Inca Qollqa

Inca Qollqa

The remains of Lucre and Killke pottery that have been found in the area, suggest that the location has been occupied for some time. [1] [2]

An early settlement which probably pre-dated the Inca existed on the hillside between the Quitamayo and Chongo tributaries of the Vilcanota river. The community raised their crops on terraces as well as on the flood plain. Later as the threats from other tribes declined the villagers moved closer to the main road to Cusco and Urcos. [3]

It is unknown when the complex that remains today was built, but the consensus is that the contributions by the Inca's were built by the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1471/1472) no earlier than 1440.

Despite the excellent condition of many of the structures, little is conclusively known about the site's actual purpose. Some researchers believe that while Choquequirao defended the western entrance, and Ollantaytambo the northern, Pisac defended the southern entrance to the Sacred Valley. Its location controlled a route which connected the Inca Empire with the border of the rain forest and so could protect Cusco from possible attacks by the Antis (a collective Inca term for the many varied fierce ethnic groups such as the Asháninka and Tsimané) who lived in the Antisuyu region (the eastern part of the Inca empire), present day Pachacutec and the Manu jungle. [4]

The site was certainly an observatory and religious site, and although it was reinforced with the ramparts of a massive citadel, the Incas never retreated here to defend their empire against the Spaniards. When Manco Inca rebelled against the Spanish in 1534, he took up a position first at Calco, 18 km (11 miles) farther downstream, before retreating to Ollantaytambo. This indicates that he considered Pisac to have been simply too close to Cusco.

Today the consensus among many scholars (among them Kim MacQuarrie) is that Pachacuti constructed it as multi-purpose residence, citadel, observatory and religious site. [3] In this role it would support his panaca (family and descendants), provide a secluded royal retreat located well away from Cusco where he and the nobility could relax between military campaigns, undertake ritual and religious ceremonies, serve as a refuge in times of danger as well as commemorating his victories over the Cuyos. [5] [6] In addition to Pisac the other royal estates that Pachacuti is considered to have established were Ollantaytambo (victory over the Tambos) and Machu Picchu (conquest of the Vilcabamba Valley). [7] The Cuyos had been implicated in a conspiracy to kill Pachacuti, which was put down so ruthlessly that most of the Cuyos were killed. [8]

Despite its size and proximity to Cusco the Inca complex is not mentioned by any of the Spanish chroniclers. [4]

The modern town of Písac was built in the valley below the ruins of the Inca complex by Viceroy Toledo during the 1570s.

The first modern description of the Inca complex occurred in the late 19th century when Ephraim George Squier (1821-1888), the US Commissioner to Peru visited Pisac and left a detailed description of the Inca ruins in his 1877 book Peru - Incidents of Travel and Exploration in the Land of the Incas. [9] In his book Squier offered the following introduction to the complex:

Let us imagine a bold headland of mountain, projecting out from the great snowy masses of the Andes, an irregular oval in shape, three miles long, and at its most elevated point four thousand feet high. It is separated by gorge and valley from the parent mountains, except at one point, where it subsides into a relatively low and narrow ridge, scarcely a hundred paces broad. It is rough and forbidding in outline, here running up into splintered peaks, yonder presenting to the valley enormous beetling cliffs, and here and there holding open, level spaces and gentle slopes in its rocky embrace. Except at three points it is absolutely inaccessible. Two of these are on the side towards the valley of Yucay, which it was mainly designed to defend and the third is at the narrow neck or ridge connecting it with the parent mountain.

Squier's book did much to bring the complex to the attention of the English-speaking world. The Austrian-French scientist-explorer, Charles Wiener (1851-1919) also visited Písac and wrote an account of his explorations in Perou et Bolivie (Paris, 1880). [9]

On 12 February 2016, 10-year old Valeria Arlette Garcia Escobar was killed by a rock fall while exploring the complex with her Peruvian family. It is believed that heavy rains the night before, coupled with strong sunshine may have loosened the rocks. Two other family members were injured. The area of the accident was not near any Inca structures and lead to the closing of the Pisaq Archaeological Parks until 1 September 2016 following repairs. [10]

Celebrations are held annually on 24 August at the complex in honour of Willka Raymi.

Establishment of the archaeological park Edit

The site was first protected when in response to the inclusion of Machu Picchu and Cusco on the UNESCO World Heritage List Law 23765 was drawn up, declaring the archaeological parks of Ollantaytambo, Písac, Piquillaqta and Tipon and other archaeological sites in the Sacred Valley part of the cultural heritage of the nation. The law was unanimously approved by the Legislative Chambers meeting on 15 December 1983 and promulgated by the Executive on 30 December of that year. The area that the Písac archaeological park covered was subsequently defined on 17 May 2002 by National Directive Resolution No. 429-2002. [11] [12]

The park covers 9,063 hectares. [12]

Located at the entrance to the Sacred Valley the Incan the complex stretches at varying elevations between 3,446 m and 3,514 metres above sea level for approximately one kilometre along a mountain ridge sandwiched between the Kitamayu River (to the west) and the Chongo River (to the east), which are tributaries of the Vilcanota.

The complex is divided into seven architectural areas (from north to south) - Qantus Raqay, Qallaq'asa, Inca Qonqorina, Intiwatana, P'isaqa, Hospitalniyoc and Kanchis Racay. [9] [13] These are separated by natural terrain but accessible by narrow paths wind tortuously along the ridge and in two places passing through two tunnels with running water supplied by canals. Almost all the original names of the different areas of the complex are lost the names that are known today were established by tradition, historians and archaeologists.

The first part of the complex reached by visitors coming by motor vehicle is Qanchus Racay in the north-eastern corner of the complex. South of Qanchus Racay is the first of the numerous terraces (andenes) while on a plateau to the west beside the Kitamayu River is a bath complex containing four purification baths. [4]

On the opposite bank of the Kitamayu River on an irregular almost vertical mountain slope is the T’antana Marka, which is home to the looted tombs of the biggest pre-Hispanic cemetery in the region.

Southwards of the bath complex on the steep slopes of a hill is the Qallaq’asa, a residential area which contains homes and storehouses. According to some sources this is also known as Hanam P’isaq (Upper Písac). [4]

From this point there are three routes south. One continues along a path along the western side of the ridge above the Kitamayu River to the Tianayoc from which via a 3-metre long tunnel is reached the Inca Qonqorina, which is an administration area. Below it is the complex's ceremonial-religious area whose main feature is the Intiwatana (also known as an Intihuatana). [14]

The second route drops down the eastern slope to the base of the Qallaq’asa and then continues southwards across the hillside and through a trapezoidal doorway called Amaru Punku in a partial wall and then via a 16-metre long tunnel hollowed from the rock to connect with the path leading from the Tianayoc to the Intiwatana. The third path descends further down the southern side of the large terrace and then passes through a doorway with no lintel before heading southwards around the eastern side hillside to where the path branches either up to the Intiwatana or straight to the P'isaqa area.

From the Intiwatana a path beginning at its southeast corner drops down to the P'isaqa area that has a somewhat semi-circular shape following the mountain's silhouette. From the P'isaqa area there is also a path that descends partly down the hillside to the Kanchis Racay area, which consists of only a couple of structures.

From the Intiwatana a path runs southwards along the top of the ridge to watch towers (pucaras) in the Coriwayrachina area and storehouses (qullqas) in the Hospitalniyoc area. The path then descends through an area of steep terracing that reaches as far as the edge of precipices to merge with a path from P'isaqa. From this junction the path crosses over the ridge crest and descends though more agricultural terraces, filling the narrow valley of the Kitamayu River to eventually connect with a wide stone path that goes to the town.

If the lowest terraces on which Patapatayoc and the town of Písac are located are included then the entire complex covers 65.5 hectares. If only the terraces and buildings that cover the upper part, then the size of the complex reduces to 24 hectares, of which the seven architectural complexes occupy a total of 4.3 hectares. [9]

Bridges Edit

The site is home to several suspension bridges. One was at Paccháyoc where the bases still exist. And the other was located on the western side of the Intiwatana area. [15]

Coriwayrachina Area Edit

This area whose name means “gold sifter” is on the ridge south of the Intiwatana is home to several towers (Pucaras) used for communication or observation and some very steep terraces probably used for defense. [4]

Hospitalniyoc Area Edit

On the eastern slope below the Coriwayrachina in what is known as the Hospitalniyoc area are six storehouses (qullqas, also spelt as colca, collca, qolca, qollca, qollqa) of equal size and constructed of adobe. [15] Qullqas were often built in groups or blocks and could be rectangular (as at Písac) or round, but all had only a single room. They are often situated on hillsides and located so that they are mostly in the shade, while the higher altitude ensured that they had good ventilation and lower temperatures, which protected their perishable contents against decay. Under-flooring and drainage canals were additional aids in keeping the interior atmosphere dry and allowed for the storage of goods such as grain and potatoes for two years or more.

Inca Qonqorina area Edit

This is an administration area on the ridge just above the Intiwatana.

Intiwatana area Edit

Located on a small ridge with panoramic views on both sides, is the complex's ceremonial and religious area, which is generally referred to as the Intiwatana or Intihuatana area due to the presence in its centre of an Intiwatana. This is a carved ritual rock whose name is taken to mean “hitching-post of the Sun” in English. Intihuatana is a Hispanicized spelling of the Quechua word Intiwatana which means inti (sun), watana (fastener). The Intiwatana is housed in a semi-circular building similar to the letter “D”, with one lateral straight wall which main gate is toward the south is built of perfectly fitted blocks of the finest pink granite. It is believed to have been used as an astronomical observatory to track the sun's movements in particular to determine the arrival of important growing seasons. On 21 June, the sun rises precisely above the peak to the east and above another on the 21 December. The carved rock was damaged by the Spanish who wanted to wipe out the indigenous belief system. This section is now closed to the public, due to vandals who destroyed part of it a few years ago.

The building housing the Intiwatana is surrounded by five other buildings, one of which is believed to have been devoted to worship of the moon. In front of the Intiwatana is a sacred chakana (Inca cross). [4] There are also several ceremonial baths which discharge into an underground canal.

The walls of five other temples surround the Intiwatana, including one that was probably devoted to worship of the moon. In front of the Intiwatana is a sacred chacana (Inca cross).

Pisaq'a Edit

Located 200 metres and directly below the Intiwatana on a large semi-circular ledge is this residential area of 30 or so buildings. As well as its own baths it has finer brick work than the other residential areas, indicating that it was the home of the elite. [4]

Protective wall Edit

A large wall built of large dressed stones pierced by four gateways, [8] protects the northern base of the Qallaq’asa area. The only one that still retains its lintel is on a path that leads to southwards to the Intiwatana and the elite residential area of P’isaqa. It is known by the name of Amaru Punku, which comes from the Quechua words amaru (snake), and punk (doorway) hence the common English translation of “door of the serpent”. The hinges are still visible.

Qallaq'asa area Edit

The name of the Qallaq'asa residential area which is 3,514 metres (11,529 ft) above sea level comes from the Quechua words q'alla (cut) and q'asa (pass), in reference to a tunnel that connects it with the Intiwatana. [16] Cascading down the side of the hill its 23 buildings are built from rough field stone, stuck together with adobe, indicating that they were probably inhabited by lower-status workers.

Qantus Raqay (Qanchis Racay) area Edit

Located 3,446 m above sea level on the edge of a precipice Qantus Raqay (from the Quechua words qanchus (seven) and raqay (enclosure) is also known as “Kanturaqay”. One of three residential areas in the complex and spreading over three levels it consists of rough stone buildings with ‘’pirka’’ type walls made with non-carved mud bonded small and medium-sized stones. The walls were originally had a clay stucco applied overtop, indicating that they were probably inhabited by those of a lower-status. From its position overlooking the road toward the Paucartambo region and the Antisuyo and controlling the northeastern corner of the complex it probably served as the home of the military garrison or as a shelter for local villagers in times of war. [4]

T’antana Marka Edit

Opposite the Inca baths on the other side of the gully down which the Kitamayu River flows are tombs cut into the steep cliff face of the adjacent mountain. [8] This was one of the largest cemeteries in the pre-Columbian world, with more than 3,500 tombs in various states of destruction, though some sources claim as many as 10,000 tombs. [4] Its name comes from tankay (to push) and marka (place), which can be translated as launch site. The Incas believed in reincarnation, so the kept their mummies buried in the fetal position with all their belongings and food needed for their new life. After the arrival of the Spaniards, huaqueros (grave robbers) did not hesitate to desecrate the graves and plunder the jewels, metals and precious stones. Today only small holes remain as a result of the desecration. [15]

Terraces Edit

The mountain spur is covered with approximately 500 agricultural terraces [4] called andenes, some 6 metres (20 ft) high in places, which follow the contours of the hillside. While they reduced the threat of soil erosion from landslides their primary purpose was to expand the amount of arable land. The terraces are contained by walls of field stones roughly to fit one another, typically 600 to 750 mm (23 to 30 inches) thick.

As well as creating a level planting are and retaining humidity, the stone retaining walls heat up during the day and slowly release that heat to the soil as temperatures plunge at night, keeping sensitive plant roots warm during frosts and thus expanding the growing season. They also allowed the growing of crops at higher attitudes, with studies having found that the ambient temperature of terraced areas being 3 °C higher than that of unterraced hillsides and a downshift in elevation of approximately 600 metres (2,000 ft). [17] The use of gravel to backfill the lower levels of the terraces conserves water and yet ensures that following heavy rains the water drains and doesn't build inside which would cause the soil to expand and push out the wall. [18]

There are at least 14 different shapes of terrace at heights from 2,995 metres (9,826 ft) to 3,450 metres (11,320 ft) metres above sea level. Many are still in use today. The terraces closest to modern Písac are the Andenes Acchapata, which consist of up of 40 individual terraces which extend down to the valley floor and the river.

Tianayuc Edit

This is a seat near the Inca Qonqorina area cut out of a single rock with room for two people. Hence the name Tianayuc that means “it has seat”. There are also the remains of a tower that once dominated this part of the Kitamayu gorge.

Towers Edit

The complex is home to more than 20 towers (called Pucaras, which can be divided into two types: Habitaculo towers and Atalaya towers the first have a conical shape with well carved jointed stones and are connected to water channels. The Atalaya towers are almost conical and appear to have been used as watchtowers. The most important are in the Coriwayrachina area, where they guard the path up from up from the present-day town of Písac. Below the towers are terraces (andenes).

Tunnels Edit

On the eastern slope of the ridge on a path that connects the bottom area of the Qallaq’asa with the Intiwatana the Inca engineers enlarged a natural fissure in the rock to create a 16 metres (52 ft) long tunnel through the entire cliff. The teardrop-shaped slit is just wide enough for one person to traverse single file and would have served as an excellent defensive location. [15] From the Qallaq’asa a path runs along the upper part of the ridge via the Tianayuc and through a three-metre long tunnel to the Intiwatana. [15]

Water supplies Edit

The complex has at least five water supply channels, more than two irrigation channels, more than three agricultural drainage channels, but no domestic wastewater drainage. [19] Water is collected from a small lake 4,500 metres (14,800 ft) above sea level [4] and conveyed via a canal to four purification baths near the river on the flat area between the Qanchus Racay and Qallaq’asa before passing along another canal to supply the Qanchus Racay area. [9]

Another source of water is a spring on the left bank of the Kitamayu River, which is collected in a basin and then conveyed in a canal that runs along the foot of the T’antana Marka and which then crosses the river via the 20.7 metres (68 ft) long 20 metres (66 ft) high Antachara aqueduct to the other side where it passes via along the cliff face via another 20 metres (66 ft) long by 7 metres (23 ft) high aqueduct (held aloft on three large pillars) and then in a canal all the way to the ceremonial-religious area surrounding the Intiwatana. The name Antachaca comes from the Quechua words anta (cooper) and chaka (bridge). From the Inca Qonqorina area a small canal running down the hillside discharges via fountains in to the main canal bring water from the Antachara to the Intiwatana area. [9] From the Intiwatana area another channel drops down towards the P'isaqa area. [20]

1 &ndash They Created an Incredible Transport Network

When you have a long and sprawling empire, an effective transport network is essential and the Inca created one which was extremely advanced for its time. When this road network was at its peak, it covered an estimated 40,000 kilometers and the roads were between 3 and 13 feet wide. Obviously, part of the network consisted of basic dirt roads but there were also sections covered with high quality paving stones.

There were two main roads in what was known as the ‘royal highway&rsquo or qhapaq nan. The first road went down the coast while the second one went through the highlands. In addition, there was up to 20 so-called secondary routes and a host of other trails. There were also roads built outside Incan territory as a means of allowing them quick and easy contact with outsiders. On the important roads, there were milestones which marked out each Incan unit of measurement known as the topo. A topo is the equivalent of almost 7 kilometers. Only government officials could travel on the network you needed special permission if you were a ‘commoner&rsquo.

This system also served as an efficient communication network with chasqui (runners) positioned along the roads at intervals of 1.5 kilometers. These runners were charged with verbally passing messages to one another and they also delivered important items. Estimates suggest that this system could allow messages to travel up to 240 kilometers a day. Of course, the Sapa Inca could use this system as he pleased so if he wanted fresh fish from the Pacific Ocean (400 kilometers away) for example, he could use his runners to receive the delicious seafood in under two days.

It should be noted that the Inca built upon routes created by previous people such as the Chimu, Tiwanku and Wari. However, they expanded these routes exponentially and tackled rough terrain routinely. Some of these roads were built in areas 16,000 feet above sea level. This road network is a remarkable achievement, especially when you consider that the Inca only used bronze tools, wood and stone. The Qeswachaka is a famous suspension bridge from the era and each year, it is rebuilt by locals in the Inca fashion the women weave the grass ropes and the men use these ropes to construct the bridge. It is considered bad luck to have women close by when the bridge is being rebuilt so they must stay away!

Inca Qollqa - History

What about religion during the Incan empires reign? We know that they worshiped gods and that they built shrines. They also had priests and priestesses, they also had what was called a High priest of the sun. They relied on the astronomical observation to keep track of what season it was and held religious ceremonies according to it. What must it have been like to see one of the ceremonies or to take part in one? Would it have been like a secret meeting or an all-out festival? When they worshiped Inti the sun god would they wear brightly colored clothing and dance around? Or did they have solemn ceremonies? The Inca’s were also known to make sacrifices to the gods to appease them and to ward off disasters such as floods and earthquakes.

Buildings and architecture during the Incan empire reign was impressive. They used the natural landscape around them to form some very impressive cities. Machu Picchu is one such city. Built into the side of a mountain with terraced landings for farming and irrigation. It is one of the most famous cities of Peru in terms of history. Many explorers have gone to Machu Picchu and taken artifacts from there and if you were to visit Yale at Peabody museum you would see some of them on display there. I wonder what it would have been like to see this great city in all its glory. Even today a visit would transport one back in time.

Each Incan village would have a series of buildings in it. With each building having its own purpose or use in a village. One of the main building types was used for storage and was called a qollqa, “Built in stone and well-ventilated, they were either round and stored maize or square for potatoes and tubers.” (Cartwright). There was also a courtyard that was surrounded by a high wall in most villages.

The Incas also had an intricate road system which linked the four regions to each other and to the capital city of Cuzco. This road system covered an area of about 40,000 km and allowed for the movement of goods between regions. There were obviously no vehicles so instead llamas were used to help with the transportation of goods and people along the roadways. It is impressive to think about the sheer size of this road system when you look at a topographical map of Peru and see the many mountainous areas that would have to be traversed along the way.


Inca deities occupied the three realms:

  • hanan pacha, the celestial realm in the sky.
  • ukhu pacha, the inner earth realm.
  • kay pacha, the outer earth realm, where humans live.

Deities of the Official Pantheon Edit

  • Viracocha: [2] He was typically personified as a human male, and known as the creator of humanity and everything else in the world. [3] In Inca Water Worship and Religion, it states, "He created humanity on an island in Lake Titicaca on the border between modern Peru and Bolivia and taught people how to live, assigning them tribal dress and customs and determining where they should live." [4] After this occurred, Viracocha gave control over humanity to lower gods then disappeared. When the Spaniards came to the Inca territory, the Inca thought they were god like because of their similarities in appearance with Viracocha. [3] Viracocha is often depicted as one of a triad of gods with Inti and Inti-Illapa. Not to be confused as a trinity (as later Christians would do), the three gods had multiple, overlapping personalities. There does not seem to be any major ceremonies devoted to him as well, as a small priesthood and only a few shrines dedicated to him. [5]
  • Inti: Inti was one of the most important gods to the Inca people and known as the sun god. He is typically viewed as a boy from the Inca society and was also known as a golden disk with fire-like rays coming and a face in the middle. [3][6] The image of Inti as a boy with sun rays protruding from his head is reflected in the principal idol of Inti that was created by Pachakuti. Named Punchao, this idol bridged the expanse between the Sun and humanity, as Inca rulers’ vital organs were burned, and the ash stored inside the statue. [5] The Inca believed the sun was a key element for agriculture by protecting and helping with the growth of their crops. [6] The temple dedicated to Inti was the Coricancha[2] (a.k.a. The Golden Enclosure), which was one of the most important temples for the Inca people. [4] Inside Coricancha was a miniature field of corn and the corn was made out of gold. Annually, the emperor would "farm" this as a tradition. [3] Viracocha did not start out as the top deity in Inca religion, Inti was the first original and most powerful god. The transition from Inti to Virachocha has a couple of theories including: 1. The Inca society and people developed intellectually and started to question Inti's power. They questioned why an all-powerful god did the same thing every day. [3] 2. The society moved forward and they started going more towards Henotheism. Since Viracocha was seen as a human, they saw this as being more powerful. [3]
  • Illapa (Inti-Illapa): The name of this god means thunder and controls things like weather, rain, and lightning. [7] The Inca valued this god because Illapa was in control of the weather and the growth of their crops. [3] Many of the Inca society saw the image of this deity as a man wearing a sling. [6][7] Every time that Illapa used the sling, it would create the thunder heard by the Inca people. [3][6]
  • Mamaquilla (Kilyamama[3]): The name of this god in the Inca language can be translated into Mother Moon. [7] All of the Inca society recognized this deity as female who was also seen as a silver disk with a face in the middle. [3] She was the wife of the deity Inti and was also in control of calendars. [6][7] This god was in charge of calendars because of the moons cycle which the Inca could track. All the temples that worshiped Mamaquilla were worked on by priestesses. [7]
  • Pachamama: The name of this god translates to Earth Mother and is known as a female among the Inca society. [7] The Inca saw her as a protector of their crops/fields and a god of fertility to help their crops grow. [7]
  • Mama Cocha: The meaning of this god's name from the Inca language is Mother of Lakes and is widely known as a female. [7] The job of this deity is to keep the world strong and provide sources of water. [7]
  • Stellar Deities: These are deities formed using constellations or other cosmology features and are mostly believed to be of animals or activities. [4] In the book Inca Water Worship and Religion, an example would be "Urcuchillay, which is known to western astronomers as Lira, [who] was thought to protect llamas and alpacas." [4] Another important stellar deity was Qollqa (Pleiades). This constellation was honored because she was the mother of all other stellar deities. When the constellation appeared after not being visible for 37 days, the start of the agricultural year was marked. [5]
  • Huacas[2]: Anything, including people, places, and objects, in the world that the Inca believed had a supernatural spirit, were called Huacas. [4] The size of the Huaca determined how much power it had. For example, mountains were considered some of the more powerful Huacas. The Inca worshiped and cared for them similar to the other deities. [4]

Household gods Edit

In addition to the communally worshiped deities, Incan families sometimes worshiped household gods via their representation as miniature figurines most commonly referred to as chancas or conopas. [8] Conopa were often natural or carved stone objects that resembled crops or livestock, such as zarap conopa for maize, papap conopa for potatoes and caullama for llamas. [9] [10]

The Incas had an immense number of origin stories that historians and scholars have trouble deciphering and sorting out. These stories often contradict themselves, seeming to retell the story at a later point to include information and events that had occurred. Many of the origin stories of the Incas had life begin at Lake Titicaca. The story has the Creator god Wiraqocha Pachayachachic form giants to see if humans would work well at that size. When he found that they did not, he made them of his own size. These humans were hubristic and greedy, and thus were turned to stone or other forms and some were engulfed by the stone or sea. The Creator then summoned a great flood to destroy the land and all life on it except for three men, whom would later help create humans again. At a later point at Lake Titicaca, the Creator made the sun, moon, and stars. The moon shone brighter than the sun, and being filled with jealousy, the sun threw ashes in her face to dim her shine. The Creator then spread out with two servants to call forth the people of every nation, from every mountain, crevice, cave and lake before walking over the water into the west. [5]

The origin stories of the Incas reflect an attitude of change, where the past could be changed to better situate the present. This allowed for the possibility of new peoples and lands being discovered having been present from the very beginning. The origins of the Incas however do not represent the origin stories of other pre-Incan Andean peoples. There are vastly more versions and stories that predate and play into the Incan stories. Inca origin and religion draws from many local and ancestral traditions. The official tradition of the Inca Empire was the cult of the Sun, but the Incas allowed locals to worship their existing beings. Many people thought that their founding ancestor arose from an exact spot, a paqarisqa. These locals worshiped their gods through pilgrimages, offerings, and other rites that allowed them to keep true to tradition while still providing necessary sacrifices and offerings to the Sun god. [5]

Religious traditions in the Andes tended to vary among different ayllus. While the Inca generally allowed or even incorporated local deities and heroes of the ayllus they conquered, they did bring their gods to those peoples by incorporating them in law such as required sacrifice. The Inca attempted to combine their deities with conquered ones in ways that raised the status of their own. One example of this is Pachamama, the goddess of Earth, who was worshiped long before the rise of the Inca. In the Inca mythology Pachamama having been integrated was placed below the Moon who the Inca believed ruled over all female gods. [11]

A theme in Inca mythology is the duality of the Cosmos. The realms were separated into the upper and lower realms, the hanan pacha and the ukhu pacha and urin pacha. Hanan pacha, the upper world, consisted of the deities of the sun, moon, stars, rainbow, and lightning while ukhu pacha and urin pacha were the realms of Pachamama, the earth mother, and the ancestors and heroes of the Inca or other ayllus. Kay pacha, the realm of the outer earth, where humans resided was viewed as an intermediary realm between hanan pacha and ukhu pacha. The realms were represented by the condor (upper world), puma (outer earth) and snake (inner earth).

Asymmetrical dualism is especially important in Andean worldview. Asymmetrical dualism is the idea that reality is built by forces that are different and compromised but need each other to be complete. Additionally, one force is slightly larger or more powerful than the other, leading to a disparity between beings and forces. This disparity is the foundation of reality and which causes things to happen. Throughout Andean thought, this asymmetrical dualism can be seen in the dispersion of life force or vitality throughout the land. Camac is the life force that inhabits everything in reality. It does not distinguish between living and dead and inhabits things in different quantities. [12] This life force permeating different places at different times gives recognition to certain places or objects. These places and objects were regarded as holding special energy and were collected under the title of wak’a.

Sacred sites or things named wak'a were spread around the Inca Empire. In Andean mythology a wak'a was a deific entity which resided in natural objects such as mountains, boulders, streams, battle fields, other meeting places, and any type of place that was connected with past Incan rulers. A wak'a could also be an inanimate object such as pottery which was believed to be a deity-carrying vessel. Spiritual leaders in a community would use prayer and offerings to communicate with a wak'a for advice or assistance. Human sacrifice was part of Incan rituals in which they usually sacrificed a child (qhapaq hucha) or a slave. The Incan people thought it was an honor to die as an offering. [13]

Archaeological remains confirm such human sacrificial practices, according to Reinhard and Ceruti: "Archaeological evidence found on distant mountain summits has established that the burial of offerings was a common practice among the Incas and that human sacrifice took place at several of the sites. The excellent preservation of the bodies and other material in the cold and dry environment of the high Andes provides revealing details about the rituals that were performed at these ceremonial complexes." [14]

The Incas also used divination. Divination was used to inform people in the city of social events, predict battle outcomes, and ask for metaphysical intervention.

Divination was essential before taking any action. Nearly every religious rite was accompanied by sacrifices. These were usually maize beer, food or llamas, but were occasionally of virgins or children. [15]

Divination was an important part of Inca religion, as reflected in the following quote:

The native elements are more obvious in the case of the sunrise divination. Apachetas, coca and the sun were major elements in pre-Conquest religion, and divination, the worship of sacred mountains and the bringing retribution against enemies were important ritual practices. [16] : 292–314

Rulers in Peru, such as the Inca ruler Huayna Capac, were often mummified upon the time of their death, allowing for their bodies to be worshipped within the palaces. These worshipping events were intercepted by the Spaniards under Juan Polo de Ondegardo y Zárate, who was newly appointed as the Chief Magistrate of Cuzco in 1559, when it was under Spanish control. Ondegardo conducted a massive effort to prevent the Inca from committing their “idolatrous sins”, mainly by locating the mummified bodies of late Inca kings and sending them to the viceroy in Lima. [17] They remained in a hospital for around 80 years before their whereabouts became unknown.The Inca used to mummify their kings and several times a year they would be aligned in accordance to when they chronologically ruled in Cuzco’s plaza for the public to pay their respects. [18] In the other parts of the year, the mummies were returned to the Cuzco palaces and were worshipped privately by groups of visitors. Francisco Pizarro stated that “It was customary for the dead to visit one another, and they held great dances and debaucheries, and sometimes the dead went to the house of the living, and sometimes the living came to the house of the dead”. [17] The kings were thought to have been able to speak back to the worshippers through the use of oracles, and even gave advice to the protection and ruling of the land. The ruling Inca was expected to seek advice from the mummies of his ancestors for important issues. Not all Inca mummies were glorified, however, as in one case Topa Inca Yupanqui’s mummified body was torched and his bloodline all killed as they sided with Huascar in the civil war. [17]

Inca mummies were seen as possessing agency, not really alive nor dead, more of an animated death. Terence D'Altroy said that, “royal mummies ate, drank, visited one another, sat at council, and judged weighty questions.” [19] Mummies participated in ceremonial roles that allowed them to be consulted as advisors in times of distress. Originally kept on royal estates, the descendants eventually thought that by staying in his own house, a mummy could be better served and watched over. The mummies played such an important role in politics that there are instances of mummies being married. One such story is that Washkar had his mother marry his father’s mummy in order for him to receive a legitimate ruling claim. [5]

Upon the arrival of the Spanish, the Inca started to hide the bodies of the kings and become more secretive with their worship, as stated by Juan de Betanzos. After being appointed, Polo do Ondegardo and his men found most of the mummified kings and took their bodies along with other ritualistic items such as their huaques, or their statues. A popular thought is that Ondegardo had the bodies buried in or around Cuzco in secret so that they would not be uncovered and worshipped again. Garcilaso de la Vega visited Ondegardo’s house and was shown an assembly of embalmed kings and attested to the degree of their preservation: “The bodies were perfectly preserved without the loss of hair of the head or brow or an eyelash. They were dressed as if they had been in life, with Ilautus (royal headbands) on their heads… their hands were crossed across their breast.”. The mummies were afterwards sent to the viceroy for him to see them and then afterwards they were brought back to Cuzco and thought to be secretly buried.The viceroy stored the mummies in the Hospital of San Andres in Lima because he was “a major benefactor of it”. Since the hospital was solely for the Spanish residents, they were likely on display for the citizens to view, away from the natives. [17]

Because of their immediate defeat at the hands of the Spanish, much information surrounding Incan religion has been lost. Many historians rely on the religious customs of conquered Incan subjects to gather information about Incan beliefs. The Incans adopted most if not all of their religious beliefs from three main groups that lived around Peru. These groups were the Wari, the Chavin and the Nazca. With the combination of all three of these ancestral societies’ religions, the Incas were able to create a religious system that dominated almost every aspect of life in the empire.

The Inca's were profoundly religious, and so it makes sense that their religious structure was very complicated. The religion was centralized in the capital city of Cusco. Within Cusco, a highly complicated and organized calendar controlled the state religion's festivals and holy days. This calendar was responsible for almost all of the religious ceremonies that took place throughout the empire. Within the city of Cusco, there was also over three hundred and twenty eight huacas or sacred objects. Huacas were located throughout the empire with most of them happening to be around the capital city. Within the capital city there was also a quipa. The quipa described all the sacred places and how they are to be used during ceremonies and sacrifices. Each sacred place or huaca was organized into forty one different directions called ceques. These ceques started from the central temple of the Sun called Coricancha or "the golden enclosure."

There were ten groups of Incan nobility that were in charge of being priests within the city of Cuzco. These ten groups of nobility were called panacas. The panacas had a vital role to Incan society in Cusco because they were in charge of worship for the deities. All of the religious aspects that took place around the city were organized and arranged by this special group of nobility. The members of these ten groups were said to have a first royal ancestor that had conquered the valley. The panacas were decided through mother's rank, fraternal succession, choice, and the success and honor of the individual on the battlefield. These ten groups were then divided into two smaller groups, one representing Hanan who lived north of the valley river and also Hurin who lived south of the valley river. The Hanan and Hurin each consisted of five groups of nobility. It is known that the first group of each of the Panacas dedicated all their sacrifices to the sun. The remaining four were in charge of dedicating their sacrifices to Moon, Thunder, Virachoa, and the Earth. These groups of nobility made up the upper most tier of society and they were highly revered and respected throughout the empire.

These fives gods or entities that received the majority of sacrifices within Cusco represent the most vital aspects of Incan life. The Sun God represented the institutional organization of the society because everything in Incan life revolved around the Sun. Virachoa is also known as Apu Qun Tiqsi Wiraqutra and is considered the creator of civilization. He is one of the most if not the most powerful gods in Incan mythology. The sacrifices done towards Virachoa represents how much the Incans relied on outside forces to explain events in their daily lives. The sacrifices towards Thunder represent the handling of transitions in life and society. The sacrifices towards Earth and Moon show the fertility of the Earth and nature. All ten groups of nobilities had the responsibility to explain and account for all the occurrences of the natural world in and outside of the Incan empire.


-Titu Cusi Yupanqui, son of Manco Inca [3]

The Vilcabama region in which Vitcos is located is extremely rugged, occupying the north-eastern slopes of the Andes and sloping down to the Amazon Basin. The terrain includes snow-covered mountains, forest, lowland jungle, and rivers running through deep canyons. Access and transportation within the area was difficult and would hinder Spanish efforts to destroy the last outposts of the Inca Empire. [4]

The Incas had occupied the Vilcabamba region since about 1450 CE, establishing major centers at Vitcos, Machu Picchu, Choquequirao, and Vilcabamba. [5] Thus, the Incas were familiar with the region when Inca emperor, Manco Inca Yupanqui, won the Battle of Ollantaytambo against the Spanish and their Indian allies in January 1537. Despite the victory Manco was under intense pressure from the Spanish. He decided that Ollantaytambo was too close to Cusco, which was controlled by the Spanish, so he withdrew westward to Vitcos. Almagro sent his lieutenant Rodrigo Orgóñez in pursuit with 300 Spaniards and numerous Indian allies. In July 1537, Orgoñez occupied and sacked Vitcos taking many prisoners, but Manco escaped. [6]

Manco Inca survived another Spain raid in 1539 by Gonzalo Pizarro, 300 Spanish soldiers, and Indian allies. The Spanish and the Incas fought a battle at Huayna Pukara (Huayna Fort), west of Vitcos. Several Spaniards and Indians were killed, but Manco again escaped. Pizarro stayed in the region for more than two months searching for Manco unsuccessfully, but capturing Manco's principal wife. The Spaniards wrote of the region that "great resources are needed to undertake a penetration of that land. It can be done only with very heavy expenditure." As the two Spanish raids demonstrated, Vitcos was accessible to the Spanish and Manco developed Vilcabamba as a more remote refuge. [7] [8] However, throughout the decades that the Neo-Inca state survived, Vitcos would continue to be the residence of many royal Incas and the site of many religious ceremonies, especially at the nearby shrine of Ñusta Hisp'ana (Yurak Rumi, also called the "White Rock). [9] The Incas preferred Vitcos as a place of residence because of its higher elevation (2,980 metres (9,780 ft)) than Vilcabamba (1,450 metres (4,760 ft)). Vitcos has a cooler climate and the environment was more similar to the highland home of the Incas. [10]

Spanish attempts to conquer Vilcabamba floundered because of internecine warfare among the Spaniards. A group of seven Spanish renegades, included the assassin of Francisco Pizzaro, took refuge with Manco Inca. In 1544, they murdered him in Vitcos in an attempt to win back favor with the Spanish crown. The Spanish fled, but Manco's guards pursued and killed them. The decades following Manco's death were mostly peaceful as the Incas survived in the remote remnant of their empire while the Spanish were consolidating their conquest elsewhere. [11]

In 1570, relations between the Spanish and the Incas were sufficiently friendly that two Roman Catholic friars were allowed to settle in villages near Vitcos. The friars repaid their hosts by leading their congregation in an attack which damaged the shrine of Ňusta Hisp'ana. One of the priests was expelled. The other one was killed by the Incas, accused of killing by poison Emperor Titu Cusi Yupanqui, son of Manco Inca. Titu Cusi's brother Tupac Amaru became emperor. [12]

Tupac Amaru was much more hostile to the Spaniards than Tuti Cusi and his supporters killed an envoy sent by Vicerory Francisco de Toledo. In response Toledo ordered the invasion of Vilcabamba by two armies totaling more than 300 Spaniards and 2,000 allies, including 500 Cañari, long-time allies of the Spaniards. In June 1572, the Spanish force was successful, capturing Vitcos, Vilcabamba, and Emperor Tupac Amaru and ending the Neo Inca state. [13]

The location of Vitcos was forgotten in the centuries following the conquest of the Incas. In his 1911 expedition Hiram Bingham III was searching for Vilcabamba, the last capital of the Incas. Following descriptions left by various conquistadors, he came upon a site called "Rosaspata" by local villagers. Through the same descriptions that had led him there, he was able to determine that he was in fact at the palace of Vitcos and oracle of Ñusta Hisp'ana, also called Chuqip'allta. After cursory mapping of both sites he continued on in search of the last city of the Inca. Knowing roughly where in relation to Vitcos he might find Vilcabamba, he continued on what he believed was, and actually was, the road to his goal, and he both rediscovered and correctly identified both Vitcos and Vilcabamba. [14] [15] : 152,171

In the 1980s, Vincent Lee's work in the Vilcabamba led to his finding and description of more than thirty buildings and engineered structures on the eastern flank of the hill between Vitcos and Chuquipalta. Amongst these are kalankas (meeting houses), several qollqa (storehouses), and a large usnu (religious observation platform), as well as terraces and built-up trails. [16]

Vitcos stands on the northern side of the hill between the modern villages Huancacalle and Pucyara, and is the principal portion of a complex that covers the entire hill and portions of the valleys to the south and east. South of the hill there is Ñusta Hispana, also called Chuqip'allta and the White Rock, a giant carved stone said to have been an Inca oracle, and a series of terraces that stretch along the eastern side of the hill within the valley, which are believed to have been decorative or ceremonial gardens.

The palace itself consists of two groups of buildings. The upper group is made up of eight large rooms, arranged in four pairs of two rooms back to back, all joined by a common outer wall. The common wall has doors that lead to passages between the pairs. Each room has three doors to the exterior of the common wall, but no doors to either the room behind it of the passageways between the four pairs. Each pair of rooms had a common roof.

To the north of the upper group is a terrace wall, below which is the lower group of buildings. This group is made up of a dozen or more buildings arranged around an open courtyard. The exact number of buildings in this group is unclear, as it is in considerably worse condition than the upper group.

Bingham measured the royal residence as being 245 feet long by 43 feet wide, and stated, "There were no windows, but it was lighted by thirty doorways, fifteen in front and the same in back." He went on to say, "It contained ten large rooms, besides three hallways running from front to rear." The lintels were made of solid block of white granite. Opposite the long palace, Bingham measured a structure 78 feet long and 25 feet wide, "containing doors on both sides, no niches, and no evidence of careful workmanship." [15]

Understanding Inca Warfare

The warfare of the Inca civilization was characterised by a high degree of mobility, large-scale engagements of hand-to-hand combat, and the establishment of a network of fortresses to protect an empire of over 10 million subjects. Conquestgave the Incas access to vast new resources and gained prestige for both rulers and those warriors who displayed courage on the battlefield. Diplomacy was an important tool and used time and again by the Incas to acquire new territory with the minimum of bloodshed but sometimes they were obliged to engage in battleand several regions of the empire persistently resisted Inca rule. Ultimately, though, only the arrival of the Europeans with their superior technology would stop the Inca rulers relentlessly expanding their empire.


The Incas were great diplomats, and they were able to extend their influence throughout the Andes region by negotiating trade and tribute agreements, offering impressive gift exchanges, organising inter-marriages, and relocating sympathetic populations to newly acquired or troublesome areas. Only when these strategies failed did warfare become necessary. Early Inca warfare was concerned merely with acquiring the wealth of the enemy but gradually, as they became more ambitious, they sought to permanently control the territory of their neighbours and so spread their influence across South America.

Conquest was important for a ruler’s prestige, not only during his reign but also after his death when his deeds would be recounted and pilgrimages made to the sites of his great victories. Rulers naturally wanted to outdo their predecessors and so the empire expanded ever outwards into new territories throughout the history of the Incas.

There was also a religious element to warfare as the Incas saw their conquests as furthering the worship of the sun god Inti. For this reason, campaigns were preceded by fasting for two days and then ceremonies of sacrifices (usually black llamas and sometimes children too) and feasting. Priests and religious idols accompanied the army on campaign, and certain religious events were respected even during battle. For example, on the new moon no fighting was permitted, a fact the Spanish took advantage of when they attacked Cuzco in the first half of the 16th century CE.


The Inca army was largely composed of non-Incas, those conquered peoples who were obliged as a form of tribute to give their persons for use by their overlords. For this reason, the Inca army was a conglomerate of individual ethnic units, each led by their own local commander and fighting with their own preferred weapons. Speaking different languages, these units must have been difficult to coordinate in the heat of battle. In addition, these soldiers were in fact farmers and their effectiveness, or lack thereof, probably explains why the Incas eventually began to form a professional army. Units were divided into decimals, the smallest group being 10 men commanded by a chunka kamayuq, then 100 led by a pachaka kuraka, then 1,000 men under a waranqa kuraka, and finally 10,000 led by a hunu kuraka. Officers often commanded in pairs, although it is unclear how duties were divided between them.

Inca armies, then, consisted of tens of thousands of troops, perhaps even over 100,000 in some battles. Soldiers were called up from the general populace on a rotation basis with any male aged from their mid-twenties to their fifties eligible for active service. Soldiers could take their wives with them on campaign. Men under the age of 25 were expected to act as baggage carriers and joined an impressive entourage of non-combatants which included cooks and potters. Although the troops were farmers when not needed by the state all Inca males were given weapons training in their youth and performed in ritual battles. The pure-blood Incas formed an elite army of a few thousand sometimes they were supplemented by choice picks from other units too. They acted as the personal bodyguard of the Inca king and wore distinctive tunics of black and white checks with a bright red triangle at the neck.

The senior army commanders were usually of royal blood. The Inca king was the commander-in-chief, and to avoid subsidiary commanders gaining too much prestige and making themselves a threat to his reign, he often commanded the army in the field personally. However, as the empire expanded, this became too impractical for the king to be so long-absent from the capital Cuzco, and the burden of command in the field often rested on the shoulders of his brother or son. Either way, field commanders rarely involved themselves in the front line, and it was more usual for them to issue general orders from the safe distance of a command post.


Battles were bloody and confused episodes of hand-to-hand combat. Weapons differed depending on the ethnic origin of particular units but included hardwood spears launched using throwers, arrows, javelins, slings, the bolas, clubs, and maces with star-shaped heads made of copper or bronze. The favourite weapon seems to have been the palm-wood club which was shaped like a sword and had a double-edge. Large stones were also employed to roll down on the enemy and grass fires if the terrain was suitable. Protection was provided by hide rectangular or trapezoid shields, helmets of plaited cane or wood, and metal plates over the chest and back or tunics of quilted cloth which were both resistant and light to wear.

Besides weapons, troops were issued with a set of clothes, sandals, a blanket, and some foodstuffs such as maize, peppers, and coca leaves. Soldiers would put on their best finery for battle such as extravagant feather headdresses and burnished silver or copper breastplates. Soldiers might also wear decorations of their previous escapades such as necklaces made from the teeth of enemies and copper or silver medallions given as rewards by their commanders.


The great strength of the Incas in warfare was not technological superiority or better fighting tactics than the enemy but their great preparedness and hitting the enemy with overwhelming numbers. Before battle, though, it was a common tactic to send messengers to the enemy offering favourable terms of surrender and promising rewards to the leaders who would be allowed to continue in their positions of power. Further, the community would not be robbed of all their resources as long as they pledged allegiance to the Inca king, accepted the Inca sun god Inti as the supreme deity, and offered regular tributes both in goods and labour. A huge area of the Upper Mantaro Valley was conquered in this way without any bloodshed whatsoever.

On the other hand, if the enemy insisted on battle, the Incas would mobilise their superior numbers, wipe out the opposing army without mercy, and deport as many of the conquered population as possible, effectively erasing the city from the archaeological record. Areas dealt with in this way included Tunanmarca, Canete, and the Cayambe people in Ecuador. Those areas, such as around Lake Titicaca, which repeatedly displayed rebellion were pacified from within by relocating Inca sympathetic populations to them.

On the battlefield actual engagements were preceded by both armies singing songs and hurling insults at each other, a process which could take several days. When the battle started proper, attacks were either front-on over open terrain or siege warfare. Spies were sent before the battle to ascertain the lie of the land, and the Inca army usually struck in a single mass unit with some troops left in reserve in case they were needed to protect a retreat. Two often repeated tactics which proved very effective were pretended withdrawals and counter-attack pincer movements.


To maintain an empire which stretched right down the western coast of South America and permit the rapid deployment of troops wherever they were needed, the Incas built a network of fortresses connected by an even more extensive road network. At regular intervals, routes were punctuated with waystations so that troops need march no more than 20 kilometres without fresh supplies. Goods were also transported by carriers – both llamas and people, including women.

Generally, campaigns lasted several months and troops needed feeding and shelter. Food and arms were available from the Inca storehouses, the qollqa, which dotted the countryside. To ease the burden on local communities, they were warned beforehand that the army was on its way and the troops moved in staggered groups so as not to all be in the same place at the same time as they marched to the battlefield. Further, any local looting by soldiers was punishable by death.


As the empire expanded and so became ever more taxing to police, the Incas were obliged to maintain a permanent presence in the territory they conquered. This necessitated the construction of fortresses, establishing garrisons, and fortifying borders. Forts were typically built at strategic passes and routes likely to be used by invaders in the border areas, especially in the area around Quito where the remains of 37 Inca forts have been identified.

As Andean warfare did not include explosives, large projectiles, or siege engines, fortresses were often simple affairs consisting of a walled enclosure built on a hilltop. They could not shelter a large number of soldiers indefinitely, troops usually slept in tents when not under attack. Walls were built in concentric circles but also included sharp bends to increase the angles from which to fire sling stones on attacking forces. Sometimes extra protection was provided by a moat, revetments, and gates with multiple and offset doorways.


To the victors go the spoils and the coffers of the Inca king were enriched by war-booty. Those soldiers who had displayed great valour were given rewards depending on their status. These prizes included land, the right to sit with the king, prestigious administrative positions, gold and silver breastplates, fine clothes, captured women, weapons, and livestock. Defeated enemies were taken as captives to Cuzco and paraded before the people, much like in a Roman Triumph, with the Inca king ceremoniously stamping on the head of his defeated counterpart. Some leaders would be sacrificed and particularly hated foes had their skulls made into ornate drinking cups and their skins made into drums. The Incas also captured the sacred objects of a conquered people, symbolically imprisoning them in the Coricancha complex at Cuzco to ensure compliance from the population.

The Incas seem not to have recorded the defeats they suffered, although given their superior discipline and numbers any setbacks were likely only temporarily. The Incas did, of course, meet more than their match when the Europeans arrived with their cavalry and firearms. Their fall was not sudden, though. After initial dramatic defeats and the loss of their king, the Inca actually won some battles and resisted the superior armed invaders for another 50 years. The Spanish would ultimately be victorious but they would also find out exactly how difficult it was to maintain control over a huge empire encompassing all kinds of terrain and hundreds of different cultures spread over thousands of square kilometres.

Can the Incas pull a Meiji?

Ok I just revised my previous answer and I will give you the most completely answer I could about the Inca commanding economy system that I Could, you have to take all of this with a grain of salt as most of this information come for third and even fourth hand account.

The ayllu was a community of families that were supposed to be descendants of a distant common ancestor. The curaca was the head of the ayllu and who was in charge of distributing the land, organizing the collective work and exercising as head of the community. The position of curaca or jefe was not inherited, but was selected through a special ritual sometimes they were appointed directly from Cuzco. The members of the ayllu worked their land, but they had the obligation to work the land of the state so that it fed the rulers, nobles, the army, the elderly and the sick they also had to use part of their time to work the land that was set aside for the gods and religious leaders. In the same way, each ayllu had to provide men to do public works such as building roads, bridges and buildings.

In the Inca Empire, the currency was not used, nor were the markets common, trade was not imperative or necessary, the little that was practiced was done through the modality of barter, Incas had a remarkable agricultural production, to the degree that historians agree that it was a Empire that did not suffer the evils of hunger, or famines, This was possible and based on the interconnection of all the regions through a vast network of roads and the good administration of production, based on a highly efficient and egalitarian storage and distribution system.

The food products were stored in deposits called qollqa, which were built throughout the empire, typically arranged in rows and near populated centers, large haciendas and stations on the road. State officials "quipucamayoc" (kind of accountants) kept detailed accounts of their provisions using the quipu, a system of accounting by ropes and knots, Livestock was a basic element in the economy of the Incas, and, unlike land, all the herds were owned by the state. Each community had a certain number of animals, which it had to take care of and attend to and whose products it had to deliver to the state as a whole. and the State redistributed based in the need and quantity of the population, In the same token the state could demand a series of publics works, in a idea of Reciprocity

consisted in the practice of solidarity and mutual help among the members of an ayllu. For example, the inhabitants of an ayllu, collaborated with each other to plant and harvest in the subsistence plots. On the occasion of a marriage, the whole community helped to raise the house of the newlyweds. The Incas incorporated the principle of reciprocity in the ayllu, as one of the bases of the economic and social functioning of their empire.

The redistribution supposed the recognition, on the part of the peasants, of the different levels of authority that existed in the society. The ayllus handed over the tributes to the curacas, and the taxed goods were accumulated in royal deposits that were in villages, roads and cities. When some peoples of the Empire could not satisfy their basic needs because the regions in which they lived had been affected by bad harvests or other catastrophes, the Inca State redistributed a part of the food, raw materials and manufactured products stored in qollqas. It also used the accumulated assets to pay for the expenses of the constant military expeditions, and to reward the services performed by some officials.

The Inca economic policy established the construction of these deposits as one of the essential points of his administration, so that each population should be assisted by a certain number of qollqas, to supply their people with clothing and supplies, and to supply the deficiencies that could arise from any eventuality or tragedy.

The job

The work, for the Inca people, was totally obligatory, only people with physical disabilities were excused from doing it. Although, there was also the principle of equity, which indicated that each individual worked depending on their physical and intellectual abilities. There were four main forms of organization of work in the Inca empire:

The Mita: it was a method of assistance work by the State. lot of Incas were recruited to work for three months shifts in road construction tasks, bridges, fortresses, administrative centers, temples, aqueducts, mining, etc. There was a mita for special services such as the work of freighters of the Sapa Inca, musicians, chasquis and dancers, those forced to perform this task were adult married men, between 18 and 50 years old. The exploitation of Mita system give the Spanish conquerors a method of slave labor, without the reciprocated help in which the system was founded

The Minca, minka, or minga: form of work executed as ayllu help. It was a kind of communal task free of charge and in turn, without being less than another form of benefit for the State. There many families came with their own tools and food, they helped in the construction of premises, irrigation canals, as well as help in the "chacra" properties of disabled people, orphans and the elderly. When the ayllu summoned the work of the minca, no one refused, but people who did not attend work were expelled from the ayllu and lost their right to land.

The Ayni: was a work system where the principles of reciprocity and redistribution were applied among the members of the ayllu. Reciprocity consisted of a group, members of a family, helping with their work another family of the same ayllu on the condition that it corresponded in the same way when they needed it. The redistribution was reflected in the same working days when food and beverages were served during the days that the work was done. This tradition continues even in many peasant communities of Peru

The Chunga: it was an occasional way of working done by Inca women in case of natural disasters. It consisted in healing and helping the wounded of natural disasters, and trying to save those who were in danger during the same disaster.

A state of well-being
The egalitarianism prevailing in the Inca empire did not exclude social differences, but it did guarantee the satisfaction of basic needs to all social sectors. Part of the individual or communal agricultural production was taxed to the Inca, whose officials were in charge of the redistribution. Some authors do not hesitate to talk about the Inca empire in terms of "socialism" or "welfare state". reciprocity and redistribution The Incas developed a complex system of economic exchange, not capitalist, not individualistic, where the group or community goals were applied and there was no property. They developed a complex social and economic organization that allowed the eradicating of hunger and Famine Inside the Empire (at least officially)

Spanish Conquest

The Spanish conquest of Peru started in 1531 when the Spanish Conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro arrived in Cuzco. At that time, the Inca Empire was in turmoil because of the power struggle between the two sons – Atahualpa and Huascar – of the emperor Huayna Capac, who died suddenly of smallpox.

Francisco Pizarro seizing the opportunity captured Atahualpa and demanded ransom for his release. Even after Pizarro received the ransom, he refused to release Atahualpa. In the meantime, Atahualpa’s brother Huascar was assassinated. Pizarro accused Atahualpa of the assassination of Huascar and executed him in 1533 CE.

After the execution of Atahualpa, Pizarro installed Manco Inca, who is another brother of Atahualpa, as a puppet emperor. But after realizing the intentions of the Spanish, he revolted against them and fled Cuzco and created a Neo-Inca State in the mountains of Vilcabamba. It lasted until 1572 when the Spanish captured his son Tupac Amaru, who became the emperor after Manco Inca, and executed him.

Francisco Pizarro thus exploited the division in the Inca society and eventually took over the Inca Empire and plundered its treasure and destroyed their culture and monuments.

Conservation des aliments

Rituels, chants et sacrifices ont été un élément essentiel de l'agriculture pour les Incas. Dans ces cérémonies ont été sacrifiés les lamas et les cochons d'Inde et bière de chicha coulé dans le sol et près des rivières et de sources afin de gagner la faveur des dieux et des intempéries. En outre, l'environnement parfois hostile des andins signifiait que l'agriculture était considéré comme une forme de guerre, afin que, comme l'historien, T. N. D'Altroy éloquence, « les Incas approchés agriculture avec des armes dans les mains et les prières sur leurs lèvres » (276).
Il y avait aussi beaucoup de domaines sacrés dans la capitale Inca de Cuzco. La récolte de celles-ci a été utilisée comme offrandes dans les sanctuaires, et un domaine particulier a été réservé pour la cérémonie plantation de maïs de première de l'année. C'est là, au mois d'août, que le roi Inca labouré cérémonieusement le sol en premier de l'année avec une charrue d'or. Le Coricancha sacré, qui possédait un temple au Dieu-soleil Inca Inti, a même eu un domaine grandeur nature de maïs issus purement de l'or et l'argent avec les insectes et animaux de métal précieux. Quand les Incas ont conquis un territoire, ils ont divisé les terres et le bétail en trois parties inégales - un pour la religion d'État, un pour le roi et un pour les habitants les. Sinon, comme l'impôt a été souvent extrait sous forme de travail (mit'a), agriculteurs ont été relogés pour travailler les terres du souverain Inca ou aider dans d'autres projets de l'État, tels que la construction de routes et grands bâtiments. La production agricole des terres paysannes propre a été en grande partie laissé tel quel, et ils pouvaient aussi cultiver des petites parcelles aux côtés des fermes d'état tout en effectuant leur mit'a .

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