Inca Culture

The Inca empire developed between 1400 and 1500 AD in an area which is now Peru. Before the 15th century the Andean region was populated by many different tribes of people. Under the military leadership of Pachacuti and his son Topa Inca, who were Inca

emperors between 1438 and 1493, the Inca state expanded into a great empire.From a geographic point of view, the Inca empire was not a very attractive place to live. The north-western border is the coastal region of the Pacific Ocean, which is the driest desert on earth. Not a drop of rain has fallen there in over 500 years. The towering Andes Mountains begin east of the desert, with steep slopes that make agriculture a serious challenge. The Inca solved that problem by creating terraces and filling them with fertile earth brought up from the mountain valleys. To the east of the Andes, lay the vast and humid jungle of the Amazon River Basin, inhabited by fierce tribes whom the Inca never managed to conquer.

Pachacuti drastically reorganized the Inca religion. He claimed to be the direct descendant of the Inca Sun God Inti, which made his people extremely obedient. Their daily work tasks almost became a religious duty. Pachacuti created a cult around himself and the sun-god Inti. Every day the emperor would wear new clothes, the old ones from the previous day had to be burned, and he would only eat from golden plates. Inca society was a theocratic society, meaning that politics and religion were completely intertwined. The Inca religion combined features of animism, fetishism, and the worship of nature gods representing forces of nature. Inca rituals included elaborate forms of divination and the sacrifice of humans and animals.

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