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Wed Nov 13, 2019, 11:24 PM

Manmade Reed Islands of Lake Titicaca, between Peru and Bolivia:

June 23, 2017
By Linda Jaivin

High in the Peruvian Andes on Lake Titicaca, we visit the Uros, an indigenous people who build boats, houses – even the floating islands they live on – out of reeds.

Two yellow pumas rear up on Lake Titicaca, mouths agape, eyes rolling. “Mercedes-Benz,” giggles our “taxi” driver, Eduardo. I wonder for a moment if I’ve chewed one too many coca leaves (a local remedy for altitude sickness). But while the thinness of the air at 3812 metres above sea level can do funny things to your head, there really is a double-decker extravaganza of a totora-reed boat, with twin pumas at the prow, sailing past.

By comparison, our single-oar water taxi is a jalopy: bundles of totora reeds tied in a sinuous shape that vaguely resembles a headless duck, topped with a brightly striped woven blanket to sit on. Eduardo is taking us on a jaunt around the world’s highest commercially navigable lake, a body of water nearly the size of Puerto Rico and the birthplace of Incan civilisation. Pumas may no longer prowl its shores but they are still totemic as symbols of courage, power and energy.

Eduardo’s people, the Uros, live here in the middle of the lake, in totora-reed houses on floating islands they build and rebuild themselves out of – what else? – totora reeds. They anchor the islands to the lake bed with rocks so as not to wake up in Bolivia (the lake is divided between Peru and its neighbour). The Uros, who claim descent from the first settlers of the Andean plateau, have lived like this for hundreds of years since working out it was one way to escape enslavement by the Spanish conquistadors, not to mention Incan and pre-Incan aggressors. Today, there are 94 islands, with up to 10 families per island.

More:
https://www.qantas.com/travelinsider/en/explore/south-america/peru/exploring-lake-titicaca-in-peru.html
















More photos with articles in google images:

https://tinyurl.com/sf5xter

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Nov 13, 2019, 11:33 PM

1. Gorgeous.

Thanks for posting!

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 14, 2019, 12:09 AM

5. The boats are so exotic, really like something from another world.

They definitely made them into something more than a vessel to get from one place to another.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Nov 13, 2019, 11:37 PM

2. WOW! Islands made of reeds, big enough to build houses on. Mind blowing what humans can figure out.

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Response to brush (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 14, 2019, 12:15 AM

6. Then we learn they first ones were there before the Incas. Yikes.

It would stand to reason working with those tough reeds would be very tough on people's hands.

So inventive, creative, amazing.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Nov 13, 2019, 11:39 PM

3. Wow.

I knew about the reed boats but I didn't know about the islands!

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 14, 2019, 12:16 AM

7. After you see their images for the first time, the idea will absolutely stick in your mind.

Something about it really captures the imagination.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Nov 13, 2019, 11:52 PM

4. Lake Titicaca, the snicker-inducing geography lesson for school-boys everywhere

Last edited Thu Nov 14, 2019, 12:26 AM - Edit history (1)

Maybe school-girls too, but in my classroom way back when, it was definitely mostly the boys...

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Response to RockRaven (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 14, 2019, 12:19 AM

8. Yeah, school kids probably can't believe the syllables mean something different elsewhere!

Kids are funny, actually.

Too bad some of them never get any wiser at all when they "grow up."

Here's the Wiki for that amazing lake. Images at google images show it's a vast, unbelievable lake:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Titicaca

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2019, 08:35 AM

9. Wow!!!!

Beautiful pictures, that's quite the feat.

Thank you for posting this.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2019, 03:44 PM

10. Nice

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2019, 04:58 PM

11. I first heard of lake titicaca mentioned on a jeac cousteau special.

the people who live on the lake said they wernt from earth.
this . &app=desktop yea the boats are very fanciful.

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Response to AllaN01Bear (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 18, 2019, 08:54 AM

14. When I was there in 2009 I took this shot of the lake from our hotel window at 4:30 am

It certainly looked like another world to me!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2019, 10:28 AM

12. An idea used again later in Tenochtitlan

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Nov 18, 2019, 08:48 AM

13. I was there in 2009. We went out to the floating islands

Our guide did a "show and tell" of how the islands are constructed using reeds. We took a ride in the reed boat. Watched some of the women making crafts from the reeds. Brought a mobile home that is hanging in my study where I can look at it and take myself back to that day.

Here's a view of the islands with the afternoon sun shining on them



And a woman embroidering a hanging to sell to tourists (see the mobiles hanging in the upper left of this photo)



And a shot of the mobile this tourist purchased which is now hanging in my study.



With a close up to show the detail in the bottom reed boat with the male and female figure.





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