South American Indian population of the Andes Mountains from Ecuador to Bolivia. In the early 15th century the Quechua were conquered by the Chanca, who in turn were subdued by the Inca. Much of the traditional Quechua way of life endured under the Inca, but it was drastically altered by the 16th-century Spanish conquest. Traditional Quechua now lead isolated lives as marginal farmers in the high Andes. Their religion combines Roman Catholicism with folk beliefs. See alsoQuechuan languages.