Practical Tree Sculpting — Living Bridges by the War-Khasis of India
July 13th, 2013 | Blog, Travel, arborsculpture, Arbortecture, biotecture, bridge, D.I.Y., Ficus elastica, grow, India, living, living architecture, living art, Meghalaya, monsoon, pooktre, river, roots, tree sculpture, tree shaping, tree training, trees, War-Khasis, water
The living bridges of Cherrapunji, India are made from the roots of the Ficus elastica tree. The root bridges, some of which are over a hundred feet long, take ten to fifteen years to become fully functional, but they’re extraordinarily strong – strong enough that some of them can support the weight of fifty or more people at a time.
Because they are alive and still growing, the bridges actually gain strength over time – and some of the ancient root bridges used daily by the War-Khasis people of the villages around Cherrapunji may be well over five hundred years old.
One special root bridge, believed to be the only one of its kind in the world, is actually two bridges stacked one over the other and has come to be known as the “Umshiang Double-Decker Root Bridge.”
More info: rootbridges.blogspot.com/