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Inca Laws

Page history last edited by Ritika Ramesh 14 years ago

Incan Law




The Incas were very strict with the laws and punishments. Pachacuti (Sapa Inca) was the ninth ruler of the Incas who decided

to choose officials to control the laws of a group of people. He later simplified and reorganized these laws in 1450. He declared

that every citizen had to worship the sun.












Pachacuti and his officials controlled the

 rules of the Inca Society.







Every crime had a severe punishment. Unlike other places, the Incan empire had low crime rates. In their civilization, there was no system of imprisonment. If you made a mistake for the first time, then you would get a scolding by the government. If you had a second offense then it would lead to death by hanging, stoning or by pushing the person off a cliff. The death penalty was given for killing, robbing, breaking state possessions or going into rooms of the Chosen Women.






Laziness, which was considered a very serious crime since lazy people deprived the Sapa Inca of their work, is also punishable by death. If a person were lazy then they wouldn’t do the job and instead just complain. The upper class was supposed to set an example to others, so they would be punished more severely than peasants. Another punishment is that if a person embarrassed the public then the common people was replaced by expulsion for the nobility and dignity.




Survivors of the punishments became ‘working criminals’ who were forced to tell stories about their crimes and ending of their punishments till they died. So everyone in the Inca Empire, even these ‘employed criminals’ had jobs and would get food depending on the amount of food they get when other people hear their crime. Whoever was interested in their story would put a bit of food in their begging plates. Their life survival based on how entertaining their crime stories were.













 Pushing a criminal off a cliff was a form of execution

had been used by the Incas.   



Rules also applied to people who were old or people with disabilities. For example, if a man is old then they usually aren’t strong enough to work for a job, but the government

demanded for their tax so they had to collect firewood and other such tasks. For disabled people, who also don’t work, but according to the rules of the society, they had to do

something that was different and something they wouldn’t affect them. Suppose a man is blind, he has to clean cotton or de-husk maize. Another law for the disabled was that they weren’t allowed to marry anyone with the same disadvantage. Though these laws seemed long and painful, the Incan citizens followed them.



By: - Ritika Ramesh






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Wood, Tim. The Incas. New York: Penguin Group, 1996. Print




Wood, Tim. The Incas. New York: Penguin Group, 1996. Print 


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