Tying the Archive in Knots, or: Dying to Get into the Archive in Ancient Peru


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Record keeping in the Inka Empire of the Andes of ancient Peru was based on the knotted-string recording device, the khipu (or quipu; Quechua: 'knot'). Khipus were produced and consulted by Inka administrators for a variety of purposes, including the recording of censuses, tribute data, as well as life histories and genealogies of the Inka nobility. Cord-keepers were organized in a hierarchical arrangement of officials, from local khipukamayuqs ('knot makers/organizers'), to higher-level officials who staffed provincial administrative centers, to state cord-keepers in the capital, Cusco. The khipu-keepers stored collections of khipus in regional centers and in Cusco where they could be consulted on a variety of matters of interest to the state. This study looks first at the way information was recorded on the knotted-cord records. This is followed by an overview of what we know to date about archival collections of khipus, including a close study of a colonial era khipu archive from the Santa Valley, on the north-central coast of Peru. Of particular note is the fact that many khipus were stored in burial chambers with ancestral mummies, a situation that left these records accessible to descendants of the ancestors, who visited the burial chambers where they paid tribute to the mummies and consulted the knot records.
机译:在古代秘鲁安第斯山脉的印加帝国,记录的保存是基于打结的录音设备khipu(或quipu;盖丘亚语:“结”)。 Khipus由Inka管理员出于各种目的制作和咨询,包括记录人口普查,致敬数据以及Inka贵族的生活史和家谱。从当地的khipukamayuqs(“打结者/组织者”)到为省级行政中心配备人员的高层官员,再到在首都库斯科的州有线官员,官员的组织都是按等级划分的。 khipu管理员将khipus的收藏品存放在地区中心和库斯科,在这里可以就国家感兴趣的各种事项咨询他们。这项研究首先着眼于在打结的绳索记录中记录信息的方式。接下来是对迄今为止我们对khipus档案收藏的了解的概述,包括对秘鲁中北部海岸圣谷的殖民时期khipu档案的仔细研究。特别值得注意的是,许多khipus被存放在祖先木乃伊的墓室中,这种情况使祖先的后代可以访问这些记录,祖先的后代参观了葬礼室并向木乃伊致敬并查阅了结记录。



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