Caballito de totora
Caballitos de totora are reed watercraft used by fishermen in Peru for the past 3000 years, archaeologically evidenced from pottery shards. Named for the way they are ridden, straddled ('little reed horses' in English), fishermen use them to transport their nets and collect fish in their inner cavity. The name is not the original name, as horses were not introduced to South American until after the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. They are made from the same reed, the totora (Schoenoplectus californicus subsp. tatora), used by the Uru people on Lake Titicaca.
Fishermen in the port town of Huanchaco famously, but in many other locations practically, still use these vessels to this day, riding the waves back into shore, and suggesting some of the first forms of wave riding. There is currently a minor debate in the surfing world as to whether or not this constitutes the first form of surfing.
Swamps of Huanchaco
The Swamps of Huanchaco are an ecological reserve about 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) northwest of the historic center of Trujillo, Peru. From this ecological reserve, people extracted the raw material for the manufacture of the ancient caballitos de totora used since the time of the Moche culture for fishing. Currently, Huanchaco fishermen still use their materials from this swamps to make their ships of work.
- Roberto Argüello: Caballitos de totora.