THE INCA EMPIRE

March 25, 2016
imperio inca inti raymi

According to the tradition, the Sun God or Inti believed in the first Inca Sovereign Manco Capac on Lake Titicaca, from where the first Incas began their journey in search of a place to establish their kingdom, this place was Cusco since the beginning of the thirteenth century was the political and religious center of the Empire. At first, the Inca Empire barely went far beyond the valley of Cusco; its culture was very similar to that of its neighbors based on subsistence agriculture and livestock and had some knowledge of jewelry, ceramics and textiles. However, the Incas demonstrated an extraordinary organizational capacity and great practicality. Successive military campaigns increased their territory and power.

The greatest achievements of the Empire were performed in more than 50 years, a time record comparable to the exploits of Genghis Khan. In its heyday, the Inca Empire had an area of ​​4 million square kilometers and 15 million people, from Ecuador to northern Chile and Argentina to the south, which included more than 200 different villages. To be united, those people imposed the sun worship culture and Quechua language still spoken in large parts of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, northern Chile and Argentina prevailed.

The Incas were some smart colonizers and learned much from earlier cultures, taking the best from each village conquered and thus expanded their knowledge adapting them to their social structure to build a truly productive and efficient state.

The base of the Inca economy was agriculture, farmers were organized in villages called “Ayllus” which were composed of families related to each other, sharing the work of the land, animals and products obtained but did not know the plow used hoes and other farming implements. They also used fertilizers depending on the area which could be manure, rotted fish or guano. They irrigated their fields by means of canals, aqueducts and rafts; and in the highlands of the Andes, they practiced terracing in seemingly inaccessible places, it is said that no other people on the planet came to grow many plants. The most important most of their product contributions to humanity and is the potato, grown in more than 200 varieties, also grew at least 20 varieties of corn among many other products. Instead livestock to a group of distant relatives of the camel on which was the llama, guanaco, alpaca and vicuna was reduced; the llama took advantage of his long and thick wool and was also used as pack animals but cannot withstand heavy weights which is perfectly adapted to the low oxygen atmosphere in the highlands. The vicuna and alpaca were prized for their fine wool with the dresses of the upper classes were woven.

Lands and cattle belonged to the Inca “Ayllu”, the absolute ruler, and were worked by the community. Its products are divided into three parts, one for the Inca, another for priests and a third for the own “Ayllu”.

In addition to agriculture and livestock were other trades which also contributed to the production and maintenance of the rule; there were goldsmiths, potters and weavers who were responsible for the mass production and then it was distributed to all layers of the society. The Inca people also contributed to the greatness of the Empire with taxes but not in money but in work for the state, these types of services were called “mita”,it could be to work in mines in the construction of buildings, canals, roads and bridges, or in military service or nobility. The noble class was made up of local leaders, relatives of the Inca or heads of villages absorbed by the Empire, many of them occupied high political, military or religious positions, but above all were the Incas who were the earthly incarnations of the Sun God, it was not only the law but was above her, although he worshiped several even fetishes and objects gods with magical qualities, the official cult focused mainly on the Sun, in his honor, temples where animals were sacrificed rose and offered great ceremonies. The Inca lived in the palace of Cusco, surrounded by a luxury worthy of his divine status, his litter was carried by nobles and wore the finest fabrics and jewels of the Empire.

The Inca chose his successor among the children that had with the imperial wife, “Qoya”, which normally was his sister.