How Do You Describe the Family Life of the Incas?


Quick Answer

The family life of the Incans can be described as communal and clannish. Families lived together in ayllus, which were extended families that lived and worked the land together.

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The ayllu was the basic unit of Incan society and consisted of several related families that lived together. Members of an ayllu also shared a plot of land, which was divvied up per family and worked communally. Once a man and a women married, they received a parcel of land called a topo. This parcel grew according to the size of the family. Although families shared the burden of farming, they had to work the empire's lands before they could farm their own. If the man of the family was called away for some reason, other men in the ayllu pitched in and worked his lands until he returned.

All members of Incan society had to marry. While commoners wed just one partner, the noblemen married several women. Along with both partners in a marriage working the fields, each had additional duties to the empire as well, as the men provided mandatory service while the women wove clothing. Women were in charge of keeping the home clean and orderly, although both men and women made sandals and clothing for their families.

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