Queshuachaca

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Queshuachaca (possibly from Quechua q'iswa a rope of twisted dried maguey or ichhu, chaka bridge,[1][2] "rope bridge", also spelled Keshwa Chaca, Q'iswa Chaca, Keswachaka, Q'eshwachaka, Qeswachaka, Q'eswachaca, Q'eswachaka, Queshuachaca, Queswachaka), consisting of ropes made of grass and spanning the Apurimac River near Huinchiri, in Quehue District, Canas Province, Peru, is the last remaining Inca rope bridge.[3]

Even though there is a modern bridge nearby, the residents of the region keep the ancient tradition and skills alive by renewing the bridge annually, in June. Several family groups have each prepared a number of grass-ropes to be formed into cables at the site, others prepare mats for decking, and the reconstruction is a communal effort. In ancient times the effort would have been a form of tax, with participants coerced to perform the rebuilding; nowadays the builders have indicated that effort is performed to honor their ancestors and the Pachamama (Earth Mother).

The event has also been supported by video productions for Nova and the BBC and is the subject of an independent documentary titled The Last Bridge Master (in-production, 2014). It is becoming a minor tourist attraction, with some small tolls charged for tourists to use the road during the festival to walk the newly completed bridge. In 2009 the government recognized the bridge and its maintenance as part of the cultural heritage of Peru, and there is now some outside sponsorship.[4]

The current lead bridge engineer is Victoriano Arizapana.

Renewing the bridge[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Teofilo Laime Ajacopa, Diccionario Bilingüe Iskay simipi yuyayk'ancha, La Paz, 2007 (Quechua-Spanish dictionary)
  2. ^ Diccionario Quechua - Español - Quechua, Academía Mayor de la Lengua Quechua, Gobierno Regional Cusco, Cusco 2005 (Quechua-Spanish dictionary) (5-vowel-system
  3. ^ "The Last Incan Grass Bridge", Joshua Foer, Feb. 22, 2011, slate.com
  4. ^ (automated translation) of http://globedia.com/inc-declara-patrimonio-cultural-inmaterial-puente-eswachaka-cusco

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 14°22′53″S 71°29′02″W / 14.3814°S 71.4840°W / -14.3814; -71.4840