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Totora reeds grow in South America, particularly around Lake Titicaca, and also on Easter Island. These reeds have been used by various pre-Columbian South American civilizations to build reed boats. The boats, called balsa, vary in size from small fishing canoes to thirty meters long. They are still used on Lake Titicaca, located on the border of Peru and Bolivia, 3810 meters above sea level. The Uros are an indigenous people pre-dating the Incas. They live, still today, on man-made floating islands scattered across Lake Titicaca. These islands are also constructed from totora reeds. Each floating island supports between three and ten houses, also built of reeds. The Uros still build totora reed boats, which they use for fishing and hunting seabirds.
Lake Titicaca, Peru, South America
Nikon D200, Nikkor 18-200 mm at 95 mm, 1/800 sec at f/ 5.6, ISO 100
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