The term 'Incas' (or Inkas) is often used to refer to the people of the empire as a whole, whereas strictly it refers to the ruling aristocracy. The original Inka tribe was a minor Andean tribe whose expansion began with a successful campaign against its more powerful neighbours, the Chancas, in the 1440s. The Inkas subsequently established an empire that, by the time of the Spanish invasion, stretched from southern Columbia to central Chile, a distance of some three thousand miles. The nobility of Quechua-speaking tribes assimilated into the empire were absorbed into the ruling Inka aristocracy. The position of Inka, the supreme ruler of the empire, was a more or less hereditary position, although strict precedence was often waived in favour of superior political or military ability.

For information about the Inkas, see:

The Conquest of the Incas
John Hemming
Papermac (1993)
ISBN 0-333-51794-6
The Inca Trail[HOME][UP]