Four Corners of the World:
The Inca were the last inheritors of an empire begun by the Moche and Nasca, Tiwanaku, Wari and Chimú. From their capital city, Cuzco, their rulers presided over many different nations, over 25,000 kilometers of roads and bridges and 6,000,000 subjects. The entire kingdom was a single republic governed by the same laws, privileges and customs rigidly controlled through an ingenious system of socialism which gave everyone the basic necessities of life in return for their work on behalf of the empire, the Mit’a tax.
The Inca had no writing system but were able to preserve a wealth of information and oral traditions using quipus, knotted woolen cords, which were read by their official interpreters, the quipucamayocs. Quipu were used as tactile memory triggers as we would read braille or use a rosary. The official language of the empire, Quechua (Qhëshwa) - or, more properly, Runasimi, meaning literally “People Mouth,” had great powers of expression and flexibility. Words could be adopted from other languages by using existing elements to make up new expressions.
The greatest ruler of the Four Corners of the World which, by the latter part of the 15th century, comprised Peru, Equador, Bolivia, North West Argentina and the most of Chile, Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui, composed the sacred hymns for the Situa ceremony between 1440 and 1450. Social reformer, architect, engineer, poet and administrator, his genius can be seen today in the great agricultural terraces which he designed that hug the steep faces of the Andes and are still in use.