Taquile Island

Taquile is an island on the Perúvian side of Lake Titicaca, 45 km offshore from the city of Puno. About 2,200 people live on the island, which has an area of 5.72 km². The highest point of the island is 4050 meters above sea level and the main village is at 3950 m. The inhabitants, known as Taquileños, are southern Quechua speakers.

Taquileños are known for their fine handwoven textiles and clothing, which are regarded as among the highest-quality handicrafts in Perú. Knitting is exclusively performed by males, starting at age eight. The women exclusively make yarn and weave.

Taquile, whose Quechua name some believe was Intika, was part of the Inca Empire and has a number of Inca ruins. The island was one of the last locations in Perú to capitulate to Spanish domination during the Spanish conquest of Perú. As the Spanish forbade traditional dress, the islanders adopted the Spanish peasant clothing. They are known for maintaining that as traditional dress today, although they combine it with finely made Andean-style garments and accessories (ponchos, belts, mantles, coca-leaf purses, etc.).

In 2005, "Taquile and Its Textile Art" were honored by being proclaimed "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO.

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