A high degree of energetic investment was put into the ritual purposes of the road. In Inca society, the mountains were objects of worship; the Incas held many rituals, including the sacrifice of children, goods, and llamas, at the tops of mountains.
The only way for the Incas to reach the summits of the mountains for worship was by constructing roads. Many Inca roads went thousands of feet above sea level, such as mount Chani, which had a road that started at the base and went to the summit, which was at a height of nearly six thousand feet. In addition to high altitude shrines, there were also many holy shrines or religious sites, called wak’a, that were a part of the Zeq’e system along and near the roads. These shrines were either natural or modified features of the landscape, as well as buildings, where the Inca would visit for worship.
May be in one of another post we will write more about incas religion…
The Incan calendar had 12 months of 30 days, with each month having its own festival, and a five-day feast at the end, before the new year began. The Incan year started in December, and began with Capac Raymi, the magnificent festival.
||Fasting and Penitence
||Ayrihua or Camay Inca Raymi
||Festival of the Inca
||Aymoray qu or Hatun Cuzqui
||Feast of the Sun and the great festival in honour of the sun for the harvest
||Chahua-huarquiz, Chacra Ricuichi or Chacra Cona
||The Harvest Festival
||Yapaquis, Chacra Ayaqui or Capac Siquis
||Coya Raymi and Citua
||Festival of the Moon
||K’antaray or Uma Raymi
||Month of crop watching
||Festival of the dead
These roads provided easy, reliable and quick routes for the Empire’s civilian and military communications, personnel movement, and logistical support. The prime users were imperial soldiers, porters and llama caravans, along with the nobility and individuals on official duty. Permission was required before others could walk along the roads, and tolls were charged at some bridges.
Qollcas were used by the military and were situated along the roads.
Qollcas were long term storage houses for foods in the event of conflicts or shortages in the Inca Empire. The qollcas were constructed with volcanic rock. The bases were around or a little over 30 feet and almost 10 feet high. They were used primarily for the storage of grains and maize. These were food items had an extremely long expiration date which made them ideal for long term storage for the military
To give an example of the degree to which Incas stored supplies, one facility at Huanuco Pampa totaled as much as 37,100 cubic meters and could support a population of between twelve and fifteen thousand people.
The Inca army was divided in the following manner:
||Number of soldiers
under their command
|Awqaq Runa (Aucac Runa)
|Pukara Kamayuq (Púcara Camayuk)
|Qipa Kamayuq (Quipa Camayuk)
|Ch’uru Kamayuq (Choru Camayuk)
|Wankar Kamayuq (Huancar Camayuk)
|Unancha Yanaq (Unanchayanac)
|Chunka Kamayuq (Chunga Kamayuk)
|Pichqa Chunka Kamayuq (Piccka Chunka Kamayuk)
|Pachak Kamayuq (Pachac Kamayuk)
|Waranqa Kamayuq (Guaranga Kamayuk)
|Apu Rantin (Apu Randin)
|Hatun Apu Rantin (Hatun Apu Randin)
|Apuskin Rantin (Apusquin Rantin)
||The whole field army
The largest units in the Inca army were composed of 10,000 men, under the command of a Major General or Apusquin Rantin. This was generally a nobleman from Cuzco who would have been a veteran of several campaigns. The head of the field army was the Apusquispay, he would have been a noble chosen by the Inca and he would have shown himself to have been in good physical and mental condition at the Huarachico trials. In order to give orders the generals used conche blowers, trumpeters or drummers to communicate with their lieutenants.