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Root bridges

An ingenious natural solution...

In the past, Khasi the tribe would build bamboo bridges across the powerful streams. But the structures couldn’t bear the brunt of the heavy monsoons. They would rot and break, leaving villagers stranded.

About 180 years ago, Khasi elders devised a different solution. Rubber tree roots were guided in hollow canes of Areca nut palm to meet halfway across the stream. The roots were tended to and patiently nurtured for years until they slowly reached the opposite bank, forming the skeleton that eventually grew into a bridge capable of carrying a human’s weight.

LINK TO BBC INDIA'S LIVING ROOT BRIDGES

Written by: Neelima Vallangi

Photos courtesy of BBC and Neelima Vallangi

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