The Incas Chapter 26
The Basics: • The Inca Empire developed in the Andes Mountains and lasted from the early 1400’s until 1532 • The Empire spanned 2500 miles • It covered the modern day countries of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, and Chile • The capital city was called Cuzco, located in about the center of the empire • Unlike the Maya, the Incas had no system of writing
Influence of the Moche and Chimu • MOCHE • Lived from 100 BCE to 700 CE on the northern coast of Peru • Built cities • Dug irrigation canal • Developed special classes of workers • CHIMU • Lived from the 1300’s- 1400’s in Northern Peru • Built well-planned cities • Used elaborate irrigation methods • Preserved the artistic traditions of the Moche and passed them on • Built good roads • Created a message system using runners
The Messenger System • About 15000 miles of roads linked all corners of the empire • Messenger stations were built every few miles along the roads • Messengers were called Chasquis- they carried the message from one station to the next • Messages could travel more than 250 miles per day • Messages were memorized words and quipus (a set of strings with knots tied at various places and in different colors) • Quipus also helped keep track of populations, troops, and tribute, as well as information about their legends and achievements
Class Structure “Inca by blood” are those whose families were originally from Cuzco- they could be in any class.
The Emperor: Sapa Inca • Believed to have been descended from Inti, the sun god • Everything in the empire belonged to the Sapa Inca • Servants carried the Sapa Inca everywhere on a golden litter • Had many wives
3 Levels of Nobles: • Capac Incas- relatives of the emperor • Believed to be descended from Manco Capac • Controlled the empire’s land and valuable resources • Held the most important government jobs • Were priests • Hahua Incas- did not share royal blood • Leaders from around Cuzco became Hahua Incas • Curacas- leaders of conquered peoples • Collected taxes- goods and labor since there was not money • Worked as inspectors to make sure everyone followed Inca laws and customs • ALL NOBLES: • Leaders who helped administer the vast empire • Received gifts of land, servants, llamas, and fine clothing • Did not pay taxes • Men could marry more than one wife
Commoners • Most people fell into this category • Farmers and herders • Built roads and weaved cloth Inca people living in Peru today.
Farming • Crops included squash, peppers, beans, peanuts, 20 types of corn , and 200 types of potatoes • Farmers had to give most of their crops to the government which were placed in storehouses • The food was distributed to warriors, temple priests, and people in need
Religion • Incas were polytheistic (believed in many gods) • Believed gods controlled many aspects of nature • Showed devotion to gods through offering sacrifices of corn, llamas, guinea pigs, and humans
Inti, the Sun God • Inti, the sun god, was the most important god • Inti was the god of agriculture • They also believed that the Sapa Inca’s family descended from Inti
Chosen Women • Most beautiful, talented, and graceful girls (age 8-10) taken to live in convents • Studied Inca religion, learned to prepares special food and drink, wove garments • Age 15 Chosen Women went to work at temples or shrines, became convent teachers, or went to Cuzco to become a wife of a noble or secondary wife of the Sapa Inca • Almost never returned back to their home • Some were also sacrificed during important religious events or natural disasters.
Conquering New Land • Sapa Inca sent a delegate to meet with a tribe • Gave the options to join and enjoy peace and prosperity or go to war
If the tribe decided to join the Incas… • Most tribes went this route • The local leaders could retain some local power
If the tribe decided NOT to join the Incas… • The two sides met in battle • Incas used spears, axes, clubs, stones • Many men died • The Incas usually won • Sometimes the Inca moved a defeated tribe to other parts of the empire so that the people lost their native lands
After Being Conquered • New tribes had to adopt the ways of the Inca • Leaders of tribe had to build a sun temple to Intiand revere him as the most important god • However, they could also keep their own gods • Local leaders and their sons traveled to Cuzco to study Inca laws and Quechua (the Inca language) then teach Inca ways to their people • Teachers arrived to establish Inca style villages and organize ayllus • Also taught people how to build storehouses, irrigation systems, and terraced farming
Ensuring Inca Security • Incas took an important religious object as a “hostage” in case the tribe ever rebelled • The item was kept in Cuzco • It would be destroyed if the tribe tried to cause problems
Why such a huge empire? • Incas believed that even in death, the Sapa Inca ruled the land he had conquered • So new Sapa Incas had to claim their own land and therefore conquer more
The Inca Empire came to an end in 1532 • This is when Atahualpa, the Inca Emperor, greeted the Spanish conquistadors as guests • Led by Francisco Pizarro, the conquistadors followed Cortes’ example and launched a surprise attack and kidnapped the emperor • Even though the Incas paid silver and gold to the Spanish to get Atahualpa back, the Spanish still killed him a year later • Without their leader, the Inca’s empire quickly fell apart