Peru Journey: Qeswachaka Festival and alternative Inca trails in Peru

Many people travel to Peru for a tour of the famous Inca Trail. Obviously, the idea is that it is necessary to do the same thing as the ancient Incas used to travel to the great citadel of Machu Picchu. But the Inka Trail is not the only impressive remnant of the Inca Empire. Beside the well-known Inca Trail trail known by Machu Picchu, Inka has built a huge and complex, 100-meter-long pathway that has crossed the entire Inca Empire.

However, building Inka does not stop on the roads. Beside the construction roads, the incas were also bridges, and these bridges were an integral part of the road network. Qweta Eswachaka, the Inka Rope Bridge, is the last of these bridges still in use and located only in Cusco in the Quehue District. Although originally destroyed, he attempted to stop his attacks on Pizarro Cusco during the Spanish invasion, was refurbished and was still in use. The bridge extends the raging Apurimac River as it crosses the breathtaking Apurimac Valley. The Eswachaka is made of fibers made of strong fibers and the small ribbon is used to reinforce the footpath. The reason for the bridge for about 600 years is that every year four local Quechua communities meet to replace the old bridge with another place. The Eswachaka Festival, four days of work and celebration, is the occasion. It is an ancient tradition since the days of the Incas every year and remains an important link with traditions and culture in the high Andes.

Each year, the four communities are eager to meet the reconstruction of the bridge – an important and festive tradition. Some members of the community consider the role of engineers while others serve as weavers. One man holds the important position of "Chakaruwak", a specialist in spinning and construction. In order to keep the sacred art from generation to generation and keep the spirit of the bridge alive, the fathers teach their children the process as their fathers did before.

Before the start of the festival, community members will gather building material, consisting primarily of grass and natural fibers. These fibers are inserted between the cables used to build the bridge. Before the festival and the bridge construction begins, however, the spiritual leader of the community must ask the apus or the mountain spirits to allow the process to commence and offer cocaine soups and corn to Pachamama, the Mother Earth. Then he offers the weaving of cables. In the afternoon, men can be divided into two groups on one side of the bridge and the cables begin to spin each other.

On the second day, the engineers begin the old ropes, grind it, and fix the new knives to the nails. This is a time-consuming and complicated process, but ultimately the foundation and boundaries of the new bridge are in place.

On the third day of the festival, the construction will end on the rails and along the footpath, and when the construction is over, the bridge will officially open with traditional dances.

The festival reaches its peak on the fourth day, which is a holiday. The communities were reunited to celebrate the completion of the bridge by singing singing, indigenous dances and traditional dishes. This is the end of the day, the highlight of all the hard work and the celebration of lasting traditions that allowed these communities to keep their vibrant culture alive.

This is the eswachaka Festival this second June, the most important day of the festival on the second Sunday of the month. The reconstruction of the bridge and the subsequent festival will happen again every year as local communities gather to respect both Pachamama and their ancestors and celebrate their communion and heritage

Source by Amanda Zenick

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