Thursday, February 28, 2013

Q'eswachaka: The last Inca rope bridge in Peru

Every year, the residents of Canas, Cusco meet to repeat a ritual that has lasted for at least 600 years. A thousand people, from four communities, spend three days weaving plant fibers togeth...
er to make the ropes that will form the Q’eswachaka Bridge, using techniques inherited from the Quehue people.

This is the only hanging bridge whose annual rebuilding process has been maintained for 600 years, the only one built entirely by hand, in a collective effort and using local fibers.
AMAZING!!!! The hanging bridge, which is 28 meters long, forms a part of the Inca road and building system, the Qhapaq √Ďan.

Each family produces 70 meters of rope during the renovation. The raw materials must be collected, as it is the fiber of a grass, similar to the ichu, that grows in the puna. That requires walking long distances.

Once the fibers are dry, they are twisted and braided by hand. The technique is the same one used for hundreds of years, and is passed-down generation-by-generation, with the participation of the children in the task. During this process, and in the production of the large ropes, there are various rituals and ceremonies directed at the local apus and guardian mountains.

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