Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Incas and Rise to Power

The Incas
Between the snow-capped peaks of the high Andes Mountains, early peoples found a few wide and fertile valleys. The rich land was perfect for growing corn, potatoes, and quinoa (KEEN»wah), a grain high in protein. This highland region also offered the settlers stones for building and llamas for carrying loads. Other animals called alpacas (al»PAH»kahz) and vicunas (vih»KOON»yahz) provided wool.

In time, people known as the Incas moved into the area and formed a remarkable civilization. Over the years they claimed the entire area and formed an empire.

The Incas Rise to Power
The first Incas settled in the Cuzco (KOOS»koh) Valley around 1200. They took their name from their ruler, who was known as the Inca.

Legends tell of the founding of the city of Cuzco by the first Inca, Manco Capac (MAHNG*koh KAH»pahk). One legend says that the sun god sent his son and daughter to bring civilization to the world. The Incas believed that they were descended from this god and goddess.

The Incas began to farm in their new home and to build communities. They did not, however, live peacefully with the native peoples around them. By the early 1400s, they began to conquer their neighbors. Under the leadership of Pachacuti (pah»chah»KOOtee), the ninth Inca, Inca rule spread far beyond the Cuzco Valley. Pachacuti conquered some groups by military force. Others he won over through peace talks.

Pachacuti's son and grandson expanded the empire even farther. By the time the Spanish arrived in Peru in 1532, the Inca Empire covered an area of almost half a million square miles (1.3 million sq km). It stretched through what is today Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. The Incas ruled over more than 9 million people. The conquered peoples spoke at least 20 different languages and belonged to many ethnic groups.

When and where did the Inca people first settle?

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