Thursday, September 5, 2013

Taquile Island

After we left the floating islands, we traveled to the Taquile Island for lunch.  This island and it's culture is very different from that of the Uros people, but it is just as fascinating.  Taquileños are famous for their fine handwoven textile and clothes.  Knitting is exclusively done by the males, starting at age 8, the women exclusively make yarn and weave.  

We were welcomed to the island by the a very friendly and warm welcoming committee who greeted each person individually and gave us each a stem of Peruvian mint.  This particular kind of mint is known to help with symptoms of altitude sickness, and I have to say it really worked!  I was wishing I had some of it while feeling so sick in Cusco! We were then treated to a wonderful presentation of traditional music and dancing.

Then we were taken up to one of their homes and were taught a little bit about their interesting culture.  We learned all about their famous knitting and weaving as well as their traditional dress.  You can tell a lot about a person of the island of Taquile just by looking at their dress.  The males wear hats that signify their different stages of life.  When they are young, they wear a white and red hat.  When they get married, they switch to the stripped multicolored hat, pictured below. Also, when the males get engaged their fiance makes them a beautiful and brightly colored coca leaf bag that they will wear everyday.  They also change the sash they wear around their waist.  Their fiance will make them a back support out of her own hair which they will cover with a multicolored sash that matches their hat.

The Tauile people rely strongly upon natural remedies and cleansing agents.  In the picture below, we were getting a demonstration on how they create their soap and shampoo out of grinding different plants.  Having long healthy hair is very important to the women of this culture, using these natural ways of shampooing has resulted in beautiful, strong and long hair and the men never go bald.  I need to get me some of that to help my hair grow! 

Then it was time for lunch!  Our meal was phenomenal!  Everything was so fresh, delicious, healthy and light!  The love peruvian cuisine.

Inca Cola is a soda that is unique to Peru.  It is intensely sweet and tastes a lot like bubblegum.  

After lunch, we had time to do some shopping at a little market they had set up of their beautiful handwoven goods.  I got the a beanie, a pair of gloves and some woven bracelets to remember my time on this beautiful island.


  1. What great pictures of their colorful costumes! It is hard to get a good picture of their faces and you got wonderful character shots! I notice you didn't mention the 80 steps we climbed; that is one of my prominent memories introducing this island...but it was worth it because of what we found on the top!

  2. It's so fun to see your pictures after culture night. I love all their colorful clothes and hats!