This small island 35 km from Puno has been inhabited for thousands of years and the people maintain a strong sense of group identity. Taquile felt like its own little world, completely detached from the modern world. The island was completely covered by agricultural terraces, and the scenery was stunning. Red soil, blue lake and Bolivia’s snowy Cordillera Real in the horizon.
Traditions are very important to the society. The men wear tightly knitted hats in colours showing if they are married or not. They take pride in knitting them themselves, and some say that a potential father-in-law would fill the hat with water, and if leaking the man would be a lazy husband.
Single women wear colorful skirts while the married women wear black. They weave colorful and very detailed waistbands for their husbands which are used to protect their backs as there are no cars or donkeys on the island, and everything is carried around.
Their handicrafts are among the best-made in Peru, and are sold at fixed prices in the cooperative store on the main plaza.