Marriage and Weddings Illustration

Inca Empire for Kids
Marriage & Weddings

 
 

There was no courtship in the Inca Empire. Marriages were arranged. A young man could ask his parents to talk to the parents of a girl who caught his eye.

Once a year, the head of the village or town would line up all the single young men (age 20) and all the single young women (age 16) to pair off.

If more than one man wanted to marry the same girl, the parents of each son would present reasons why their son should be selected as the husband. The head of the village or town made the final decision.

If a man did not marry by age 20, a wife would be selected for him. That was the law.

It was the law in the Inca society that men of lower birth (non-royals) could only have one wife. But people usually married on a trial basis. After a couple of years, at the end of the trial period, the woman could return home to her parents if she wished. The husband could also send her home if he was unhappy.

Marriages were not romantic. They were more of a business arrangement. A wife's job was to take care of the kids, the house, the animals, collect food and generally make herself useful.

After selection was made, wedding plans began. Even though marriage was more of a business agreement, the wedding ceremony still had a bit of romance, and feasting and celebration.

For the nobles, the groom's family built the new couple a home. For commoners, immediately after the wedding, the wife moved in with her husband's family. For commoners, it was work as usual the next day.

What happened at the wedding?

Marriage and the Incas

Daily Life in the Inca Empire

The Incas for Kids

Interactive Quiz about the Incredible Incas (with answers)