Peru is a country rich with an incredible fascinating history. Especially the Inca culture captures the imagination and attention of people from all over the world and many people travel from far and wide to explore the countless ruins of the ancient Inca empire in Peru and to the city of Cusco, the old capital of this Inca Empire. Peruvian people and above all the people in Cusco are very proud of their ancestors. If you decided to study Spanish in Peru, this is a unique opportunity to learn many interesting facts about the Peruvian history from your Spanish teachers in Peru. But if you’re only visiting Peru and traveling around, the tour guides in Cusco will be more than happy to tell you about Inca history.
Below here you can find a few funny and interesting facts about the Incas:
- Around 1400, the Incas were only a small tribe high up in the Andean mountains of Quechua people. Hundred years later, they had built the largest empire ever seen in the Americas.
- At its moment of glory, the Inca Empire had reached a population of 10 million people: the incas created a empire that covered present day (northern) Chile, (northern) Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.
- The incas created a highway and road system with over 30,000 kms of roads.
- The Incas invented freeze-drying. An example is one of their potatoes, the chuno. They were also the first to cultivate potatoes.
- The Incas thought they were direct descendants of the Sun and felt truly superior to all other tribes.
- The Incan emperors were polygamous and usually married their sisters and other relatives. But whilst the noble Incas were allowed to have different wives, the farmes were totally monogamous.
- Inca warriors had to follow an intense training with an object to conquer fear. The result was an army of fearless, suicidal fighters.
- Skull deformation: the incas thought deformed skulls were beautiful. So they would warp different bandages around the heads of their children in order to deform their skulls!
- The Incas had no written language; therefore, their history has been passed down orally through the generations in Inca musical melodies were only ever made up of five tones. But next to that they had another kind of communication called Quipu or Quipu: notted and colored strings.
- The Incas also had developed some kind of “postal system”: a chain of ‘chasquis” (runners) ran in order to deliver a message to the next chasqui and so on. They always worked in pairs: one was sleeping, the other one awake. As there was no writing, the chasquias had to learn the message by heart.
- The Incas had a system to control the intelligence of their children: based in the results of intelligence tests, they could be sent to elite Inca boarding schools in Cusco to become administrators or even part of the Inca nobility.
Incan culture encapsulates the very essence of Peru. When you travel in Peru and you visit Cusco, there are numerous guided tours and treks in Cusco to assist you in discovering this captivating people, their culture, and their history. Inca culture encapsulates the very essence of Peru.