Saturday, May 3, 2014

Taquile Island

     Today we woke up and ate a wonderful breakfast of pancakes and fried bread before leaving. We were very gracious of our caring host mother and enjoyed playing with her adorable baby.
     We then took an hour boat ride to the neighboring island of Taquile, which is known for its beautiful textiles made by men. Here, the clothing that one wears displays his or her marital status. For example, women who wear black shawls (one of which you can see below) are married, and single women wear brightly colored clothing.

     The men wear hats called chullos to display their marital status. Married men wear an all red chullo, and single men wear red and white chullos. Men also wear a wide belt-like piece of clothing called a faja. Fajas have very intricate designs (as you can see below) and tell a story about the life of the man who made it. Men of Taquile typically carry around a type of bag called a chuspi (which you can see below) to hold their coca leaves. Then, when they see another man they know, they exchange coca leaves with him as part of a salutation. 

Faja being made and a finished faja:


     The men who hold local government positions in Taquile wear a colorful hat underneath a black hat (as you can see below). These men are elected to their position for one year and do not receive payment for their services. The people of Taquile run their society based on the Inca moral code ama sua, ama llulla, ama qhilla. In Quechua, these words mean "do not steal, do not lie, do not be lazy."

     Amidst a beautiful view, we ate wonderful lunch of quinoa soup, trout, potatoes, rice, and vegetables.

     Then a man gave us a demonstration of how they clean wool for the textiles.
1. Mash up this plant with rocks and add water to make it mushy.

2. Put the mushed up plant into a piece of cloth that is above a bowl of water.

3. Mix the water until it is soapy and scrub the wool in the water.

     After this demonstration, we had to leave the island and take a three hour boat ride back to Puno. When we arrived back at the hotel, we had free time until dinner, so we showered then walked around Puno. We ate dinner at a restaurant with many food options. During dinner, we talked about our favorite island that we visited and our favorite part of the trip. We cannot believe that we have to leave on Friday! Time has gone by so fast. 

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