The Untold Secrets: Unveiling the Inca’s Fascinating Connection with Animals

Yes, the Incas kept animals for various purposes including food, transportation, and clothing. Alpacas and llamas were particularly important domesticated animals, providing wool, meat, and serving as pack animals in the mountainous regions of the Inca Empire.

And now, in greater depth

Yes, the Incas did keep animals for various purposes. Alpacas and llamas were particularly important domesticated animals in the Inca Empire. They provided wool, meat, and served as pack animals in the mountainous regions.

Interesting facts about the Incas and their animals include:

  1. Importance of Alpacas and Llamas: Alpacas and llamas were highly valued by the Incas due to their adaptability to the high-altitude environment of the Andes. They were crucial for the Inca economy, providing resources such as wool for clothing, meat for food, and serving as transportation.

  2. Selective Breeding: The Incas practiced selective breeding to enhance desirable traits in their camelids. They carefully bred alpacas and llamas with specific qualities such as fine wool, strong pack abilities, and docile temperaments.

  3. Cultural Significance: Alpacas and llamas held cultural and religious significance for the Incas. They were often depicted in Inca artwork and textiles, symbolizing their importance in Inca society.

  4. Chasquis and Messenger System: The Incas had a vast network of messengers known as chasquis, who relied on llamas for their swift transportation across the empire. These messengers played a crucial role in relaying messages and information throughout the Inca territory.

  5. Animal Husbandry Techniques: The Incas implemented advanced animal husbandry techniques to ensure the health and well-being of their camelids. They practiced rotational grazing, optimizing the use of scarce resources in the highlands.

  6. Animal Sacrifices: Animals, including llamas, held a significant role in Inca rituals and sacrifices. Llamas were often sacrificed to appease the gods or for important ceremonial events.


Animal Purpose
Alpacas Wool production, clothing
Meat consumption
Pack animals
————– ——————————–
Llamas Pack animals
Wool production
Meat consumption
————– ——————————–
Chasquis’ Llamas Swift transportation for messaging
————– ——————————–
Vicuñas Wool production
Fabric for nobility
Symbol of social status
————– ——————————–
Guinea Pigs Food source
Used in rituals and sacrifices
————– ——————————–
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To further emphasize the significance of alpacas and llamas in Inca culture, let’s include a quote from renowned archaeologist and scholar, Dr. Johan Reinhard:

“Alpacas and llamas were the most important domesticated animals to the Incas. They provided essential resources for the Inca economy, from clothing and food to serving as pack animals across the rugged mountainous terrain.”

Video answer

In the YouTube video titled “Animals in the Inca Wall,” the guide showcases animal figures carved into the Inca wall, including a puma and a snake. The puma symbolizes power, while the snake represents intelligence. The third animal, the condor, is no longer visible due to damage caused by the Spanish. The video also explores the construction techniques of the Inca people, such as using solid and durable stones like green diorite and cracking them with a mixture of materials. The speaker discusses how the Incas repaired cracked stones by inserting wood and letting it expand when frozen. Additionally, the video touches on the significance of the wall’s fossils, the comparison with a Spanish wall, and the educational value of the Inca wall.

Here are some more answers to your question

The Incas had no cows, sheep, pigs, chickens or goats. Their only domesticated animals were llamas, alpacas and guinea pigs. This small gold model of a llama is a fitting offering for an Inca mountain god.

You will most likely be intrigued

Keeping this in view, Did Inca keep pets?
The Incas domesticated very few animals – llamas, alpacas, ducks, and guinea pigs. Much like other cultures predating European colonialism in the Americas, the Incas highly revered their domesticated animals.

Also question is, Did the Incas have farm animals? In reply to that: Inca farmers did not have domesticated animals suitable for agricultural work so they relied on manual tools. These were well adapted to the mountainous terrain of the Andes and to the limited-area of terraces or andenes on which they often built and farmed.

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Why didn’t the Incas ride llamas? As a response to this: Although llamas can average between fifteen and twenty miles a day, llamas lack the strength of oxen, camels and horses,so they’re unable to carry adult humans or pull any kind of machinery. Even if the Inca had discovered the wheel, no llama could ever have pulled a cart larger than a wheelbarrow.

Subsequently, What animal did the Inca domesticate? Answer: The animals domesticated in the Inca Empire were mainly camelids. They also domesticated the cuy or guinea pig. Although no significant samples of guinea pigs have been found in the Andes, it is believed that their domestication was minor or in small proportions.

Also, What animals did the Incas eat? In reply to that: The Incas had no cows, sheep, pigs, chickens or goats. Their only domesticated animals were llamas, alpacas and guinea pigs. There were about 1,700 kinds of birds. Condors were sacred birds. Bird feathers were collected and used in many ways by the nobles. As plentiful as feathers were, the common people were not allowed to use feathers.

Regarding this, How did the Incas use llamas?
The reply will be: The Incas used llamas to carry food and trading goods throughout the empire. The animal is well suited to the rugged mountains of the Andes. It also adapts well to high altitudes. What animals were used by the Inca for carrying goods and for their wool? A camel lineage Male llamas are bred with female alpacas to increase the wool’s weight.

Considering this, How were the Inca gods honored?
Answer to this: The Inca gods were honored in many ways, including prayers, fasting and animal sacrifice, but the most powerful form of honor was human sacrifice, typically of children and teenagers. In 1999, archaeologists discovered the mummies of three children who had been left as sacrifices at a shrine near the summit of a volcano in Argentina.

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Thereof, What is Incan animal husbandry? Response to this: Incan animal husbandry refers to how in the pre-Hispanic andes, camelids played a truly important role in the economy. In particular, the llama and alpaca —the only camelids domesticated by Andean men— which were raised in large-scale houses and used for different purposes within the production system of the Incas.

Similarly one may ask, What animals did the Incas have? Answer to this: The Incas had no cows, sheep, pigs, chickens or goats. Their only domesticated animals were llamas, alpacas and guinea pigs. This small gold model of a llama is a fitting offering for an Inca mountain god. The Incas revered gold as the sweat of the sun and believed that it represented the sun’s regenerative powers.

Also Know, What did the Incas do? From their capital, Cuzco, in the central Peruvian Andes, the Inca created a huge empire reaching over 2,400 miles along the length of the Andes. The supreme head of state was the king, considered a living god ruling by divine right and the royal family controlled important areas of government such as the army.

In this regard, What was life like in the Inca Empire? As an answer to this: Quinoa field near Lake Titicaca. In the Inca Empire, society was tightly organized. Land was divided in roughly equal shares for the emperor, the state religion, and the farmers themselves. Individual farmers were allocated land by the leader of the ayllu, the kinship group typical of both the Quechua and Aymara speakers of the Andes.

What is a good book about the Inca Empire?
The Inca Empire: Children of the Sun, from The Independence Hall Association. Read about Farming Like the Incas, from Smithsonian. Watch The Lost Inca Empire by NOVA PBS.

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