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How did the structure of ancient Incan society reflect their religious beliefs?

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jilltom | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:26 AM via web

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How did the structure of ancient Incan society reflect their religious beliefs?

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 16, 2012 at 3:32 PM (Answer #1)

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The Incan empire became the dominant force in pre-Colombian South America, and lasted for over one hundred years. Their society based its religion and beliefs in animism and divine ancestry; their leader was a descendant of the creator-god Viracocha, and they worshipped the sun as the bringer-of-life to all living things.

Because the leaders believed themselves to be descended from gods, they felt justified in spreading Incan culture and conquering other nations. In their time, the Inca expanded to cover Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, fighting locals and absorbing their resources. The Inca were therefore not a unified, consolidated nation with one language and people. The Incan leaders controlled all laws and taxation, while the lesser, non-divine people worked and supported them; higher-class citizens could also have multiple wives, as it was seen as advantageous to propagate the nobility. This dedication to divine ancestry also influenced ritual sacrifices of humans and animals, as the lower-classes were seen as having less rights; the higher-classes viewed these sacrifices as necessary to appease the sun and other gods.

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