inca social structure
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Inca Social Structure
The beginning of the Inca rule started with the conquest of the Chimu Culture in Peru. The original Inca tribe was a minor Andean tribe whose expansion began with a successful campaign against its more powerful neighbours, the Chancas, in the 1440s.
The nobility of Quechua-speaking tribes assimilated into the empire were absorbed into the ruling Inca aristocracy. The Inca were warriors with a strong and powerful army. Because of the fierceness of their army and their hierarchical organization, they became the largest Native American society.
Between 1200 and 1535 AD, the Inca population lived in the part of South America extending from the Equator to the Pacific coast of Chile. The Incas subsequently established an empire that, by the time of the Spanish invasion, stretched from southern Columbia to central Chile, a distance of some three thousand miles.
Herding and Agriculture
Llamas for wool and carrying packs
The comprehension of how irrigation can benefit agriculture is evident by the expansion into the highland areas. They developed drainage systems and canals to expand their crop resources. Potatoes, tomatoes, cotton, peanuts and coca were among the many crops grown by the Inca. Llama were used for meat and transportation. There was more than enough resources available for everyone.
The IncasThe term 'Incas' (or Inkas) is often used to refer to the people of the empire as a whole, whereas strictly it refers to the ruling aristocracy. The position of Inca, the supreme ruler of the empire, was a more or less hereditary position, although strict precedence was often waived in favor of superior political or military ability.
The Incas had a very clear social structure.The ruler, the Sapa Inca, and his wives, the Coyas, had supreme control over the empire. The High Priest and the Army Commander in Chief were next.
Then came the Four Apus, the regional army commanders.
Next came temple priests, architects, administrators and army generals. Merchants and Middle Class
Next were artisans, musicians, army captains and the quipucamayoc, the Incan "accountants."
At the bottom were sorcerers, farmers, herding families and conscripts.
The Sapa Inca was formally married to his sister, the Coya, but had legal access to a large group of "Chosen Women." Some of these were devoted to the church and celibate, but other were effectively other wives of the Sapa Inca. A son was chosen from among the offspring of the Coya or from any of the 200 or so concubines. Thus brother and sister, King and Queen in the Incas could be developed from a large group of half-brothers halfand half-sisters. half-
About 1438, the ninth Inca, Pachacuti, set forth to conquer on a scale never before attempted in aboriginal America. Pachacuti and his son, Tupac Inca, the tenth Inca, forged an empire nearly as far reaching and well organized as Caesar's Rome. They Called it Tahuantinsuyu, Quechua for the " Four Quarters of the World ". Huayna Capac - Valiant Youth - surely visited Machu Picchu after he succeeded Tupac Inca in 1493, for he devoted years to a grand tour of his inherited Four Quarters of the World.
Huayna Capac settled down in Ecuador with his hundreds of wives and concubines, occupying a sumptuous palace of which no trace remains. Today natives, reminders of the brief lnca occupation of Ecuador are Quechua-speaking Indian communities of Quechuadiverse tribal origins-some from distant Bolivia- found originsBoliviaalong the Pan American Highway. The emperor's warrior son, Atahuallpa, became a favorite of the battle-tested armies that carried on the northern battleborder campaigns. Meanwhile premonitions of doom haunted Huayna Capac.
Fight for Power
About 1525 Huayna Capac was stricken possibly by smallpox introduced into the continent by Europeans probing its coastline. Before he could choose, he died. In Cuzco the high priest conferred the royal fringe on Huascar, a son of Huayna Capac and his sister wife the queen. But Atahuallpa, Huascar's half brother, governor of Quito, reportedly refused to accompany his father's mummy to Cuzco and render homage. His generals, veterans of Ecuadorean wars, backed his insurgency, and civil war flared.
Huascar and Atahuallpa
Huascar sent a huge inexperienced army against Atahuallpa, but it perished in battle near Ambato, Ecuador.
The chronicler Cieza, who saw the skeleton-strewn battlefield twenty skeletonyears later, wrote that the body count of 25 or 26 thousand was an underestimate. Huascar conscripted army after army, including peasants from as far away as Argentina. Thousands who had escaped the plague now fell under the northerner's onslaughts. Perhaps 200,000 men fought in the final battle near Cuzco. The unthinkable occurred: Atahuallpa's generals tumbled Huascar from his golden litter. Cuzco's defenders fled in terror. The Son of the Sun had fallen. The generals dressed the emperor in women's clothes. They forced him to eat excrement in Cuzco's streets and watch the extermination of his multitudinous family and courtiers.
ATAHUALLPA had left Quito to make triumphal entry into Cuzco when he got word of his generals' victory. But at this moment coastal chiefs warned him of Pizarro's approach. A mere 62 cavalrymen and 106 foot soldiers, armed with Toledo blades and a few guns and crossbows, were winding slowly into the mountains of northern Peru. Pizarro sent an interpreter and 15 riders under Hernando de Soto (who later discovered the Mississippi River) to offer his services in arms and to ask the emperor to dine next day. The seated Inca offered ceremonial chicha, accepted the invitation, and told his guests to occupy the town plaza. Pizarro set a trap that the Inca had unwittingly provided him. In the great triangular plaza, with an entrance at its apex, he laid an ambush. He hid his forces inside buildings that had doorways, high enough for horse and rider, facing into the walled plaza.
Atahuallpa and Pizzaro
On Saturday, November 16, 1532, the Inca delayed his social call until sundown, supposing horses to be of no use after dark, and bemused by reports that the bearded men were hiding in fear. Then be capped his spate of bad decisions by going unarmed to sup and spend the night in town. The Spaniards captured Atahuallpa and he ruled for eight months from a prison compound in the triangular plaza, keeping his lordly mien, his authority unquestioned by any subject of the empire. To secure his release, Atahuallpa decreed that the realm be ransacked to fill a 18-by-22-foot room once with gold, as high as 18-by-22he could reach, and twice with silver. Totally unaware that Pizarro's men spearheaded a massive European invasion of the Tahuantinsuyu, he presumed the bearded ones would go away once they had received their booty.
By July 1533 more than 24 tons of exquisite treasure had been collected: idols and chalices, necklaces and nuggets, accumulated through centuries of placer mining. Though this was only a fraction of the plunder that awaited the Spaniards elsewhere in the Four Quarters of the World, Atahuallpa's ransom, as duly recorded in the Spanish archives, was worth at least 267 million dollars at today's bullion values for gold ($315 ounceounceNov/02/1997Nov/02/1997-) and silver.
But instead of freeing the Inca, they tried him for treason, and was sentenced to death for treason against the strangers within his own realm. To avoid the horror of being burned alive as a heretic and thus deprived of mummification, Atahuallpa accepted Christian baptism and took Pizarro's Christian name: Francisco- Then the FranciscoSpaniards garroted Francisco Atahuallpa, thirteenth Inca, and marched down the royal road to Cuzco.