Friday, November 1, 2013

The Incas

By Jamie and Jason

The Incas began in Cusco, Peru, and eventually their empire stretched all the way up and down the western coast of South America.  The Incas also had emperors who they believed were gods.  The Inca emperors were called Sapa Incas.  It means the only Inca.  Here are some of the emperors:

  • Manco Capac
  • Pachacuti
  • Tupac Inca
  • Huayna Capac
  • Huascar
  • Atahualpa

The most important Inca gods were:

  • Inti the sun god
  • Viracocha – creator of the world

The Inca empire lasted about 100 years in the 1400s and 1500s.  The Spanish came and conquered the Incas.

The Incas spoke Quechua (sounds like KAY-CHWA).

How the Incas built structures
The Incas built roads that stretched 15,000 miles all the way from Colombia to Chile and Argentina.  They also built structures for worshipping their gods and other structures that they lived in.  The Incas built the structures by using small stones to carve other stones for the walls.  Between the stones there was NO mortar!  They fit the stones together so you can’t even fit a needle in the middle.  This kind of wall was only used for special and important places.

Inca road near Machu Picchu
The Incas also built another kind of wall.  This wall used mud as mortar.  They built the walls, windows, and doors, slanted in so the structures would be strong in earthquakes.  When an earthquake happened both kinds of their walls didn’t fall down because they were so sturdy.

Jamie's drawing of the two different kinds of Inca walls
A perfect Inca wall at Quricancha (where Incas worshipped the sun god)
Jamie in front of another kind of Inca wall (less perfect)
Jason in front of a similar wall
Here is some information on chaskis or Inca messengers.  Chaskis are like people telephones.  Chaskis ran over the roads and told other chaskis the message.  They could get a message 250 miles in a day.  Remember, the Incas had 15,000 miles of cobblestone roads.  Only important people were allowed to use the roads.

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is an Inca site.  It is high in the mountains.  The people that lived there were Inca priests and important people.  The emperors went to Machu Picchu every year to worship the Inca gods and maybe for a vacation.

Jamie's drawing of Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Jason's drawing of the Puma Stone at Machu Picchu
The real Puma Stone
Here are the animals that we saw at Machu Picchu:

  • Chinchillas
  • Llamas
  • Lizard

Our Gammo (Grandmother) with a llama
The Inca empire was not the first civilization in South America.  There were many earlier civilizations, including the Moche and Chimu.
Jason's drawing of Moche and Chimu pottery

The End


  1. Great drawings, Jamie and Jason!

    --Naomi (Gwendolyn's mom)

  2. Did you see any house cats at Machu Pichu? Did you know that cats don't breath very well at high altitudes? Do chinchillas need to live at high altitudes in order to breathe well?

    Jaime, I am impressed by your Machu Pichu drawing. My eye is specifically drawn to your sun. Have you have seen that style of sun drawn or painted recently and adopted that style as your own? I am curious how the sun will be represented in folk art in some of the other places you visit. Would you keep your eyes peeled for me, and draw what you notice about suns in art in other places?

    I have done a lot of study about art that kids create. There is a universal symbol that kids in most cultures draw when they feel happy. Do you know what that symbol is?

    I can't wait to see your next blogs!