Weaving bridges, an ancient tradition

Close to Cusco in Peru, a unique centuries-old tradition survives to this day. Each year in the second week of June, hundreds of local people gather to hand-build a new bridge following traditional Inca engineering techniques. The Q’eswachaka bridge connects two communities and brings them over the Apurímac River.

The 124-foot-long rope used to make the bridge is meant to honor the Andean gods. The bridge has been rebuilt in this same location continually since the time of the Inka. Using only natural fibers and a simple, yet inventive weaving effort, together the community constructs a new bridge in only three days.

This video, produced for the exhibition "The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire" shows master builders Eleuterio Callo Tapia and Victoriano Arizapana who take us through the process.

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