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How do the Quechua preserve Incan culture?

Question:

How do the Quechua preserve Incan culture?

The Quipu or Khipu:

These were knotted strings invented by the Quechua. They were used by the Incas and their descendants for recording information such as numbers.

Answer and Explanation:

The Quechua speakers of Andean Peru and the surrounding countries are the direct descendants of the dominant culture of the Inca Empire. Millions of Quechua today preserve many elements of Inca culture through language, cuisine, agriculture, and other means.

The Quechua language is the first language of at least 6 million South Americans, and various Quechua tongues are spoken by peoples from southern Colombia all the way south to Argentina. Quechuan languages spread in part through the dominance of the Incas across a vast area, but they were also promoted, and were written down, during the time of Spanish colonial administration, helping them survive and thrive to the present day. The preservation of Quechua has meant the survival of ancient Inca literary and poetic forms and other means of cultural expression.

The Inca were the last of the powerful Andean-centered pre-Columbian states and inherited and promoted many of the region's inventions. Perhaps the most important has been the potato. Quechua people to this day place the potato at the center of their cuisine and agriculture, and traditional ways of farming, that preserve the extraordinary diversity of potato types, are still practiced by millions of Quechua peasants. Their agriculture is also unique in that it utilizes two pack animals, the llama and alpaca, that were the dominant domestic mammals during the time of the Inca Empire.


Learn more about this topic:

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Artistic & Oral Traditions of the Inca

from World History: Middle School

Chapter 15 / Lesson 11
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