The name of the family unit for the Incas is "ayllu." The Incas lived in extended families, which is a group of clans living together. The leader of each clan was called the "Mallcu." The Mallcu was advised by a group of council elders. However, the Mallcu had to bow to the will of the INCA. (When you see INCA spelled in all capital letters, that is telling you that I am talking about the supreme leader of the Incas.) We will talk about the INCA later.

Marriage was a necessity in Incan society because a man could not be considered an adult until he was married. Most men were not married until they were around 20. Just like any other society, monogamy was the norm for the lower classes, but concubines were permitted for the upper classes. Women were able to be married when they could reproduce.

Daily life for the Incas was rather routine. Men were soldiers/farmers just like the Romans. This meant they would work their land until they were called upon to fight for the empire. Life started around 6:00 am for the Incas. Unlike the Aztecs who got up around 4:00 a.m. I guess it was easier to wake up to a steam bath in the middle of the jungle, than to wake up in the cold mountains of Andes.

The Incas would have two meals daily, and just like the Aztecs, they had no concept of money. You took what you needed. Nothing more, nothing less. Women would make the meals. The primary meal was something called Aka. Making aka was a long process. You have to remember, the higher the elevation, the harder it is for materials to burn. On top of this, burning resources were scarce in the Andes. Incas would burn llama dung as a heat source.

Women and Childbirth

After a woman would give birth, the child would be washed in the nearest stream, and on the fourth day the baby was placed in it's cradle for the first time. A child would not be named for the first two years of it's life. It would only be referred to as "wawa." If you think about it, we do the same thing, we usually refer to babies as "the baby" until they are able to know their name. After two years, the child would be given a temporary name along with their first hair cut. Their permanent name would be given to them when the hit puberty. The Incas believed that your name should reflect you. That is why they waited so long.

Common women had the ability to move up in society more so than men. In the cold Andes mountains, wool would keep people warm. Women were the weavers. The Incas would weave their stories and art into their clothes and blankets. If a woman possessed the ability to weave beautifully, she could end up in the capital of the empire, Cuzco. The INCA would only wear an outfit once, and then they would burn it.

If a woman made it there, then rich men, who would tour the weaving rooms would see them. If a rich man was attracted to a weaver, he could purchase her services, and eventually marry her. She would no longer have to sew, and would be one of the rich man's many wives and live a life of luxury.