The Inca's Culture: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

The Incas were an ancient group of people who lived in South America roughly between the years 1200 and 1500. In this lesson, learn about the culture of the Inca people, including their art, architecture, and religious beliefs.

Ancient People

Today, we enjoy many modern conveniences, like tablets and cell phones. Have you ever wondered what life was like for ancient people who did not have all of the inventions we enjoy? The Incas were an ancient people who lived in Peru and other areas of South America. Let's find out about their culture, and learn about some evidence of this group that has survived hundreds of years.

Religious Beliefs

The Incas had strong religious ideas, and they believed in many different gods and goddesses. The most important god in their religious system was Inti, god of the sun. The Incas would often have celebrations honoring the sun god, so over time the civilization earned the nicknames of 'Children of the Sun' or 'People of the Sun.' They also often participated in religious ceremonies, which would be held in areas like caves or on mountain tops.

Works of Art

How would you like to live in an area where you could easily find gold, silver, and copper? That's what could be found in the areas of the Inca civilization. They used these materials to create special works of art, including metal sculptures, which were often polished images of gods or goddesses.

Inca women were known for weaving beautiful patterns into blankets and clothing. They often used geometric designs, or designs with shapes like squares and triangles, in their woven creations and in pottery as well.

Inca woven cloth often contained geometric designs.
ancient art

Architecture

One of the things the Inca culture is most known for is its architecture. The Inca people often used gold to make their religious temples very elaborate. The Incas also created fortresses with large stone blocks that fit tightly together. In fact, these pieces fit so perfectly that they did not have to use anything to bind them together. One of the most famous Inca fortresses is Machu Picchu. Many visitors travel to Peru to see this site, which sits on top of a mountain.

The Inca ruins at Machu Picchu
Inca civilization

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