The Inca empire, which was the largest American empire in the pre-Columbian era, largely centered around what is modern-day Peru. The Incan people were worshippers of the sun god Inti, who was said to protect them.Continue Reading
The Incan civilization lasted for around 300 years before it was largely destroyed by Spanish conquistador Pizarro in 1533. The last Incan stronghold, Vilcabamba, held out until 1572. Today, ruins of the Incas can be found at Machu Picchu, an old mountaintop settlement some 7,970 feet above sea level in the Peruvian province of Urubamba.
The Incas lacked a written language and communicated over long distances with the help of tied knots and ceramic engravings.
The Incans believed in reincarnation as well as a variety of gods including Viracocha, known as the god of creation, and Pachamama, an earth goddess. Cranial deformation was also practiced by the Inca, with those of the upper classes binding their children's heads in cloth to make their skulls conical in appearance.
Incan women typically got married at 16, and men married at 20. Trial marriages, in which a couple would live together for a few years before deciding if they wanted to commit, were common. Polygamy was also widely practiced by the Incan nobility, but banned for most other people.Learn more about Cultures & Traditions