The Inca were a South American people who controlled a large empire that stretched along the Pacific coast from Ecuador to northern Chile. TheInca dynasty was founded at about 1200 A.D. and lasted until the end of the 16th century, when the Spanish conquerors came to South America. The capital city of the Incan empire was Cuzco, which waslocated in the Andes Mountains in today’s Peru. What is left of the Inca civilization is scattered over the highlands of the Andes. The descendants of the Inca are mostly peasants who make up about halfof Peru’s population.
The Inca lived in the central part of the Andes Mountains
Society and Culture
There were two classes in Inca society: the ruling classes and the peasants. The emperorwas called “The Inca” or “Sapa Inca”. He ate from gold dishes and never wore the same clothes twice. Like the pharaohs of Egypt, he took his own sister as queen. The noblemen came from the capitalCuzco and helped the emperor govern the land.
Most people were farmers who produced their own food and clothes. The main crops were corn, tomatoes, squash and sweet potatoes, which the Inca were first toproduce. They also raised guinea pigs, ducks and dogs. One of the most important animals was the llama. It provided the peasants with wool and it could carry heavy loads as well. The Inca spoke theQuechua language. They couldn’t write, but they used quipus, which were stringswith a system of knots attached to them. That’s how they recorded their harvest. The Inca were very skilful in makinghandicrafts. Women were excellent weavers .They wove cloth into tunics. Men were great metalworkers. They knew how to extract metal from ore by heating and melting it. Then the metals were moulded intodifferent shapes to make weapons and other tools. The Inca also produced pottery and made musical instruments such as flutes. The Inca were great construction workers and architects. They built a...