Inca Tools

The Incan civilization was predominantly an agricultural society. Inca farmers did not have domesticated animals suitable for agricultural work so they relied on manual tools. These were well adapted to the hilly terrain of the Andes and to the limited-area platforms on which they farmed.

Inca Tools

Inca Tools used for Farming

Inca farming tools played a vital role in the development and rapid expansion of the Inca civilization. Farming, particularly in the Andean highlands, was essential to the stability and growth of the empire. These Inca tools were basic but effective, and are still used by the traditional Peru farming communities of the Andean highlands today.

Main manual tools used for farming in ancient Inca include


A human-powered foot plough that consists of a wooden pole with a curved sharp point, often made of stone or metal. Across the end of this pole ran another wooden crossbar, on which the farmer could put his foot to sink it into the earth and produce a furrow. This tool is still used in the Andes for plowing, sowing, and building. The chakitaqlla is still used in the Lake Titicaca region.

The chaquitaclla was particularly effective in the narrow Inca terraces. It was so effective, in fact, that it continues to be used in the highlands of Peru today. It was one of the most important Inca farming tools.

Raucana (or Rawkana)

A hoe with a thin sheet of wood of chachacomo, no higher than 40 cm. It was used to harvest tubers, to remove weeds and to sow small seeds. Like the chaquitaclla, the raucana is still used in Peru today. Modern raucana's consist of a wooden shaft with a metal blade. In the past, the blades were made of wood, bone scapulae, ground and chipped stone, or tubular basalt. The overall form of the raucana is not dissimilar to that of an adze or mattock.


A Quechua term for a "clod buster". The waqtana (waktana) was an Inca tool used for breaking up clods of soil. This heavy, club-like Inca tool was often made from a single piece of wood. The long wooden shaft would generally lead to a circular club-head formed from a natural knot of wood. As the chaquitaclla foot-plow turned over the soil, those following behind would break up the clods using the waqtana.

The ayllu clan members worked the land cooperatively to produce food crops and cotton. All work was done by hand because the Incas lacked wheeled tools and draft animals. Their simple implements included a heavy wooden spade or foot plow, a stone-tipped club to break up clods, a bronze-bladed hoe, and a digging stick.

Inca Tools Material used

Inca Tools

Both copper and bronze would be used for basic farming tools or weapons. Some of the common bronze and copper pieces found in the Incan empire included sharp sticks for digging, club-heads, knives with curved blades, axes, chisels, needles and pins.

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