Taquile Island

Tuesday – March 29, 2011 – Taquile Island

Our second stop on Lake Titicaca was Taquile Island.  This island is not man-made and floating; it is a natural island within the lake.  We hiked from the beach up to one of the family homes, where Eliseo provided a detailed overview of the weaving traditions and explained the meaning of the colors on the men’s hats and the story that is woven into the men’s waistbands.  The men must demonstrate their weaving skills to the women they plan to court and marry.  The hats must be so tightly woven that they will hold water. 

We then enjoyed our box lunches and watched a group of young islanders perform some of their local dances.  After a couple of dances, it was time for the “tourist” to dance.  Each of the islanders selected someone from our group to join them in several group dances.  Daisy selected Larry to dance!  She was a real cutie!

Looking our folks after 5 minutes or so of exertion seem pretty obvious that the realize we were at 12,000 ft. elevation!  “Air!!… air!!  I need air!” was plaster over many faces. 

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Wikipedia: Lake Titicaca is a lake located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It sits 3,811 m (12,500 ft) above sea level, making it the highest commercially navigable lake in the world.[2] By volume of water, it is also the largest lake in South America.   
Taquile is an island on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca 45 km offshore from the city of Puno. About 2,200 people live on the island, which is 5.5 by 1.6 km in size (maximum measurements), with an area of 5.72 km². The highest point of the island is 4050 meters above sea level and the main village is at 3950 m. The inhabitants, known as Taquileños, are southern Quechua speakers. 
Taquileños are known for their fine handwoven textiles and clothing, which are regarded as among the highest-quality handicrafts in Peru. Knitting is exclusively performed by males, starting at age eight. The women exclusively make yarn and weave.