Inca Class Structure

Introduction to Class structure during Inca's History

The Inca's had the least advanced class structure of their time. The Maya and Aztecs were more advanced. However, the Inca split their social structure up in to 3 classes. At the top was the emperor, who ruled the land. Next were the nobles who were highly ranked people that helped keep control of the vast empire with the emperor. Finally, there were the commoners, the every day Inca's. The warriors were also considered a class of their own, but did not fit in the social pyramid because of their unique jobs.

Inca Emperor

The Inca Civilization had a strict hierarchical structure with the King at the top. The king was supposed to be the son of Sun and hence was held in great regard by the people. The king was known as the Sapa Inca which means the Unique Inca. The Sapa Inca owned all the land and wealth of the empire. He kept some land unused to build temples and gave the rest to the farmers to produce crops for themselves.

Inca Nobles

The class below the Sapa Inca was the Nobility, which included the descendants and relatives of the Emperor. These royal blood Incas held the most important posts in the government, military, and religious departments. Sometimes, these included the nobles of the conquered tribes who were trained in the Inca way of administration. They were called Curacs.

Inca Commoners

At the lowest rung were the farmers and the craftsmen. The farmers worked on the land given to them by the king. They in turn had to pay taxes and work in temples or on construction projects, like building roads and bridges. The craftsmen made objects of gold, copper, and silver. The Inca stonemasons were so highly skilled, that no mortar was required to hold their together.

The unit of Inca society was Ayllu. Each Ayllu would be given a portion of land by the Emperor. The Ayllu included a group of families that tilled the land given to them. This land was divided among the families on the basis of the family size and was rearranged with changes in the number of family members. Besides working on the allotted fields, each Ayllu worked on additional fields to support the Emperor.

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