Over 500-year-old Inca Bridge Collapses: Local Tribes Rebuild It By Weaving Ropes.

For some people, losing pieces of history and cultural identity means losing their own identity. The members of the Peruvian community we are going to talk about knowing something about it, because they have been the actors of a beautiful story of commitment and dedication that has gone around the world, giving a smile and a little hope to many people.

When, due to lack of maintenance and the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, “their” bridge collapsed, the Huinchiri decided not to leave things as they were and to roll up their sleeves to give back. to this structure, classified in the heritage of UNESCO and of great symbolic importance, its glory of yesteryear.


image credit: SmithsonianNMAI/Youtube

The Q’eswachaka, built over 500 years ago by the Incas to reach the wonderful Machu Picchu, is more than just a bridge. From one side to the other, this incredible work, made with meters and meters of rope made from local plants, has united two communities for more than five centuries, separated by the course of the Apurimac River.


image credit: SmithsonianNMAI/Youtube

Until the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic which, with its travel restrictions, did not allow the local population to give the bridge the attention it had always received at regular intervals, to strengthen its structure and ensure that its 30 meters long is always in the best condition. So the bridge sadly collapsed, leaving the local tribes isolated like never before.


image credit: SmithsonianNMAI/Youtube

“Due to the pandemic, it was not possible to strengthen it,” said the governor of the Cuzco region, Jean-Paul Benavente, “which is why it collapsed”.


image credit: SmithsonianNMAI/Youtube

But instead of accepting what happened with pain and resignation, the Huinchiri decided it was time to step up and give the world an exemplary display of determination. The goal? Revive the bridge, not by building it with contemporary techniques, but by using the weaving methods handed down over time by their ancestors.


image credit: SmithsonianNMAI/Youtube

What does that mean? That, by an incredible and very precise work of weaving the ropes , they tried, suspended above the river, to reconstruct it knot by knot, meter by meter, from the edge of the ravine to the center.


image credit: SmithsonianNMAI/Youtube

sensational undertaking to say the least, not only for its practicality and aesthetics but also for the Q’eswachaka Bridge. This is the last Inca bridge that has come down to us, and it is for this reason that it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “Its reconstruction was a response to the pandemic,” said Benavente, this bridge is our chance to tell the world that we are gradually coming out of a bad time. “


image credit: SmithsonianNMAI/Youtube

A bridge more “alive” than ever , therefore, protected by people who hold more than anything to their traditions and their cultural identity. The links between the local communities are secure, as is the Q’eswachaka, a precious and fascinating testimony to a history that deserves to be passed on.

Watch the video:

source used: The Guardian

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