The formation of the colonial state in the Andes was a daunting task for the Spanish administrators, who encountered an empire with its own unique set of administrative processes, rules, and sense of pride. The Incas were not easily subjugated and were often up to the challenge of meeting the new directives with their own agenda. What the Incas did not have was a writing system based on letters. However, the noble class quickly realized that in order to survive and protect their property and rights of inheritance, they had to adapt to rather than reject the new administration and learn new skills. It may come as a surprise to some that the Incas proved to be quick learners, and manipulators in some cases, as they responded to new legal demands and the often overwhelming documentary, contractual, and legalistic systems brought by the...

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