Incas: Lord of the mountains

Mrs. Allred’s 5th Grade History
It is the year 1500.
You are standing in a
crowd of people.
You look down the road
and see a golden litter
carried on the shoulders
of four men.
People start to bow and
touch their foreheads to
the ground.
Several people start to yell
at you and soldiers begin
to chase you with clubs.
Suddenly, you wake up…
The people in the dream
were bowing to the
Sapa Inca (King of the
Inca people).
No one was allowed to
look at this powerful
If you had not woken
up in time, you would
probably have been
killed by the soldiers for
disrespecting the Son of
the Sun.
Built a great civilization
on the western coast of
South America.
First people lived around
Cuzco in modern-day
Began conquering
neighboring lands and
extending their empire in
By 1530’s, the Inca Empire
was the largest in the
Americas – even larger
than the Aztec Empire
had been (12 mil people).
Inca territory stretched
for more than 2,000
Arid plains along the
western coastline.
Some of the driest
deserts in the world.
Snow-capped Andes
Thick jungles where
heavy rains feed the
mighty Amazon River.
Four types of lands that made up the Inca Empire
 desert, mountains, plains, and jungles.
The Sapa Inca ruled
with absolute power.
Many government
officials traveled
throughout the
empire to make sure
his laws were obeyed.
The Sapa Inca was…
king of the Inca people and he ruled with
absolute power.
One official was known as He-Who-Sees-Everything.
He was responsible for visiting Inca villages and
making them pay taxes.
He also served as a matchmaker.
He lined up the villagers and asked all of the
unmarried girls of marriageable age to step
He interviewed each of them, chose those who
were especially worthy for the Sapa Inca, and
paired the rest off with all the unmarried young
Organized in tribal
groups or clans
Each clan farmed a
piece of land.
Families lived in
windowless one-room
stone huts.
Burned dried animal
waste as fuel.
Families slept together
on animal skins spread
on the bare floor.
Boys followed their
fathers’ trade.
Girls copied their
Farming was how most
Incas supported
Corn, squash, tomatoes,
peanuts, cotton, and
more than 100 varieties
of potatoes.
Farmers raised guinea pigs for eating and
alpacas for wool.
Llamas were used for all
sorts of things, but
especially as pack
Cousin of the camel
About 4 feet high and 250
Greater strength and
endurance than most
other animals.
Can carry a load of 100150 pounds for 15-20
Wool, transporting goods,
food (charqui- jerky)
Families worked for
themselves, but part
of their time was
spent raising crops for
the empire.
Inca men also had to
donate time by
working on
construction projects
building roads, or
serving in the
The Sapa Inca and
priests only used a
small part of the
goods produced.
The rest was stored in
warehouses and
distributed to those
who were too old or
too sick to work.
Given to people in
times of need.
They were allowed to keep some and the rest
was given to the Sapa Inca to share with the
Like the Aztecs, the Incas built their empire by
conquering other people.
Boys were taught that being a man meant
being a warrior.
They were trained to be soldiers.
Some human sacrifices, but less than the Maya
and Aztec people.
Tried to have conquered people become loyal
subjects rather than sacrificed offerings to the
Both of them valued the military, trained men
to be soldiers, and used warfare to build their

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