Crime & Punishment in the Inca Empire Illustration

Inca Empire for Kids
Crime & Punishment

There was almost no crime in the Inca Empire. Inca laws were very harsh. Punishment was swift.  

Death: If you insulted the Sapa Inca, cursed the gods, or committed a murder, you were thrown off a cliff.

Begging Bowls: If you were caught stealing or cheating, you either had your hands and feet cut off, or your eyes gouged out. True, the state did take care of you after that. They clothed and fed you. Every day, criminals were taken to the city gates and assigned a begging bowl. As people passed by, criminals had to announce their crimes. People would toss food or small trinkets into the bowls if stories were good. That way, each criminal could prove how many people had stopped to listen as they confessed their crime over and over. The people had daily reminders of what would happen to them if they broke the law.

The Incas for Kids