year is 2000 BCE
The Inca tribe was not the first tribe of people
to live in the Andes Mountains. People were living and farming in the
western part of South America as early as 2000 BCE. Some
archaeologists say they began farming as early as 5000 BCE. Like other
ancient civilizations, these early people worshiped many gods. They
built towns, worked metals, and made beautiful pottery.
year is 1200 CE
Three thousand two hundred years later (3200
years later), the Incas were a small band of people who lived
peacefully in a region that would become the modern day country of
Peru. Their capital was the town of Cuzco. The leader of the Incas was
known as the Inca, which means emperor. (The Inca is also called the
Sapa Inca, which means "the only emperor".)
Like the Pharaohs of
ancient Egypt, the Inca had absolute rule over his people, which
is why his people were called the Incas (the Inca's people.) The
ruling Inca usually treated his people with care. Like most ancient
rulers, he lived in luxury. The royal family had the finest of
everything, while his people were hard working peasants.
The Inca tribe quarreled now and then with
neighboring tribes. For the most part, life was peaceful.
year is 1430 CE
One day, around 1430 CE, a neighboring tribe
started a war with the Incas. This was very upsetting to the Inca
ruler. In those times, in South America, warring tribes usually killed
the people they conquered. And the Incan army was losing badly.
The Inca ruler did not wish to die. He convinced
himself that if he accepted defeat, the warring tribe might spare the
royal family. The Inca ruler knew that even if they did spare the
royal family, they would still kill most of the common people.
The ruler's son, Pachacuti, could not believe his
father was considering sacrificing his people. Pachacuti acted. He
called on the gods to help him.
The Incas believed in a
great many gods and
goddesses, most of whom could be counted
upon to help or hinder mortals in their wars and other mortal affairs.
Legend says the gods decided to help Pachacuti save his people. The
Incas were saved from total destruction when Pachacuti rallied the
army, went into battle, and won the day.
The New Inca:
After the battle, Pachacuti crowned himself Inca,
replacing his cowardly father as the new leader of the Incan people.
Pachacuti turned out to be a great leader. He rebuilt the city of
Cuzco. He rebuilt the army and set about conquering neighboring
Incan armies were quite a sight.
Pachacuti did not kill
the people he conquered. Instead, he invited
them to become part of the Inca Empire. He built schools. He built
fabulous cities and fortresses. He placed his royal relatives in
positions of power in the government throughout the Empire. The Inca
rulers who followed him did the same.
The Incan age of expansion had begun. In less
than 100 years, the Inca would grow to become one of the largest
empires of all time.
Incas for Kids