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PC.WBC.2016.070

Rolled-up seriated khipu

 
Accession numberPC.WBC.2016.070
Attribution and Date
Inka, 1450–1534 CE
Technique and Material

Cotton and camelid fiber

This khipu is exceptional because it has never been unrolled, preserving the state in which it was transported and stored. The wrapping was accomplished with a section of the main cord—seen here in the spiral at the top of the bundle—called the dangle end, or tail. Even in this configuration, close observation suggests that this khipu is organized by color seriation—a patterning of cords into a repeating color series. Seriated khipus generally carry higher quantitative values, as when records from multiple lower-level accounting units, such as clans (ayllus), were aggregated into collective accounts. Therefore, this khipu may have been an accounting record of a regional-level organization within the Inka empire.

PC.WBC.2016.070 on display

 

Notes

Accession numberPC.WBC.2016.070
Attribution and Date
Inka, 1450–1534 CE
Technique and Material

Cotton and camelid fiber