Agriculture and Animals


Inca- Agriculture and Animals


The Incas had land for agriculture divided into three parts: Aristocracy, Religious Establishment, and Farmers. They had two techniques of growing crops. The Andenes and the Camellones. The Andenes were artificial terraces that help obtain usable land for sowing in the Andean hillsides. The Andeanes allowed the Incas to take advantage of the flow of water. Doing this makes the water circulate across the channels, whilst avoiding erosion of soil. The Camellones were artificial land built in the banks of Lake Titicaca. They were mounds of land that allowed storage of water and were able to control the flow of water.

The Incans separated the farming year into two seasons. The wet season, which was October to May. And the dry seasons, which was from June to September. The times for planting, harvesting, and tilling followed a strict regime. Teams of both men and women ranging from 14 to 16 people would work in line to prepare the fields. The men would use foot plows called chakitqlla to break the soil. The women would then follow by breaking the closes and planting seeds.

The crops grown by the Inca included potatoes, tomatoes, cotton, peanuts, coca, maize, and guinoa. The Incas had developed drainage systems and canals to expand their crop resources. And prevent drought. In order to fertilize the plants, the Incas used several different techniques. In the coastal regions, small fish and sardines were buried with the maize kernels to help spur growth. The coastal farmers also used guano, which is bird excrement. The other farmers used manure from camelids and fallen tree leaves from a guarango.

Incas considered meat as a sacred object, and it is only reserved for feasts. They caught vicunas, guanacos, various deer’s, and guinea pigs. They only had two domesticated animals; those were the Llama and the Alpaca. In order to capture the animals, the Inca used a blowgun to hunt in the jungle; bow and arrows were used for smaller animals and boleadoras were used for bigger animals. Boleadoras were made of braided leather with wooden balls or small leather sacks filled with stones attached to the bottom. Llamas were an important figure to the Incas because they were used for transportation, wool and food. During the most important religious ceremonies, llamas would be sacrificed as an offering to the gods. The llama being sacrificed had to be completely white or black.



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