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- Info País: Peru
Estado: Puno
Local: Titicaca Lake
Temas Geográficos:
Lakes - People
Data:
January 2001

UROS, THE FLOATING PEOPLE OF LAKE TITICACA

Currently reduced to tourism exposition, the sales of handicrafts, and the exhibition of a primitive but very ingenious way of life, the Uros resist in time... they are a pre-Columbian people who float in the Titicaca lake, in the neighborhoods of Puno, since a remote and unknown period...

How many years? Are there any records? What would be the historical impulse that led these people to create ingenious floating little villages?

Version 1:

Apparently, this people used to live halfway between boring and agressive neighbors... as we can see, nowadays, through so many examples spread in the most barren and disturbed regions of our planet... the most sterile...

Could you imagine if you had your neighbors fighting in the backyard of your house and, possibly, a relative killed as a result of this proximity...

... what about if you were good fisherman and had extensive experience with boats...

... perhaps on land you would have no longer any security that would be consistent with a peaceful way of life ...

... an inventor one day had the happy idea of living on the fluctuations of the lake Titicaca...

Version 2:

They were hunter-gatherer so obscure and primitive, dirty and ugly, with a language itself so guttural and difficult, that they were driven away from firm land by other indigenous, forcing them to live on the lake waters.

How did they manage it?

To escape from war or enemies, they built - with abundant and easy raw material - originated from the deep of the lake, floating islets, which soils are made of Totora, the major plant of Titicaca.

Totora is a versatile plant, pratically a vegetal god. It is born on water, but, once dried on sun, offers sufficient resistance for it not to sink. One can eat its root, one can make tea and medicines from its leaves and flowers.

The floating islets function as an epithelium on the contrary, where, bellow, the layers of Totora are consumed by the waters of the revolving lake; above, the Uros restitute a new layer of Totora that, dried by the sun and by the strong wind of the lake, renew the power of floating... and thus the invention is made and ready to be perpetuated...

In the center of each islet, we have a stake, a principal point of joiness, unifying, with ropes, all floating parts that compose the soft soil of the artificial islets....

The Uros are different ... the experience running across one of them is quite mythical, that is, we experience the sensation of pure history, lively broadcasted through a vast green lake, with small Andean mountains in the background, adorned with golden colors, inhabited by exotic people...

The Uros are enigmatic... how do they really do to live permanently on the lake?

The Uros are historical, legendary... they call themselves the wet men, and affirm they exist on Earth even before the creation of the humans, the dry men...

The Uros are totally original, they don´t copy anyone else... are pure inventiveness... they have their own language, now extint, and live according to the frozen wind... floating between nonexistent frontiers on the highest navigable lake of the world, the Titicaca...

... sometimes broadcasters and journalists appear there, disseminating the wonders of this vertiginous and old people that have become, along with the alleged funeral towers of Silustani, the main attractions of Puno...

We hope you can have a nice virtual tour and we can feel the atmosphere characteristic of the Uros.

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