The Social Structure of the Incas
The top of the Inca Social Structure: the Sapa Inca
The Inca civilization operated strictly under the king’s rule. The people believed that their king was a descendant of the almighty and powerful Sun and dubbed him Sapa Inca, which means to ‘’unique Inca.’’ The Sapa Inca, like any other great civilization’s emperor, owned all of the empire’s riches and had control over all the land. The Sapa Inca as an emperor had to be rational and reserve land for the construction of public buildings, such as temples and for the farmers who endure all of the physical labor to ensure the empire’s commodities would not stop growing. The Sapa Inca, who was supported by his wives, the Coya, was the supreme ruler of the empire.
Under the Emperor was the Nobility. This social class comprised of the Sapa Inca’s family, including his descendants and relatives. These people lived a life of luxury as compared to the other people of the empire who took part in tedious jobs to sustain themselves. Because of their royal blood, the Nobility was not required to pay taxes as the commoners did. These people usually held high positions in important occupations such as in the government and military. Sometimes a noble may be in charge of the religion of the empire and may serve as a high priest. But, even though the Nobility were of kinship to the Sapa Inca, a broken law or show of lack of allegiance to the empire may evict them from their high positions.
Farmers and craftsmen made the lowest class in the Inca civilization.