Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lake Titicaca Part 3/3: Taquile

This post is way overdue! 

From Amantani, we took a boat over to Taquile. In Taquile, the people were even more traditional. When we arrived on the island, the tour guide told the males to walk in the front because females could not walk beside a male. Otherwise, it would be a sign of disrespect. This is still a highly patriarchal society, and they keep all of their old customs.

The people seemed happy to have us, but it seemed more like a show. They demonstrated various customs to us, which was interesting to see. My favorite custom happens upon marriage. The women grow their hair out until their married, and after they get married, they cut their hair and present their husband with large woven belt made from the hair. Another interesting custom concerns courting. Men wear different hats when they are looking for a wife. When a man sees a woman that catches his attention, he will take a mirror and try to reflect light in her eyes to get her attention. If this doesn't work, he'll try pelting her with pebbles until she notices him. Mind you, these are grown men!  

Afterwards, we walked to another part of the island where they prepared a trout for each of us. Trout is not native to Titicaca, but it certainly was fresh and delicious. 

One thing I felt from both these islands was a sense of peace. These societies are not rich by any means, but they communicate with one another, respect their heritage, and respect the land. This is something extremely valuable that was lost long ago in many places. I hope to one day return to Lake Titicaca.

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