The four parts of the world
Was the territory that the Incas dominated since its foundation by Manco Capac, during the XII century. It was
divided in four big "suyos" (counties or sectors) called
Antisuyo (east area, forest or wild area), Chinchaysuyo
(northwest area), Contisuyo (west area) and the
Collasuyo (south area). The four "suyos" converged in
the Koricancha, the most important
sacred temple of the Incas in the city of Cusco, to where all the roads arrived.
In 1531, to the arrival of the Spaniards, the limits to the north were Pasto
(Colombia), to the east the amazon forest, to the south the river Maule in Chile
and the pampas of Tucumán in Argentina, and to the west the Pacific
Ocean, reaching more than 2 million square kilometers, with a superior
population to the 10 million inhabitants.
Their cultural and religious center was the city of Cusco
(the navel of the world) where the "Zapa Inca" resided with his real
court. They made use of all the knowledge they had acquired during
millennia and the nations that conquered, what allowed them to have their
remarkable organization and development.
The Zapa Inca, absolute king,
advised by a real consultative committee governed the town. The Zapa Inca
rigorously administered by laws, was considered infallible and fair for being
son of the god Inti (the sun). He didn't abuse, being example
of virtue; he had for dogma to increase territories through new conquests.
Government of socialist type, the poverty didn't exist, and the town had the
obligation to work. Administratively he had for basic unit the ayllu, group of
Polytheistic, they had for gods the Inti
(sun), Pachacámac and
Viracocha, and as divinities to Quilla (moon),
Illapa (lightning or ray), Pirúa
(protector of the treasures and provisions - the planet Jupiter), among others.
They considered the man like a body being and soul, and the existence of another
physical life after death. They built temples to Inti and Quilla, acllahuasis
(Temples of the Virgins) directed by royal blood priests in Cusco and for
noblemen in the "suyos"; the temples were very adorned in gold, silver
and beautiful stones. (See Koricancha)
They made obligatory use of the Quechua
for the unification of the citizens; they only had a dialect known by
those of royal blood.
Only imparted to those of royal blood; they
attended schools (Yachayhuasi, the house of the knowledge)
directed by the Amautas (wise men). They didn't knew the
writing. They dominated the mathematics by the quipus, mnemonic artifice, made
of wool threads of one or combined colors of 60 cm. length, connected by an end
to another thread. They were good to register numeric quantities according to
the position of the knot on the thread. The color or combination of colors
indicated the object or taken a census of item. When being added knotted small
objects to a thread they could register laws emanated by the Zapa Inca, legends,
replacing the writing lack partially. Their use also allowed them to take
control of the crops, tributes to pay, population's census, etc. The
interpreters of the quipus were called quipucamáyoc.
They had military organization, electing captains
to the most valiant and loyal, commanded by generals. In the conquest campaigns
they tried not to fight battles in the towns, intimidating the enemy to their
rendition, since their end was the subjection for the improvement of their
conditions of life, and not the ambition of the power.
Practically vegetarian, using meat very little in
their diet; they had forbidden the hunt of animals; they used warehouses to
conserve the grains (colcas and pirúas).
Agriculture and Cattle raising
They developed a high
technology in the Andean area, by means of the andenerías construction
and extraordinary and complex systems of artificial irrigation. They had big sow
extensions, and a great variety of domesticated plants, they used fertilizers, achieving a production that
allowed to feed more than 10 million inhabitants (see Písac and Moray). They dominated the technique of
potato and corn production, being the biggest contribution from the Inca culture
to the humanity, being the plants that constitute the alimentary base of many
nations of the orb at the moment. In cattle raising, they were able to tame the
llama and the vicuña.
traced perfectly organized cities, built in refined stone, ignored the vault,
didn't use tools for the cut of the stone, neither cement for the union of
stones, achieving almost perfect junctures. They built temples, fortresses,
buildings, houses, and bridges. (See Machu
Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Sacsahuamán, Koricancha).
They traced royal roads that communicated the main cities of the four suyos,
preparing in their margins "tambos" (place of rest and provisioning)
where the chasquis (running messengers) moved around.
They didn't reach the perfection of the pre-Inca
ceramic; their characteristic piece "the aribalo".
The textile art was developed with rigor and uniformity, they used in their
decoration abstract and geometric drawings sometimes showing plants, snakes and
birds. The work in metals was of Chimu
influence, but with embossed decoration and simplified, they achieved beautiful
pieces in gold and silver, combined with precious stones. The music and the
dance were highly cultivated.