Machu Picchu Culture And Customs

Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most amazing creations of the Inca Empire. Read our guide for more facts and information….

Incas have rich assets of culture and customs as depicted from the study of their architectural buildings.The Incans were highly skilled artists; they were fond of weaving, embroidery, pottery, mask making, and metal work. They were talented goldsmiths and silversmiths.

Incans on being victorious over their enemy would try to learn the arts of the conquered society.  They incorporate the ideas and arts of the other societies into their art format, so that the culture or arts could be replicated easily.

Inca clothing

Clothing was an important aspect in the Incan society. They used to wear clothing as per their position in the society. Men wore tunics and women wore skirts. They covered their heads with cap and tied a folded piece of cloth to it. Wools were used by the Incans to prepare clothes.

Inca food

One of the reasons behind the mighty growth of Inca Empire was their innovative techniques of food preservation and storage. Huge store houses of food were found throughout the empire, capable of feeding the army for years during drought. Dried fish was one of the mainstays of the Inca army. Maize, Oca, Achira, Amaranth and Chilipepers were an important part of Inca cuisine. The mMain source of meat was guinea pigs for the general masses, whereas, emperors and nobles preferred wild duck. Vicuna was a precious animal for meat and wool. Chicha made from jora maize was the main drink for people during the Inca period.

Inca education

The eEducation system was based on listening and memorizing.  Inca people never invented any sort of writing; never read or wrote any booksk/writing. Education was not for general masses, but for sons of nobles and emperors. Girls’ school was called Yachaywasi and boys’ school Quechua. Teachers were called Amautas. A unique system of accounting called Quipu was developed. Exact records of transactions were kept using a series of chords and knots of different color and thickness.

Incan religion

The Incans believed in Gods.  They believed that Viracocha was the creator of the sun, the moon and the stars. According to them, the Ssun was the most important servant of Viracocha. The Sun was life saver and father of Inca Emperor. The Moon was a woman and sun’s wife. The Incans believed that the lunar eclipse was caused due to a great serpent or mountain lion trying to devour the moon. Thunder was the god of weather and an important deity portrayed as a man with war club in one hand and a sling in the other. According to Incan beliefthem, thunder and lightning came from his sling and he drew rain from the Milky Way. Earth was worshipped as Earth mother by the farmers, and sea was worshipped as Mother Sea by the fishermen.

Music

Music was an integral part of their life.  The Incans did not have a lot of variation in their music, the musicians used to play repetitive rhythms. String instruments were not known to the Incas, hence they mostly used to play wind or percussion instruments. They played two types of drums, the huehuetl, the vertical drum or the teponaztli, the horizontal drum. They used wood, reeds, clay, bone, shell or metals to make their Instruments.

Inca ceramics and metalwork

The Incans used gold and silver to make potteries. Other than gold and silver they also used copper, bronze and tumbago. Potteries were decorated with different shapes or pictures of animals using bright colors.

Inca Mita

The Mita system was the best invention of Inca government. Mita means turn. People worked for government for a certain period. In turn, government took care of their families.  The exhaustive construction of highways and structures were possible because of the Mita system.

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