One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An ancient Inca device for recording information, consisting of variously coloured threads knotted in different ways.
- ‘The Inca, who had no written language, used the quipu - a device made of a series of strings with colored knots - to record census findings and tallies of animal herds and other resources.’
- ‘I wonder whether there might be lessons in the Incan calendar and quipus.’
- ‘The quipus of the ancient Incas of Peru encoded a wide range of data about people, land, and crops for the government bureaucracy.’
- ‘Remember that the Incas had no written records and so the quipu played a major role in the administration of the Inca empire since it allowed numerical information to be kept.’
- ‘We now know the quipu for just what it was in prehistoric times… simply an instrument for recording numbers.’
- ‘These runners carried oral messages, small packages, or quipus (Incan counting devices made from strings with a series of knots in them) from village to village and from the capital to all parts of the empire.’
From Quechua khipu ‘knot’.
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