Image: Chris Knutson
In order to construct a boat that was as historically accurate as possible, the expedition hired traditional reed boat-building family the Estebans. And this wasn’t the Estebans’ (who belong to the Bolivian Aymara ethnic group) first foray into this type of historical recreation. One member of the family, Paulino, worked on similar projects, including the Ra II expedition and the Tigris expedition, which were both headed by legendary Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl.
In this photograph, we see Paulino’s son Benjamín inspecting the dry totora reeds employed to build the boats. These plants have been used to make boats in South America for thousands of years.