As ancient civilizations sprang up across the planet thousands of years ago, the Inca civilization also evolved.
As with all ancient civilizations, its exact origins are unknown. The Inca of Peru have long held a mystical fascination for people of the western world. The Inca Empire was quite short – lived. It lasted for just short of 100 years, from 1438 AD.
The Religious Life of Incas
The Incan religion was based on nature. All of the elements on which they depended, and even some on which they didn’t, were given a divine character. They believed that all deities were created by an everlasting, invisible, and allpowerful god named Wiraqocha, or Sun God. The King Incan was seen as Sapan Intiq Churin, or the Only Son of the Sun. The Inca were a deeply religious people. They feared that evil would befall at any time.
The Social Structure of Incas
Inca society was made up of “ayllus”, which were clans of families who lived and worked together. Each allyu was supervised by a “craca” of chief. Families lived in thatched-roof houses, built of stone and mud. Furnishings were unknown, with the families sitting and sleeping on the floor, Potatoes were the basic Inca food. The Imperial Incas clothed themselves in garments made from Alpaca and may of their religious ceremonies involved animals.
In Inca social structure, the ruler, Sapa Inca and his wives, the Coyas, had supreme control over the empire. The High Priest and the Army Commander in Chief were next. The came the Four Apus, the regional army commanders. Next were temple priests, architects, administrators and army generals. Next were artisans, musicians, army captains and the quipucamayoc, the Inca accountants. At the bottom were sorcerers, farmers, herding families and conscripts.
Agriculture and Economic Condition of Inca
Everyone worked except for the very young and the very old. About 2/3rd of a farmer’s goods were shared by a tax system, and the rest were for keeps. Some of the goods were distributed to others, while goods were received in return, and the rest was stored in government storehouses or sacrificed to the gods. The Incas adopted and improved upon the terracing method of farming invented by pre-Inca civilizations, they built stone walls to create raised, level fields. Camelids, such as llamas, alpacas, and vicuas, were very important to the economy. In addition on carrying burdens, llamas and alpacas were raised as a source of coarse wool and of dung, which was used as a fuel.