Writing with Twisted Cords: The Inscriptive Capacity of Andean Khipus

  title={Writing with Twisted Cords: The Inscriptive Capacity of Andean Khipus},
  author={Sabine Patricia Hyland},
  journal={Current Anthropology},
  pages={412 - 419}
  • S. Hyland
  • Published 19 April 2017
  • Art
  • Current Anthropology
Two newly discovered khipu (Andean twisted cord) epistles are presented as evidence that khipus could constitute an intelligible writing system, accessible to decipherment. Recent scholars have asserted that khipus were merely memory aides, recording only numbers, despite Spanish witnesses who claimed that Inka era (1400–1532 CE) khipus encoded narratives and were sent as letters. In 2015, I examined two khipus preserved by village authorities in Peru. Villagers state that these sacred khipus… 
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