Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Chile before Chile

Inca knots

The Inca State used quipus or knotted cords to keep their accounts. Data was stored in the quantity, type and position of knots on primary and secondary cords strung together. The largest quipu in this display has 586 cords, organized into eight sections of 10 sets, each with up to 13 sub-levels of information. Overall, the quipu holds 15,024 items of data on production, though the specifics are not known. This quipu may contain demographic and tribute data for Inca subjects in Arica.