The Incan calendar was important to the
ancient Incas for religious reasons. Each calendar month hosted a
different religious festival. The Incan calendar was divided into 12
months. Each month was divided into 3 weeks. Each week had 10
The Incas used special towers called "time
makers" that told them when a new month was beginning. Time
makers used the position of the sun to mark the passage of time.
Occasionally, time got off track a bit. When that
happened, the Incas simply added a couple of days until the time
makers were in line. This system resulted in a very accurate calendar.
Instruments: The Incas loved music.
They invented many wind and percussion instruments. Drums and flutes
were very popular. The panpipe was the most popular. A panpipe is a
group of single pipes tied together in a row. Each pipe in the row
makes a different sound, and he pipes are arranged very carefully.
Panpipes are still played in the Andes Mountains today.
of Measurement/ Quipus: Using
a base of ten, the quipus had a main string about two feet long. Many
additional colored strings were tied to the main string. Each string
had knots in it. The color of the strings and the distance between
knots all had meaning to the ancient Incas. The quipus allowed
messages to be carried by the Inca runners from one end of the empire
to the other. Some people believe the Incas could even tell stories
with the intricate knots of the quipus.
It took training to read the quipus. Only a few
people could write and read their secret messages. To learn more, click
here: The Incas wrote in string.
important to the success of the Inca Empire:
Communication: (roads, runners, string writing)
Specialized Professions (engineers, metal
workers, stone masons, other artisans)
Service Tax (huge free labor force)
Technology (terrace farming, surplus crops,
Strong Central Government (all powerful Inca,
strict laws, basic needs satisfied)
they did NOT invent: The Inca people were
very clever. But, they did not invent something that would have been
very useful to them - the wheel. Nor did they conquer a tribe that used
a wheel. The wheel was simply unknown to the ancient Incas. So, if you
happen to see a movie that shows the ancient Incas riding in a cart or
wheeling something down the road, it's just movie nonsense.