So that the Sapa Inca could stay on top of everything that was happening in the empire, the Incas created a messenger service that allowed information to travel quickly throughout the empire. Runners were stationed all along the road. When the first messenger received a message, he ran to the next messenger, and so on, until the recipient received the message. In this way, the messengers did not get tired from having to run very long distances. It also made for very fast service.

The telephone game

The Incas did not have a written language, so they could not send letters. Do you know how messages were transmitted? The person who wanted to send a message told it to the first messenger, who repeated the message to the next messenger, and so on, just like a game of telephone. Messengers might also have to deliver quipus, which recorded information that was very useful for running the empire.

Author: Alexandre Lanoix