The living bridges of Meghalaya

It takes several generations for the Khasi people of Meghalaya, India, to build these living bridges. Roots of the banyan-tree are guided over the river through hollowed-out betel nut trunks and take root on the opposite bank. After some decades of growing and weaving, the roots are finally strong enough to support people. Those who planted the tree may never actually walk across “their” bridge, but their decendents and their children and children’s children. Interestingly, in the language of the Khasi’s matriarchal society the male “tree” turns into a female tree by becoming something useful.

All pictures by courtesy of Amos Chapple.

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