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Rowe

Rowe

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Published by: koyowa on Nov 27, 2012
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INCA CULTURE AT THE TIME
CONQUEST
OF THE SPANISHBy
JOHN
 
HOWLAND
 
ROWE
INTRODUCTION
This section of the Handbook deals with the culture of the
Andean
region between Ecuador and the northern border of 
Aymara
territoryas it was observed by the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century andrecorded in surviving documents.
This area includes the whole of thedesert Coast of 
Perti
and the broken valleys of the Peruvian Highlands,
a region which was the home of many different tribes, nations, lan-guages, and cultures before it was superficially unified by its incor-poration into the
Inca
 
l
Empire (map 1, No.
4).
It would be obviouslyimpossible to include a complete account of each tribe in the Hand-book, even if the necessary information existed.
With minor
excep-
tions, however, the whole of the literature now available which dealswith this part of the
Andean
area refers to
 Inca
culture in
.the
regionaround Cuzco, so that it is only for the
Inca
that a complete culturaldescription is possible.The account that follows, therefore, is spe-
cifically an ethnographical description of the
 Inca
culture, although
differences in other parts of the area are indicated when the limita-tions of the source material permit.The area covered by this section lies only a small distance from the
Equator, but cold ocean currents make the dry coast almost temperate,and most of the mountain valleys are at an elevation of 7,000 to 12,000
feet (2,000 to 4,000 m.) above sea level, where the elevation counter-acts the effects of the low latitude.Throughout the area, the climatevaries more with elevation than with distance from the Equator, so
that hot low valleys are only a short journey from, cold plateau country
where little can be grown except potatoes.As a result, it costs theinhabitants relatively little effort to vary their diet and dress with theproducts of another climate, and this incentive is as much of an en-
couragement to local travel as the broken mountain and desert barriersare a hindrance.
Rainfall is light in the mountains and
almost
absent
1
 
 Inca
is used to denote the
Ouechua-speaking
peoples
around
Cuzco,
and,
more generally,
the
 
Empire
 
which
they
Nled.
It seems
better
to avoid the
“so
 
of
“Inca” as
B
title for the Emperor or to refer specifically to theroyal
family,
although such
a
practice is common and historically
correct.
183
 
 VOL.21
INCA CULTURE--ROWE
185
1525 and 1571
(Chincha
and Rimac) and two that escaped relativelyunharmed (Yauyos and
Some).
Consequently, it is not unreasonableto apply the ratio of totals (4
:l)
to the population reported in 1571,and estimate the total population of the
Andean
area in 1525 at about
6 million.
TRIBES AND PROVINCES
At the time of the Inca conquest, the whole
Andean
area was divi-ded into an almost unbelievable number of small political units, formany of which we do not have even the names.The linguistic diver-
sity was nearly as bad, and the
Inca....fomid
it necessary to impose
their own language, usually called
&echu$;
 
as a common medium for
---
government and
inter-communicatr%i-in
the whole extent of their
dominions.
The Spaniards found
Quechua
such a convenient tool
in their dealings with the natives that they never bothered to learnmost of the local languages, dozens of which have perished without
leaving a trace.This political and linguistic situation makes the
,
composition of any list of tribes or their representation on a map ex-
tremely
difficult.
The
 Inca
simplified the map of the
Andean
area
rather arbitrarily, however, by dividing their Empire into provinces
based on the old tribal and linguistic units, but with small tribes
combined or added to neighboring large ones.Although our knowl-
edge of the
 Inca
provincial divisions is also incomplete, the prov-inces are still the most convenient units by which to describe the
area, and the named areas on the accompanying map (map 3) corre-spond as nearly as possible to the
 Inca
provinces.
All additional information available on synonymy, small groups
included with the provincial boundaries, and bibliographical references
of some ethnological or historical importance is presented in the fol-
lowing list of tribes.The list deals first with the Highlands, fromnorth to south, and then with the Coast valleys in the same order.
The divisions of the Coast used in the list and on the map are individualvalleys.
In most known cases, each valley was administered by the
Inca as a separate province, but some of the small ones may have
been combined.In spelling,
16th-century
Spanish followed no fixed rules, and even
-
the simple conventions usually preferred by the printers of the daywere seldom followed by scribes in America.Between this and the
shortcomings of the
16th-century
Spanish soldier as a phonetician,it is often extremely
diflicult
to recognize native names of knownpronunciation, and impossible to restore exactly those of doubtful
pronunciation. The Spaniards frequently wrote voiced stops forunvoiced stops:
b
for p and g for
k,
as in
“bamba”
(from
Quechua
PAMPA)
 
and Ynga (from
Quechua
“IRKA").
Y was usually written
instead of 
i
at the beginning of a word. X and
E,
both sibilant
sounds which Spanish has since lost, were written for
Quechua
‘(s”;

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