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2: The Twisting Paths of Recall - Khipu (Andean Cord Notation) as Artifact (Frank Salomon)

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  • Khipu, the cord- and knot-based Andean information medium, had a one-century heyday (15th century – 1532 ce) as the administrative script of the Inka empire. Before and after this period, however, the cord medium underwent a varied evolution, including the development of material attributes different from Inka norms. In this chapter, I review innovative recent work on the material-meaningful nexus in Inka khipu, and then suggest how other studies — both archaeological and ethnographic — further clarify our notions of khipus’ ‘inscribed object-world’.