Inca Influence on Modern Andean Culture Ruins of machu picchu (Photo Credits: DaNIELA ROMAN)


Ruins of Machu Picchu (photo credits: Daniela Roman)

The students of Colegio Menor San Francisco de Quito located in Ecuador, engaged in an academic project to study and analyze Inca presence in Peru. This project started with research before the trip to Peru in February, to have a basic and important knowledge about the pre-Columbian civilization. The purpose of this investigation was to gather data in order to analyze the characteristics of the Incas in modern day Peru. The group focused in the Inca cultural features that are still seen in modern Andean culture. They distinctly used different sources to investigate about elements of Incan culture observed in Modern culture. The use of EBSCO and Google were used for their research to provided nuanced and authoritative sources to prove their question. Their fundamental base of research focused on Incan culture identifying elements of clothing, language and street names by captivating photographic evidence and acknowledging information provided from the guides. Additionally, typing in keywords to investigate, while comparing both cultures provided information to support the claim. From analyzing data found online, the group came to understand that, indeed Inca influence is present in modern Andean culture. The group came to this conclusion due to their observations in Peru of the toponyms (such as street names), their research on Peruvian traditional clothing, and the use of Quechua in Peruvian news. After analyzing thoroughly each factor, they understood how throughout time Inca culture has persisted and affected modern Andean culture. With these ideas in mind, the students learned to comprehend the importance of cultural roots and their impact on modern civilizations.

Research Question:

What elements of Inca culture are represented in modern Andean culture?

Landscape in Cusco (photo credits: Matias Castillo)

This question specifically focuses on how Inca culture continues to manifest itself in modern Andean culture. By identifying precise cultural elements, such as language, clothing, and street names, we can develop a focused answer to this question. Our question relates to Inca civilization by specifying, observing, and investigating distinct elements of its culture and the current behavior of today’s typical Peruvians. By finding out what elements of Inca culture are represented in modern Andean culture, we are able to see how these regions, such as Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia, are affected by their past heritage. This helps us understand how large and powerful the Inca civilization was and how their culture spread and merged with each country.


Inca influence is clearly demonstrated in modern Andean culture through language, clothing, and street names.

Machu Picchu Ledge (photo Credits: Daniela Roman)

We predict that characteristics of Inca culture such as language, clothing, and names are, indeed, present, detectable, and visible in modern Andean culture. These aspects could be identified in traditional clothing, toponyms, and the common and ancient language from the Andean region, Quechua. Therefore, we hypothesize that Inca culture affects all of these aspects of modern Andean culture. Our predicted answer can be confirmed or rejected based on a careful analysis of these cultural factors.

Research Methods:

Using EBSCO and other reliable academic sources enabled a detailed analysis of whether Inca culture influence in modern Andean culture.

Machu Picchu Ledge (photo Credits: Daniela Roman)

Our academic investigation utilize sources regarding how Incan culture influences today’s modern culture. The use of EBSCO databases offered trustworthy and authoritative content about different aspects of Incan and modern culture. Also, Google searches offered a reliable and nuanced base of information supporting our claim while providing vivid sources. On the academic field trip the group observed cultural behavior such as language, clothing, and street names that are divisions of Incan culture. All the information gathered was analyzed through comparable lists of cultural attributes, validating different theories that can finally lead to the conformation or rejection of our question.

Our group’s observations of Inca culture in Peru provided an opportunity to collect photographic evidence which substantiated our claim. Furthermore, by asking detailed questions to our guides about the influence of the Inca people of today’s culture, we could further support our response to this research question.


Elements of Inca culture, such as street names, clothing, and language are represented in modern Andean culture, especially in Peru.

Street in Cusco (photo credits: Matias Castillo)

Our hypothesis is confirmed since cultural features, such as street names, clothing, and language of the Incas are clearly demonstrated in modern Andean culture. Since our hypothesis is confirmed, during the trip we conducted observations on how influential Inca culture is in modern day Peru. The confirmation of this hypothesis made it easier to find cultural aspects that could help support our argument.

For example, street names are a cultural element represented in Cusco and many other Andean areas where the Incas used to live. In Cusco, Inka Roq’a is a street named after the sixth Sapa Inca from the pre-Columbian empire. According to Steele (2004), in Quechua, Inca Roq’a means magnanimous Inca. This present-day use of Quechua names in modern Cusco clearly demonstrates how Inca culture from the past can still be appreciated in today’s modern Andean culture, and how people from Cusco still appreciate their pre-Columbian roots.

Clothing in this area has stayed true to Inca customs and traditions, as vibrant geometric patterns have been used since the beginning of the Inca Empire, and they are still used in today’s native wardrobe. Similarly, alpaca wool was used by the Inca and is still used today. Another representation of Inca culture in modern Andean clothing is the use of clothes to express emotions and social status. For instance, black is worn by those who are married, and yellow is worn by teenagers (Traditional Peruvian clothing, n.d.). The Inca culture is reflected through clothing in modern Andean regions. In Peru, the clothing worn by indigenous communities shows elements of Inca culture.

The native tongue of the Inca Empire was Quechua, which is still present in today’s Andean culture. According to David Collyns, a reporter from a local Peruvian news channel called, Nucan (2016), “over four million Peruvians still use this language to communicate”. An example of Quechua in Peru is that for the first time in Peruvian history, the news was aired in Quechua in 2016. According to Collyns, within Peruvian borders, 47 indigenous languages are present and the Ministry of Culture is working on providing bilingual education to children as a public service.

The government is working on teaching future Peruvians Quechua and Spanish as both mother languages. Inca street names, language, and clothing still remain in modern Andean culture. These are all cultural aspects that are still appreciated in modern Cusco. To conclude, it is admirable how Peruvians still honor and respect their Inca ancestors by keeping many aspects. Keeping a previous culture in today’s society can tell us a lot about a city and its people. In the case of Cusco, the city is a mixture of modern day society and Inca culture. Peruvians are still preserving the indigenous culture which provides knowledge on how the Andean regions are affected by their past heritage and how the Inca civilization merged its culture. The analyzed cultural aspects helped us understand the cultural differences that are appreciated in Cusco and how people from this city are still willing to keep this mixture of cultures alive.

Cusco from Sacsayhuamán (photo credits: Matias Castillo)

Works Cited

Castillo, M. (2017). Cusco from Sacsayhuamán [Cell Phone Photograph]. Self-published.

Castillo, M. (2017). Landscape in Cusco [Cell Phone Photograph]. Self-published.

Castillo, M. (2017). Street in Cusco [Cell Phone Photograph]. Self-published.

Collyns, D. (2016, December 14). Peru airs news in Quechua, indigenous language of Inca empire, for first time. Retrieved February 23, 2017, from

Menendez, N (2017) Peruvian People [Photograph] Self published

Perez, C. (2009). Indigenous Languages: Nahuatl, Quechua, & Maya--A Study of Multilingual Immigrant Students & Their Families. Multicultural Education, 17(1), 22-26.

Roman, D. (2016). Machu Picchu Ledge [Photograph].Self-publish

Roman, D. (2016). Ruins of Machu Picchu [Photograph].Self-publish

Steele, P. R. (2004). Handbook of inca mythology. Santa Barbara: ABC Clio.

Traditional Peruvian Clothing. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2017, from

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