Khipus, khipu boards and sacred texts: toward a philology of Andean knotted cords

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5 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Although the knotted cord texts known as khipus have been created in the Andes for over a millennium (ca. AD 950–1950), their historical philology has been little understood. This study, based on original archival and ethnographic research, analyzes hybrid khipu/alphabetic texts known as “khipu boards,” examining their development in colonial Peru, and their role in twentieth-century Andean rituals. Particular attention is paid to a previously unknown sacred manuscript, the Entablo, from the community of San Pedro de Casta, Peru, which describes how villagers used khipu boards in their annual religious ceremonies until the 1950s. This study reveals new insights into the social and symbolic nature of post-Inka khipus as texts, particularly with reference to gender, place, and knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-416
Number of pages17
JournalLatin American Research Review
Volume56
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2021

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