History Biography Geography Science Games

Inca Empire

Glossary and Terms

History >> Aztec, Maya, and Inca for Kids

Apu - One of four officials in charge of a quadrant, or suyu, of the Inca Empire. Each Apu was also part of the imperial council to the emperor.

Ayllu - The basic unit of the community, an ayllu was made up of a number of families. Land was allotted to an ayllu based on the number of people in the group.

Chaski - A runner who carried messages throughout the empire mostly for the emperor. The chaski ran between checkpoints on a vast network of roads passing on their message to the next runner. Messages were generally memorized and passed by mouth.

Chimu - A powerful tribe in Peru that came to power around 900 AD. The Inca conquered them around 1470 AD.

Conquistador - A Spanish military leader and explorer. The conquistadors were in search of new lands for Spain as well as treasure.

Coya - The queen of the Inca Empire and primary wife of the Sapa Inca.

Cuzco - The capital and birthplace of the Inca Empire. For the first several hundred years it was a city-state controlling just the immediate land around the city. It is still a major city in Peru today.

Huaca - The huaca was a sacred object to the Inca that was inhabited by a spirit. It could be manmade or natural. Examples of huaca include stones, mountains, amulets, statues, and mummies.

Huayna Capac - The eleventh emperor of the Inca, it was under his leadership that the Inca Empire reached its peak. He died from smallpox about the time the Spanish arrived.

Inca - Within the Inca Empire the Inca were the people descended from the original founders of Cuzco. They were the nobility of the empire and lived lives of luxury.

Inti - The Sun god and the most important god of the Inca.

Intihuatana - A ritual stone associated with the sun and the Inca calendar.

Manco Capac - The first Sapa Inca, Manco Capac founded the Kingdom of Cuzco.

Machu Picchu - The "lost city" of the Inca that was never discovered and destroyed by the Spanish.

Mit'a - A type of labor tax that each male citizen of the Inca Empire had to pay by doing labor for the government. This included such jobs as serving as a warrior in the army and working on temples or other government buildings.

Pachacuti - The ninth Inca emperor, Pachacuti started the expansion of the Kingdom of Cuzco into the Inca Empire. He established the Tawantinsuyu.

Peru - The modern country where Cuzco and the center of the Inca Empire was located.

Pizarro - Francisco Pizarro was the Spanish conquistador who conquered the Inca.

Quechua - The language spoken by the Inca.

Quipu - A series of strings that recorded numbers and codes by using various sizes of knots.

Sapa Inca - The leader and emperor of the Inca Empire.

Suyu - A major division of the Inca Empire. The empire was divided up into four suyu each ruled by an apu. At the center of the four suyu was Cuzco.

Tawantinsuyu - The Inca name for their empire. It mean the "Land of the Four Quarters".

Thatki - A unit of measurement for distance equaling "one pace".

Tokoyrikoq - The tokoyrikoq were inspectors who worked for the government. They made sure that all the rules were being followed by the people in the empire.

Vilcabamba -The last refuge of the Inca Empire. When it fell to the Spanish in 1572, the Inca Empire was gone forever.

Viracocha - The creator god of the Inca who made the Earth and was father to the Sun god Inti.

Willaq Umu - The high priest of the Inca. Typically the brother or a close relative of the Sapa Inca.

  • Timeline of the Aztec Empire
  • Daily Life
  • Government
  • Gods and Mythology
  • Writing and Technology
  • Society
  • Tenochtitlan
  • Spanish Conquest
  • Art
  • Hernan Cortes
  • Glossary and Terms
  • Maya
  • Timeline of Maya History
  • Daily Life
  • Government
  • Gods and Mythology
  • Writing, Numbers, and Calendar
  • Pyramids and Architecture
  • Sites and Cities
  • Art
  • Hero Twins Myth
  • Glossary and Terms
  • Inca
  • Timeline of the Inca
  • Daily Life of the Inca
  • Government
  • Mythology and Religion
  • Science and Technology
  • Society
  • Cuzco
  • Machu Picchu
  • Tribes of Early Peru
  • Francisco Pizarro
  • Glossary and Terms

  • Works Cited

    History >> Aztec, Maya, and Inca for Kids

    Ducksters Footer Gif with Ducks

    About Ducksters Privacy Policy 


    This site is a product of TSI (Technological Solutions, Inc.), Copyright 2024, All Rights Reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use.