As a part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrations, a two week event that finished July 5, a group of native inhabitants of a very distant town called Q’ehue in Cusco-Perú, traveled to the United States with the great purpose to build a bridge using exclusivly Peruvian grass.
Every year, during the second week of June, over a thousand people from villages such as Huinchiri, Chaupibanda, Choccayhua, and Ccollana, meet in Q’éhue situated in the province of Canas, Highland of Cusco.
But in this opportunity, being in U.S.A. as if he were with his own people, Cayetano Cañahuire, an Andean priest, made a ritual ceremony to the earth, consisting in prayer, and offerings such as coca, chickpeas, lama grease, some candies and wine. These are presented to ask for permission to the Apus and the Pachamama holy land, before building this original bridge.
_(Photo: Folklife Festival Facebook)_
As Peru boasts a stunning array of vertical landscapes, it is possible to do this kind of work.
The grass ropes, are crisscrossed carefully starting from opposite sides, until the two ends join.
The uniqueness of Perú is that it is a very multicultural country, with different traditions and customs. A sign of that is the construction of this grass bridge, to help with the movement of people of this zone.
Q’eswachaca is an ancient tradition, that comes from the time of the Incas, and happily still lingers. As well, this bridge is part of Qhapaq Ñan, the great road system that joined the ancient Tahuantinsuyo, covering 30 thousand kilometers, and that is why reason, the UNESCO, declared it as a “Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.
Finally, the next day, there is a nice folk dance competition, and traditional food. This tradition was also declared by the same organization, as “Intangible Heritage of Humanity”, Queswachaka has an extension of 28 meters long, by 1 meter wide and twenty centimeters, and many leagues of ancestral knowledgeJust one of the Peruvian traditions that took place at the Folklife Festival.