Historical Facts About the Incas of South America
Incas are the Indian people of South America. The word “Inca” is the title of the emperors and was eventually applied to the people as a whole.
Machu Picchu, capital of Inca Empire
1.) The Incas were the first to cultivate the Irish potato and many other food plants.
2.) They were advanced farmers who used fertilizers and constructed networks of canals and ditches to irrigate their fields.
3.) The Incas were the first people to tame wild animals in the Americas. They domesticated the Alpaca and Llama for their wool.
4.) The people who escaped death or slavery during the Spanish conquest of the Incas in the 16th century became the ancestors of the Quecha Indians.
5.) The Quecha Indians now make up most of the rural population of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.
6.) The Inca people spoke the Quecha language and used the Quipu in writing. This device consisted of cords of different lengths and colors.
7.) Incas were known to use peculiar musical instruments like Bone flutes.
8.) The Incas worshipped the sun god Inti. His chief temple, the Temple of the Sun, was radiant with the immense amount of gold, silver and jewels used to decorate it.
9.) The Temple of the Sun also contained chambers sacred to the moon, the stars and the rainbow. The Inti Raymi which means "Festival of the Sun" was a religious ceremony of the Inca Empire to honor the god Inti.
10.) The emperor, who held absolute power, is believed to be descended directly from the sun god.
Festival of the Sun
11.) Because Incas worshipped the sun as god, they called themselves “Children of the Sun”.
12.) The Incas were called the “Romans of America” because of their capability to conquer and rule others.
13.) Temples erected by the Incas were made from blocks of granites, some of which weighed 100 tons.
14.) Members of the laboring classes like farmers, miners, etc… were required to work a specified number of days each year.
15.) Seeds, tools, clothing and food were distributed by the government.
Skulls of Incas showing Cranial Deformation
16.) Inca emperors ruled as paternal dictators of a communistic society in which all land belonged to the government.
17.) Money was unknown to the Incas and it is not needed.
18.) Machu Picchu or the “Lost City of the Incas” was not seen by whites until 1911, when these spectacular ruins were discovered near Cusco, Peru – the capital of the Inca Empire.
19.) The Inca people drink beer made from corn which they call “Chicha”.
20.) The empire built by Inca people and headed by a Sapa Inca was the largest empire in the pre-Columbian era.
A statue of Sapa Inca
21.) The Inca people, like members of Hinduism, believed in reincarnation. They follow the Incan moral code—ama suwa, ama llulla, ama quella which means do not steal, do not lie, do not be lazy. Those who religiously obey this code will live in the warmth of the Sun and those don’t will spend their eternal days in the cold earth.
22.) Members of the nobility practiced cranial deformation by wrapping tight cloth straps around the heads of newborns in order to alter the shape of their soft skulls into a more conical form.
23.) The coca plant which was considered magical or scared were used by Incas in moderate amounts to lessen hunger and pain during work but primarily used for health and religious purposes.
24.) The Incas have been known to performed skull surgery by cutting holes in the skull in order to alleviate fluid build-up and inflammation caused by head wounds.
25.) By the time of the Spanish conquest, it is estimated that the population of Inca Empire ranged bet 12 million to 37 million.