Taquile and Its Textile Art – Where Manliness is Based on Knitting

Taquile island is popular for its textile creativity and clothing. One of the most fascinating Taquile island facts is that in the year 2005, Taquile’s workmanship was considered crucial to such an extent that UNESCO regarded it as a metaphysical Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Here on this island females weave and monitor the sheep that provide the yarn. Men here produce the island’s sewn caps. Alejandro – one of the 7 men on the island distinguished as a Master of Textiles. Alongside the leader of the island Juan Quispe Huatta.

Taquile Island facts 

History of the Textile Art: 

The tradition of the textile art is around 500 years old. Its roots grounded in the ancient civilisations of the Pukara, Inca and Colla peoples. Even on this small Peruvian island, the men have attracted their partners by knitting elaborate Andean hats.

The 67-year-old Alejandro Flores Huatta understood how to knit the iconic chullo (refers to a tall, floppy Andean hat) when he was a child. He has learnt this art from his grandfather and elder brother. They used to teach knitting by using the thorns of a cactus as a needle.

Another interesting Taquile island fact is that here the men learn knitting by glancing and observing their elders or other experienced people.

Island’s Men’s Creativity, Dreams and Aspirations: 

You may be unaware of the Taquile island fact that here men’s ability or worth is assessed not on how well they can hunt, or catch fish but rather it is being estimated on their proficiency to knit.  The males of the Taquile Island learn knitting from the very tender age of five or six. This skill is passed on from one male individual to another. Also, the first chullo a boy knits must be white later on he can dye threads when he is able to knit a neat and tight hat.

The Chullos or tall Andean hats are culturally crucial, playing a major part in the island’s social structure. These Chullos take a month to be completed as it has intricate patterns and certain iconography that indicates seasonal, agricultural and familial totems.

 It is an opportunity for men to showcase their inventiveness while also illustrating their dreams, marital status and aspirations – a few men use it to express their moods. The females choose their male partners based on their mastery of knitting a chullo with little wire-thin needles. Well, locals follow it as a tradition which they strive hard to protect.

Join us on one of these tours to visit the Taquile Islands on Lake Titicaca. We are a top rated Lake Titicaca Tour Operators on Tripadvisor.

  1. Uros and Taquile Island full day tour.
  2. Uros, Amantani and Taquile two day tour.

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