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.