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newed every year, and the share assigned to each household was increased or diminished according to the number in the family. The only distinction allowed was in favor of the lower order of nobility, who were given a larger allowance. The people first attended to the cultivation of the land of the Sun. Next they tilled the lands of the old, the sick, the widow and orphan and the soldiers away in actual service. They were then allowed to attend to their own, each by himself, with a general obligation to be mutually helpful in case of need. Lastly they cultivated the lands of the Inca, all working together in gala costume and making it a time of jubilee and festivity. The crops belonging to the Sun and the Inca were gathered and placed in granaries provided for the purpose.
The flocks of llamas were exclusively the property of the Sun and Inca and were cared for by shepherds assigned to that task. Great numbers of them were slaughtered for religious festivals. At the proper time they were sheared and their fleeces deposited in the public magazines, from which the wool was distributed among the people according to their needs, and spun and woven by the women, who were educated to that end. Cotton however was raised on the lowlands and used for clothing by the people in the hot districts. The people were also required to weave for the Inca, and officers appointed for the purpose, distributed the material and directed the work. Not only did they see to the proper use of the material furnished for the use of the Inca, but also to that for the people as well, and care was taken that nothing should be wasted or misapplied. The great majority of the people were husbandmen, who supplied their wants from the lands assigned to them. There was need however of hands to work the mines, which all belonged to the Inca, and to manufacture the utensils and ornaments of his palace and the temples. For these a sufficient number were selected and specially instructed in the arts. For the construction of palaces, temples, roads and other public works, laborers were drawn from the various provinces for stated periods of service and maintained at the public expense while so employed. The distribution of burdens was fair and equal, so that no person was crushed by the public exaction.
An accurate census of the inhabitants was made and returned every year, and registers were kept of all births and deaths. At intervals a general survey of the whole country was made, showing the amount and quality of the land, and the purposes to which it was adapted. This afforded the basis for the division of the land, the apportionment of public work, the levy of soldiers and the distribution of supplies. Distributions among the provinces and districts were determined by superior officers and particulars were attended to by the local authorities. Thus ancient Peru affords probably the only instance on a large scale of a government mainly devoted to the regulation of the business affairs of the people with a view to promoting the general comfort and prosperity of all. The fundamental ideas of their system were, that all should work industriously yet not beyond the limits of endurance, that each should be provided with the necessaries of life, should marry, rear children, live virtuously and honestly. The vast and magnificent public works and the great stores of grain and manufactured stuff found by the conquerors bear testimony to succeessful employment of the people in industrial pursuits and to excellent economy in the use of the products of their labors. The Spaniards reported finding grain enough to last several years in their granaries and vast quantities of woolen and cotton stuff, as well as implements and utensils of various kinds, in their warehouses. The stores of grain from the lands of the Sun and Inca were not wasted, but in time of need were drawn on to supply the wants of the people.
The government was a great business establishment calling for a vast amount of patient attention to details. The nobility, while enjoying superior advantages, were not mere drones nor intriguing politicians. Each had his duties to perform for the public. The government not only directed all warlike undertakings and all works regarded by Europeans as public, but also filled, to some extent, the place of the merchants and operators of mines and factories. In considering what was accomplished by this system it must be borne in mind that all was done without the aid of steam, electricity or labor-saving machinery of any kind, that the use of iron was unknown, and that they were wholly unacquainted with letters or even with the rudiments of picture writing; yet they kept more accurate records of the people and resources of the empire than were kept by any contemporaneous European nation. This was done by means of the quipu, one of their peculiar devices. It was a cord about two feet long composed of different colored threads, tightly twisted, from which smaller threads were suspended like a fringe. The colors denoted different objects or ideas as yellow, gold; white, silver; red, war; white, peace. Knots tied in the threads indicated numbers, and by different combinations of threads and knots numbers to any limit could be expressed. All calculations were made by use of the quipu and with great accuracy. Different officers made reports to the government on different subjects. One had charge of the revenues and reported the stores of various kinds placed in the public granaries and warehouses, and the raw material distributed among the laborers. Another made report of births, deaths, marriages, number of men capable to bear arms and other details relating to population. All returns were forwarded annually to Cuzco, where they were inspected and used by the proper officers. These knotted skeins of many colored thread afforded complete statistics of the material resources and business affairs of the entire kingdom. The system has advantages over reports in written or printed words. There is no chance to talk for the purpose of concealing information. The threads and knots had definite and certain meanings, and told their story once and for all.
Along the great highways, which equalled Rome's great roads in construction, were placed at intervals of ten or twelve miles tambos for the accommodation of the Inca and those who traveled on public business. Some of these were very large and designed to lodge the army when marching through the country. A complete system of posts was established along all great routes. Small buildings were erected at intervals of less than five miles, in which were stationed a number of trained runners, called chasquis, whose duty it was to carry dispatches and articles for the use of the Inca and his court. By this means urgent messages were carried at the rate of one hundred and fifty miles a day, and the Inca was kept constantly informed of what was taking place in the most remote parts of the empire. The military system and policy were on an equally orderly and advanced plane. Regular drill took place in every village twice or thrice a month. In case of war levies were drawn from each province and divided into companies and battalions under proper officers, and the whole army was led by the Inca or one of his blood. The troops moved rapidly along the great roads and found ample provision for their support at every camping place. Like Rome in her palmy days, Peru steadily extended her dominion by peaceful negotiation, persuasion and inducements to the chiefs and leaders of neighboring people wherever possible, but by arms when other means failed. Thus the empire spread from its original small district about Cuzco northward beyond Quito to about two degrees north latitude and south to about thirty-seven degrees south latitude, and from the Pacific on the West to an unknown boundary on the eastern slope of the Andes. Each conquered district was carefully surveyed and the lands apportioned on the same principles as were applied in other parts of the empire. The people, especially the chiefs, were taught to speak the Quinchua tongue, the language of the court, and for this purpose teachers were sent into the newly acquired province. In case of serious disaffection or continued turbulence on the part of the inhabitants of any district the people, or a considerable portion of them, were transplanted into some distant province, where they were surrounded by subjects of tried fidelity, and their places filled by the displaced population.
While polygamy was allowed to the Inca, who took to himself wives and concubines in great multitude, and also to the great nobles, and while the Inca took one of his own sisters for his queen, the common man was restricted to one wife, to be selected from the community in which he lived, but was forbidden to take his sister. Marriage was compulsory. On a stated day in each year all those of marriageable ages, males of not less than twenty-four and females of eighteen to twenty, were called together in the great squares of the towns and villages. The Inca was master of ceremonies in the assembly of his own kindred and married the different pairs by taking their hands and placing one within the other and declaring them man and wife. The same ceremony was performed for the common people by the local magistrates. The consent of the parents was required. A dwelling was prepared for each couple by the district, and their share of the land was set off to them. The simple marriage ceremony was followed by general festivities among the friends of the parties, which lasted several days, and as all the weddings for the year took place on the same day, nearly the whole population of the empire joined in the jubilee. It is asserted that there was not a prostitute in the whole empire. What rules obtained with reference to the remarriage of widows and widowers the writer has not been able to ascertain. The general policy seems to have been to promote industry and virtue by providing all with homes and family ties.
The educational system was based on the theory that each should be taught that and that only which pertained to his particular calling. A favorite maxim of Tupac Inca Yupanquin is said to have been that: “Science was not intended for the people; but for those of generous blood. Persons of low degree are only puffed up by it, and rendered vain and arrogant. Neither should such meddle with the affairs of government, for this would bring high offices into disrepute and cause detriment to the state.”
The members of the numerous families allied by blood to the Incas were educated by their amantas or wise men at seminaries provided for the purpose. They were instructed with especial reference to the stations they were to occupy. They were carefully taught the principles of government and the laws they were to administer. Those who were to assume priestly functions were specially instructed in religious rites. All were taught to speak the court language in its purity and