The Last Incan Handwoven Rope Bridge

There's not a force in this universe that could get me to cross a bridge made of dead grass, suspended hundreds of feet over a river, swaying gently in the breeze between a couple of rock faces.  That said, it's still kind of sad that the hundreds of handwoven bridges that existed in Peru for centuries are gone, leaving only a single example of Incan bridge technology.
Known as keshwa chaca, this is the only remaining example of the Incan handwoven bridges once common in the Incan road system. Made of woven grass, the bridge spans 118 feet and hangs 220 feet above the canyon's rushing river.

The Incan women braided small, thin ropes, which were then braided again by the men into large support cables, much like a modern steel suspension bridge. Handwoven bridges lasted as long as 500 years and were held in very high regard by the Inca. The punishment for tampering with such a bridge was death.

Over time, however, the bridges decayed, or were removed, leaving this single testament to Incan engineering. This previously sagging bridge was repaired in 2003, christened with a traditional Incan ceremonial bridge blessing, and is now in extremely good condition.

Link (Image: Dylan Thuras)

Newest 3
Newest 3 Comments

I saw a documentary on this some time ago.

The bridge is actually rebuilt every year in a community festival known as "minka".
Women braid the ropes required for building the bridge throughout the year until everything is set to put it in place. Come next year, they do the same thing.

Kind of tiring, isn't it?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"The Last Incan Handwoven Rope Bridge"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More