World History

Daily Life of Inca Empire

The Ayllu

The ayllu was one of the most significant elements of Inca daily life. The ayllu were a collection of families who worked a common plot of land. The majority of their possessions were shared among them, much like a huge family. Every person living in the Inca Empire belonged to an ayllu. A person lived their entire life as a member of the ayllu they were born into.

Daily Life of a Peasant

A peasant’s daily routine under the Inca Empire was labor-intensive. Peasants were only permitted to take off work on religious holidays. They were supposed to work the rest of the time they weren’t sleeping.

The majority of peasant males were farmers. They worked on government-owned property rather than their own farms. The government also required them to pay taxes.

Throughout the day, the women put in a lot of effort at home. They fed the kids, made their clothes, and looked after them. By the time they turned twelve, the majority of females were already married.

Daily Life of a Noble

The aristocrats of the Incas led more simpler lives. Despite having prominent positions in the government, they still had to labor. They weren’t subject to taxes and were allowed to possess land.

What type of clothes did they wear?

The men wore tunics or long sleeveless shirts. Long dresses were worn by the women. In the winter, ponchos or capes were worn by both sexes to keep them warm. Both nobles and peasants dressed similarly. Of course, the wealthy wore clothing that was more elaborately ornamented and manufactured from finer materials.

Hairstyles played a significant role in Inca fashion. People could tell by the type of haircut you wore both your social standing and the ayllu group you belonged to.

What types of homes did they reside in?

The majority of the populace resided in thatched adobe brick houses. Most of the houses had a single level and one room. The dwellings often contained merely a stove, a few storage baskets for belongings, and thin mats for sleeping.

What did they eat?

Where individuals resided had a significant impact on what they ate. Their primary foods were corn, squash, and beans, but they also consumed other foods including tomatoes, peppers, fish, and ducks.

The populace was generally fed decently and taken care of. The government took care of people and made sure they had adequate food if they were unable to work or were too old to work in the fields.

Did the children attend school?

Only the affluent kids attended school. Children in the peasantry started working while still very young and only learned the trade or skill that would be their occupation for the rest of their lives.

Children were not protected the way they are in the majority of modern countries. The entire day, they were abandoned. Parents did not smother or cuddle their kids. After feeding and bathing the kid, the mother would leave it to be by itself.

Interesting Details of an Inca Commoner’s Daily Life

Many men carried a tiny bag—almost like a purse—around with them. They stored lucky charms and coca leaves for chewing in this bag.

Men of the elite wore massive gold earplugs beginning at age 14. Over time, they would insert larger and larger plugs.

Many people were required to work to pay their taxes. To pay their taxes, they performed government work as farmers, construction workers, or soldiers.

The government employed inspectors to watch out for the common people. Even the cleanliness and organization of the residents’ home was checked.

The majority of commoners were prohibited from traveling within the empire. The only people who could travel were the wealthy and government officials.