The Q´eswachaka Bridge Festival

The Q´eswachaka Bridge Festival

The famous bridge of Q´eswachaka is located across the Apurimac River in Southern Peru and it was built to allow Incas to pass from one side to the other of the Qhapaq Nan road system. During the Inca times there would have been laborers employed just for the daily maintenance of the bridge. They would have also been responsible for defending against invaders and monitoring who passed the bridge. Whenever Pizzaro, the Spanish conquistador, started heading for Cuzco, this bridge was destroyed in attempt to detain him. However, many years later the bridge was reconstructed and continues to be kept in good condition with this significant festival each year. The word “Q’eswachaka” actually consists of two Quechua words – Quechua is the original native language of the Incas, still spoken by many people in Peru: “Q’eswa” which means “to braid” and “Chaka” means “Bridge”.
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