Uros, The Oldest Tribe That Lives in the Middle of Lake Titicaca

Uros, The Oldest Tribe That Lives in the Middle of Lake Titicaca

The Uros tribe is one of the oldest tribes in South America and lives in the middle of the lake. The location of the lake is only about 20 minutes from Puno, Peru. 

This tribe still lives on the central island of Lake Titicaca, which is at an altitude of 3,812 meters in the Peruvian plains.

The Uros tribe is older than the Inca tribe, one of the pre-Columbian empires that succeeded in controlling the territory of South America. The Uros tribe migrated to the lake due to being shifted by the Incas.

They chose to migrate to the lake as a means of survival from the Incas, who were expanding their territory.

After migrating, the Uros Tribe called themselves Lupihaques, which means children of the sun.

Read also: Naarden, a Small Town Surrounded by Fort and Moat

Lives on Lake Titicaca

The Uros tribe inhabits Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America. This lake has an area of ​​8,310 square meters and has been inhabited since 3,700 years ago.

The Uros tribe made their own island in the middle of the lake using the totora plant.

This totora plant is taken from the outskirts of Lake Titicaca. The totora plant is used to make islands, houses, boats, bedding, furniture, handicrafts, and others. This plant is a very important to this tribe.

The island is moored by ropes tied to wooden poles at the bottom of the lake.

In Lake Titanica, there are about 40 floating islands. However, only a few islands receive visits from other people.

The Uros tribe adapted to the lake environment and became a unique tribe because they live above the lake.

The people of this tribe believe that they are the protectors of the lake. That’s why they still live on this lake and maintain their traditions.

Traditional House of the Uros Tribe

The houses belonging to this tribe are unique. The main material used to make the house is totora straw.

The house made of straw can keep them warm. Therefore, they will be protected from extreme weather changes.

Not only are there people’s houses, but on this island, there are also schools, inns, and radio stations. Everything is built using totora straw.

Read also: Salar de Uyuni, the Largest Salt Flats in The World

Culture of the Uros Tribe

The Uros tribe still maintains the tradition of living in settlements built on floating islands. That’s why the culture of the community is an adaptation to the lake environment.

The majority of the population depends on their livelihood as fishermen. Men are responsible for fishing, hunting birds, and collecting bird eggs.

However, the main job of the men is to harvest the totora hay, which is used to repair the house regularly. While the women are responsible for making handicrafts from straw to sell.

This tribe has a distinctive traditional dress, and the clothes worn are colorful. Women would wear shirts and skirts of different colors, and wear wide hats to cover their heads from the sun.

Even though the location of this tribal settlement is remote, they still accept modernization. Some of them also have televisions, cell phones, radio broadcasts, and use electricity from solar panels, and then their children go to school.

This happens because the Uros tribe is open to change. They welcome people who come and introduce changes.

Continuing to preserve the culture, customs, and ancestral traditions while not closing oneself off from being involved in modern life is a unique feature of the Uros Tribe.


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