|map of Incan Empire|
I have heard of the Incas so much, I always assumed they were around for hundreds and hundreds of years, but in actuality they can be credited with a great deal in a surprisingly short period of time. The Incan Civilization's timelessness is evident through their monumental architectural ruins and geometric textile patterns and painted ceramics.
|Incan Pottery ca. 1420-1530|
|Incan textile ca. 1480-1525|
There are many versions of the origin story of the Incans, and most poitn to Manco Capac as the first ruler, dominating local tribes and establishing the Incan Empire in Cuzco, Peru. Various legends surround his birth, with some linking him to the sun god and noting his birth on an island in Lake Titicaca.
Neighboring lands were brought into the Incan Empire, often by convincing leaders of the riches they would gain by aligning with the Incans. The Incans would also bring the children of neighboring leaders to Cuzco to educate them (and in the process indoctrinate them as to the virtue of the Incan Empire) and would strengthened the bonds with allies through the intermarriages. The Incan's powerful military would subdue any allies who challenged the empire.
|Illustration of the Incan ruler before Pizarro|
Surviving indigenous descendents of the Incas include the Quechua and Aymara peoples, who continue some of the traditions of their ancestors and continue to inhabit the region that was once the center of the Incan Empire.