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THE ISLAND
OF TAQUILE

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THE ISLAND OF TAQUILE

"Here everything is shared, we speak in Quechua, we dressed as our grandparents did and we believe in the laws that the Inca bequeathed ", the weaver in love had said.

Taquile, the biggest island in Lake Titicaca is located 35 kilometers to the north of the Puno; it preserves its traditions, customs and the laws of the Incan time intact.

When discovering this town of solidary men and women that share everything, the traveler has the sensation of having made a jump in time, to relive a piece of the grandiose history of the children of the Sun.

Their looks have and irradiate sparks of fondness. She smiles with shyness, folds, hides her sallow face and with her hands - cold, twitched, trembling - she spins kind of a wool spindle; he, he shakes his shirt, kicks a pebble, sighs with edginess. She returns to her fabric.

Absence of words. He, he draws magic symbols in a chullo (wool cap); she, she spins with urgency anddexterity, but the uncomfortable, heavy, unbearable silence, breaks the charm, breaks the halo of fondness; then, the daily lines and the sketches of the routine are imposed in the island of the stone arches, in the earth of the small paths, in the community that is governed by the laws of the Inca.

Everyday printed fabrics: Women spinners, men weavers, playful children, comuneros bent by the weight of some amorphous bundles, peasants that open furrows in the earth, travelers that look to recover the energy lost in the tortuous ascent, because it is necessary to go up a stairway of more than 567 steps - streaks of stone that wind their way among greenery platforms - to arrive at the town of Taquile, a hide away from the past in the always blue, sacred waters of Lake Titicaca.

The "chullo" is clever. He observes his work with eyes of serene satisfaction: he reviews the colors and the strange designs. Will a married man of the community use it or a desirous tourist wanting to take a memory. There is no doubt, he likes to knit, he has done it since he was a pequeñín, as ordered by the old traditions of their town; but he also likes her, his partner that looks at it sideways.

Now, he can no longer hide his edginess in the fabric. It is exposed and unarmed. He begins to whistle but he forgets the melody, then he greets the neighbors that maraud for the path - the men black pants, white shirts and waistband embroidered; the women dark mantel for protection from the Sun, multicolored polleras and red blouses - and he hopes that they will stay the whole day. It is not this way. They leave.
They leave him alone.

He thinks... he meditates... he decides to speak.....

Words in Quechua. Brief, good, rough or sweet?.She blushes, her fingers get entangled in the thread and she loses the control of the wool spinning top. Both laugh, she picks up the fallen object; he, caresses the "chullo" as if he was thinking of the possibility of staying with it. Perhaps - only perhaps - he will need it very soon.

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Inca legacy

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