The Urus—Island People of Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca, home of the Uru Indians, forms part of the border between Peru to the west and Bolivia to the east. As part of our visit to Peru, we just had to include this unique Indian tribe living on their floating islands high in the Andes.
When we reached Lake Titicaca early in the morning, we were overwhelmed by the immensity of the blue sky reflected in the silvery calm of the lake. We knew that at an altitude of some 12,500 feet [3,800 m], it is the highest lake in the world navigable to large vessels. But we were not prepared for its size—about 120 miles [190 km] long and a maximum of 50 miles [80 km] wide.
We visited one of the Uru villages on a floating island of totora reeds. As the old reeds on the bottom rot, the Uru Indians cut new ones and make a new surface for their spongy island. We took a boat ride in a typical reed balsa and were surprised at how stable and buoyant these rafts were. Back on the island, we gave the children gifts of bread rolls, which they seemed to appreciate as different from their normal diet. In return we took photos of their peaceful, floating life-style.
A local legend says that after the universal Flood, the sun’s rays first rose over Lake Titicaca. How impressive to find the Flood story tucked away in the Andes, so far away from Mesopotamia and so near to the floating Urus! (Compare Genesis, chapters 6-8.)—Contributed.