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Q’eswachaka Bridge Weaving in Peru

This Inca bridge is a connection between the past and the present, and its renovation is a real tradition for locals

Q’eswachaka Bridge Weaving
Q’eswachaka Bridge Weaving

There are not so many inventions left from the Inca Empire. However, thanks to some indigenous tribes from the Andes we still have a chance to see and explore some, including this woven rope bridge.

The Q’eswachaka Bridge can be called a miracle of human craft. Today it bears more of a symbolic meaning, but Incas once used it regularly. It is made with the local grass ichu. Women and girls made braided ropes, which later were woven by men. This process is repeated constantly, as the bridge deteriorates quickly.

Today everyone can join the process of bridge renovation every June when several families from four Quechua communities gather on the steep banks of the Apurimac River in Canas Province. Their key goal is to honor Pachamama, the Earth Mother, and to behold ancient traditions. After the work is finished people give thanks to Apus (mountain spirits) and celebrate with music, chicha drinks, and chuñu phasi food.

Practical info

When does the festival take place that involves the Q’eswachaka Bridge in Peru?

Every June, the Q'eswachaka Bridge Weaving Festival is held in Peru. This festival is a significant event for the Quechua community from four different communities around the Apurimac River in the Canas Province, where the bridge is located. The purpose of the festival is to celebrate and honor the ancient traditions and culture of the Andean people and the Earth Mother, Pachamama. The symbolic process of rebuilding the bridge every year is an essential part of this celebration, reflecting the deep connection of the people to the environment. Show more

What is the Q’eswachaka Bridge's historical significance?

In the Inca Empire, the Q'eswachaka Bridge was a crucial crossing point for the people. The bridge was made of Peru's local grass, ichu, and woven using traditional techniques. Today, the symbolic significance of the Q'eswachaka Bridge represents the culture and traditions of Andean people. The bridge is an essential part of their heritage, connecting the past to the present. Moreover, it symbolizes the deep connection to their ancestors and their culture. Show more

Is there a possibility for tourists to participate in the Q’eswachaka Bridge weaving process?

Tourists are welcome to join in the weaving process of the Q'eswachaka Bridge. Visitors can contribute by weaving the ropes, processing or constructing the bridge. This hands-on experience is a unique opportunity to learn and appreciate the Andean people's traditions and culture. The physical weaving process can be challenging, but it is a rewarding and memorable way to participate in the festivities and enjoy the cultural celebration. Show more

What is the location of the Q’eswachaka Bridge in Peru?

Located in the Cusco region of Peru, specifically in the Canas Province, the Q'eswachaka Bridge spans the Apurimac River. The river is a tributary of the Amazon Rainforest, and the bridge is in the Andes Mountains. It is approximately 100 kilometers southeast of Cusco and near Machu Picchu, which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Peru. Show more

What is the historical background of the Q’eswachaka Bridge in Peru?

The history of the Q'eswachaka Bridge dates back to the Inca Empire, where it was a crucial crossing point for the people. Today, it represents the Andean people's culture and tradition and is still made using the traditional weaving methods passed down through generations. Due to weather conditions, the bridge deteriorates quickly, making the process of rebuilding the bridge using traditional methods and techniques necessary. Despite the challenges faced by the local communities, they continue to honor their ancestors and rebuild the bridge every year as a symbol of their heritage. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin