The Inka Empire stretched over much of the length and breadth of the South American Andes, encompassed elaborately planned cities linked by a complex network of roads and messengers, and created astonishing works of architecture and artistry and a compelling mythology--all without the aid of a graphic writing system. Instead, the Inkas' records consisted of devices made of knotted and dyed strings--called khipu--on which they recorded information pertaining to the organization and history of their empire. Despite more than a century of research on these remarkable devices, the khipu remain largely undeciphered.
In this benchmark book, twelve international scholars tackle the most vexed question in khipu studies: how did the Inkas record and transmit narrative records by means of knotted strings? The authors approach the problem from a variety of angles. Several essays mine Spanish colonial sources for details about the kinds of narrative encoded in the khipu. Others look at the uses to which khipu were put before and after the Conquest, as well as their current use in some contemporary Andean communities. Still others analyze the formal characteristics of khipu and seek to explain how they encode various kinds of numerical and narrative data.
Acknowledgments Preface Jeffrey Quilter Part One. Background for the Study of Khipu and Quechua Narratives 1. An Overview of Spanish Colonial Commentary on Andean Knotted-String Records Gary Urton 2. Spinning a Yarn: Landscape, Memory, and Discourse Structure in Quechua Narratives Rosaleen Howard Part Two. Structure and Information in the Khipu 3. A Khipu Information String Theory William J Conklin 4. Reading Khipu: Labels, Structure, and Format Marcia Ascher 5. Inka Writing Robert Ascher Part Three. Interpreting Chroniclers' Accounts of Khipu 6. String Registries: Native Accounting and Memory According to the Colonial Sources Carlos Sempat Assadourian 7. Woven Words: The Royal Khipu of Blas Valera Sabine P. Hyland 8. Recording Signs in Narrative-Accounting Khipu Gary Urton 9. Yncap Cimin Quipococ's Knots Jeffrey Quilter Part Four. Colonial Uses and Transformations of the Khipu 10. "Without Deceit or Lies": Variable Chinu Readings during a Sixteenth-Century Tribute-Restitution Trial Tristan Platt 11. Perez Bocanegra's Ritual formulario: Khipu Knots and Confession Regina Harrison Part Five. Contemporary Khipu Traditions 12. Patrimonial Khipu in a Modern Peruvian Village: An Introduction to the "Quipocamayos" of Tupicocha, Huarochiri Frank Salomon 13. The Continuing Khipu Traditions: Principles and Practices Carol Mackey Contributors Index
Series: Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Series in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture
Number Of Pages: 391
Published: 15th August 2002
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2
Weight (kg): 0.78