The Incas are known for many things, including their orderly hierarchy and ability to conquer other civilizations. Another interesting aspect of their society is their innovative solutions to traveling. They did not used wheeled vehicles, but they did create suspension bridges that stretched across the canyons and gorges in the mountainous landscape of Peru. The bridges were made with heavy ropes of grass and branches, and had to be constantly maintained by peasants in order to remain in working condition. They were incredibly strong, however, and even sustained the Spanish conquerers when they arrived on horses. The last Inca rope bridge, Keshwa Chaca, is still in existence today. This is due to the commitment of several local families who replace the grass ropes each June, to honor their ancestors. It hangs over the Apurimac River in the Canas Province, and tourists pay a small fee to cross the bridge during the celebration of the new bridge in June.
From the category archives:
The Inca Empire was the largest in pre-Columbian America, which is the name for the period of time before European influences became widespread in South America. The empire included part of Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, and Columbia, but the center was in modern day Cusco, Peru. At one time, the empire was divided into four regions whose corners met in Cusco. The Incas spoke Quechua, a native Peruvian dialect that is still spoken today. They had no written language, and therefore no written history. However, the Spanish conquistadors recorded their observations about Incan society when they arrived in Peru. The Spaniards were impressed with the Incas’ cities, and sent messages back to Spain describing their beauty. Although there are many unanswered questions about the history of the Incan empire, it is clear that it was a complex and organized society. Many festivals celebrated in modern day Peru are still inspired by Inca holidays and beliefs. Sometime in the early 20th century, a rainbow flag was created to show Inca pride in Peru.