A Brief History of the Incas

A Brief History of the Incas

The Inca Empire is famous all over the world for its amazing constructions and rich cultural history. They are not to be confused by the Mayans, which is another ancient civilization from a reasonably similar geographical location. The Mayans no longer exist. The Incas, by contrast, still live today albeit in the main no longer according to their ancient traditions. The Inca culture is felt most strongly in Peru, where many of their ancient trails and buildings can also be visited.

A Brief History of the Incas

The empire of the Incas itself actually started from a single tribe. They lived in the Cuzco village, which is high up in the South American Andes Mountains. They were a peaceful group, until a different tribe from another village attempted to conquer them. Pachacuti, the son of the king of the Cuzco village, was cunning, however, and his strength and intelligence stopped the town from being taken over. As they won that battle, their land grew and the Inca Empire was effectively born from this point onwards.

The time of peaceful living came to an end with this battle as well, however. For the next century, under the original guidance of Pachacuti, the Inca started to conquer every neighboring tribe. Eventually, almost all of the western parts of South America were actually Inca. This means that, at its height, it was one of the largest empires in the entire world. Its land stretched to 2,500 miles in length and some 500 miles in width, covering almost all of the Andes Moutains.

One of the strengths of the Inca Empire was its central government. Crime was almost non-existent, particularly because any crime was punished very severely. The Inca army was highly disciplined and very strong. Like the Romans in Europe, the Incase built aqueducts, bridges and roads. The government also created a type of welfare state, looking after the elderly and disabled.

Farming was the way of life in those days, and they invented terraced farming, which allowed for various crops to be grown on the sharp mountainous slopes of the Andes. When a drought would happen, food would be distributed from their stores to people in areas worst affected.

While farming was the main occupation for the majority of the Incas, they also had a number of specialized professions. The most famous of these were the weavers, who made beautiful tapestries and textiles that are still made today. They also had musicians, who created the pan pipe and composed beautiful music using these, music we still hear today. The Inca are behind many inventions and important developments.

They were a polytheistic nation, meaning they believed in many different gods.

Around 100 years after the Empire reached its biggest size, the Conquistadores, who also killed off the Mayans, arrived. They conquered the civilization itself, but they were unable to bring down the culture. This is why we still see Incas in Peru today. If you book on the Legacy of the Incas with Peru’s Amazon & Galapagos Cruise through Globus Tours, you will be able to experience much of this first hand.

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