Reed Boats and Experimental Archaeology on Lake Titicaca

“Reed boat manufacturing involves gathering and joining bun- dles of totora reeds and fastening them with rope (tradition- ally made from dried prairie grass, ichu). To build a boat, the reeds must be harvested by cutting them several feet below the water’s surface with a scythe or a long pole with a knife tied to the end. Reeds are gathered in bundles (amaros) just about big enough for an adult to wrap both arms solidly around them. Once cut, the reeds must be carefully dried in the sun for three to four weeks before they are ready to be used.”

Read the fascinating full document from the University of Pennsylvania filled with history and photographs here: