Inca Khipu: The record and writing system made entirely of knots | #CuratorsCorner Ep9 S6

Everybody loves a spreadsheet, right? Well the Inca had their own version of a spreadsheet, and it is likely a major factor in why the Inca empire could expand so rapidly and so successfully. And also, it was done by tying knots in series of strings.

The khipu is an ingenious alternative device to a counting system, first introduced by the Wari and developed by the Inca. It was made up of a series of coloured, twisted and knotted cords that stored information, like the number of people in a community or the amount of food harvested. Honestly, the verdict is still out on exactly how these were used, but we do know from Spanish chronicles that they were also used to record histories, poems and even songs.

To find out more about khipus and many of Peru’s greatest cultures check out our latest exhibition:

‘Peru: a journey in time’ is on display until 20 February 2022.
Tickets are selling fast – book yours now:
Supported by PROMPERÚ
Organised with the Museo de Arte de Lima, Peru

About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at
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