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PC.B.WBC.2016.068

Pendant khipu with color seriation

 
Accession numberPC.B.WBC.2016.068
Attribution and Date
Wari, 600–1000 CE
Technique and Material

Cotton

This is the largest Wari khipu known in museum collections around the world and the only with a braided main cord. Color seriated with monochrome wrapping, it has 101 wrapped pendant cords placed in 20 groups of five each with an extra pendant in one of the groups. Each pendant has between nine and ten subsidiary cords placed in some cases up to five levels deep, totaling an outstanding 1000 cords. Its yarn structures and colors suggest it was made over time and possibly by multiple people. As no breakthrough in the deciphering of Wari khipus have been achieved yet, its content remains a mystery.

When this khipu was collected by the Conklins, it was in a rolled-up, stored condition. A reddish, unidentified earthy substance adheres to the outer surface of the braided main cord and the lower ends of most of its pendant and subsidiary cords, making them brittle. In 2003, William Conklin had this khipu carbon-dated, producing an approximate age range of 779–981 CE.

PC.WBC.2016.068 on display

 

Notes

Accession numberPC.B.WBC.2016.068
Attribution and Date
Wari, 600–1000 CE
Technique and Material

Cotton