A member of a South American Indian people living in the central Andes before the Spanish conquest. Also, the supreme ruler of this people.
The Incas arrived in the Cuzco valley in Peru c.1200 ad. When the Spanish invaded in the early 1530s, the Inca empire covered most of modern Ecuador and Peru, much of Bolivia, and parts of Argentina and Chile. Inca technology and architecture were highly developed despite a lack of wheeled vehicles and of writing. Their descendants, speaking Quechua, still make up about half of Peru's population.