Inca ArtThis pin was obtained in Peru, but relates to the entire Inca empire. This particular pin has features replicated in much of Inca art, especially the knife feature (atop the warrior’s head.)

Inca art with slaughter knife on bottom

Inca art with slaughter knife on bottom

The Inca Empire or Inka Empire (Quechua: Tawantinsuyu) was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century, and the last Inca stronghold was conquered by the Spanish in 1572.

From 1438 to 1533, the Incas used a variety of methods, from conquest to peaceful assimilation, to incorporate a large portion of western South America, centered on the Andean mountain ranges, including, besides Peru, large parts of modern Ecuador, western and south central Bolivia, northwest Argentina, north and central Chile, and a small part of southern Colombia into a state comparable to the historical empires of Eurasia.

The official language of the empire was Quechua, although hundreds of local languages and dialects of Quechua were spoken. The Inca referred to their empire as Tawantinsuyu which can be translated as “The Four Regions” or “The Four United Provinces.”

Many local forms of worship persisted in the empire, most of them concerning local sacred Huacas, but the Inca leadership encouraged the worship of Inti—the sun god—and imposed its sovereignty above other cults such as that of Pachamama. The Incas considered their King, the Sapa Inca, to be the “child of the sun.”

Location: 10-F1

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