and religious interests.
In the highland Andes mountains, where life was more sedentary, groups of tribes cooperated and formed villages; thus the first nations based on agricultural resources and the domestication of animals formed.
Much later migrations to Ecuador may have come via the Amazon tributaries, others descended from northern South America, and others ascended from the southern part of South America through the Andes.
The first Indians who reached Ecuador may have journeyed by land from North and Central America or by boat down the Pacific Ocean coastline.
Eventually, through wars and marriage alliances of their leaders, a group of nations formed confederations.
One region consolidated under a confederation called the Shyris, which exercised organized trading and bartering between the different regions.
The northern faction headed by Atahualpa claims that Huayna Capac gave a verbal decree before his death about how the empire should be divided.
He gave the territories pertaining to present-day Ecuador and northern Peru to his favorite son Atahualpa, who was to rule from Quito; and he gave the rest to Huáscar, who was to rule from Cuzco.