System of knotted strings utilized by the Incas in place of a writing system; could contain numerical and other types of information for censuses and financial records
Founded c. 1325 on a marshy island in Lake Texcoco; became center of Aztec power; joined with Tlacopan and Texcoco in 1434 to form a triple alliance that controlled most of central plateau of Mesoamerica
Toltec deity; Feathered Serpent; adopted by Aztecs as a major god
Major god of Aztecs; associated with fertility and the agricultural cycle; god of rain
Sacred spirits and powers that resided or appeared in caves, mountains, rocks, rivers, and other natural phenomena; typical of Andean societies
Way stations used by Incas as inns and storehouses; supply centers for Inca armies on move; relay points for system of runners used to carry messages
Ayllu chiefs with privileges of dress and access to resources; community leaders among Andean societies
Inca socialism
A view created by Spanish authors to describe society as a type of utopia; image of the Inca Empire as a carefully organized system in which every community collectively contributed to the whole
Ruler of Inca society from 1438 to 1471; launched a series of campaigns that gave Incas control of the region from Cuzco to the shores Lake Titicaca
Clans in Aztec society, later expanded to include residential groups that distributed land and provided labor and warriors
Leading Aztec king of the 15th century
Labor extracted for lands assigned to the state and the religion; all communities were expected to contribute; and essential aspect of Inca imperial control
A class of people within Inca society removed from their ayllus to serve permanently as servants, artisans, or workers for the Inca or the Inca nobility
Toltec culture
Succeeded Teotihuacan culture in central Mexico; strongly militaristic ethic including human sacrifice; influenced large territory after 1000 c.e.; declined after 1200 c.e.
Word for Inca Empire; region from present-day Colombia to Chile and eastward to northern Argentina
Aztec tribal patron god; central figure of cult of human sacrifice and warfare; identified with old sun god
Religious leader and reformer of the Toltecs; dedicated to god Quetzalcoatl; after losing struggle for power, went into exile in the Yucatan peninsula
Misnomer created by Columbus referring to indigenous peoples of New World; implies social and ethnic commonality among Native Americans that did not exist; still used to apply to Native Americans
Beds of aquatic weeds, mud, and earth placed in frames made of cane and rooted in lakes to create "floating islands"; system of irrigated agriculture utilized by Aztecs
split inheritance
Inca practice of descent; all titles and political power went to successor, but wealth and land remained in hands of male descendants for support of cult of dead Inca's mummy
Special merchant class in Aztec society; specialized in long-distance trade in luxury items
Temple of the Sun
Inca religious center located at Cuzco; center of state religion; held mummies of past Incas