The Ancient Inca

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The Ancient Inca

The Ancient IncasBy Megana Pudupak

The Incan emperor owned all the land. He controlled the use of the land through admin-istrators. Administrators divided the land into plots large enough for a family to manage. Each ayllu planted enough food to feed themselves and others. Family groups helped each other when they could. Each fall, the administrators gave a family unit a little more or a little less land to farm based on how many people they had in their family unit. Farmers could only keep about one-third of their harvest. The rest went to support other people.

FactThe area in which the Inca's lived streched beyond Equador to Chile. The Inca Empire was centered around the Andes highland city of Cuzco, which is in Peru. The Incas called their Empire Tahuantinsuyu. The Incan civalization was one of the longest lasting empires in history! They lasted from 1200-1500 C.E.

Common people had no freedom. They could not own or run a business. They could not own luxury goods. The only items common people could have in their homes were things they needed to do their job. They could not travel on the roads

This is a smallpiece of some of the great buildings that the Incas built

The Incan civilization raised many animals such as dogs, guinea pigs, ducks, alpacas, and llamas.

The Inca tribe wore clothes made of wool, leather, cotton, furs, and many other matirials. The Sapa Inca (the rulers) ordered his clothes burnt after he wore each material once. Women were chosen to prepare items and clothing for the Sapa Inca to wear.

Every month, the Incas held a big religious festival. Festivals were held outside. The festival included games, dancing, songs, food, parades, and sacrifice (mostly of animals). If something special was happening, like the crowning of a new emperor, flood, or a drought, the Incas would include human sacrifice as part of the festival.

The Incas believed that the gods and their dead ancestors could communicate with them through dreams, omens, and other signs. The priests were very powerful because people believed they could read the signs. Priests saw signs everywhere. They could read signs in the flames of a fire, or in the way a plant grew.Like the ancient Egyptians, the Incas believed in an afterlife. They mummified their dead. The family held a funeral for eight days. Women in mourning wore wore black clothes for about a year. They also cut their hair really short.The bodies and tombs of the dead were carefully tended. The mummies of dead rulers remained in their palaces. These rulers were treated as if they were still alive. Servants still brought them things and their family consulted them for advice on daily affairs. On parade days and other special occasions, their mummies were carried through the streets.Even the very poor mummified their dead. It was easy. They simply set the dead body out in the cold in above ground tombs. The Incas could enter and reenter these tombs, leaving gifts of food and belongings. They could also retrieve these gifts if needed.


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