Tribe Weaves Floating Islands, Homes and Boats on Lake Titicaca

titicaca floating islands image

Image: jennifrog

TreeHugger has shown a few ideas for floating homes and even floating islands, but as so often happens, what we show turns out to have been done for years, perhaps centuries. Linda McCormick of Environmental Graffiti tells us that the Uros people of Peru build floating villages "from layers of bundled tortora reeds, which are fastened to a floating base structure, like a pontoon. The result is one massive, deep raft able to withstand surprisingly heavy loads."

titicaca floating island photo

Image: yandi
Initially created by the Uros people of Peru in Inca times, these wonderful islands stemmed from the need to escape incessant fighting and trouble on the mainland. This way the quiet Uros tribe could, quite literally, steer clear of aggressors, and because it has worked so well for the inhabitants for centuries there seems no reason to move to solid ground.

titicaca floating island detail photo

Image: abmiller99

The islands are remarkably sophisticated and hard wearing but the flotillas need to be constantly repaired to maintain their strength. As the dead reeds break away from the base new reeds are replaced on the surface, which are conveniently collected from the edges of Lake Titicaca. The islands are anchored in place by ropes attached to wooden poles driven into the bottom of the lake.

titicaca floating island closeup photo

Image: -simon-

More at Environmental Graffiti
More floating islands in TreeHugger:


Islands in the Gyre from Michael Barton
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Tired of Living on Earth? Build Your Own Island!

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