Pointy Heads and Dangling Earlobes
It was easy to tell if someone was a
royal or a nobleman. When a royal or a nobleman was just a small child, a board would be strapped to
their head. This would force the top of their head to grow almost to a
point. This was the symbol of nobility, including the reining royal
family (wives and sons of the Sapa Inca).
noble family had a distinctive hairstyle for the men. But earrings were
the same for all noblemen. Men had their ears pierced when they were
about 12-14 years old. The men all wore really heavy earrings, designed
to change the shape of their earlobes. By the time they were 20 years
old or so, their earlobes had been pulled so out of shape that they
rested on their shoulders. This was high fashion. Dangling earlobes
never went out of style.
Rich and poor
dressed in the same fashion, although perhaps not with the same softness
of fabric. Men wore knee length tunic, with a poncho for warmth. The
women wore long dresses and wrapped themselves in colorful blankets or
capes as needed. Men and women wore jewelry. The Inca people loved
anything that glittered. They loved embroidery.
the nobles lived a life of luxury. They could own land, but they did not
have to farm it themselves, or pay taxes. The commoners did that job.
Some nobles actually had jobs in the government, but most nobles spent
their time trying to look ever more attractive, and trying to think of
ways to entertain the Sapa Inca and his family.
Houses, Palaces & the Ayllu
Life in the Inca Empire