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Incas (Becca U 4:30)
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Cusco has a subtropical highland climate. Its climate is generally dry and temperate, with two defined seasons. The dry season lasts from April through October, with abundant sunshine, and occasional nighttime freezes: July is the coolest month with an average of 50°F. The wet season lasts from November to March, with night frost less common: November averages 56.1°F. ( D’Altroy)
Majority of the Inca’s territories were located on the Mountain range of the Andes. The Subtropical Highland variety of the oceanic climate exists in elevated portions of the world that are either within the tropics or subtropics, though it is typically found in mountainous locations in some tropical countries. It also tends to experience noticeably drier weather during the "low-sun" season. Subtropical Highland climates tend to be essentially identical to an oceanic climate, complete with mild summers, noticeably cooler winters. In the tropics, a Subtropical Highland climate tends to feature Spring-like weather year-round.( D’Altroy). In result of these geographical conditions, there was a distinctive physical developement characterized by short height and a stocky build; the men averaging to stand 5'2'', and the women averaging about 4'9''. The Incas also lived in what is considered to be high altitudes, which affected their lung developement to where they had almost one third greater a lung capacity than other humans. They also had slower heart rates, double the amount of hemoglobin, and aquired a blood volume of about 21 pints, which is more than the average human as well.
The Andes produce all sorts of metals such as gold, copper, silver, tin, lead, iron, platinum, and quicksilver. The Flora surrounding the Inca was mainly Rainforest. Which made building there terraces harder because all the trees had to be wiped out before they could start to level out the ground.
About 30,000 species of vascular plants live in the Andes with roughly half being endemic to the region, surpassing the diversity of any other hotspot. The Alpaca, a type of Llama, is raised for its wool. The inca’s relied on the llama for there main source of meat. They also fished for Challua, that has a big head and soft skin, it was eat it boiled or in soups; Another fish describe by the incas was a fish found in the Titicaca lake call Suchi,The nocturnal Chinchilla, an endangered member of the rodent order, was also eaten by the inca’s. The South American condor is the largest bird of its kind in the Western hemisphere. Other animals include the Huemul, Cougar, Camelids and, for birds, the Partridge, Parina, Huallata, and Coot. (D’Altroy)
Most of all the environment was most important the ability to allow the growth of so many foods. The greatest achievement of the inca agriculture was to guarantee a sustainable and permanent food supply to all parts of the kingdom, this was because the land is so fertile.
Work Cited:The Incas” by Terence N. D’Altroy. Blackwell Publishers
The Incan language of the 1450’s is somewhat of a mystery. It is not that it was spoken by a small group of people because that is far from the truth. In fact the Incan Empire was one of the largest in the world. They would dominate every country they encountered and teach them their language until everyone was speaking it. The reason that the Incan language of the 1450’s is such a mystery, is because it was not until the Spanish conquered them in 1532-4 that the language was written. (The Languages, 166) When the language was written, it was written in Spanish dialect so the actual spelling of letters and what the founders of the language would have wanted it to look like is an unknown fact.
The language spoken by the Incas is known as Quechua (Kesh-wa). (Gonzolez, 1) It belongs to the Andean branch of the Andean-Equatorial stock of Native American languages. (The Languages, 8) There are still speakers of this ancient language today in countries like Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, and of course Peru. (Leonard, 179)
To know about the Incan civilization, one needs to understand how they communicated. People build buildings and civilizations today by writing instructions, talking with others to tell them what they need to do, and using their education to make intelligent decisions on how to construct. The Incans had no way of writing. Most of them did not know how to read or write at all. In fact the only way that the Incans knew how to build their structures was because the elders had been passing down information from generation to generation. (Leonard, 181)
The Incans did have a way to understand what each other meant in relation to some numbers and objects. They had Quipus or knotted strings used for little more than recording numbers and telling what objects the numbers referred to. This lets us know that they were working towards a written language but as of the 1450’s there was no written language. (Leonard, 181)
The Incans relied a lot upon the memory of themselves and others. While building a structure, models or diagrams in planning their structures or irrigation systems could not be labeled part by part. There were no books to help them decide how thick the cables of a suspension bridge should be. All those details had to be passed from one memory to another.
The Incan empire was built from many battles with the Incan nation against their next victim. The generals and Incan king were sometimes very far away but they needed to get a message to their soldiers. If this happened, the general or king would send instructions from their headquarters to distant armies relying on the memory of hundreds of chasquis. (Betanzos, 49) Chasquis are fleet footed relay messengers stationed along principal roads of the empire. (Leonard, 180) One single word incorrect, one line forgotten, one mispronunciation of a word could have ended in a catastrophic disaster.
The Incan language of Quechua spread to so many countries during the conquest of many nations. By the time the Incan Empire had grown to its full size, Quechua had become one of the primary languages in South America and it is still being used today. This is because every time the Incans conquered a nation, they would teach them the language slowly spreading the language all over the continent. Just as the English language spread with the growth of the British Empire, so did the Quechua language with the growth of the Incan Empire. (Leonard, 184)
The people of the Incan Empire had lots of face-to-face interaction between on another. This meant that they needed a way to greet one another. When an Incan would meet or greet another Incan, they would give each other a single kiss on the cheek. This was a sign of obedience or friendship between the two parties and was very disrespectful if you didn’t participate. (Bringham, 56)
•Bankes, George. Peru before Pizarro. Oxford [Eng.: Phaidon, 1977. Print.
•Bingham, Hiram. Lost City of the Incas, the Story of Machu Picchu and Its Builders. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1948. Print.
•Betanzos, Juan De, Roland Hamilton, and Dana Buchanan. Narrative of the Incas. Austin: University of Texas, 1996. Print.
•Gonzalez, Odi, and Lucien Chauvin. "Time for Kids | Specials | GO PLACES: PERU." Time For Kids | Classroom. 04 Oct. 2002. Web. 16 Sept. 2010. <http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/specials/goplaces/0,12405,362066,00.html>.
•Leonard, Jonathan Norton. Ancient America: by Jonathan Norton Leonard and the Editors of Time-Life Books. New York: Time-Life International, 1970. Print.
"The Languages of the Andes." Cambridge University Press. 2004. Web. 30 Sept. 2010. <http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=052136275X>.
ByThe Incas were very proficient people yet, they had very primitive tools and means of accomplishing their task. There form of media was almost non-existent leading to the question, how did they maintain such a large empire? This question is partially answered by the use of their technology to create amazing feats. Technology is defined as "The body of knowledge available that is of use in fashioning implements, practicing manual arts and skills, and extracting or collecting materials.” The Incas were very good at “practicing manual art and skills and extracting or collecting material,” but fashioning implements was something they had not exemplified with their tools, but something they demonstrated extraordinarily with their structures. Such things as: bridges, roads, stone structures, metal decorations, pottery, and colorful clothing. They used an array of techniques to form them, but some of the simplest things were implemented as tools for making them.
The definition of media is "A means of mass communication.” The only means of mass communication between villages and cities was a chain of runners known as the chasquis. These runners carried goods and messages for approximately four miles until they reached a tampus. This was a hut with another runner awaiting to take the package, the first runner would relax in the tampus until it was his turn to deliver again. Although this system’s capacity seems very limited it was actually quite effective, averaging 240 miles a day for one package. (Bleeker, pg.95-98) Another way of mass communication was festivals. The change in seasons was a signal for a religious festival, were everyone able to gather would, to share in spiritual as well as cultural events. Although roads are not a form of media they contributed to Incan media. The highway system of the empire had two parallel roads spanning the entire area. These two highways were connected by smaller roads that led to villages and points of interest. (Hagen, pg. 92-95 )
Once again the definition of technology is very important as to realizing just how technologically advanced the Incas were. The Sun Stone was a calendar that used the positioning of the sun, which dictated the previously stated celebrations. This was just one of many elaborate stone structures of the Incas. They also carved away the earth into a series of steps called terraces. The dirt was retained by rock walls tilted inward to prevent them from collapsing. They practiced this on sloped surfaces to prevent erosion, allow for the soil to absorb the moisture, and to create locations closer to them for crops. However, the terraces may have not been sufficient at times, which is when their ingenious irrigation systems came into play. These systems stretched for miles and were fed continuously by fresh water springs. Theses resourceful tricks led to great success in farming. The techniques used to produce favorable conditions far surpassed the techniques of planting and harvesting the crops. To plant a stick with a rock was used to break the sod where soon after a stick was used to dig a hole. To keep their fields fertile they supplemented them with any kind of animal manure available. Famers, as you could imagine, were very worn so to relive aches they chewed on cocoa leaves. The leaves contained cocaine that when ingested relieved pain. (Hagen pg. 78-84 ) Tools such as bronze chisels and copper axes were used by craftsmen to carve stone and shape metal. Hammers were just large rocks, and knives were polished pieces of flint. The Incas also used molds to make things, such as clay packed in wooden frames to form adobe bricks or a wooden mold to shape a work of metal. The application of a tensioned string allowed for them to build their walls straight and even. Roofs of structures entailed four runners from the corners of the top of the walls and a center post covered in thatch, mud and pebbles. Of these structures for every three homes there was one cooking hut. The cooking hut contained a fire pit with a slab of clay over it with three holes in it. Over these holes they placed comals (skillets) and pots to cook and boil their food. To prepare grain, a primary part of their diet, they ground grains with a stone. Some of their food or water was contained in pottery. Pottery varied from region to region, but the coordination of color and design was always breath taking. Making these pots was not easy considering they used only their hands to form them. The only other tools implicated I the process were straw to strengthen the pot, and wooden casings to protect the pot during firing. Clothing was just as elaborate in color and design, yet once again it utilized few tools. Dyes were applied to threads before they were woven so they could make designs. A small loom, made of two sticks, and a spindle stick were all the tools they used. Their fabrics however consisted of feathers, wool and cotton. (Bleeker, pg. 56-69)
Of the all the colors and creations the highway system was one of the most noted. Emperors traveled on platforms on the road while others walked carrying their items in a bag, or using a lama to carry a very light load. Bridges made with rope and planks cut days off a journey. The rope for these bridges was made by twisting fibers together, and one of the best examples of the Incan skill of bridge building was the Bridge of San Luis Rey, spanning over 250 feet. The most important feature of the roadways was the quality. When an uprising occurred the foot soldiers could move very quickly along the road to smother it. (Bradford, pg. 160-165) Of the soldiers arsenal held weapons consisted of clubs, bronze knives, battle axes, and spears. Weapons that were launched entailed: bow and arrows, estólica (a spear launching weapon), bolas (the equivalent of a thrown lasso), and a sling. These weapons proved effective for the time being. (Khemani)
The technology and media of the Incan people may have seemed primitive, yet it is agreeable that they still proved to be proficient in the appliance of it. The limited tools and the incredible methodology produced the most marvelous creations that have lasted for hundreds of years without maintenance. Simplicity and ingenuity in their designs created ingenious systems, such as irrigation, roads and terracing, that are still effective today. These are some of the many reasons why they ruled such a vast area, they didn’t rely on mechanisms that broke down, basically they relied on people. Although they did not rely on written communication the proof of how effective their media was in how vast the empire became. The ways of the Incas were ahead of their time as many would agree and honestly I wouldn’t mind reverting back to them.
· The American Heritage College Dictionary. Fourth Edition. Boston New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007. Print. • ("" ) •
· Bleeker, Sonia. The Inca Indians of the Andes. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1960. Print. •
- ("" )
- (Bleeker )
· Khemani, Haresh. "The Town Planning Of Machu Picchu." (2010): Web. 16 Sep 2010. •
· Von Hagen, Victor Wolfgang. The Ancient Sun Kingdoms of the Americas. First Edition. Cleveland and New York: The World Publishing Company, 1957. Print. •
· Bradford, Winfred. Daily Life in Peru. London: 1961. Print. •
- (Hagen )
This section will discuss the gender roles in the Inca civilization in the mid 15th century, or around the year 1450 AD. All Incas around this time were born into a special community known as an ayllu (pronounced aye-YOU). The question of whether an ayllu member was biologically related to another member did not matter in the slightest; all members of one ayllu were considered kin to one another (Silverblatt 1987, page 4). According to Collier, the term ayllu was "applied to social subdivisions of various kinds, such as small rural communities or the wards or quarters into which cities were divided. Kinship rules were not necessarily uniform within the large areas and the many ethnic groups included in the Aztec and Inca empires" (1982, page 30).
As ayllu members, Incas were tremendously involved in family and kinship. Inca men and women believed in what is called parallel lines of kinship. Men believed that they were descendants of their fathers, grandfathers, and other men, and women believed that they descended from their mothers, grandmothers, and other women. These ideologies were reflected in everything that the Inca men and women did in their lives (Silverblatt 1987, page 5). Silverblatt also explained that when a man and woman united in marriage, two parallel lines of kinship were now joined. (1987, page 8)
The Inca male and female had several gender roles that were primarily their own, but most of the roles were interdependent. Men usually were the ones that fought in combat and plowed the fields, and women were primarily the ones that did the spinning of yarn and weaving of fabric. They both worked in the fields sowing, cultivating, and harvesting. They also helped take care of the children, carried wood and water, tended their herds of alpacas and llamas, and built houses. In a few instances, men were known to assist the women in their spinning and weaving activities. (Silverblatt 1987, pages 9-14)
Inca women were a very tough breed of female. Silverblatt gives this testimonial of what some Spaniards had witnessed when conquering the Inca civilization: “…more than once I heard that while women were carrying these burdens, they would feel labor pains, and giving birth, they would go to a place where there was water and they would wash the baby and themselves, and putting the baby on top of the load they were carrying, they would continue walking as before they gave birth” (1987 page 10).
Along with men and women, there was a third gender that was recognized in Inca culture. Horswell points out that “same sex practices and transgendering were ritually important in the Andean region’s cultural reproduction” (2005, pages 7-8). This leads one to assume that homosexual men and women, transgendered individuals, and possibly transvestites were all grouped into the third gender of Inca culture. There were ritualistic practices by shamans called quariwarmi that involved same-sex practices. These rituals were meant to mediate “between the symmetrically dualistic spheres of Andean cosmology and daily life” (Horswell 2005, page 2).
The Incas believed in four different categories of men and women: male men, female men, male women and female women. By pairing a male man with a female man, or a male woman with a female woman, in the Inca’s eyes, it created sort of a mirrored symmetry to heterosexual couples. (Horswell 2005, page 147)
To summarize, members of the Inca culture believed heavily in community and were extremely hard workers. They also seemed to be very open minded when it came to homosexuality and different kinds of gender roles. To me, it seems like our culture has taken a step back from the Incas and have created many stereotypes regarding gender and homosexuality, whereas the Inca culture seemed to embrace things a lot more. Perhaps we as a society have something to learn from the Incas.
Collier, George A., Renato I. Rosaldo, and John D. Wirth. The Inca and Aztec States 1400-1800, Anthropology and History. Academic Press, 1982. Page 30. F 1219.76.P75 I52 1982. Print.
Horswell, Michael J. Decolonizing the Sodomite: Queer Troupes of Sexuality in Colonial Andean Culture. University of Texas Press, 2005. Pages 2, 17, and 147. HQ 76.3.A65 H67 2005. Print.
Silverblatt, Irene. Moon, Sun, and Witches: Gender Ideologies and Class in Inca and Colonial Peru. Princeton University Press, 1987. Introduction, page xxviii and xxix, and pages 8-10. F 3429.3.S6 S55 1987. Print.
The Real Old School Lifestyle
Having to grow your own food isn’t exactly anyone’s desire these days. Something as simple as making a BLT sandwich could take a lot more work than just “slappin’ it all together.” We go to a local market and purchase what we need, bring it back home, and make some manipulation to the products we buy. The Incas, since their existence, have never accepted the concept of “buying.” Buying doesn’t exist in Incan culture (McEwan, 82).
The Incans developed a society in which everyone was provided with the necessities such as clothes, tools, food, and raw materials (McEwan, 83). In return, the lower class citizens would work in the fields or herd animals (Dobyns & Doughty, 55). Some women would weave the raw materials into fancy dress robes and decorative clothes for the upper class, while other women worked the family gardens (Descola, 134).
In the case of the Incans, herding animals was how families gave back or “repaid” the government (McEwan, 87). Every community in the Incan empire was assigned the responsibility for tending and producing their own economic requirements (McEwan, 83). Each community would grow crops such as potatoes or maize (D’Altory, 300). Every family within a community would have their personal garden to tend as well as the community fields. Depending on the location of the Incan community, Incans food sources were potatoes, maize, and protein from alpacas, llamas, guinea pigs, and fisheries (D’Altory, 312). Incans were very careful to have a complete diet and sometimes that required a different environment for the growth of the crop.
The coastal colonies would rely less on farming and more on fishing. The colonies on the coastal region of Peru developed a method of self-sufficiency call specialization (McEwan, 90). By using specialization in each community, the coastal Incans would have each community focus on producing a certain crop. Now, the communities closest to the coast were responsible for retrieving the protein in the Incan diet (McEwan, 85). Incans in the coastal region used mainly fish from the Pacific to obtain their protein. The communities in the coastal area would exchange with each other in order to achieve a balanced diet (McEwan, 87).
Regardless of their differences in location and environment, all of the colonies would freeze dry food such as meat of llamas & alpacas, certain types of grain, and potatoes, which the Incas were the first to grow. (Descola, 133). The communities with the same geographical location would exchange crops with each other to achieve their balanced diet. The Incans also decided that instead of risking trade with others cultures that they would send their own people to foreign lands to produce the crops that couldn’t be grown in Peru. The Incans, all together, had a very sophisticated and well thought out plan for their survival and subsistence (McEwan, 91).
Hemming, John. Conquest of the Incas. New York, NY: Harcourt, 1970. 215-222. Print
Adrien, Kenneth. Andean Worlds. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 2001. 154-162. Print
McEwan, Gordan F. The Incas. II Series. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2006. 83-92. Print.
D'Altory, Terence N. the Incas. 1st ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers Inc., 2002. 258-310. Print.
Dobyns, Henry F., and Paul L. Doughty. Peru A Cutlural History. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1976. 54-96. Print.
Descola, Jean. Daily Life In Colonial Peru. 2nd. New York, NY: The Macmillan Company, 1968. 63-229. Print.
Child rearing/ Education
Inca childhood was harsh by modern standards. When a baby was born, the Inca would wash the child in cold water and wrap it in a blanket. When the baby needed to be fed, the mother would get her breast close to the mouth of the baby feeding him without holding him in arms.(Hemming 217) By about age one, they expected the baby to crawl and walk independently. At age two, the child was ceremonially named and was considered to have left infancy. From then on, boys and girls were expected to help around the house. Misbehaving during this time could result in very severe punishment.(Hemming 219)
The Incas were raised in an independent training environment. The reason I believe this is as previously shown with the example of the breast feeding, as well as when an Incan baby would never sleep with his parents. The baby would sleep hanging from a wall by a net wrapped in warm clothes with the baby’s face still showing.
The Incas never invented any sort of writing though there was Quipu, Incans never read or wrote books or wrightings so their educational system was not a conviential one. Education went to certain people of specific status, sons of Inca noble men, sons of the king of conquered peoples and virgins of the suns went to school for four years. The nobles had to go for four years and studied different subjects each year. Sons of the nobles received Quechua language training on the first year of their school at Cusco.(Kenneth 160) In the second year they were taught Inca religion.(Kenneth 160) Next year they learnt Quipu. (Kenneth 161) The Quipu was a set of knots tied to a piece of string that would signify something in the amount of knots it had as well as the color of the rope used. (Kenneth 162) The In fourth year they learnt Inca history.(Kenneth 161) During their school days these students also learnt physical training and military techniques. Girls had a form of education as well. They too would go to school for about four years. The way they chose who would get chosen to have education would be: The beautiful ones and the most talented ones would get selected to have the schooling. Their training consisted of the art of spinning, weaving, cooking and religion. In the Inca culture nothing was ever written down. Everything that was taught was taught orally.(Hemming 219) This meant that the Incans would encourage memory very strongly.
At the age of sixteen after four years in the schools, boys became ready to graduate. But it was not easy to pass this hurdle. They had to go through a series of difficult tests. The tests consisted of boxing, wrestling, running, fighting and other difficult physical tasks.( Hemming 222)
However only the nobles could graduate the common Inca was forced to go into labors like farming, pottery making, etc. (Hemming 222)
Hemming, John. Conquest of the Incas, New York, NY: Harcourt, 1970. Print
Adrien, Kenneth, Andean Worlds, Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico, 2001.154-162.print
Me'traux, Alfred. The History of the Incas. First American Edition. NY: Tandom House, inc. 1969.print
Collier, George A, Renato I. Resaldo, John D. Wirth. The Inca and Aztec States 1400-1800:Anthrpology and History. New York: Academic Press, 1982. Page 111 and 131. F 1219.76.P75 I52 1982. Print.
McEwan,Gordan F. The Incas: New Perspectives. Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio.2006.7 Oct. 2010< http://books.google.com/books?id=EFD-iAC-xKEC&pg=PA85&lpg=PA85&dq=what+mode+of+exchange+will+operate+in+the+incas&source=bl&ots=a7_zafClUU&sig=zvQZYQ0gLqDDhWEf7bwONIkvwUc&hl=en&ei=GA2_TOzCG8Oblgeg7IXhBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false>. Page 82 and 102.
Minelli, Laure Larenrich. The Inca World: The Development of Pre-Columbian Perio, A.D. 1000-1534: U Of Oklahoma P, 2000. Page 129.F3249.R41513 2000. Print.
“Secrets of Lost Empires: Inca. Nova. Keach,Stacy. Public Braodcast System. 11 Feb.1997. 20 Oct.2010 Page 2.
Sex & Marriage Marriage was a very common aspect among the Inca. Virtually every man was married at least one time during his life. When a man and woman became married, it not only bonded the couple, but also bonded both of the families and extended kin. Men would usually marry in their late teens to early twenties, while women married a little earlier (D'Altroy pg 191). The young men could not choose his bride for himself. If he liked a young lady he showed his interest but could not meet openly with her so he would wait until she would get her water from the spring or at another location. If she showed her interest the young man would ask his parents if he could speak with the young lady's parents. . In order for a marriage to be considered official, it must be overlooked by an official. This usually was done by the provincial governor. Once a year, the governor would come to a village and line up all the young men and girls set by the parents for him. Sometimes the same lady would be chosen by more than one person. In that case the governor would take the final decision. He would listen to the parents of the boys and the parents of the lady. After that he would decide which boy will marry the lady.
The wedding ceremony is relatively simple, though it can vary from region to region. Usually, the groom, accompanied by his parents, would walk to the house of the bride. At the house, the bride, her parents, and her relatives would be waiting. Once there, the groom would kneel down and place a sandal on his bride’s foot, which symbolized that he was ready to serve her. The sandal would be made of wool if the girl was a virgin and of ichu grass if she was not. Once accomplished, the entire party would follow the couple back to the groom’s house, where his relatives would be waiting. Here, the bride would give the groom a wool tunic she had made, a headband, and a copper pin for his cape. The groom would then adorn these items, after which he and the bride would sit down as the elders instructed the newly married couple on the behaviors and responsibilities of marriage. This was followed by a feast and drinking (Bleeker pg80-81 and D'Altroy pg 192-193).
Incest was not practiced much in Inca society. Commoners were not allowed to marry blood relatives. There was one exception to this practice, and that was allotted to the royal families. Here, it was common for the emperor to marry a blood relation. The only bond that was not allowed was that between a mother and son(Bleeker pg 79-80). As far as polygamy is concerned, it was also not practiced among the commoners, for having multiple wives was a show of wealth and resources. For commoners, they were allowed only one wife, which they could not divorce. Among the nobles and royals, they could have many wives, but the first was known as the principle wife. The principle wife could not be divorced, but any other wife after could be. If the principle wife were to die, she would not be replaced with the second wife – there is only one principle wife (Bleeker pg 80 and D'Altroy pg 193). Incas were generally not virgins when they married. Being a virgin was not of great concern to them, for it did not add or subtract to the value of a girl, and may have even been considered a shameful burden. Another reason for this is because trial marriages were commonly practiced. A man could be “married” to a woman for a few months or even years, and in that time the man would determine if he would keep the woman as a wife or get rid of her. If she was kept, the two would have to have an official marriage, overlooked by the provincial governor (Bleeker pg 80-81, D'Altroy pg191, and Cobo pg 29-31). Also, acllas, or the chosen women, would be given as concubines to nobles from the emperor. This was considered one of the greatest honors an Inca could receive. One exception to not being a virgin was the acllas. These chosen women were to remain pure in order to serve the Sun God. If one of these girls “had any connection with a man she was killed by being buried alive and the same penalty was suffered by her paramour” (Bingham pg 33-34 and Zuidema pg 76-78).
· “The Incas” by Terence N. D’Altroy. Blackwell Publishers, 2002
· “The Inca, Indians of the Andes” by Sonia Bleeker. William & Morrow Company publishers, 1960
· “Inca Civilization in Cuzco” by R. Tom Zuidema. University of Texas Press, 1990
· “Lost City of the Incas” by Hiram Bingham. Duell, Sloan and Pearce publishers, 1948
· “History of the Inca Empire: an account of the Indians' customs and their origin, together with a treatise on Inca legends, history, and social institutions” by Father Bernabe Cobo. University of Texas press, 1979
"Marriage During Ancient Inca Period" http://www.machupicchu-inca.com/inca-marriage.html
Inca houses were simple rectangular one room structures made of mud brick or stone and a thatched roof. It was a very open one room with one entrance, this is where the family slept and ate together. According to Susan A. Niles in “Callachaca: Style and Status in an Incan Community” the houses average 12.85 meters by 6.22 meter in diameter. In the house there were usually clay stoves for warmth and cooking. They put niches in the walls to put pegs in for hanging clothes. You may find a stone bench but Incas slept on the floor. This information was found in Jane Gingham’s book called “The Inca Empire”. These houses set on terraces much like their farming system.
The houses were mainly the woman’s domain which served as a place for them to do their daily chores such as weaving. As we have learned the Incas are very hard working tough people so naturally the house would not be frivolous. The houses were simple, plain, and limited to just the necessities, a place to sleep, eat, and work.
Groups of these houses called ayllus were made up of about ten to twenty houses. Michael Andrew Malpass defines ayllus as groups of related individuals and families who exchanged labor and cooperated in substance and ritual activities, in his book “Daily Life in the Inca Empire”. Extended family lived in these houses. A community was formed within the ayllus. Each person had a certain job to do to contribute to the community. These communities had some sort of an authority figure but power was limited and territorial boundaries were rarely defined. The leader decided where newlyweds would live and how to organize the labor force. Members of an ayllus were required to marry within their ayllus. As the community grew families may move to a different community group much like Professor Wesch described the people of Papa New Guinea to do. The King of course has a larger house and with that comes more wives as we learned in lecture. Monogamy was practiced among the common people but the wealthy could be polygamous. Bloodline was very important to Inca culture. According to “Daily life in the Inca Empire” the king could have as many wives as he wanted but was required to have a coya which was his main wife. His main wife was his full blood sister.
As we have studied and learned about the Incas we have noticed that their ways are very different from our culture. They were tough, practical, hardworking people. Obviously romantic love was not a priority. The type of love a society generally practices is a reflection of their infrastructure, social structure, and superstructure. The way a society works and views their everyday life will affect how they view love and marriage. I think that their relationships were more practical and logical rather than emotional.
•Daily life in the Inca Empire. By Michael Andrew Malpass. Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated. August 1996. Print (pg 36-41)
•The Inca Empire. By Jane Bingham.Chicago IL. Raintree, Division of Reed Elsevier Inc. 2007. Print (pg 31-33)
• Callachaca, Style and Status in an Incan Community. First Edition. By Susan A, Niles. Iowa City. University of Iowa Press. 1987. Print (Chapter 2, Home and Community)
For the 1450’s the Incas had a very complex political system and it goes without saying that they were centralized. First the Inca empire was divided into four parts, the North, South, East and West or Chinchasuyu, Collasuyu, Antisuyu, and Contisuyu respectively. At the bottom of each section men were divided into groups of ten. One of these men would assume leadership and was considered the decurion (chunca-camayu). Five decurion were under leadership of the superior decurion (pichca-chunca-camayu). Two groups of five decurions where considered a century (pachaca) which was under the centurion (pachaca-camayu) who was assisted by a deputy. Five centuries (pichca-pachaca) were under the captain. Two groups of five centuries (waranca) was under the special chief (waranca-camayu). Ten warancas were a hunu which was under the hunu-camayu. Four of these hunus were under the govenor (tucrincuc). Finally, the govenor under the viceroy who was officially under Inca (Baudin 134-135).
Everyone was in charge of important statistics, marriages and punishing criminals. The decurion was in charge of overseeing work, distributing goods, punishing criminals and the also worked along side with the men he oversaw. Higher officials were mainly in charge of taxes (Baudin 136). Other not previously mentioned also had very important jobs. The orejones made tours of the empire every three years to make sure everying was in order. The Inca also had secret ages who would watch. They would not make any actions, but only report to the Inca. The Inca’s job was reviewing everything going on. He would actually travel the entire empire, which sometimes took three or four years (Baudin 136-137).
Law was very strict in the Inca empire. Laws in this empire were not ment to please everybody, but rather be met with silent obediance. This ofcourse required much hard power. Some of the laws or the following: punishment for unsatisfactory work, lying to sensus taker, moving boundy markes, traveling without permission or not wearing proper clothing matcing natal community was met with the punishment of flogging or beaten with a stone. If work was not completed torture and more work was added if it was a first offense. If there was a repeat offense then death was threatened. If someone stole from the state or Inca, had sex with an aclla or committed treason, the punishment was death. Rellels were deprived of land and herds and their leaders were taken to Inca himself to be publically humiliated, tortured, skinned and executed. After death their skins were used for drumheads and their skulls were used for drinking mugs (Patterson 103).
The sucessor of the Inca would be one of his sons, but the sucessor would only inheirit the throne and not the property. The Inca’s property was passed to other decendents (Patterson 86). The Inca chose the govenor and the viceroy in turn they chose the special chief and the hunu-camayu. The special chief chose the centurion and the others of lower officals were chosen by the special chief (Baudin 135).
Baudin, Louis. A Socialist Empire: The Incas of Peru. Princeton, New Jersey: D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1961. Print.
Patterson, Thomas C. The Inca Empire: The Formation and Disintegration of a Pre-Capitalist State. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991.
The Inca Empire was one of the most interesting and advanced cultures of their time. From their architecture, to their agriculture, to their beliefs and values, the Incas lived in a ‘land of milk and honey’. Although arranged by a strict hierarchical structure (Inca par.3), the people seemed to have been tolerably content (Gascoigne 3). They lived in peace with one another, the society being concerned of the overall well-being of the citizens and showing very little to no concerns for equality or power (Gascoigne 3). The Incas simply lived with a “let it be” attitude, striving to do their best as they were, living their days in content. Content nonetheless, their days were not easy. Each day was filled with hard work, as their economy was based entirely on agriculture (Peru). Yet, one cannot start an explanation unless one starts from the beginning, or in this case, from the top.
Ruler by divine right, the Sapa (high ruler or priest) Inca was seen as a descendant from the Sun God, Inti (Schwart 92). He, also, was believed by the Incas to have “power to intercede with the supernatural” (Schwart 92). Knowing this, one can conclude that the Incas held their ruler at a rather high importance, and the sun even more so. The Sapa Inca controlled all of four provinces, the four corners meeting at the capital city, Cuzco, where the Sapa Inca resided (Darvill). Supported by his people, the Sapa Inca’s wealth consisted of the product stored from each year’s production (Schwart 92). Owning basically everything within the empire (Columbia 1), the Sapa Inca was very loved, honored, and respected. Upon the death of a Sapa Inca, the body would be mummified, and then become the focus of a cult (Darvill). The Incas believed in their ruler so greatly, that only a direct descendant of the Sapa Inca could take his predecessors place (Peru). In this belief, the Incas felt that they were keeping the royal blood clean (Peru). The nobles were the people who were closely related to the current or prior Sapa Inca, thus they are second in the empire’s social structure. The nobles were divided into their own classes according to their blood lineage, the individuals ‘higher up’ being closer in relation then the ones following (Peru). These individuals, as a whole, were seen as “a strong and gifted group”, as they spread their great skill in handicrafts, building, and architecture throughout the empire (“Ancient”).
Thus, the individuals in the following group (just below the nobles), were the craftsmen and architects, as their skills were in high demand within the empire (Hastorf 7). Architecture being the most important of the Inca arts thrived throughout the Inca Empire. Wherever the Incas wished to leave their ‘mark’, they did so through their great architecture (Gascoigne 5). Cuzco, the capital city and the intersection of the four corners of the empire (Columbia 2), radiates great beauty as it is surrounded by architecture such as Machu Picchu, the stone temples, and Saqsawaman. These works of art are widely known for the skill they still show today. Anthropologists have drawn the conclusion that the rocks were placed on-top of one another, where they were then sculpted to fit one another perfectly. They fit together so perfectly that not even a knife could be fit through the stonework (Hastorf 8). Not only is this seen as great perfection in skill, there was also reasoning behind it. Because the rocks fit so tightly, the connectivity they shared increased the closer to the bottom. This, in turn, made the structures extraordinarily stable (Hastorf 8). The architects, however, weren’t the only ones to succeed in creating something extraordinary. Craftsmen worked with ceramics, precious metals, such as gold and silver, and textiles (Hastorf 9). The Incas were very wealthy, possessing great amounts of gold and silver, however, because they did not understand the concept of money, they didn’t see themselves as so (Peru). Their economy was based on agriculture; their payment was work for work, product for product (Peru). Therefore they saw very little to no importance in things such as gold and silver, aside using them in their crafts. On various textiles, the craftsmen painted and designed, working to develop the very basic scenes of their everyday life (Hastorf 9). Not only were these works beautifully crafted, but they served as the written language of the empire. The most distinctive of the crafts were the Cuzco “aryballos” (bottles) (Hastorf 9).
Nonetheless, seeing as how fascinating these groups seem to have been, the most important, is the one that follows; the working class.The working class consisted of many different kinds of people, from almost all the different social classes. They were separated/divided into their own communities; however they assisted one another when needed. These individual communities were known as the Allyu (Peru). There were four Allyu, each one a group of people related by birth place or family ties (Peru). The Allyu were the basic cell of Inca society (Peru). Based entirely off of their community work, among themselves and one another, their produce resulted in great benefits for the entire empire (Peru). These benefits were gathered and sorted into three groups; one for the Inca temples, one for the Sapa Inca, and the third for the Allyu themselves (Peru). The entire food produce from the Allyu was divided equally in each product, for each family, within each community (Peru). The community work that took place in the Allyu created strong bonds throughout the entire empire. Due to the strength of these bonds, the community work became the heart of the development of the Inca society (Peru). Among these Allyu communities, were many different types of workers who were spread throughout the empire. There were the Yanakuna and the Mamakuna, farmers and herders, and Ayni, Minka, and Minta. The Yanakuna and Mamakuna were some of those who were spread throughout society. The Mamakuna were women who were chosen (according to their beauty) by the state to serve the state (Gascoigne 4). More numerous than their male counterparts, they lived in communities separate from the Allyu, the most beautiful of them being placed in the emperor’s harem, or given away in dynastic marriages (Gascoigne 4). The main tasks of the mamakuna were both religious and economic. Many of them served as priestess in the state cult of the sun or were spinners and weavers of the textiles that the society is known for (Gascoigne 4). The mamakuna were also largely responsible in the brewing of Chicha (corn beer), which the Incas drank quite frequently (Gascoigne 4). These tasks placed the mamakuna in the temples and various workshops in the cities. The male counterparts of the mamakuna were the Yanakuna (Gascoigne 4). These men served the higher members of the society in many ways, their main task being to care for the Sapa Inca’s herds (Gascoigne 5). This may sound fairly simple, but these herds were made up of mostly llamas, the majority of them belonging to the state because they were the only ‘beast of burden’ in Peru (Gascoigne 5). Therefore, the Yanakuna were responsible for the majority of the herds in the entire empire. The yanakuna’s various tasks had them scattered among the empire, spending the majority of their time on the roads and in the marketplace (Gascoigne 5). The remaining herds were taken care of by the farmers and herders. The farmers developed a sophisticated farming system among the Inca Empire, running drainage systems and canals in order to expand their crop resources (Inca par.4). The majority of their produce consisted of potatoes, tomatoes, cotton, peanuts, coca, and corn (Inca par.4). The coca and corn were grown specifically to fulfill their main purposes; the corn to aid in the production of Chicha (beer), the coca to relieve the pain from a long day’s hard work (Hastorf 10). The Ayni was simply a common worker form the Ayllu community, usually fulfilling various tasks in the market places and throughout their community (Peru). The Minka and Minta were much like the Yanakuna and Mamakuna in that they were taken from their communities to serve the state (Peru). The Minka were to perform imperative tasks in agricultural work, and were repaid with food and water (Peru). The Minta were directed to build the infrastructure of the society, such as the roads, aqueducts, and temples (Peru). According to research, the infrastructure construction began around AD600, a time period in which it is predicted that the “cultural impact on Cuzco locality would have been enormous” (Schwart 91).
As for the workers who were of a lower status (the peasants), each of their families were given land by the state to work and till for their own needs (Gascoigne 3). However, because the state levied taxes in forms of labor, the head of each household (male) was required to work for the Inca administration by providing their service in the army, working as extra help in the fields, or assisting in the construction of bridges (Gascoigne 3). Each of the men took their turn in repaying the state in this way.
As mentioned before, the Incas were a happy, content people. They were a stratified empire, but they had a sense of freedom and equality about them as well. As one learns about the Incas, slavery would not be something to be predicted. However, although it wasn’t very common, the Incas did have a group of slaves, “yanaconas” that consisted of prisoners of war (Peru). These slaves only served the royal family (Peru), and were only taken when the Sapa Inca felt necessary.
Finally, as the last and the least of the social hierarchy, is the Runas. The Runas were the very bottom of society, and were considered to be “vulgar, drunk, and low class” by the rest of the empire (Peru). The Runas were viewed this way by their society because of the superstructure of their society. The Incas believed in hard work, dedication, perseverance, and believed that these core values would reward them. The Runas grasped none of these values or beliefs, and were, therefore, not easily accepted.
Schwart, Glenn M. Nichols, John J. (John Jackson), ed.
After Collapse: the regeneration of complex societies
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Darvill, Timothy. “Inca”. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology. 2010 Oxford
University Press. http://www.answers.com/library/Archaeology=Dictionary-cid-40840
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Gascoigne, Bamber. “History of the Incas”. History World. From 2001, ongoing.
“Inca”. Colombia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. 2000 Colombia University Press. 1935. Web.
Hastorf A., Christine. “Inca Society”. Wikipedia. Web.
The Inca culture based their beliefs prominently on a combination of polytheistic and animist concepts. Land currently known as Mexico City, was used by the Inca people as one of many places of worship. On these grounds alone, they worshiped over two thousand “gods” (Royal Commentators of the Incas p. 81). The Incas' gods represented many aspects of nature around them such as valleys, rocks, rivers, etc. Although each God had its own specific name, when Incas referred to a god in general, they used the word “Teutl”. Within the Inca culture there were many ways of honoring each god, for example, when passing a river they would take a drink of water which was considered a way of showing respect to the river (Royal Commentators of the Incas p. 81).
Since religion was an important aspect of the Inca's culture, prayer was a common practice. They had a unique prayer for every sacrifice, offering, and festival they participated in. If there was a gathering then the prayer was chanted aloud and if it was more of a solitary worship, the prayer was to be said silently (Cobo p. 6).
Religious sacrifice in some cases was not always voluntary. This was due to the fact that there were a number of sacrifices being made - a sacrifice for each god. These sacrifices were conducted by the specific priest of each god. For sacrifices, usually women and children were chosen, there were various ways of conducting the sacrifice but, often they would be killed (Cobo p. 109). These sacrifices mostly occurred when the Sapa Inca wanted deliverance for geographical upsets, such as earquakes, drought, plagues, or defeats in war. Unblemished children were most often chosen, the families considering it a great honor. Banquets were held to honor the chosen child. The child was then taken up into the Andes where a special structure was made. They then left the child in the structure to die of, most commonly, exposure to the extreme cold. After the child had been sacrificed,statues where made, again in the childs honor, as it was believed that they became a deity, or god.
Vocal confessions among the people were made to sorcerers, who acted as a messenger to the Inca gods. To absolve a wrong doing, an Inca would go before the sorcerer and confess their sins. The sorcerer would then stone the confessor until he believed the whole truth was out or until the sorcerer was convinced that he had said everything that needed to be said. A common penance or offering used for serious sins was fasting, which consisted of excluding things such as salt and other spices on their food (Cobo p. 120-125).
Along with prayer, sacrifices, and offerings; Incas would also take part in worshiping the temples. The Inca nobles dictated which gods were worshiped through festivals that were held. They held these festivals for certain gods in order to show the specific gods importance (pleasantridge.k12). They did this through a kneeling ritual which was the same for every temple except the sun and thunder temple. With these they lifted a gauntlet up with gifts and sacrifices.(Cobo Pg. 119)
Sins consisted of only actions, bad thoughts were not punishable. Sinful acts were things such as stealing, carelessness during worship of shrines, missing festivals, or cursing the Inca. Any unexplained unfortunate event was thought to be a consequence of a person's large number of sins or the intensity of one major sin. If an important figure in their society became sick, it was seen as an issue the Incas could resolve through confession and sacrifices (Cobo p.118).
The afterlife of the Incas was thought to be when the soul leaves the body after death. They believed that if you were a good person, then you were rewarded in your afterlife; and if you were bad, then you were punished for all of eternity. There were many ideas of what afterlife was like however, there was no supreme idea of what the afterlife consisted of (Cobo p. 120).
Through the study of the Inca's cultural values, one can infer that religion was a vital aspect of their society. As expressed above, the major indicators of their value of religion, were their use of prayer, sacrifices, confessions/offerings, worship of many gods, and their strong belief in an afterlife.
Cobo, Bernabe, and Roland Hamilton. Inca Religion and Customs. Austin: Univ. of Texas, 1994. 6-125.
"Inca." Pleasant Ridge Union School District Home. Web. 31 Oct. 2010. <http://www.pleasantridge.k12.ca.us/magnolia/studentlinks/websites78/social_studies/aztec- inca-maya/inca.html>.
Livermore, Harold V., trans. "What an Author Says about Their Gods." Royal Commentaries of the I ncas. Vol. 1. Austin: University of Texas, 1966. 81.
Incan rituals have always been taken extremely seriously since the very beginning. They have many different kinds of rituals that are all in somewhat of a favor to their Sun god, whom they call Punchao. The Incas actually view themselves within the sun itself, insisting that they are the “living descendants” of the heavens. It is said because of this, Incan people would actually save their hair and nail clippings and teeth incase any returning spirits from the heavens needed them! Rituals that they practiced were mainly festivals worshipping their various gods for various reasons. They had many different gods, all representing something different. Just to name a few, Apu was their mountain god, Apu Illampu was their god of thunder, Cocomama was the goddess of health and well being, Kon their god of rain and wind, and the list goes on. However, one of the most important festivals is a feast that lasts eight days. Within this festival, the sun god Punchao is worshipped. It is a golden disc that is sacred to the people, and this is what the sun god is represented by. They practice this ritual by chanting gratitude and praise at dawn to Punchao. They continue to get louder throughout the morning, noon being their loudest point in praise. From there, the praise lowers and eventually reaches silence by dusk. The Incans prepare tremendous amounts of offerings of llamas and maize to the sun god. Incas wear their nicest robes and clothing, usually to be in the colors of gold and silver. In these religious ceremonies, the Incas believed it was appealing to the gods to see them dressed in colorful garments. This is practiced for eight days in ancient Inca rituals.
Incas believed in sacred elements in which they called “Huaca.” The Huaca could be almost anything as long as it had a meaning behind it. They could be a part of nature such as mountains, trees or rivers, or it could be something man-mad such as a temple, sculpture, or stone. Incas also believed in the afterlife. In death, the spirit that passed away became a Huaca. Loved ones of the deceased would talk to the lost spirits and pray to them in belief that they were heard and listened to. In death, one became sacred and respected to others.
Human sacrifice is something that the Incas also were a part of. This happened rarely, however, it was done to ensure that the sun god would live a long and wonderful reign. In this ritual, a child was sacrificed on the volcano known as Mount Llullaillaco, which stood as high as 22,500 feet. The child was sacrificed on such height to be close to the gods during the sacrifice. The child and family would know he or she was chosen a whole year in advance. Within this year, massive amounts of food were given to feed the child in order to “fatten them up.” The kids were chosen between the ages as young as six years old to around 15. It is said that the sons and daughters of “local rulers” were usually the kids selected to be sacrificed for the upcoming year.
Overall, the Incas were an incredibly religious group. They were a good group of people. They feared evil and unhappiness, and because of this worshipped their sun god, pleasing him and keeping him as happy as possible in their eyes. This ties everything together in their ancient world. Because the Incan people were so grateful and religious, they did everything in their power to keep the gods who gave them so much happy :]
Sun Worship in Inca Peru: Festivals and Sacrifices to Appease the Gods http://www.suite101.com/content/sun-worship-in-inca-peru-a189666#ixzz12ODDZgIR
Delgado, Jorge Luis, Male, MaryAnn and Morehouse, David: Andean Awakening: An Inca Guide to Mystical Peru (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Council Oak Books, 2006) ISBN-10: 1571781935/ISBN-13: 978-1571781932
Olcott, William Tyler: Sun Lore of All Ages: A Collection of Myths and Legends Concerning the Sun and its Worship. (Kila, Montana: Kessinger Publishing, 2004 ISBN-10: 0766189783/ISBN-13: 978-0766189782 Lila, Montana
ArtSome of the most common forms of artwork for the Inca’s was pottery. The more basic pottery was incredibly simple and used for practical uses such as dishes. Pottery had been around long before the Inca’s were even in existence, they simply took it and made it their own. According to Hiram Bingham, they were able to create very graceful and symmetrical pottery made from very fine clay. It is unsure whether or not they had any form of a potter’s wheel, but from the findings of jars it seems very likely that one may have been used. The most common shape of pottery was a long necked pitcher with a larger conical base, called Aryballos (Incan Art). The Inca designs were very simple consisting mostly geometric shapes including squares repeating within one another, triangles in rows, parallel lines, and scrolls. The more elaborate works of art were intended for religious ceremonies, they would often have gold and gemstones embedded into them. They would make special hand perfected aryballos with the sole purpose of being buried with important authorities or great Inca warriors.
Querocamayoc’s were artists who produced the one of the most important items among their culture, the quero. Quero simply means a wooden cup to drink from. It refers both to the vessel that is was along with the material it was made from. These were incredibly valuable to the Inca’s. They were intricately carved with geometric motifs into the surface that manifest its beauty. They designs scream Incan and are distinct from local traditions, however the important main images are not on the surface. Instead the designs are revealed by cutting into the wood. Some pairs of queros come from the same block of wood to they are related not only in similarity but in material as well. Their cups for drinking had to come in pairs, whether they were wood or made of silver, or gold. Metal ones were called Aquilla. (Cummins p. 26-27)
Barrenechea, Raul Porras. The Gold of Peru. Germany: Aurel Bongers Publishers Recklinghausen, 1967.
Bingham, Hiram. “The Incas.” Incas.homestead.com. 28 Oct. 2010 <http:// incas.homestead.com/inca_pottery_art.html>
Cummins, Thomas B. F., Toasts with the Inca. Michigan: University of Michigan, 2002, 20-30.
D’Harcourt, Raoul. Textiles of Ancient Peru and Other Techniques. Seattle: University of Washington Press. 1962.
“Inca Art.” 2009. New Wonder. 28 Oct. 2010 <http://www.peru-travel- confidential.com/inca-art.html>
Music The Incan civilization was very advanced for their time in the 1400’s. Although there is not much information that was formally recorded by the ancient Inca civilization historians have many ideas on how the Inca lived their lives, and their overall culture. The Incan empire was a very superior civilization from their advanced ways of sending messages, well organized political and social structure, the beautiful architecture of their cities and the innovative ways of their décor. Music was also a very important aspect of the Incan culture. Music and song joined everyone in for a common purpose. In the Incan culture singing was one of the primary forms of music that the Inca used to express themselves. Music for the Inca culture was most commonly related to their religion and rituals to the sun God. Through music the Inca people were able to come together to give reverence and thanks for all the things that they had benefited from throughout the season. Through music the Incas were aptly able to show their “local ideas about beauty, grace, or power, to enact dramatic depictions of human or divine actions, or to facilitate contact with the divine itself” (Tomlinson 2007: 124). Through music and song the Inca were able to pass on important political and social norms on to their later generations As mentioned before singing was an important musical form that the Inca culture used. The Incas use song to show their thanks to the sun god for the harvest that they had received present and future. Singing proved to have the most importance during festivals to the Sun God. The Incas would dedicate eight days to celebrate the sun god, the most important god to the Incas. Only people of high status, for example rulers and lords, were able to join in the festivities. In their best attire these nobles would make up the choir of the festival. With the rising of the sun the choir would begin to sing. As the sun would rise in the sky the singing would become louder and louder. And with the setting of the sun “they showed great sadness in their song and their bearing on account of its absence, and they worked to diminish greatly their voices” (Tomlinson 2007: 135). Archaeologist, using iconography, have said that the Incan used flutes with as little as three to five holes. Many historians believe that in most cases men were the only people allowed to play music. As mentioned before the Incan musicians were typically people of status “who may be either priests, shamans…or dead” (Olsen 2002: 42). The Incas felt that their ancestors were very important and some sources describe the Incas bring shrines of the deceased to festival to worship the sun. According to the NOVA production of Secrets of Lost Empires the Incas would often times “pour chichi maize beer or sacrificial blow down the channels, to honor their mummified ancestors housed in rock cut chambers” (NOVA 1997). Author of Music of El Dorado, Dale A. Olsen “the first school of music in the Americas is believed to have been in Cuzco…around 1350” (Olsen 2002: 60). Drums are another important instrument to the Incan. Dale A. Olsen published that Spanish chronicler Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes wrote in 1514 of the Inca whose pries and congregation used drums and conch shell trumpets in worship. (Olsen 2002: 210). Music in the Incan civilization was the way in which history was pasted on to other generations; give praise to the gods that had impacted their life, and a way in which to unite together for a common cause. The Incan people, who were advanced by many standards, led the way in the Americas for a lot of the musical norms that are here now. The Incan people conquered new areas but not without utilizing the skills that others had to offer. Barnes, Michael. Secrets of Lost Empires: Inca. Prod. Robin Brightwell and Paula S. Apsell. WGBH Scienc Unit and BBC- TV. 1997. Television. Call Number: CC77.H5S43.2006 "INCA - Authentic Instruments." Wheat Media. Web. 02 Nov. 2010. <http://www.wheatmedia.com/inca/instruments.html>. Olsen, Dale A. Music of El Dorado: the Ethnomusicology of Ancient South American Cultures. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, 2002. Print. Call Number: ML3575.A2O57.2002 Tomlinson, Gary. The Singing of the New World: Indigenous Voice in the Era of European Contact. Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge Univ. Press: University, 2007. Print. Call Number: ML3575.A2T66.2007
There are many interesting things about Incan culture. With help from the barrel model of infrastructure, structure, and superstructure we can clearly see where the core cultural values of the Inca come from (Haviland, Prins, McBride, and Walrath 35). First, we can look at the infrastructure of the Inca’s. The Infrastructure can be things like technology, demographics, and economic systems. Second we will look at the structure of the Inca Empire, which includes things like social and political organizations, kinship, and power relations. Finally, we will tie these two levels to the superstructure. The superstructure includes ideas, concepts, and values.
The Inca economic system was one of agriculture and this infrastructure idea can be seen though out the barrel model. The Inca deepened on crops to survive. It is how they made their living and what there empire was based on. This emphasis on agriculture even had impacts on their religion. One of the religious practices that the Inca’s participated in was the cultic worship of water. Rivers and streams were considered to be sacred places that were controlled by spirits (McEwan 2006: 142). They also were known to make human sacrifices to the sun. They would sacrifice only the most physically perfect people in hopes to please the sun god (McEwan 2006: 150). These religions are defiantly connected to how dependent the Inca’s were to them. They depended on the sun and water every day to stay alive.
Furthermore, the fact that the Incan people, for the most part, lived in small spread out communities also contributed to the cultural concepts and ideas of the people (McEwan 2006: 150). The Inca’s had a strong sense of kinship and this impacted a lot of their society. The Inca’s were closely knit together and probably knew everyone in their village. The Inca’s mummified their dead and the living were even charged with the guarding and feeding of the dead (McEwan 2006: 139). This led to ancestral worship practice of the Inca’s. The Inca’s believed that the spirits of the dead, if taken care of, would ensure that the people always had access to land and water(McEwan 2006: 139) They even believed that the sun god had human family members and was once an Inca ("Rediscover Machu Picchu ") .
Moreover, the fact that the Inca’s had a class system for their people contributed to their superstructure ideas that the government knew what was best for the people. The distinction in the classes was between the ruled and the ruler (McEwan 2006: 97). Class position was a lot in the Inca empire. In the Inca empire you were expected to know your role and how it contributed to the greater good of the people. The Inca leaders were the ones who header up the Inca state religious practices (McEwan 2006: 142). The Inca’s annually held human sacrifices and sometimes the children would be volunteered by their families as taxation by the government. (McEwan 2006: 150) This tells me that the Inca people had great faith in their government and that they understood that sometimes families had to sacrifice for the good of the people.
· McEwan, Gordon.The Incas New Perspectives. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, Inc, 2006. Print
· "Inca Religion."Rediscover Machu Picchu. N.p., 2006. Web. 2 Nov 2010. <http://www.rediscovermachupicchu.com/inca-religion.htm>.
· Haviland, William, Harald Prins, Bunney McBride, and Dana Walrath.Cultural Anthropology The Human Challenge. Thirteenth. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2008,2011. 35. Print.
The Incas were a very sophisticated empire but they never developed a system of writing. Because of this the history of the empire is not always clear and specific events are hard to find. Much of the history comes from the writing and recording of Spanish conquistadors. When they conquered the empire some details were written down but not much. Pedro de Cieza de Leo’n was one of the first Spaniards to write about the Inca history in any detail. (Julien, 3)
The story of how the Incas first came about has been passed down for many years. As the legend goes, the Incas descended from four brothers and four sisters. These eight siblings were the Sun God’s children and he sent them to find a homeland. The Sun God gave one of the children a gold scepter and told them that when they found a place that wanted to live and call home, that they were to thrust the scepter into the ground. The place where this took place would be called home and this place ended up being Cuzco. To back up the legend, evidence has been found to support that the Inca people did migrate to Cuzco. (Cobo, 103-107) It is estimated that the Inca rule started around 1200 A.D. (Brundage, 10-12) (Angelfire, Incan History)
The Incas reached the height of their rule around 1438 A.D. They reached the height of their rule when Pachacuti became the Sapa Inca. Pachacuti began a far-reaching expansion that gave the Incas their power and he ended up conquering almost the entire Andes mountain range. His reign lasted somewhere between 1438 A.D. to 1471 A.D. and it was during this time that he introduced the idea of a central government and organized the Incan civilization into a powerful empire. Pachacuti is often referred to as the “ Father of Victory” because it was under his rule when the empire reached the Height of their rule. (About.com, Inca History and Timeline)
Many often wonder how an empire as powerful as he Incas was ever defeated. This is because the Incas were weakened by a number of factors before they were conquered. Around 1527 A.D., a civil war broke within the empire. Two brothers who were the sons of the Sapa Inca, rose up against each other and caused a division within the empire. The civil war between the two brothers greatly weakened the empire. Another factor was that Smallpox were introduced to South America from Central America and the Incas had no way to defend against this new enemy. These two factors greatly weakened the empire and made a perfect opportunity for the Spanish to invade and conquer. (Brundage, 296-299)
Spain became interested in South America when the rumors about large deposits of gold and silver in the Inca area began to surface. The Inca Empire then became a target of the Spanish conquistadors. With the empire being already weakened by the civil war and disease, it was an easy win for Spain. Around 1532 A.D., Spain gave Francisco Pizarro the go-ahead to begin a conquest in South America. He landed in Peru with a small army of about 180 men and soon after conquered the once powerful Incan Empire. ( mnsu.edu, Inca)
The Incas will forever be remembered as one of the greatest empires ever in the world. Even though the Spanish conquered them quite easily, they went down in history as a powerful and influential empire.
· Julien, Catherine. Reading Inca History. Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa Press, 2000.
· Cobo, Father Bernabe. History of the Inca Empire. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1979.
· Brundage, Burr Cartwright. Empire of the Inca. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1963.
1. Our main form of mass communication between villages and cities will be with a chain of runners known as the Chasquis. The only time members in one village, other than the Chasquis, will see members of other villages, is during festivals, or if they are exiled from their village or marry into another. (Media/Technology section)
2. Men, for the most part, will take on the responsibility of fighting in combat and plowing fields, while women will be spinning yarn and weaving fabric. Both will work in the fields sowing, cultivating, and harvesting, taking care of the children, carrying wood and water, tending to the herds of alpacas and llamas, and building houses. (Gender Section)
3. We do not particularly trade with other cultures due to lack of trust. Instead, our colonies on the coastal region of Peru trade with each other while the colonies inland trade between themselves. To obtain foods that we are unable to grow due to our climate, individuals will be sent to other countries to grow crops and transport them back to our colonies. (Subsistence Section)
4. We are motivated by hard power. If you do inefficient work after one warning, death is threatened. If you steal from the state or Inca, have sex with an aclla (Virgin woman chosen to serve the sun god), or commit a treason, you will be killed. Rebels are deprived of land and herds and taken to Inca to be publicly humiliated, tortured, skinned, and executed. If you are caught stealing, your punishment will be decided by Inca depending on the severity of the crime. (Politics Section)
5.We do not get paid in currency, but in goods and services for the services we perform. Nothing is free, you must work for everything. (Exchange Section)
6. We are an equal community, therefore, all our foods, tools, and necessities are rationed evenly into each product, for each family, within each community. (Gender Section)
7. Men and women are considered equal, so when engaging in a conversation, each should be looking the other one in the eyes and within reaching distance of who they are speaking to. (Gender Section)
8. Appropriate greetings between any two people would be to gently kiss each other on the cheeks or to embrace in a hug. (Language Section)
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