The Inca and its Empire

Area Inhabited/Ruled
The Inca Empire expands from Ecuador to Argentina, including Peru, Chile, and Bolivia. The capital of the empire was Cuzco, which was built in AD 1300. Cuzco is the shape of a puma from a bird's eye view. A lake called Lake Titicaca and a mountain called Machu Pichu was part of their land too. In a lot of the Inca territory there is rocky land/mountains. Most lands were very steep or too high or cold to grow crops, which made it difficult to farm. There was a lot of gold and silver though! Their domestic animals were llamas, alpacas, and cuy (guinea pigs).Their crops were cotton, corn, potatoes, oca (a root crop), peanuts, quinoa (a grain), and hot peppers.
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Everyday Life
Everyday the Inca worked. A typical job could be mining for gold and silver in the rocky land. Another might be helping with the construction of temples or other buildings and finely cutting stone rocks for it. People would also create valuable ceramics, pottery, and metal works, as well as weaving colorful cloth. If you are lucky, you might even be a runner that delivers messages to and from places (usually for the ruler). Commoners would usually travel by foot, no matter how far, and sometimes alongside a llama. Llamas could carry up to 70 pounds of gear. They also provided meat. The Inca would also eat corn, potatoes, oca, peanuts, quinoa, and hot peppers. A day in the life of an Inca, was a day of work.
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Social and Political Organization
The Inca Empire had a very specific government/political system. The emperor was called the Sapa Inca. He had authority over all aspects of life, responsibility for the chief cult of the Inca, responsibility for the worship of the sun god (for whom he was believed to be descended), and many other duties. Farmland was divided so a portion was given to the emperor and it was his duty to feed troops passing through the region, and sometimes even distribute it during times of drought and famine.There were also governors who collected taxes, enforce law, and oversaw road, building, and local military administrations. As you can see, the government was made of many officials. There were a few systems of government going on during the Inca Empire. One was aristocracy. It worked well and allowed them to have a structure for their economy. Another was a redistributive system in which rich areas gave crop surplus to the government, who redistributed it to a poor area. But parts were kept for state support and security against future crop failures. Market exchange also existed alongside of that system. Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui built a "belonging to a supreme ruler" system at Cuzco and forced tribes to become vassals. He also developed a permanent military system and grand strategy for the empire in carrying out expansion. Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo established the royal bloodline. The Inca grew a strong army. Commanders of the army were trained at a very young age. As the years flew by, they became progressively warlike.They conquered territories, and made the people of the territory pay tribute in goods and labor. The conquered area's army was also forced to join the Inca's army. That gave the Inca two major advantages; power for the next battle, and no more military threats from the conquered province. A few emperors are well known and was significant to their society. The first one was Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui. He helped conquer territory south towards Lake Titicaca. Pachacuti's son was Huayna Capac, who also helped the Inca thrive. Huayna Capac's designated heir was Huascar, but Atahualpa wanted the throne, so they had a civil war. Atahualpa ended up captured Huascar and Cuzco, which led to his victory. In 1532, Spanish conquistador Fransisco Pizarro arrived in Peru. Pizarro captured Atahualpa and the other Spaniards robbed the riches of the Inca. The conquistadors' firearms and horses were unknown to the Inca which guaranteed the Spanish victory. The age of the Inca, had ended.
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The Inca were very religious people. They believed in multiple gods. One was Inti, or the sun god. The Inca believed Inti sent them forth with a golden staff that identified their promised land, Cuzco. They also believed that Viracocha created the world, the earth goddess is Pachamama, and there was a sea and moon god. It was believed gods spoke to humans through oracles, or prophets, and expressed anger by natural disasters like earthquakes and droughts. There were many festival days. During the festivals, people would gather in the plaza, dance, and play wooden pipes and drums. One example of a festival is the Festival of Illapa, the god of lightning. Another example is Inti Raymi, on the June solstice. Sacrifices were important in all religious ceremonies (especially one for the death of an emperor). Human sacrifices were under certain rules. Kids would take part in capac ucha (royal obligation), be blessed by the emperor, and then they may be returned to their province to be sacrificed. Most would consider it great honor to be sacrificed. A big part of religion was burial. Important people were buried in stone chambers above ground and others in pits, caves, or other kinds of graves. The Inca were believers in being huaca,or sacred, and their information today is still huaca.
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Arts/Technology/Developed Culture
The Inca had great technology and arts, and were skilled engineers and craft workers. One great creation was their Incan roads. They lasted for thousands of miles, and had many advantages. The roads allowed runners to get to places fast to alert the ruler. It definitely made trade easier, and even had tambos, which were rest houses along the road. It also allowed the army to travel to wherever they needed. The Inca did not have a writing system until later the Spanish recorded it. But before the Spanish, there were special ropes called quipu, and oral histories. Another incredible aspect of the Inca was their irrigation systems. The Inca generally had very poor soil that required much attention, and irrigation systems helped a lot. They made irrigation canals to help spread water throughout the land. The Inca were great constructors of buildings, too. They constructed great temples and palaces, such as Quispiguanca. When they built these temples and palaces, the blocks of rock were cut so finely that they fit together without mortar. The homes the constructed were mostly built with cane walls and a roof, but in the highlands houses of adobe or stone set in mud with thatched roofs were common. The Inca were great at making pottery/valuable ceramics, farm tools, and metal works. Some metal artifacts have been found with fine details. Their farm tools they made also helped plants grow in the rocky soil. Their pottery were works of art, mostly painted with geometric designs in black, brown, red, white, and yellow. The Inca's art is displayed in museums and prized today.
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