Organization of the Inca Government

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2016 Ticket Machu PicchuIt is hard to imagine an empire, function without information encoded on paper; but that’s how it worked, the well organized Inca State. Around the world, civilizations with a high degree of complexity, developed some kind of system to regulate relations between its members, between people, things and between groups of people.

It is known that the word statistic, comes from the word state, referring to a network of communication channels. The bureaucracy are all those people, involved with data processing activities and information for the state, without them the state would be stagnant and could not meet their obligations.

organización del imperio inca
Demonstration of tissue in wool andean camelid

Political Organization

The Inca Civilization had a monarchical and theocratic government; where the maximum authority was emperor, advised by the imperial advice. The government of each his was in charge of a Tucuy ricuy or Ticui ricoj, acting as viceroy.

The Inca

To the Inca emperors they are attributed a divine origin, and titles of Sapan Inca: as "divine inca" and "unique inca", respectively. There were more rulers known and several were erased from official history of the empire for several reasons.

Imperial Council

Maximum ente entirely devoted to the advice of Inca. Composed of eight people:

  • The governors of suyus (suyuyuq).
  • The heir prince (Auqui). The tradition of auqui was established by Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui and Tupac Yupanqui was the first Auqui.
  • The high priest (Willaq Uma).
  • An amauta (hamawt’a).
  • The general of the imperial army (Apuskipay).


Social Organization

Inca society was hierarchical and rigid. Forming a pyramid where the Inca was at the head, in an empire where there were big differences between social classes. These differences were respected by each of the inhabitants of the Empire, whereas the village, it was the majority, formed its social base.

Social Classes in the Inca Empire

  • Royalty:
    The Inca, the Auqui (son of the Inca), la Coya (wife of the Inca)
    Panacas Reales: Relatives of first line (first generations of each Panaca).
  • Nobility:
    Nobility of Blood: Remaining Members of the Panacas (relatives).
    Nobility of Privilege: People who emphasized by their services; Priests and Acllas; High chiefs.
  • The Village:
    Ayllu Hatun Runa: The town in general (peasant).
  • Mitimaes:
    Groups transferred to colonize new regions teaching people new ways.
  • Yanaconas:
    Inca servers and the Empire. Many of them were prisoners.


Economic activities

The Agriculture

Agriculture was the basis dela economy Inca Empire, the lands were communal. Each family has its land to cultivate it and feeding. A greater number of members in the family, greater amount land.

The Minka was the way how they worked the land; by this method, the agricultural tasks were carried out by mutual community support, that in the event that an individual had so much work that could not handle it, or in the case of orphans, sick and widows. When they could not cultivate species necessary, such as, potatoes, part of the community settled in places where they can get them. This form to obtain resources he became known as ecological complementarity.

The potato and corn, was the staple food of the Incas, complemented with alpaca and llama meat. They were grown to 200 different species of potatoes for its color, shape and size. They learned to be dehydrated potato to prevent decomposition; storing them, to ensure the feeding of his army. Before cooking them they were returning to hydrate, complementing the diet with vegetables like; olluco, quinoa, tomatoes, squash, peppers, oca, tomato, beans, peanuts (from which extracted oil) and fruits.

The Platforms

The Incas used andenería systems to take advantage of land and water, to the maximum; gaining growing space on the slopes of the hills. Besides the wool that gave them the auquénidos, they planted, reaped and they used the cotton to make their textiles. In areas of high forest, they planted and harvested coca; sacred to them.

The platforms are stepped terraces allowing the better use of water, both in irrigated and rain, while avoiding hydraulic soil erosion. The platforms were used not only for growing corn, but also for different products and uses; for sowing, to prevent erosion, for the washing of the mineral salt. Keeping huge fields sown, demanded from the Incas, large hydraulic knowledge, proof of this is that many of the irrigation canals of time of the empire, even today, irrigates the farmlands.

The Cattle Raising

They domesticated poultry, they fished and hunted wild birds; but were the llama and the alpaca in particular the camelids which played a prominent role in the economy. The only camelids domesticated by the Andean man, were used in the production system of the Incas. Also were used another camelids non domesticated, vicuña and guanaco. The first one was hunted to be sheared, and then was released to ensure its population.

The Commerce

The Inca commerce was based on the exchange of products between different regions of the Empire. The dried fish came from the coast to the Andes, through the network of Inca roads built by the people. Similarly, the inhabitants of the coast received agricultural products from the Andes.


Ways of Working

The Mita

It was a system of work for the empire. Where many indigenous mobilized to work in shifts in building roads, forts, bridges, city centers, temples, irrigation canals and mining, etc. There were special tasks, such as, chargers of the throne of the Inca, chasquis, dancers and musicians; the people forced to carry it out, were married adult males (18 to 50 years), but not women.

The Minca, minka, or minga

It was the work done in favor of the ayllu; communal work for free and by turns. Entire families are involved in construction of the state, such as irrigation channels; as well as help on the farm of the disabled, orphans and the elderly. Was the ayllu who calls to the minca; no one refused because people who did not attend, were banished and pitches from the ayllu.

The Ayni

It was a family labor system based on reciprocity, between members of the ayllu, which engaged in agricultural activities and home construction. Ayni consisted of the help work of a family group, with the proviso that this corresponded, similarly, at any given time (reciprocal work); this work was rewarded with food and drink during the days that lasted the work. This tradition of reciprocal work continues in many Andean communities, who help in the work of kitchen, pasturing and construction of houses.



By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last Update, 18-02-2016


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