The Inca Education

The Incas did not have any form of written language, and thus their education system was not as advanced and conventional. However, they still had schools and taught their inheritor by oral transmission, memorizing, and listening. The key was practice, repetition and experience in order to remember everything learned. They mainly taught them about the culture to keep it going.


The Inca education was divided into to two separate categories: the education of the higher class and the education of the commoners. The social status of the Incas was decided by the government when they were born, consequently, the high classes were required to go to schools but the commoners couldn’t. The nobles’ sons and sons of kings of conquered peoples went to school for four years in Cuzco.
Inca Nobles
Inca Nobles
There was a lot to be learned, such as the Quechua language, the language of the Incas; religion; Quipus, their only form of keeping records; history of the Incas; physical training; science; geometry; and many other subjects.
Nevertheless, the parents taught their children about agriculture, hunting, fishing, stone works and the other general necessities in life. One of the ways of teaching was by telling stories and legends. Other ways the children learned was by imitating their parents and to trying doing it for themselves.

Education for girls was very different from the boys. The chosen ones with talent and beauty, which were the Virgins of the Sun, had a special educational system. Other girls were taught about the art of spinning, weaving, cooking, (an Incan beverage), and the religion by their parents. They sometimes learned to weave and make objects used for religious ceremonies.


The first school was established in the thirteenth century by an Incan, Sinchi Roca, in Cuzco. As mentioned before, the sons of the nobles and the kings of conquered land received the honor to go to school for four years. In school, there were highly educated teachers called Amautas. Amauta means person of great wisdom in Quechua language. In the first year of school, they learned Quechua, the official language of the Incas. During the second year, they learned about their religion. The following year, they were taught about Quipus, the Incas’ only way of keeping records. It took a whole year for the students to learn about them because it was so complicated. Even historians today haven’t even been able to figure what they mean and represent. During the last year of school, they learned about the history of the Incas in addition to science, geometry, geography, astronomy and so on. After four years of hard work, they were ready to graduate. However, graduating was not an easy thing to do and they had to pass an extremely difficult and strict test including boxing, wrestling, running, fighting, and other examinations. To gain status in the nobilities of the Incas, the pupils had to follow an intricate process.
Amauta
Amauta


The Incas may have had a hard time teaching and learning all the information due to the lack of a written language, but they overcame it by the outstanding, extraordinary memory, memorizing legends and poems so they can pass it down to their children. Children grew up to be remarkable nobles, priests, or even farmers with their unique system of education, and kept the empire and cultures going.
Citation:
Information:
"education." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. 22 Feb. 2009 <http://school.ebonline.com/eb/article-47448>.
"American Indians, or Native Americans." Britannica Student Encyclopedia. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. 22 Feb. 2009 <http://school.ebonline.com/all/comptons/article-202549>.
"Inca Educaion: learning by heart." Machupicchu-inca.com. Peru Travel Diary. 22 February 2009. <http://www.machupicchu-inca.com/inca-education.html>
"Inca Education." Inca History. Thinkquest.org. 22 Feb. 2009 <http://library.thinkquest.org/J002387/IncaHistory.htm>.

Pictures:
Amauta
"Amauta." Online image. Amnesty International Volunteer Homepage. <http://www.amnesty-volunteer.org/clipart/blacknwhite/1.shtml>
Inca Noble
Jenny. "Inca Noble" Online image. Picasa Web Albums. 24 July 2007. <http://picasaweb.google.com/jennywhite2/PeruLimaCuscoTheSacredValley02#5136176486659020290>