Uros Indians

Where did they come from?

As to the legend from the pre-Columbian era they existed before the sun. The earth was still dark and cold then. They did not call themselves men but Uros. It was believed that men only came after the sun.

Uros man
Uros man

It is also interesting to mention that other tribes used to think that Uros' blood is black and they could not be drowned or be strucked by lighting.

Uros woman
Uros woman

Uros Indians live on floating islands they made on Lake Titicaca. They were forced to do it in the past by the Inca Indians.

The floating islands are made of reeds which grow on the banks of Lake Titicaca. Each island consists of two layers. The one of about one meter is made of reed roots. The second one meter thick layer constructed of crisscrossed reeds is added to make everything more solid.

floating Uros Island village
floating Uros Island village

Nowadays there are more than 40 floating islands. The biggest of them are Huacavacani, Toranipata and Santa Maria. Uros Indians also use reeds to make their homes, boats, furniture etc. Tender bottoms of reeds are used as food.

Life on the islands is quite difficult. They rot from the bottom quickly so reeds has to be added constantly. This reason forced most Uros Indians to move to the mainland. There they intermarried with the Ayamara and Quechua speaking Indians. That is why nowadays there are no "full-blooded" Uros Indians.

Uros child and handicrafts
Uros child and handicrafts

Uros Indians today are fishermen, hunters and makers of beautiful handicrafts which are sold to tourists.