National Geographic : 1927 Feb
Photograph byGerstmann A PRIMITIVE TYPE OF WATER CRAFT ON LAKE TITICACA Centuries ago the lake dwellers learned how to dry giant bulrushes and to fashion them into thesepicturesque canoes (see, also, Color Plate I). Many of the balsas, which are large enough to use in ferrying live stock or passengers across arms ofthe lake, become water-logged after sixmonths. The long pole lying athwart the boat to the right can be used as an oar when there is no wind for the reed sail, ortopush thecraft through the shallows. The Indians take care not to fall overboard, for few know how to swim and the waters ofthe lake are extremely cold.