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Uros Islands

The Uros

 

One of the most primitive pre-Inca people of Peru. Of ferocious and brutal people's origin, the Inca who considered them as a sub human tribe subjected them. This ethnos lived in a perfect symbiosis with the Titicaca and they lived exclusively in artificial islands that they knitted on the not very deep waters of the lake.

 

As pure race it was extinguished almost 50 years ago, today their descendants are the miscegenation Uro Aymara; they speak the Aymara, and conserve many of their ancestral customs.

 

The current Uros inhabit the swampy area of the Bay of Chucuito, very near Puno City where they coexist in a social-political organization far from the traditional way of a modern civilization.

 

This people has received the influence of the Catholic religion, and they celebrate its festivities also burying their deaths in mainland.

 

For the subsistence in height average of 4,000 meters above sea level (13,122 feet) and with a cold climate, they have achieved an excellent adaptation. The color of its skin is dark, high lung capacity and development of the thorax; they have two more litters of blood then the average, with high content of red globules, what grant them great physical resistance.

 

A family usually builds its housing, hut knitted in totora (rush or cane), with waterproof roofs against the rain, but existing in its interior great humidity for what is frequent that they suffer from rheumatism at short age. Each family also knits these islands and they are held to the bottom of the lake.

 

They hunt wild birds and maintain traditional fishing methods, especially those used for the carachi and the silverfish. The men are skillful handlers of the totora reed boats, and the women are expert knitters.

 

The floating islands of the Uros are locate in Lake Titicaca - 5 km (3 miles) west of the Puno harbor (20 minutes by boat). (3,810 m.a.s.l. / 12.497 f.a.s.l.) number around 20 and are located in the Bay of Puno. Three to ten Uro - Aymaras families live on each one. They roof their houses with totora reed carpets, although some families have replaced their traditional roofs by metal ones.

 

The largest Islands are Tupiri, Santa María, Tribuna, Toranipata, Chumi, Paraiso, Kapi, Titino, Tinajero, and Negrone. The Uros call themselves Kotsuña, "the lake people".

 

In some of the islands are found schools for the children, maybe the only floating schools of the world. The children arrive every morning in their own rafts that they learn to knit from early age.

 

The characteristic cold and dry weather of the region is tempered in this area thanks to the constantly evaporating water of the large lake.

 

The floating islands of the Uros offer to tourists an authentic travel to the past, sharing the life with local natives and beautiful landscapes. The tourist are accommodation in a family house and all activities will be with natives. Is a real experience of rural tourism. In these areas visitors come into contact with ancient communities, and have the opportunity to share their ways of life and see their splendid handicrafts.

 

When walking on these islands you should have the caution of not stepping their peculiar gardens, because it is possible to have a bath, that bothers its inhabitants.

 

To visit the islands of the Uros, you should take a boat from the port of Puno, minimum advisable time 4 hours. These boats carry out a ride by the diverse islands and disembark in some of them to visit their inhabitants and learn something about their life style.

 

Photo Gallery of Uros

 

The visit to the floating islands of the Uros can be combined with visits to Taquile and or Amantini Islands in a full day program.

 

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