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The Inca Empire, also known as Incan Empire and the Inka Empire, and at the time known as the Realm of the Four Parts,,  "four parts together" was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was in the city of
Cusco Cusco, often spelled Cuzco (; qu, Qusqu ()), is a city in southeastern Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the St ...

Cusco
. The
Inca civilization The Incas were most notable for establishing the Inca Empire The Inca Empire ( qu, Tawantinsuyu,  "four parts together"), Quechuan and Aymaran spelling shift, also known as the Incan Empire and the Inka Empire, was the largest empire in ...
arose from the
Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (device), National seal , national_mott ...

Peru
vian highlands sometime in the early 13th century. The
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
began the conquest of the Inca Empire in 1532 and its last stronghold was conquered in 1572. From 1438 to 1533, the Incas incorporated a large portion of western
South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continent ...

South America
, centered on the
Andean The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains ( es, Cordillera de los Andes) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America South America is a continent e ...

Andean
Mountains, using conquest and peaceful assimilation, among other methods. At its largest, the empire joined
Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (device), National seal , national_mott ...

Peru
, western
Ecuador Ecuador ( ; ; Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a ...

Ecuador
, western and south central
Bolivia Bolivia ; ay, Wuliwya ; Quechuan languages, Quechua: ''Puliwya'' , officially the Plurinational State of Bolivia, is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. The constitutional capital is Sucre, while the seat of g ...

Bolivia
, northwest
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
, a large portion of what is today
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively small portion in the . It can also be described as the southern ...

Chile
, and the southwesternmost tip of
Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by conv ...

Colombia
into a state comparable to the historical empires of
Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a ...

Eurasia
. Its official language was
Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a common ancestral language **Sou ...
. The Inca Empire was unique in that it lacked many of the features associated with civilization in the
Old World The Old World consists of Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% o ...
.
Anthropologist An anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology Anthropology is the of ity, concerned with , , , and , in both the present and past, including . studies patterns of behaviour, while studies cultural meaning, including ...

Anthropologist
Gordon McEwan wrote that the Incas were able to construct "one of the greatest imperial states in human history" without the use of the wheel, draft animals, knowledge of iron or steel, or even a system of writing. Notable features of the Inca Empire included its monumental
architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Architecture (Latin ''archi ...
, especially stonework, extensive
road networkA street network is a system of interconnecting lines and points (called ''edges'' and ''nodes'' in network science) that represent a system of street 250px, Street in downtown Bucharest (Romania) A street is a public thoroughfare in a built e ...

road network
reaching all corners of the empire, finely-woven
textiles A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery, ...
, use of knotted strings () for record keeping and communication, agricultural innovations and production in a difficult environment, and the organization and management fostered or imposed on its people and their labor. The Inca Empire functioned largely without money and without markets. Instead, exchange of goods and services was based on reciprocity between individuals and among individuals, groups, and Inca rulers. "Taxes" consisted of a labour obligation of a person to the Empire. The Inca rulers (who theoretically owned all the means of production) reciprocated by granting access to land and goods and providing food and drink in celebratory feasts for their subjects. Many local forms of worship persisted in the empire, most of them concerning local sacred ''
Huaca In the Quechuan languages Quechua (, ; ), usually called ("people's language") in Quechuan languages, is an indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal peopl ...
s'', but the Inca leadership encouraged the
sun worship A solar deity (also sun goddess or sun god) is a sky deity who represents the Sun, or an aspect of it, usually by its perceived power and strength. Solar deities and Sun worship can be found throughout most of recorded history in various fo ...
of
Inti Inti is the ancient Incan sun god A solar deity (also sun goddess or sun god) is a sky deity who represents the Sun, or an aspect of it, usually by its perceived power and strength. Solar deities and Sun worship can be found throughout ...

Inti
– their
sun god A solar deity (also sun goddess or sun god) is a sky deity The sky often has important religious significance. Many religions, both polytheistic and monotheistic, have deities associated with the sky. The day lit sky deities are ty ...
– and imposed its sovereignty above other cults such as that of
Pachamama Pachamama is a goddess revered by the indigenous peoples of the Andes. In Inca mythology she is an "Earth Mother" type goddess,Penelope Dransart, Dransart, Penny. (1992) "Pachamama: The Inka Earth Mother of the Long Sweeping Garment." ''Dress an ...

Pachamama
. The Incas considered their king, the
Sapa Inca The Sapa Inca (from Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a ...
, to be the "son of the sun." The Incan economy has been described in contradictory ways by scholars; Darrell E. La Lone, in his work ''The Inca as a Nonmarket Economy'', noted that the Inca economy has been described as "feudal, slave,
nd
nd
socialist", and added "here one may choose between socialist paradise or socialist tyranny."


Etymology

The Inca referred to their empire as ''Tawantinsuyu'', "the four ''suyu''". In
Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a common ancestral language **Sou ...
, ''tawa'' is four and ''-ntin'' is a suffix naming a group, so that a ''tawantin'' is a quartet, a group of four things taken together, in this case the four ''suyu'' ("regions" or "provinces") whose corners met at the capital. The four ''suyu'' were:
Chinchaysuyu Chinchay Suyu or Chinchasuyu was the northwestern provincial region of the Tawantin Suyu, or Inca Empire. The most populous ''suyu'' (or Quarter, the largest division of the Inca Empire), Chinchasuyu encompassed the former lands of the Chimú Em ...
(north),
Antisuyu Antisuyu (Quechua language, Quechua ''anti'' east, ''suyu'' (quadrant) region, part of a territory, each of the four regions which formed the Inca Empire, "eastern region") was the eastern part of the Inca Empire which bordered on the modern-day U ...
(east; the Amazon jungle),
Qullasuyu Qullasuyu ( ay, Qullasuyu and Quechua language, Quechua, ''qulla'' south, ''Qulla people, Qulla'' a people, ''suyu'' region, part of a territory, each of the four regions which formed the Inca Empire, "southern region", Hispanicized spellings ''C ...
(south) and
Kuntisuyu Kuntisuyu or Kunti Suyu (Quechua language, Quechua ''kunti'' west, ''suyu'' region, part of a territory, each of the four regions which formed the Inca Empire, "western region") was the Ordinal directions, southwestern provincial region of the Inca ...
(west). The name ''Tawantinsuyu'' was, therefore, a descriptive term indicating a union of provinces. The Spanish transliterated the name as ''Tahuatinsuyo'' or ''Tahuatinsuyu''. The term ''Inka'' means "ruler" or "lord" in Quechua and was used to refer to the ruling class or the ruling family. The Incas were a very small percentage of the total population of the empire, probably numbering only 15,000 to 40,000, but ruling a population of around 10 million people. The Spanish adopted the term (transliterated as ''Inca'' in Spanish) as an ethnic term referring to all subjects of the empire rather than simply the ruling class. As such, the name ''Imperio inca'' ("Inca Empire") referred to the nation that they encountered and subsequently conquered.


History


Antecedents

The Inca Empire was the last chapter of thousands of years of
Andean civilization The Andean civilizations were complex societies of many cultures and peoples mainly developed in the river valleys of the coastal deserts of Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacio ...
s. The Andean civilization is one of five civilizations in the world deemed by scholars to be "pristine", that is indigenous and not derivative from other civilizations. The Inca Empire was preceded by two large-scale empires in the Andes: the
Tiwanaku Tiwanaku ( es, Tiahuanaco or ) is a Pre-Columbian archaeological site in western Bolivia near Lake Titicaca, about 70 kilometers from La Paz and it is one of the largest sites in South America. Surface remains currently cover around 4 square kilom ...
(c. 300–1100 AD), based around
Lake Titicaca Lake Titicaca (; es, Lago Titicaca ; qu, Titiqaqa Qucha) is a large, deep, freshwater Fresh water or freshwater is any naturally occurring liquid or frozen water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and transl ...

Lake Titicaca
and the Wari or Huari (c. 600–1100 AD) centered near the city of
Ayacucho Ayacucho (, qu, Ayak'uchu) is the capital city of Department of Ayacucho, Ayacucho Region and of Huamanga Province, Ayacucho Region, Peru. During the Inca Empire and Viceroyalty of Peru periods the city was known by the name of Huamanga (Quechu ...

Ayacucho
. The Wari occupied the Cuzco area for about 400 years. Thus, many of the characteristics of the Inca Empire derived from earlier multi-ethnic and expansive Andean cultures. To those earlier civilizations may be owed some of the accomplishments cited for the Inca Empire: "thousands of miles of roads and dozens of large administrative centers with elaborate stone construction...terraced mountainsides and filled in valleys," and the production of "vast quantities of goods."
Carl Troll Carl Troll (24 December 1899 in Gabersee – 21 July 1975 in Bonn), was a Germany, German geographer, brother of botanist Wilhelm Troll. From 1919 until 1922 Troll studied biology, chemistry, geology, geography and physics at the University of Muni ...
has argued that the development of the Inca state in the central Andes was aided by conditions that allow for the elaboration of the
staple food A staple food, food staple, or simply a staple, is a food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and contains essential nutrients, ...

staple food
chuño Chuño () is a freeze drying, freeze-dried potato product traditionally made by Quechua people, Quechua and Aymara people, Aymara communities of Bolivia and Peru, and is known in various countries of South America, including Bolivia, Peru, Chile an ...

chuño
. Chuño, which can be stored for long periods, is made of potato dried at the freezing temperatures that are common at nighttime in the southern
Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (device), National seal , national_mott ...

Peru
vian highlands. Such a link between the Inca state and chuño may be questioned, as other crops such as
maize Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be ...

maize
can also be dried with only sunlight. Troll also argued that
llama The llama (; ) (''Lama glama'') is a domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a List of meat animals, meat and pack animal by Inca empire, Andean cultures since the Pre-Columbian era. Llamas are social animals and live with othe ...

llama
s, the Inca's pack animal, can be found in its largest numbers in this very same region. The maximum extent of the Inca Empire roughly coincided with the distribution of llamas and
alpaca The alpaca (''Vicugna pacos'') is a species of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria ...

alpaca
s, the only large domesticated animals in Pre-Hispanic America. As a third point Troll pointed out irrigation technology as advantageous to the Inca state-building. While Troll theorized environmental influences on the Inca Empire, he opposed
environmental determinism Environmental determinism (also known as climatic determinism or geographical determinism) is the study of how the physical environment predisposes societies and states towards particular development trajectories. Jared Diamond, Jeffrey Herbst, I ...
, arguing that culture lay at the core of the Inca civilization.


Origin

The Inca people were a
pastoral A pastoral lifestyle is that of shepherds herd A herd is a social group of certain animals of the same species, either wildness, wild or Domestication, domestic. The form of collective animal behavior associated with this is called ''he ...
tribe in the
Cusco Cusco, often spelled Cuzco (; qu, Qusqu ()), is a city in southeastern Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the St ...
area around the 12th century. Peruvian
oral history Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned interview conducted with a member of the public F ...
tells an origin story of three caves. The center cave at Tampu T'uqu ''(Tambo Tocco)'' was named Qhapaq T'uqu ("principal niche", also spelled ''Capac Tocco''). The other caves were Maras T'uqu ''(Maras Tocco)'' and Sutiq T'uqu ''(Sutic Tocco)''. Four brothers and four sisters stepped out of the middle cave. They were: , Ayar Cachi, Ayar Awqa ''(Ayar Auca)'' and Ayar Uchu; and
Mama Ocllo In Inca mythology Inca mythology includes many stories and legends that attempt to explain or symbolize Inca beliefs. Basic beliefs Scholarly research demonstrates that Incan belief systems were integrated with their view of the cosmos, esp ...

Mama Ocllo
, Mama Raua, Mama Huaco and Mama Qura ''(Mama Cora)''. Out of the side caves came the people who were to be the ancestors of all the Inca clans. Ayar Manco carried a magic staff made of the finest gold. Where this staff landed, the people would live. They traveled for a long time. On the way, Ayar Cachi boasted about his strength and power. His siblings tricked him into returning to the cave to get a sacred
llama The llama (; ) (''Lama glama'') is a domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a List of meat animals, meat and pack animal by Inca empire, Andean cultures since the Pre-Columbian era. Llamas are social animals and live with othe ...

llama
. When he went into the cave, they trapped him inside to get rid of him. Ayar Uchu decided to stay on the top of the cave to look over the Inca people. The minute he proclaimed that, he turned to stone. They built a shrine around the stone and it became a sacred object. Ayar Auca grew tired of all this and decided to travel alone. Only Ayar Manco and his four sisters remained. Finally, they reached Cusco. The staff sank into the ground. Before they arrived, Mama Ocllo had already borne Ayar Manco a child,
Sinchi Roca Sinchi Roca,BAZDMEG Sinchi Rocca, Cinchi Roca (in Hispanicized spellings), Sinchi Ruq'a or Sinchi Ruq'a Inka (Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages ...

Sinchi Roca
. The people who were already living in Cusco fought hard to keep their land, but Mama Huaca was a good fighter. When the enemy attacked, she threw her
bolas A bolas (plural: ''bolas'' or ''bolases''; from Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, ...

bolas
(several stones tied together that spun through the air when thrown) at a soldier (gualla) and killed him instantly. The other people became afraid and ran away. After that, Ayar Manco became known as
Manco Cápac Manco Cápac (Quechua language, Quechua: ''Manqu Qhapaq'', "the royal founder"), also known as Manco Inca and Ayar Manco was, according to some historians, the first governor and founder of the Inca Empire, Inca civilization in Cusco, possibly in ...
, the founder of the Inca. It is said that he and his sisters built the first Inca homes in the valley with their own hands. When the time came, Manco Cápac turned to stone like his brothers before him. His son, Sinchi Roca, became the second emperor of the Inca.


Kingdom of Cusco

Under the leadership of Manco Cápac, the Inca formed the small city-state
Kingdom of Cusco The Kingdom of Cusco (sometimes spelled ''Cuzco'' and in Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken p ...
(Quechua ''Qusqu', Qosqo''). In 1438, they began a far-reaching expansion under the command of
Sapa Inca The Sapa Inca (from Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a ...
(paramount leader) Pachacuti-Cusi Yupanqui, whose name meant "earth-shaker." The name of Pachacuti was given to him after he conquered the Tribe of
Chancas The Chanka people (or Chanca) are a Quechua people ethnic group living in the regions of Apurimac, Ayacucho and Lamas of Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , ...
(modern Apurímac). During his reign, he and his son Tupac Yupanqui brought much of the modern-day territory of
Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (device), National seal , national_mott ...

Peru
under Inca control.


Reorganization and formation

Pachacuti reorganized the kingdom of Cusco into the Tahuantinsuyu, which consisted of a central government with the Inca at its head and four provincial governments with strong leaders: Chinchasuyu (NW), Antisuyu (NE), Kuntisuyu (SW) and Qullasuyu (SE). Pachacuti is thought to have built
Machu Picchu Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel, located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol ...

Machu Picchu
, either as a family home or summer retreat, although it may have been an agricultural station. Pachacuti sent spies to regions he wanted in his empire and they brought to him reports on political organization, military strength and wealth. He then sent messages to their leaders extolling the benefits of joining his empire, offering them presents of luxury goods such as high quality textiles and promising that they would be materially richer as his subjects. Most accepted the rule of the Inca as a ''
fait accompli Many words in the English vocabulary are of French origin, most coming from the Anglo-Norman spoken by the upper class Upper class in modern societies is the social class composed of people who hold the highest social status, usually are the ...

fait accompli
'' and acquiesced peacefully. Refusal to accept Inca rule resulted in military conquest. Following conquest the local rulers were executed. The ruler's children were brought to Cusco to learn about Inca administration systems, then return to rule their native lands. This allowed the Inca to indoctrinate them into the Inca nobility and, with luck, marry their daughters into families at various corners of the empire.


Expansion and consolidation

Traditionally the son of the Inca ruler led the army. Pachacuti's son
Túpac Inca Yupanqui Topa Inca Yupanqui or Túpac Inca Yupanqui ( qu, 'Tupaq Inka Yupanki'), translated as "noble Inca accountant," (c. 1441–c. 1493) was the tenth Sapa Inca (1471–93) of the Inca Empire, fifth of the Hanan dynasty. His father was Pachacuti, and his ...
began conquests to the north in 1463 and continued them as Inca ruler after Pachacuti's death in 1471. Túpac Inca's most important conquest was the Kingdom of
Chimor Chimor (also Kingdom of Chimor or Chimú Empire) was the political grouping of the Chimú culture. The culture arose about 900 AD, succeeding the Moche culture The Moche civilization (; alternatively, the Mochica culture or the Early, Pre- or ...
, the Inca's only serious rival for the Peruvian coast. Túpac Inca's empire then stretched north into modern-day
Ecuador Ecuador ( ; ; Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a ...

Ecuador
and
Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by conv ...

Colombia
. Túpac Inca's son Huayna Cápac added a small portion of land to the north in modern-day Ecuador. At its height, the Inca Empire included Peru, western and south central
Bolivia Bolivia ; ay, Wuliwya ; Quechuan languages, Quechua: ''Puliwya'' , officially the Plurinational State of Bolivia, is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. The constitutional capital is Sucre, while the seat of g ...

Bolivia
, southwest
Ecuador Ecuador ( ; ; Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a ...

Ecuador
and a large portion of what is today
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively small portion in the . It can also be described as the southern ...

Chile
, north of the
Maule River The Maule river or Río Maule (Mapudungun: ''rainy'') is one of the most important rivers of Chile. It is inextricably linked to the country's pre-Hispanic (Inca) times, the country's conquest, Colonialism, colonial period, Chilean Independence, ...
. Traditional
historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historians in developing history as an academic discipline, and by extension is any body of historical work on a particular subject. The historiography of a specific topic covers how historians hav ...

historiography
claims the advance south halted after the
Battle of the Maule The Battle of the Maule (in Mapudungun: ''Mawlen Weichantun'', in Quechua: ''Mawlli Ch'iraqi'') was fought between a coalition of Mapuche people of Chile and the Inca Empire of Peru. Traditionally this battle is held to have occurred near what is n ...
where they met determined resistance from the
Mapuche The Mapuche ( (Spanish: )) are a group of Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indigenous inhabitants of present-day south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina, including parts of present-day Patagonia. The collective term refers to a wide-ra ...

Mapuche
. This view is challenged by historian Osvaldo Silva who argues instead that it was the social and political framework of the Mapuche that posed the main difficulty in imposing imperial rule. Silva does accept that the battle of the Maule was a stalemate, but argues the Incas lacked incentives for conquest they had had when fighting more complex societies such as the Chimú Empire. Silva also disputes the date given by traditional historiography for the battle: the late 15th century during the reign of
Topa Inca Yupanqui Topa Inca Yupanqui or Túpac Inca Yupanqui ( qu, 'Tupaq Inka Yupanki'), translated as "noble Inca accountant," (c. 1441–c. 1493) was the tenth Sapa Inca The Sapa Inca (from Quechua language, Quechua ''Sapa Inka'' "the only Inca") was the ruler ...

Topa Inca Yupanqui
(1471–93). Instead, he places it in 1532 during the
Inca Civil War The Inca Civil War, also known as the Inca Dynastic War, the Inca War of Succession, or, sometimes, the War of the Two Brothers, was fought between half-brothers Huáscar Huáscar Inca (; Quechua: ''Waskar Inka''; 1503–1532) also Guazcar ...
. Nevertheless, Silva agrees on the claim that the bulk of the Incan conquests were made during the late 15th century. At the time of the Incan Civil War an Inca army was, according to
Diego de Rosales Diego is a Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_mo ...
, subduing a revolt among the
Diaguita The Diaguita people are a group of South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It can also be described as ...
s of Copiapó and Coquimbo. The empire's push into the
Amazon Basin The Amazon Basin is the part of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven ...

Amazon Basin
near the Chinchipe River was stopped by the
Shuar The Shuar are an Indigenous people of Ecuador Ecuador ( ; ; Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language fami ...
in 1527. The empire extended into corners of
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
and
Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by conv ...

Colombia
. However, most of the southern portion of the Inca empire, the portion denominated as Qullasuyu, was located in the
Altiplano The Altiplano (Spanish for "high plain"), Collao (Quechuan languages, Quechua and Aymara language, Aymara: Qullaw, meaning "place of the Qulla people, Qulla") or Andean Plateau, in west-central South America, is the area where the Andes are ...

Altiplano
. The Inca Empire was an amalgamation of languages, cultures and peoples. The components of the empire were not all uniformly loyal, nor were the local cultures all fully integrated. The Inca empire as a whole had an economy based on exchange and taxation of luxury goods and labour. The following quote describes a method of taxation:
For as is well known to all, not a single village of the highlands or the plains failed to pay the tribute levied on it by those who were in charge of these matters. There were even provinces where, when the natives alleged that they were unable to pay their tribute, the Inca ordered that each inhabitant should be obliged to turn in every four months a large quill full of live lice, which was the Inca's way of teaching and accustoming them to pay tribute.


Inca Civil War and Spanish conquest

Spanish
conquistadors Conquistadors (, ) or conquistadores (, ; meaning 'conquerors') were the invaders, knights, soldiers, and explorers of the Spanish Empire, Spanish and the Portuguese Empires. During the Age of Discovery, conquistadors sailed beyond Europe to t ...
led by
Francisco Pizarro Francisco Pizarro González (; ;  – 26 June 1541) was a Spanish conquistador Conquistadors (, ) or conquistadores (, ; meaning 'conquerors') were the invaders, knights, soldiers, and explorers of the Spanish Empire, Spanish and t ...

Francisco Pizarro
and his brothers explored south from what is today
Panama Panama ( , ; es, link=no, Panamá ), officially the Republic of Panama ( es, República de Panamá), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several ...

Panama
, reaching Inca territory by 1526. It was clear that they had reached a wealthy land with prospects of great treasure, and after another expedition in 1529 Pizarro traveled to Spain and received royal approval to conquer the region and be its
viceroy A viceroy () is an official who runs a polity in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix ''vice-'', meaning "in the place of" and the French word ''roy'', meaning "king". A ...

viceroy
. This approval was received as detailed in the following quote: "In July 1529 the
Queen of Spain , coatofarms = Coat of Arms of Spanish Monarch.svg , coatofarms_article = Coat of arms of the King of Spain , image = King Felipe VI of Spain.jpg , incumbent = Felipe VI Felipe VI or Philip VI (; Felipe Juan ...

Queen of Spain
signed a charter allowing Pizarro to conquer the Incas. Pizarro was named governor and captain of all conquests in Peru, or New Castile, as the Spanish now called the land." When the conquistadors returned to Peru in 1532, a
war of succession A war of succession or succession war is a war prompted by a Order of succession, succession crisis in which two or more individuals claim the right of successor to a demise of the Crown, deceased or deposition (politics), deposed monarch. The ...
between the sons of
Sapa Inca The Sapa Inca (from Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a ...
Huayna Capac,
Huáscar Huáscar Inca (; Quechua: ''Waskar Inka''; 1503–1532) also Guazcar was Sapa Inca The Sapa Inca (from Quechua language, Quechua ''Sapa Inka'' "the only Inca") was the ruler of the Kingdom of Cuzco and later, the Emperor of the Inca Empire ('' ...
and
Atahualpa Atahualpa (), Atawallpa ( Quechua), also Atabalica, Atahuallpa, Atabalipa (in Hispanicized spellings) (c. 1502 – 26 July 1533) was the last Inca Emperor. After defeating his brother, Atahualpa became very briefly the last Sapa Inca The Sapa ...

Atahualpa
, and unrest among newly conquered territories weakened the empire. Perhaps more importantly,
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the infectious ...

smallpox
,
influenza Influenza, commonly known as "the flu", is an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), ...

influenza
,
typhus Typhus, also known as typhus fever, is a group of infectious diseases An infection is the invasion of an organism's body tissues by disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host tissues to the infectious agents ...
and
measles Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to ...
had spread from Central America. The first epidemic of European disease in the Inca Empire was probably in the 1520s, killing Huayna Capac, his designated heir, and an unknown, probably large, number of other Incan subjects. The forces led by Pizarro consisted of 168 men, one
cannon A cannon is a large-caliber A 45 ACP hollowpoint (Federal Cartridge, Federal HST) with two .22 Long Rifle, 22 LR cartridges for comparison In gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launc ...

cannon
, and 27 horses. Conquistadors ported lances,
arquebus An arquebus ( ) is a form of long gun A long gun is a category of firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also proj ...

arquebus
es, steel armor and . In contrast, the Inca used weapons made out of wood, stone, copper and bronze, while using an
Alpaca fiber spun from alpaca wool. File:Alpaca wool scarf.JPG, Alpaca scarf. Cambridge Food, Garden and Produce Festival, England Alpaca fleece is the natural fiber harvested from an alpaca. There are two different types of alpaca fleece. The most common f ...
based armor, putting them at significant technological disadvantage—none of their weapons could pierce the Spanish steel armor. In addition, due to the absence of horses in Peru, the Inca did not develop tactics to fight cavalry. However, the Inca were still effective warriors, being able to successfully
fight Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to infl ...
the
Mapuche The Mapuche ( (Spanish: )) are a group of Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indigenous inhabitants of present-day south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina, including parts of present-day Patagonia. The collective term refers to a wide-ra ...

Mapuche
, which later would strategically defeat the Spanish as they expanded further south. The first engagement between the Inca and the Spanish was the
Battle of Puná The Battle of Puná, a peripheral engagement of Francisco Pizarro Francisco Pizarro González (; ;  – 26 June 1541) was a Spanish conquistador, best known for his expeditions that led to the Spanish conquest of Peru. Born in Truji ...
, near present-day
Guayaquil , motto = Por Guayaquil Independiente en, For Independent Guayaquil , image_map = , map_caption = , pushpin_map = Ecuador#South America , pushpin_re ...

Guayaquil
, Ecuador, on the Pacific Coast; Pizarro then founded the city of
Piura Piura is a city in northwestern Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Nat ...

Piura
in July 1532.
Hernando de Soto Hernando de Soto (; ; 1500 – May 21, 1542) was a Spanish explorer and ''conquistador Conquistadors (, ) or conquistadores (, ; meaning 'conquerors') were the invaders, knights, soldiers, and explorers of the Spanish Empire, Spanish and ...
was sent inland to explore the interior and returned with an invitation to meet the Inca, Atahualpa, who had defeated his brother in the civil war and was resting at
Cajamarca Cajamarca (), also known by the Cajamarca Quechua Cajamarca Quechua is a variety of Quechua languages, Quechua spoken in the districts of Chetilla District, Chetilla, Los Baños del Inca District, Baños del Inca and Cajamarca District, Cajamarc ...
with his army of 80,000 troops, that were at the moment armed only with hunting tools (knives and lassos for hunting llamas). Pizarro and some of his men, most notably a friar named Vincente de Valverde, met with the Inca, who had brought only a small retinue. The Inca offered them ceremonial
chicha ''Chicha'' is a fermented Fermentation is a metabolic Metabolism (, from el, μεταβολή ''metabolē'', "change") is the set of life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological ...

chicha
in a golden cup, which the Spanish rejected. The Spanish interpreter, Friar Vincente, read the " Requerimiento" that demanded that he and his empire accept the rule of King
Charles I of Spain Charles V, french: Charles Quint, it, Carlo V, nl, Karel V, ca, Carles V, la, Carolus V (24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558) was Holy Roman Emperor and Archduke of Austria from 1519 to 1556, King of Spain (Crown of Castile, Castile ...

Charles I of Spain
and convert to Christianity. Atahualpa dismissed the message and asked them to leave. After this, the Spanish began their
attack Attack may refer to: Warfare and combat * Offensive (military) * Charge (warfare) * Attack (fencing) * Strike (attack) * Attack (computing) * Attack aircraft Books and publishing * The Attack (novel), ''The Attack'' (novel), a book * ''Attack No. ...
against the mostly unarmed Inca, captured Atahualpa as hostage, and forced the Inca to collaborate. Atahualpa offered the Spaniards enough gold to fill the room he was imprisoned in and twice that amount of silver. The Inca fulfilled this ransom, but Pizarro deceived them, refusing to release the Inca afterwards. During Atahualpa's imprisonment Huáscar was assassinated elsewhere. The Spaniards maintained that this was at Atahualpa's orders; this was used as one of the charges against Atahualpa when the Spaniards finally executed him, in August 1533. Although "defeat" often implies an unwanted loss in battle, many of the diverse ethnic groups ruled by the Inca "welcomed the Spanish invaders as liberators and willingly settled down with them to share rule of Andean farmers and miners." Many regional leaders, called
Kuraka A ''kuraka'' (Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a common ...
s, continued to serve the Spanish overlords, called
encomenderos The ''encomienda'' () was a Spanish labor system that rewarded conquerors with the labor of particular groups of conquered non-Christian people. The laborers, in theory, were provided with benefits by the conquerors for whom they labored, the C ...
, as they had served the Inca overlords. Other than efforts to spread the religion of
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
, the Spanish benefited from and made little effort to change the society and culture of the former Inca Empire until the rule of
Francisco de Toledo Francisco Álvarez de Toledo (Oropesa, Spain, Oropesa, 10 July 1515 – Escalona, 21 April 1582), also known as ''The Viceroyal Solon'', was an aristocrat and soldier of the Kingdom of Spain and the fifth Viceroyalty of Peru, Viceroy of Peru. ...
as
viceroy A viceroy () is an official who runs a polity in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix ''vice-'', meaning "in the place of" and the French word ''roy'', meaning "king". A ...

viceroy
from 1569 to 1581.


Last Incas

The Spanish installed Atahualpa's brother
Manco Inca Yupanqui Manco Inca Yupanqui ( 1515 – c. 1544) (''Manqu Inka Yupanki'' in Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language famil ...
in power; for some time Manco cooperated with the Spanish while they fought to put down resistance in the north. Meanwhile, an associate of Pizarro,
Diego de Almagro Diego de Almagro (; – July 8, 1538), also known as El Adelantado and El Viejo, was a Spanish conquistador known for his exploits in western South America. He participated with Francisco Pizarro in the Spanish conquest of Peru. While su ...

Diego de Almagro
, attempted to claim Cusco. Manco tried to use this intra-Spanish feud to his advantage, recapturing Cusco in 1536, but the Spanish retook the city afterwards. Manco Inca then retreated to the mountains of Vilcabamba and established the small
Neo-Inca State The Neo-Inca State, also known as the Neo-Inca state of Vilcabamba, was the Inca state established in 1537 at Vilcabamba by Manco Inca Yupanqui (the son of Inca emperor Huayna Capac). It is considered a rump state of the Inca Empire (1438–1533 ...
, where he and his successors ruled for another 36 years, sometimes raiding the Spanish or inciting revolts against them. In 1572 the last Inca stronghold was conquered and the last ruler, , Manco's son, was captured and executed. This ended resistance to the Spanish conquest under the political authority of the Inca state. After the fall of the Inca Empire many aspects of Inca culture were systematically destroyed, including their sophisticated farming system, known as the vertical archipelago model of agriculture. Spanish colonial officials used the Inca mita
corvée Corvée () is a form of unpaid, forced labour Unfree labour, or forced labour, is any work relation, especially in modern or early modern history, in which people are employed against their will with the threat of destitution, detention, ...

corvée
labor system for colonial aims, sometimes brutally. One member of each family was forced to work in the gold and silver mines, the foremost of which was the titanic silver mine at
Potosí Potosí, known as Villa Imperial de Potosí in the colonial period, is the capital city and a municipality of the Department of Potosí in Bolivia Bolivia ; ay, Wuliwya ; Quechuan languages, Quechua: ''Puliwya'' , officially the Plurin ...

Potosí
. When a family member died, which would usually happen within a year or two, the family was required to send a replacement. The effects of
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the infectious ...

smallpox
on the Inca empire were even more devastating. Beginning in
Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by conv ...

Colombia
, smallpox spread rapidly before the Spanish invaders first arrived in the empire. The spread was probably aided by the efficient Inca road system. Smallpox was only the first epidemic. Other diseases, including a probable
Typhus Typhus, also known as typhus fever, is a group of infectious diseases An infection is the invasion of an organism's body tissues by disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host tissues to the infectious agents ...
outbreak in 1546,
influenza Influenza, commonly known as "the flu", is an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), ...

influenza
and
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the infectious ...

smallpox
together in 1558, smallpox again in 1589,
diphtheria Diphtheria is an infection caused by the bacteria, bacterium ''Corynebacterium diphtheriae''. Most infections are asymptomatic or have a mild Course (medicine), clinical course, but in some outbreaks more than 10% of those diagnosed with the di ...

diphtheria
in 1614, and
measles Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to ...
in 1618, all ravaged the Inca people. There would be periodic attempts by indigenous leaders to expel the Spanish colonists and re-create the Inca Empire until the late 18th century. See
Juan Santos Atahualpa Juan Santos Atahualpa Apu-Inca Huayna Capac (born, c. 1710 - died, c. 1756) was the messianic leader of a successful indigenous rebellion in the Amazon Basin and Andes, Andean foothills against the Viceroyalty of Peru. The rebellion began in 1742 in ...
and
Túpac Amaru II José Gabriel Condorcanqui (March 10, 1738 – May 18, 1781)known as Túpac Amaru II was the leader of a Rebellion of Túpac Amaru II, large Andean uprising against the Viceroyalty of Peru, Spanish in Peru, whose quelling resulted in his death ...
.


Society


Population

The number of people inhabiting Tawantinsuyu at its peak is uncertain, with estimates ranging from 4–37 million. Most population estimates are in the range of 6 to 14 million. In spite of the fact that the Inca kept excellent census records using their
quipus Quipu (also spelled khipu) are recording devices fashioned from String (structure), strings historically used by a number of cultures in the region of Andes, Andean South America. Knotted strings for collecting data, government management and k ...
, knowledge of how to read them was lost as almost all fell into disuse and disintegrated over time or were destroyed by the Spaniards.


Languages

The empire was extremely linguistically diverse. Some of the most important languages were
Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a common ancestral language **Sou ...
,
Aymara Aymara may refer to: Languages and people * Aymaran languages Aymaran (also Jaqi or Aru) is one of the two dominant language families in the central Andes alongside Quechua languages, Quechuan. The family consists of Aymara language, Aymara, wi ...
, Puquina and , respectively mainly spoken in the Central Andes, the
Altiplano The Altiplano (Spanish for "high plain"), Collao (Quechuan languages, Quechua and Aymara language, Aymara: Qullaw, meaning "place of the Qulla people, Qulla") or Andean Plateau, in west-central South America, is the area where the Andes are ...

Altiplano
or (
Qullasuyu Qullasuyu ( ay, Qullasuyu and Quechua language, Quechua, ''qulla'' south, ''Qulla people, Qulla'' a people, ''suyu'' region, part of a territory, each of the four regions which formed the Inca Empire, "southern region", Hispanicized spellings ''C ...
), the south Peruvian coast (
Kuntisuyu Kuntisuyu or Kunti Suyu (Quechua language, Quechua ''kunti'' west, ''suyu'' region, part of a territory, each of the four regions which formed the Inca Empire, "western region") was the Ordinal directions, southwestern provincial region of the Inca ...
), and the area of the north Peruvian coast (
Chinchaysuyu Chinchay Suyu or Chinchasuyu was the northwestern provincial region of the Tawantin Suyu, or Inca Empire. The most populous ''suyu'' (or Quarter, the largest division of the Inca Empire), Chinchasuyu encompassed the former lands of the Chimú Em ...
) around
Chan Chan Chan Chan was the largest city of the pre-Columbian era in South America South America is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict ...
, today Trujillo. Other languages included Quignam,
Jaqaru Jaqaru (''Haq'aru'') is a language of the Aymaran family. It is also known as Jaqi and Aru. It is spoken in the districts of Tupe and Catahuasi in Yauyos Province, Lima Region The Department of Lima () is a department and region located in t ...
, Leco, Uru-Chipaya languages,
Kunza Kunza is an extinct language isolate once spoken in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile and southern Peru by the Atacama people, Atacama people, who have since shifted to Spanish people, Spanish. The last speaker was documented in 1949. Other nam ...
,
Humahuaca Humahuaca () is a small city in the provinces of Argentina, province of Jujuy Province, Jujuy, Argentina. Since 2003 declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO at the Paris conference. It has 11,369 inhabitants as per the , and is the principal town (se ...
, Cacán,
Mapudungun Mapuche () or Mapudungun (from ' 'land' and ' 'speak, speech') is an Araucanian language related to Huilliche The Huilliche , Huiliche or Huilliche-Mapuche are the southern partiality of the Mapuche macroethnic group of Chile Chile ...
, Culle, , Catacao languages, Manta, and
Barbacoan languages Barbacoan (also Barbakóan, Barbacoano, Barbacoana) is a language family spoken in Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia (), is a country in South America with Insular region of Colombia, territories in North America ...

Barbacoan languages
, as well as numerous Amazonian languages on the frontier regions. The exact linguistic topography of the pre-Columbian and early colonial Andes remains incompletely understood, owing to the extinction of several languages and the loss of historical records. In order to manage this diversity, the Inca lords promoted the usage of
Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a common ancestral language **Sou ...
, especially the variety of what is now Lima as the Qhapaq Runasimi ("great language of the people"), or the
official language An official language is a language given a special status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically the term "official language" does not refer to the language used by a people or country, but by its government (e.g. judiciar ...

official language
/
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect The term dialect (from , , from the word , 'disco ...
. Defined by mutual intelligibility, Quechua is actually a family of languages rather than one single language, parallel to the Romance or Slavic languages in Europe. Most communities within the empire, even those resistant to Inca rule, learned to speak a variety of Quechua (forming new regional varieties with distinct phonetics) in order to communicate with the Inca lords and mitma colonists, as well as the wider integrating society, but largely retained their native languages as well. The Incas also had their own ethnic language, referred to as Qhapaq simi ("royal language"), which is thought to have been closely related to or a dialect of Puquina. The split between Qhapaq simi and Qhapaq Runasimi exemplifies the larger split between hatun and hunin (high and low) society in general. There are several common misconceptions about the history of Quechua, as it is frequently identified as the "Inca language". Quechua did not originate with the Incas, had been a lingua franca in multiple areas before the Inca expansions, was diverse before the rise of the Incas, and it was not the native or original language of the Incas. However, the Incas left an impressive linguistic legacy, in that they introduced Quechua to many areas where it is still widely spoken today, including Ecuador, southern Bolivia, southern Colombia, and parts of the Amazon basin. The Spanish conquerors continued the official usage of Quechua during the early colonial period, and transformed it into a literary language. The Incas were not known to develop a written form of language; however, they visually recorded narratives through paintings on vases and cups (s). These paintings are usually accompanied by geometric patterns known as toqapu, which are also found in textiles. Researchers have speculated that toqapu patterns could have served as a form of written communication (e.g.: heraldry, or glyphs), however this remains unclear. The Incas also kept records by using
quipu Quipu (also spelled khipu) are recording devices fashioned from historically used by a number of cultures in the region of . Knotted strings for collecting data, government management and keeping records were also used by the , and , but ...

quipu
s.


Age and defining gender

The high infant mortality rates that plagued the Inca Empire caused all newborn infants to be given the term 'wawa' when they were born. Most families did not invest very much into their child until they reached the age of two or three years old. Once the child reached the age of three, a "coming of age" ceremony occurred, called the ''rutuchikuy''. For the Incas, this ceremony indicated that the child had entered the stage of "ignorance". During this ceremony, the family would invite all relatives to their house for food and dance, and then each member of the family would receive a lock of hair from the child. After each family member had received a lock, the father would shave the child's head. This stage of life was categorized by a stage of "ignorance, inexperience, and lack of reason, a condition that the child would overcome with time."Covey, R. Alan. "Inca Gender Relations: from household to empire." Gender in cross-cultural perspective. Brettell, Caroline; Sargent, Carolyn F., 1947 (Seventh edition ed.). Abingdon, Oxon. . . For Incan society, in order to advance from the stage of ignorance to development the child must learn the roles associated with their gender. The next important ritual was to celebrate the maturity of a child. Unlike the coming of age ceremony, the celebration of maturity signified the child's sexual potency. This celebration of puberty was called ''warachikuy'' for boys and ''qikuchikuy'' for girls. The ''warachikuy'' ceremony included dancing, fasting, tasks to display strength, and family ceremonies. The boy would also be given new clothes and taught how to act as an unmarried man. The ''qikuchikuy'' signified the onset of menstruation, upon which the girl would go into the forest alone and return only once the bleeding had ended. In the forest she would fast, and, once returned, the girl would be given a new name, adult clothing, and advice. This "folly" stage of life was the time young adults were allowed to have sex without being a parent. Between the ages of 20 and 30, people were considered young adults, "ripe for serious thought and labor." Young adults were able to retain their youthful status by living at home and assisting in their home community. Young adults only reached full maturity and independence once they had married. At the end of life, the terms for men and women denote loss of sexual vitality and humanity. Specifically, the "decrepitude" stage signifies the loss of mental well-being and further physical decline.


Marriage

In the Incan Empire, the age of marriage differed for men and women: men typically married at the age of 20, while women usually got married about four years earlier at the age of 16. Men who were highly ranked in society could have multiple wives, but those lower in the ranks could only take a single wife. Marriages were typically within classes and resembled a more business-like agreement. Once married, the women were expected to cook, collect food and watch over the children and livestock. Girls and mothers would also work around the house to keep it orderly to please the public inspectors. These duties remained the same even after wives became pregnant and with the added responsibility of praying and making offerings to Kanopa, who was the god of pregnancy. It was typical for marriages to begin on a trial basis with both men and women having a say in the longevity of the marriage. If the man felt that it wouldn't work out or if the woman wanted to return to her parents' home the marriage would end. Once the marriage was final, the only way the two could be divorced was if they did not have a child together. Marriage within the Empire was crucial for survival. A family was considered disadvantaged if there was not a married couple at the center because everyday life centered around the balance of male and female tasks.


Gender roles

According to some historians, such as Terence N. D'Altroy, male and female roles were considered equal in Inca society. The "indigenous cultures saw the two genders as complementary parts of a whole." In other words, there was not a hierarchical structure in the domestic sphere for the Incas. Within the domestic sphere, women came to be known as weavers, although there is significant evidence to suggest that this gender role did not appear until colonizing Spaniards realized women's productive talents in this sphere and used it to their economic advantage. There is evidence to suggest that both men and women contributed equally to the weaving tasks in pre-Hispanic Andean culture. Women's everyday tasks included: spinning, watching the children, weaving cloth, cooking, brewing chichi, preparing fields for cultivation, planting seeds, bearing children, harvesting, weeding, hoeing, herding, and carrying water. Men on the other hand, "weeded, plowed, participated in combat, helped in the harvest, carried firewood, built houses, herded llama and alpaca, and spun and wove when necessary". This relationship between the genders may have been complementary. Unsurprisingly, onlooking Spaniards believed women were treated like slaves, because women did not work in Spanish society to the same extent, and certainly did not work in fields. Women were sometimes allowed to own land and herds because inheritance was passed down from both the mother's and father's side of the family. Kinship within the Inca society followed a parallel line of descent. In other words, women ascended from women and men ascended from men. Due to the parallel descent, a woman had access to land and other necessities through her mother.


Religion

Inca myths were transmitted orally until early Spanish colonists recorded them; however, some scholars claim that they were recorded on quipus, Andean knotted string records. The Inca believed in
reincarnation Reincarnation, also known as rebirth or transmigration, is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with p ...
. After death, the passage to the next world was fraught with difficulties. The spirit of the dead, ''camaquen,'' would need to follow a long road and during the trip the assistance of a black dog that could see in the dark was required. Most Incas imagined the after world to be like an earthly paradise with flower-covered fields and snow-capped mountains. It was important to the Inca that they not die as a result of burning or that the body of the deceased not be incinerated. Burning would cause their vital force to disappear and threaten their passage to the after world. The Inca nobility practiced
cranial deformation Standard anatomical terms of location deal unambiguously with the anatomy of animals, including humans. Terms used generally derive from Latin or Greek language, Greek roots and used to describe something in its standard anatomical position. This ...
. They wrapped tight cloth straps around the heads of newborns to shape their soft skulls into a more conical form, thus distinguishing the nobility from other social classes. The Incas made
human sacrifice Human sacrifice is the act of killing one or more humans as part of a ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed in a sequestered place and according to a set sequence. Rituals may be ...
s. As many as 4,000 servants, court officials, favorites and concubines were killed upon the death of the Inca
Huayna Capac Huayna Capac (1464/1468–1524) was the third Sapa Inca, Sapan Inka of the Inca Empire, born in Tomebamba, Tumipampa sixth of the Hanan dynasty, and eleventh of the Inca civilization. As other Sapa Inkas, Huayna Capac subjects commonly approached h ...

Huayna Capac
in 1527. The Incas performed child sacrifices around important events, such as the death of the Sapa Inca or during a famine. These sacrifices were known as '' qhapaq hucha''.


Deities

The Incas were
polytheists Polytheism is the worship of or belief in multiple deity, deities, which are usually assembled into a pantheon (religion), pantheon of God (male deity), gods and goddesses, along with their own religions and rituals. Polytheism is a type of theis ...
who worshipped many gods. These included: *
Viracocha Viracocha is the great creator deity in the pre-Inca and Inca mythology in the Andes The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains ( es, Cordillera de los Andes) are the List of mountain ranges#Mountain ranges by length, longest continenta ...

Viracocha
(also Pachacamac) – Created all living things * Apu Illapu – Rain God, prayed to when they need rain * Ayar Cachi – Hot-tempered God, causes earthquakes * Illapa – Goddess of lightning and thunder (also Yakumama water goddess) *
Inti Inti is the ancient Incan sun god A solar deity (also sun goddess or sun god) is a sky deity who represents the Sun, or an aspect of it, usually by its perceived power and strength. Solar deities and Sun worship can be found throughout ...

Inti
– sun god and patron deity of the holy city of Cusco (home of the sun) * Kuychi – Rainbow God, connected with fertility *
Mama Killa Mama Quilla ( Quechua ''mama'' mother, ''killa'' moon, "Mother Moon", hispanicized spelling ''Mama Quilla''), in Inca mythology and religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and ...
– Wife of Inti, called Moon Mother * Mama Occlo – Wisdom to civilize the people, taught women to weave cloth and build houses *
Manco Cápac Manco Cápac (Quechua language, Quechua: ''Manqu Qhapaq'', "the royal founder"), also known as Manco Inca and Ayar Manco was, according to some historians, the first governor and founder of the Inca Empire, Inca civilization in Cusco, possibly in ...
– known for his courage and sent to earth to become first king of the Incas. Taught people how to grow plants, make weapons, work together, share resources and worship the Gods *
Pachamama Pachamama is a goddess revered by the indigenous peoples of the Andes. In Inca mythology she is an "Earth Mother" type goddess,Penelope Dransart, Dransart, Penny. (1992) "Pachamama: The Inka Earth Mother of the Long Sweeping Garment." ''Dress an ...

Pachamama
– The Goddess of earth and wife of Viracocha. People give her offerings of coca leaves and beer and pray to her for major agricultural occasions * Quchamama – Goddess of the sea * Sachamama – Means Mother Tree, goddess in the shape of a snake with two heads * Yakumama – Means mother Water. Represented as a snake. When she came to earth she transformed into a great river (also Illapa).


Economy

The Inca Empire employed
central planning A planned economy is a type of economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. T ...
. The Inca Empire traded with outside regions, although they did not operate a substantial internal
market economy A market economy is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The ide ...
. While
axe-monies Axe-monies refer to bronze Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12–12.5% tin and often with the addition of other metals (such as aluminum, manganese, nickel or zinc) and sometimes non-metals or metalloids su ...
were used along the northern coast, presumably by the provincial ''mindaláe'' trading class, most households in the empire lived in a
traditional economy A traditional economic system is based on customs, history and time-honored beliefs. A traditional economy is an economic system in which traditions, customs, and beliefs help shape the goods and services the economy produces, as well as the rule ...
in which households were required to pay taxes, usually in the form of the ''
mit'a Mit'a () was mandatory public service in the society of the Inca Empire The Inca Empire ( qu, Tawantinsuyu,  "four parts together"), Quechuan and Aymaran spelling shift, also known as the Incan Empire and the Inka Empire, was the largest e ...
'' corvée labor, and military obligations, though barter (or ''trueque'') was present in some areas. In return, the state provided security, food in times of hardship through the supply of emergency resources, agricultural projects (e.g. aqueducts and terraces) to increase productivity and occasional feasts. While ''mit'a'' was used by the state to obtain labor, individual villages had a pre-inca system of communal work, known as mink'a. This system survives to the modern day, known as ''mink'a'' or ''faena''. The economy rested on the material foundations of the vertical archipelago, a system of ecological complementarity in accessing resources and the cultural foundation of ''
ayni Ayni (Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a common ancestra ...
'', or reciprocal exchange.


Government


Beliefs

The Sapa Inca was conceptualized as divine and was effectively head of the state religion. The ''
Willaq Umu The Willaq Umu ("priest who recounts", hispanicized spelling ''Villac Umu'') were the High Priests of the Sun in the Inca Empire.Prescott, W.H., 2011, The History of the Conquest of Peru, Digireads.com Publishing, They were usually the brothers of ...
'' (or Chief Priest) was second to the emperor. Local religious traditions continued and in some cases such as the Oracle at
Pachacamac Pachacamac ( qu, Pachakamaq) is an archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but ...

Pachacamac
on the Peruvian coast, were officially venerated. Following Pachacuti, the Sapa Inca claimed descent from Inti, who placed a high value on imperial blood; by the end of the empire, it was common to
incest Incest ( ) is between family members or close . This typically includes sexual activity between people in (blood relations), and sometimes those related by ( or ), adoption, or . The is one of the most widespread of all cultural s, both in ...
uously wed brother and sister. He was "son of the sun," and his people the ''intip churin'', or "children of the sun," and both his right to rule and mission to conquer derived from his holy ancestor. The Sapa Inca also presided over ideologically important festivals, notably during the ''
Inti Raymi The Inti Raymi'rata (Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from ...

Inti Raymi
'', or "Sunfest" attended by soldiers, mummified rulers, nobles, clerics and the general population of Cusco beginning on the June solstice and culminating nine days later with the ritual breaking of the earth using a foot plow by the Inca. Moreover, Cusco was considered cosmologically central, loaded as it was with ''huacas'' and radiating ''ceque'' lines as the geographic center of the Four-Quarters;
Inca Garcilaso de la Vega Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (12 April 1539 – 23 April 1616), born Gómez Suárez de Figueroa and known as El Inca, was a chronicler A chronicle ( la, chronica, from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece ...

Inca Garcilaso de la Vega
called it "the navel of the universe".


Organization of the empire

The Inca Empire was a consisting of a central government with the Inca at its head and four-quarters, or ''suyu'':
Chinchay Suyu Chinchay Suyu or Chinchasuyu was the Ordinal directions, northwestern provincial region of the Inca Empire, Tawantin Suyu, or Inca Empire. The most populous ''suyu'' (or Quarter, the largest division of the Inca Empire), Chinchasuyu encompassed the ...
(NW),
Anti Suyu Antisuyu (Quechua language, Quechua ''anti'' east, ''suyu'' (quadrant) region, part of a territory, each of the four regions which formed the Inca Empire, "eastern region") was the eastern part of the Inca Empire which bordered on the modern-day U ...
(NE), Kunti Suyu (SW) and Qulla Suyu (SE). The four corners of these quarters met at the center, Cusco. These ''suyu'' were likely created around 1460 during the reign of Pachacuti before the empire reached its largest territorial extent. At the time the ''suyu'' were established they were roughly of equal size and only later changed their proportions as the empire expanded north and south along the Andes. Cusco was likely not organized as a ''wamani'', or province. Rather, it was probably somewhat akin to a modern
federal district A federal district is a type of administrative division of a federation, usually under the direct control of a federal government and organized sometimes with a single municipal body. Federal districts often include Capital districts and territori ...
, like Washington, DC or Mexico City. The city sat at the center of the four ''suyu'' and served as the preeminent center of politics and religion. While Cusco was essentially governed by the Sapa Inca, his relatives and the royal ''panaqa'' lineages, each ''suyu'' was governed by an ''Apu'', a term of esteem used for men of high status and for venerated mountains. Both Cusco as a district and the four ''suyu'' as administrative regions were grouped into upper ''hanan'' and lower ''hurin'' divisions. As the Inca did not have written records, it is impossible to exhaustively list the constituent ''wamani''. However, colonial records allow us to reconstruct a partial list. There were likely more than 86 ''wamani'', with more than 48 in the highlands and more than 38 on the coast.


Suyu

The most populous ''suyu'' was Chinchaysuyu, which encompassed the former Chimu empire and much of the northern Andes. At its largest extent, it extended through much of modern Ecuador and into modern Colombia. The largest ''suyu'' by area was Qullasuyu, named after the
Aymara Aymara may refer to: Languages and people * Aymaran languages Aymaran (also Jaqi or Aru) is one of the two dominant language families in the central Andes alongside Quechua languages, Quechuan. The family consists of Aymara language, Aymara, wi ...
-speaking
Qulla people The Qulla (Quechuan languages, Quechuan for ''south'', hispanicized and mixed spellings: ''Colla, Kolla'') are an indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous people of western Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina living in Jujuy Province, Jujuy and Sal ...
. It encompassed the Bolivian
Altiplano The Altiplano (Spanish for "high plain"), Collao (Quechuan languages, Quechua and Aymara language, Aymara: Qullaw, meaning "place of the Qulla people, Qulla") or Andean Plateau, in west-central South America, is the area where the Andes are ...

Altiplano
and much of the southern Andes, reaching Argentina and as far south as the Maipo or
Maule river The Maule river or Río Maule (Mapudungun: ''rainy'') is one of the most important rivers of Chile. It is inextricably linked to the country's pre-Hispanic (Inca) times, the country's conquest, Colonialism, colonial period, Chilean Independence, ...
in
Central Chile Central Chile (''Zona central'') is one of the five natural regions into which CORFO divided continental Chile in 1950. It is home to a majority of the Chile Chile (, ; ), officially the Republic of Chile (), is a country in western Sou ...
. Historian
José Bengoa José Bengoa Cabello (19 January 1945) is a Chilean historian and anthropologist.http://www.biobiochile.cl/2013/05/09/jose-bengoa-recibio-premio-altazor-2013.shtml He is known in Chile for his study of Mapuche The Mapuche (, Mapuche and Spanish: ) ...
singled out
Quillota Quillota is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It c ...

Quillota
as likely being the foremost Inca settlement in Chile. The second smallest ''suyu'', Antisuyu, was northwest of Cusco in the high Andes. Its name is the root of the word "Andes." Kuntisuyu was the smallest ''suyu'', located along the southern coast of modern Peru, extending into the highlands towards Cusco.


Laws

The Inca state had no separate judiciary or codified laws. Customs, expectations and traditional local power holders governed behavior. The state had legal force, such as through ''tokoyrikoq'' (lit. "he who sees all"), or inspectors. The highest such inspector, typically a blood relative to the Sapa Inca, acted independently of the conventional hierarchy, providing a point of view for the Sapa Inca free of bureaucratic influence. The Inca had three moral precepts that governed their behavior: * ''Ama sua'': Do not steal * ''Ama llulla'': Do not lie * ''Ama quella'': Do not be lazy


Administration

Colonial sources are not entirely clear or in agreement about Inca government structure, such as exact duties and functions of government positions. But the basic structure can be broadly described. The top was the ''Sapa Inca''. Below that may have been the ''Willaq Umu'', literally the "priest who recounts", the High Priest of the Sun. However, beneath the ''Sapa Inca'' also sat the ''Inkap rantin'', who was a confidant and assistant to the ''Sapa Inca'', perhaps similar to a Prime Minister. Starting with
Topa Inca Yupanqui Topa Inca Yupanqui or Túpac Inca Yupanqui ( qu, 'Tupaq Inka Yupanki'), translated as "noble Inca accountant," (c. 1441–c. 1493) was the tenth Sapa Inca The Sapa Inca (from Quechua language, Quechua ''Sapa Inka'' "the only Inca") was the ruler ...

Topa Inca Yupanqui
, a "Council of the Realm" was composed of 16 nobles: 2 from ''hanan'' Cusco; 2 from ''hurin'' Cusco; 4 from Chinchaysuyu; 2 from Cuntisuyu; 4 from Collasuyu; and 2 from Antisuyu. This weighting of representation balanced the ''hanan'' and ''hurin'' divisions of the empire, both within Cusco and within the Quarters (''hanan suyukuna'' and ''hurin suyukuna''). While provincial
bureaucracy The term bureaucracy () may refer both to a body of non-elected governing officials (bureaucrats A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration of any organization of any size, although the term usually connotes ...

bureaucracy
and government varied greatly, the basic organization was decimal. Taxpayers – male heads of household of a certain age range – were organized into corvée labor units (often doubling as military units) that formed the state's muscle as part of
mit'a Mit'a () was mandatory public service in the society of the Inca Empire The Inca Empire ( qu, Tawantinsuyu,  "four parts together"), Quechuan and Aymaran spelling shift, also known as the Incan Empire and the Inka Empire, was the largest e ...
service. Each unit of more than 100 tax-payers were headed by a ''kuraka'', while smaller units were headed by a ''kamayuq'', a lower, non-hereditary status. However, while ''kuraka'' status was hereditary and typically served for life, the position of a ''kuraka'' in the hierarchy was subject to change based on the privileges of superiors in the hierarchy; a ''pachaka kuraka'' could be appointed to the position by a ''waranqa kuraka''. Furthermore, one ''kuraka'' in each decimal level could serve as the head of one of the nine groups at a lower level, so that a ''pachaka kuraka'' might also be a ''waranqa kuraka'', in effect directly responsible for one unit of 100 tax-payers and less directly responsible for nine other such units.


Arts and technology


Monumental architecture

Architecture was the most important of the Incan arts, with textiles reflecting architectural motifs. The most notable example is
Machu Picchu Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel, located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol ...

Machu Picchu
, which was constructed by Inca engineers. The prime Inca structures were made of stone blocks that fit together so well that a knife could not be fitted through the stonework. These constructs have survived for centuries, with no use of mortar to sustain them. This process was first used on a large scale by the Pucara (c. 300 BC–AD 300) peoples to the south in
Lake Titicaca Lake Titicaca (; es, Lago Titicaca ; qu, Titiqaqa Qucha) is a large, deep, freshwater Fresh water or freshwater is any naturally occurring liquid or frozen water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and transl ...

Lake Titicaca
and later in the city of
Tiwanaku Tiwanaku ( es, Tiahuanaco or ) is a Pre-Columbian archaeological site in western Bolivia near Lake Titicaca, about 70 kilometers from La Paz and it is one of the largest sites in South America. Surface remains currently cover around 4 square kilom ...

Tiwanaku
(c. AD 400–1100) in present-day Bolivia. The rocks were sculpted to fit together exactly by repeatedly lowering a rock onto another and carving away any sections on the lower rock where the dust was compressed. The tight fit and the concavity on the lower rocks made them extraordinarily stable, despite the ongoing challenge of earthquakes and volcanic activity.


Measures, calendrics and mathematics

Physical measures used by the Inca were based on human body parts. Units included fingers, the distance from thumb to forefinger, palms,
cubit The cubit was an ancient unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Doctor Who'' * Unit of action, ...
s and wingspans. The most basic distance unit was ''thatkiy'' or ''thatki'', or one pace. The next largest unit was reported by Cobo to be the ''topo'' or ''tupu'', measuring 6,000 ''thatkiy''s, or about ; careful study has shown that a range of is likely. Next was the ''wamani'', composed of 30 ''topo''s (roughly ). To measure area, 25 by 50 wingspans were used, reckoned in ''topo''s (roughly ). It seems likely that distance was often interpreted as one day's walk; the distance between ''tambo'' way-stations varies widely in terms of distance, but far less in terms of time to walk that distance. Inca
calendar A calendar is a system of organizing days. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months and years. A calendar date, date is the designation of a single, specific day within such a system. A calendar is also ...

calendar
s were strongly tied to
astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and celestial event, phenomena. It uses mathematics, phys ...
. Inca astronomers understood
equinox An equinox is traditionally defined as the time when the plane In mathematics, a plane is a flatness (mathematics), flat, two-dimensional surface (mathematics), surface that extends infinitely far. A plane is the two-dimensional space, two-di ...

equinox
es,
solstice A solstice is an event that occurs when the Sun appears to reach its most northerly or southerly excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere In astronomy and navigation, the celestial sphere is an abstraction, abstr ...

solstice
s and
zenith The zenith is an imaginary point directly "above" a particular location, on the imaginary celestial sphere. "Above" means in the vertical direction (plumb line) opposite to the gravity direction at that location (nadir). The zenith is the "high ...

zenith
passages, along with the . They could not, however, predict
eclipse ECLiPSe is a software system for the development and deployment of Constraint Programming Constraint programming (CP) is a paradigm for solving combinatorial problems that draws on a wide range of techniques from artificial intelligence ...

eclipse
s. The Inca calendar was essentially
lunisolar A lunisolar calendar is a calendar A calendar is a system of organizing days. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months and years. A calendar date, date is the designation of a single, specific day wit ...
, as two calendars were maintained in parallel, one
solar Solar may refer to: Astronomy * Of or relating to the Sun. ** A solar telescope 175px, The Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope at Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma in the Canary Islands. A solar telescope is a special purpose telescope used ...
and one
lunar Lunar most commonly means "of or relating to the Moon The Moon is Earth's only natural satellite. At about one-quarter the diameter of Earth (comparable to the width of Australia (continent), Australia), it is the largest natural satellite ...
. As 12 lunar months fall 11 days short of a full 365-day solar year, those in charge of the calendar had to adjust every winter solstice. Each lunar month was marked with festivals and rituals. Apparently, the days of the week were not named and days were not grouped into weeks. Similarly, months were not grouped into seasons. Time during a day was not measured in hours or minutes, but in terms of how far the sun had travelled or in how long it had taken to perform a task. The sophistication of Inca administration, calendrics and engineering required facility with numbers. Numerical information was stored in the knots of ''
quipu Quipu (also spelled khipu) are recording devices fashioned from historically used by a number of cultures in the region of . Knotted strings for collecting data, government management and keeping records were also used by the , and , but ...

quipu
'' strings, allowing for compact storage of large numbers. These numbers were stored in
base-10 The decimal numeral system (also called the base-ten positional numeral system, and occasionally called denary or decanary) is the standard system for denoting integer and non-integer numbers. It is the extension to non-integer numbers of the Hi ...
digits, the same base used by the Quechua language and in administrative and military units. These numbers, stored in ''quipu'', could be calculated on ''
yupana A ''yupana'' (from Quechua yupay: count) is an abacus The abacus (''plural'' abaci or abacuses), also called a counting frame, is a calculating tool that has been in use since ancient times and is still in use today. It was used in the anci ...

yupana
s'', grids with squares of positionally varying mathematical values, perhaps functioning as an
abacus The abacus (''plural'' abaci or abacuses), also called a counting frame, is a calculating tool that has been in use since ancient times and is still in use today. It was used in the ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of ear ...

abacus
. Calculation was facilitated by moving piles of tokens, seeds or pebbles between compartments of the ''yupana''. It is likely that Inca mathematics at least allowed division of integers into integers or fractions and multiplication of integers and fractions. According to mid-17th-century Jesuit chronicler Bernabé Cobo, the Inca designated officials to perform accounting-related tasks. These officials were called quipo camayos. Study of khipu sample VA 42527 (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin) revealed that the numbers arranged in calendrically significant patterns were used for agricultural purposes in the "farm account books" kept by the khipukamayuq (accountant or warehouse keeper) to facilitate the closing of accounting books.


Tunics

Tunics were created by skilled Incan textile-makers as a piece of warm clothing, but they also symbolized cultural and political status and power. ''Cumbi'' was the fine, tapestry-woven woolen cloth that was produced and necessary for the creation of tunics. ''Cumbi'' was produced by specially-appointed women and men. Generally, textile-making was practiced by both men and women. As emphasized by certain historians, only with European conquest was it deemed that women would become the primary weavers in society, as opposed to Incan society where specialty textiles were produced by men and women equally.Karen B. Graubart. "Weaving and the Construction of a Gender Division of Labor in Early Colonial Peru." The American Indian Quarterly 24, no. 4 (2000): 537-561. Complex patterns and designs were meant to convey information about order in Andean society as well as the Universe. Tunics could also symbolize one's relationship to ancient rulers or important ancestors. These textiles were frequently designed to represent the physical order of a society, for example, the flow of
tribute A tribute (; from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be ...

tribute
within an empire. Many tunics have a "checkerboard effect" which is known as the ''collcapata''. According to historians Kenneth Mills, William B. Taylor, and Sandra Lauderdale Graham, the ''collcapata'' patterns "seem to have expressed concepts of commonality, and, ultimately, unity of all ranks of people, representing a careful kind of foundation upon which the structure of Inkaic universalism was built." Rulers wore various tunics throughout the year, switching them out for different occasions and feasts. The symbols present within the tunics suggest the importance of "pictographic expression" within Inkan and other Andean societies far before the iconographies of the Spanish Christians.


Uncu

Uncu was a men's garment similar to a tunic. It was an upper-body garment of knee-length; Royals wore it with a mantle cloth called '' yacolla.''


Ceramics, precious metals and textiles

Ceramics A ceramic is any of the various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant Corrosion is a Erosion, natural process that converts a refined metal into a more chemically stable form such as oxide, hydroxide, carbonate or sulfide. It ...
were painted using the polychrome technique portraying numerous motifs including animals, birds, waves, felines (popular in the
Chavin culture Chavin may refer to: Places * Chavín de Huantar, an archaeological site in Peru built by the Chavín culture * Chavín District, Chincha, Peru * Chavín de Huantar District, Huari, Peru * Chavín de Pariarca District, Huamalies, Peru * Chavin, Ind ...
) and geometric patterns found in the
Nazca Nazca (; sometimes spelled Nasca; Quechuan languages, Quechua: Naska) is a city and system of valleys on the southern coast of Peru. It is also the name of the largest existing town in the Nazca Province. The name is derived from the Nazca culture ...
style of ceramics. In a culture without a written language, ceramics portrayed the basic scenes of everyday life, including the smelting of metals, relationships and scenes of tribal warfare. The most distinctive Inca ceramic objects are the Cusco bottles or "aryballos". Many of these pieces are on display in Lima in the Larco Archaeological Museum and the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History. Almost all of the gold and silver work of the Incan empire was melted down by the conquistadors, and shipped back to Spain.


Communication and medicine

The Inca recorded information on assemblages of knotted strings, known as
Quipu Quipu (also spelled khipu) are recording devices fashioned from historically used by a number of cultures in the region of . Knotted strings for collecting data, government management and keeping records were also used by the , and , but ...

Quipu
, although they can no longer be decoded. Originally it was thought that Quipu were used only as mnemonic devices or to record numerical data. Quipus are also believed to record history and literature. The Inca made many discoveries in medicine. They performed successful , by cutting holes in the skull to alleviate fluid buildup and inflammation caused by head wounds. Many skull surgeries performed by Inca surgeons were successful. Survival rates were 80–90%, compared to about 30% before Inca times.


Coca

The Incas revered the
coca Coca is any of the four cultivated plants in the family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-bei ...

coca
plant as sacred/magical. Its leaves were used in moderate amounts to lessen hunger and pain during work, but were mostly used for religious and health purposes. The Spaniards took advantage of the effects of chewing coca leaves. The
Chasqui The ''chasquis'' (also ) were the messengers of the Inca empire. Agile, highly trained and physically fit, they were in charge of carrying the , messages and gifts, up to 240 km per day through the relay system. ''Chasquis'' were not just messeng ...
, messengers who ran throughout the empire to deliver messages, chewed coca leaves for extra energy. Coca leaves were also used as an
anaesthetic An anesthetic (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American Eng ...
during surgeries.


Weapons, armor and warfare

The
Inca army The Inca army ( Quechua: ''Inka Awqaqkuna'') was the multi-ethnic armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially auth ...
was the most powerful at that time, because any ordinary villager or farmer could be recruited as a soldier as part of the ''
mit'a Mit'a () was mandatory public service in the society of the Inca Empire The Inca Empire ( qu, Tawantinsuyu,  "four parts together"), Quechuan and Aymaran spelling shift, also known as the Incan Empire and the Inka Empire, was the largest e ...
'' system of mandatory public service. Every able bodied male Inca of fighting age had to take part in war in some capacity at least once and to prepare for warfare again when needed. By the time the empire reached its largest size, every section of the empire contributed in setting up an army for war. The Incas had no iron or steel and their weapons were not much more effective than those of their opponents so they often defeated opponents by sheer force of numbers, or else by persuading them to surrender beforehand by offering generous terms. Inca weaponry included "hardwood spears launched using throwers, arrows, javelins, slings, the
bolas A bolas (plural: ''bolas'' or ''bolases''; from Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, ...

bolas
, clubs, and maces with star-shaped heads made of copper or bronze." Rolling rocks downhill onto the enemy was a common strategy, taking advantage of the hilly terrain. Fighting was sometimes accompanied by drums and trumpets made of wood, shell or bone. Armor included: * Helmets made of wood, cane, or animal skin, often lined with copper or bronze; some were adorned with feathers * Round or square shields made from wood or hide * Cloth tunics padded with cotton and small wooden planks to protect the spine * Ceremonial metal breastplates, of copper, silver, and gold, have been found in burial sites, some of which may have also been used in battle. Roads allowed quick movement (on foot) for the Inca army and shelters called '' tambo'' and storage silos called
qullqa A qullqa ( "deposit, storehouse"; (spelling variants: ''colca, collca, qolca, qollca'') was a storage building found along Inca road system, roads and near the cities and political centers of the Inca Empire. To a "prodigious xtentunprecedent ...
s were built one day's travelling distance from each other, so that an army on campaign could always be fed and rested. This can be seen in names of ruins such as ''Ollantay Tambo'', or My Lord's Storehouse. These were set up so the Inca and his entourage would always have supplies (and possibly shelter) ready as they traveled.


Banner of the Inca

Chronicles and references from the 16th and 17th centuries support the idea of a banner. However, it represented the Inca (emperor), not the empire. Francisco López de Jerez wrote in 1534:

()
Chronicler Bernabé Cobo wrote:

()
-Bernabé Cobo, ''Historia del Nuevo Mundo'' (1653)
Guaman Poma Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala (ca. 1535Fane, 165 – after 1616), also known as Huamán Poma or Wamán Poma, was a Quechua nobleman known for chronicling and denouncing the ill treatment of the natives of the Andes The Andes, Andes Mountains o ...
's 1615 book, ''El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno'', shows numerous line drawings of Inca flags. In his 1847 book ''A History of the Conquest of Peru'', " ... says that in the Inca army each company had its particular banner and that the imperial standard, high above all, displayed the glittering device of the rainbow, the armorial ensign of the Incas." A 1917 world flags book says the Inca "heir-apparent ... was entitled to display the royal standard of the rainbow in his military campaigns." In modern times the
rainbow flag A rainbow flag is a multicolored flag A flag is a piece of textile, fabric (most often rectangular or quadrilateral) with a distinctive design and colours. It is used as a symbol, a signalling device, or for decoration. The term ''flag'' i ...

rainbow flag
has been wrongly associated with the Tawantinsuyu and displayed as a symbol of Inca heritage by some groups in Peru and Bolivia. The city of Cusco also flies the Rainbow Flag, but as an official flag of the city. The Peruvian president
Alejandro Toledo Alejandro Celestino Toledo Manrique (; born 28 March 1946) is a Peruvian politician who served List of Presidents of Peru, President of Peru, from 2001 to 2006. He gained international prominence after leading the opposition against president A ...

Alejandro Toledo
(2001–2006) flew the Rainbow Flag in
Lima Lima ( ; ) is the capital and the largest city of Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_t ...

Lima
's presidential palace. However, according to Peruvian historiography, the Inca Empire never had a flag. Peruvian historian María Rostworowski said, "I bet my life, the Inca never had that flag, it never existed, no chronicler mentioned it". Also, to the Peruvian newspaper ''El Comercio'', the flag dates to the first decades of the 20th century, and even the
Congress of the Republic of Peru The Congress of the Republic of Peru ( es, Congreso de la República) is the unicameral In government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case o ...
has determined that flag is a fake by citing the conclusion of National Academy of Peruvian History:
"The official use of the wrongly called 'Tawantinsuyu flag' is a mistake. In the Pre-Hispanic Andean World there did not exist the concept of a flag, it did not belong to their historic context".
National Academy of Peruvian History


Adaptations to altitude

The people of the Andes, including the Incas, were able to adapt to high-altitude living through successful acclimatization, which is characterized by increasing oxygen supply to the blood tissues. For the native living in the Andean highlands, this was achieved through the development of a larger lung capacity, and an increase in red blood cell counts, hemoglobin concentration, and capillary beds. Compared to other humans, the Andeans had slower heart rates, almost one-third larger
lung The lungs are the primary organs An organ is a group of tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that co-exist in organ systems. A given organ's tissues can be broadly categorized as parenchyma ...

lung
capacity, about 2 L (4 pints) more blood volume and double the amount of
hemoglobin Hemoglobin or haemoglobin (spelling differences Despite the various English dialects Dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two distinct wa ...

hemoglobin
, which transfers
oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same ...

oxygen
from the lungs to the rest of the body. While the
Conquistadors Conquistadors (, ) or conquistadores (, ; meaning 'conquerors') were the invaders, knights, soldiers, and explorers of the Spanish Empire, Spanish and the Portuguese Empires. During the Age of Discovery, conquistadors sailed beyond Europe to t ...
may have been taller, the Inca had the advantage of coping with the extraordinary altitude. The
Tibetan Tibetan may mean: * of, from, or related to Tibet * Tibetan people, an ethnic group * Tibetan language: ** Classical Tibetan, the classical language used also as a contemporary written standard ** Standard Tibetan, the most widely used spoken dialec ...
s in Asia living in the
Himalayas The Himalayas, or Himalaya (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It ar ...

Himalayas
are also adapted to living in high-altitudes, although the adaptation is different from that of the Andeans.


See also


Incan archeological sites

*
Choquequirao File:Choquequirao-cimatruncada.jpg, Truncated hilltop at Choquequirao Choquequirao (possibly from Quechua language, Quechua ''chuqi'' metal, ''k'iraw'' infant bed, crib, cot) is an Inca Empire, Incan site in southern Peru, similar in structure ...

Choquequirao
*
Cojitambo Cojitambo is an Inca and pre-Inca archaeological ruin, a popular rock climbing site, and a small village west of Azogues, capital of Canar province of Ecuador Ecuador ( ; ; Quechuan languages, Quechua: ''Ikwayur''; Shuar language, Shuar: ...
*
El Fuerte de Samaipata El Fuerte de Samaipata or Fort Samaipata, also known simply as "El Fuerte", is a Pre-Columbian archaeological site and UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO french: Organisation des Nations unies po ...

El Fuerte de Samaipata
* Huánuco Pampa * Huchuy Qosqo * Inca-Caranqui * Llaqtapata * Moray (Inca ruin), Moray * Ollantaytambo * Oroncota * Pambamarca Fortress Complex * Písac * Pukara of La Compañia * Quispiguanca * Rumicucho * Tampukancha * Tumebamba * Vitcos


Incan-related

* Aclla, the "chosen women" * Amauta, Inca teachers * Amazonas before the Inca Empire * Anden, agricultural terrace *
Inca army The Inca army ( Quechua: ''Inka Awqaqkuna'') was the multi-ethnic armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially auth ...
* Inca cuisine * Incan aqueducts * Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala * Paria, Bolivia * Religion in the Inca Empire * Tampukancha, Inca religious site * Criollo people#Spanish colonial caste system, Society of the Spanish-Americans in the Spanish Colonial Americas


General

* Ancient Peru * Cultural periods of Peru * Population history of indigenous peoples of the Americas * History of Peru * History of smallpox#Epidemics in the Americas, History of smallpox § Epidemics in the Americas * Muisca Confederation


Notes


References


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links


"Guaman Poma – El Primer Nueva Corónica Y Buen Gobierno"
nbsp;– A high-quality digital version of the Corónica, scanned from the original manuscript.

by Hiram Bingham III, Hiram Bingham (published 1912–1922).
Inca Artifacts, Peru and Machu Picchu
360-degree movies of inca artifacts and Peruvian landscapes.



National Geographic site.

poetry of an Inca emperor.


Engineering in the Andes Mountains
lecture on Inca suspension bridges

of Inca Empire events
Ancient Peruvian art: contributions to the archaeology of the empire of the Incas
a four volume work from 1902 (fully available online as PDF) {{DEFAULTSORT:Inca Empire Inca Empire, Indigenous culture of the Americas Andean civilizations Post-Classic period in the Americas 16th-century disestablishments in the Inca civilization States and territories established in 1438 History of Ecuador History of Peru Inca states History of indigenous peoples of the Americas 15th century in South America 16th century in South America Former empires in the Americas 15th-century establishments in the Inca civilization Former countries