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The Knitting Men of Taquile, Peru

A Knitting Man of Taquile

The last stop on our Lake Titicaca adventure was the Taquile Islands, and for me, it was the most beautiful of the three we visited.

The main village 4000 metres above sea level could only be reached by climbing up 535 stone steps, and as we ascended laboriously upwards, we were treated to views of never-ending blue waters, and the symmetrical beauty of the Taquileno’s farming terraces.

Beautiful water at the bottom of the mountain

After 535 breathless steps, the Bears finally reached the top!

The Knitting Bear of Albania

Famous for it’s handwoven textiles and clothing, Taquile’s textiles were declared “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO in 2005.

Fascinatingly though, knitting in Taquile is performed solely by males, starting from the age of 8. The Taquileno women are responsible for making yarn and weaving only.

All of the men wore colourful hats that they had knit for themselves, with the colour of the ball on top of the hats denoting their marital status (though we were never able to find out which colour meant what). When the Taquileno men hitched a ride back to Puno on our boat later on in the day, we also discovered that they store their supply of coca leaves in the top of the hat as well. That is one multi-purpose accessory!

The knitting men of Taquile chewing coca leaves

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. What a great experience! Perรบ is on my travel list. One day, I hope.

    May 22, 2012
    • Shelley #

      It certainly was. The whole Lake Titicaca tour was definitely one of the highlights of our time in Peru. I hope you get your wish to travel there soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

      May 24, 2012

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