Daily Life in the Inca Empire: Two Reconstructions
Many of the small details of life in the Inca empire--when ancient Andean people got up in the morning, or went to bed, or visited shrines-- are not known with any accuracy. However, a possible daily routine can be reconstructed on the basis of (1) the few references in Spanish documents, and (2) the descriptions of contemporary groups who live a simple agricultural life that appears similar to the ancient people's. One drawback to using the latter is that such groups today have no obligatory state labor obligations, as did subjects of the Inca empire. In addition, nothing approximating the way of life of the Inca nobility exists today, making a reconstruction of a noble family's daily routine more hypothetical. The following reconstruction is for a family that is not royal-- that is, not descended from the king or any previous king--but is nonetheless a member of the original Inca people from the Cuzco area.
The day begins around sunrise with the principal wife rising from bed, leaving her husband and 14-year-old son to sleep and going to awaken the secondary wife at her adjacent house. The latter dresses and leaves to get water from the river, waking her 12-year-old daughter to accompany her. They leave their one-room house in the family's compound, cross the courtyard, and exit through the narrow, trapezoidal doorway into the street. They turn and walk down the street toward the river, pausing to talk with a friend from the next house who is already returning. It is a happy coincidence that this friend is from the same group
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Daily Life in the Inca Empire. Contributors: Michael A. Malpass - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 113.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.