March 9, 2013  Andean Textile Workshop: "Khipu and Pre-Khipu Making," and talk: "Are 2,000-Years-Old Wrapped Batons and Wrapped Cords from Cerrillos, Peru, Pre-Khipus, Precursors of Inka Khipu?"

Dr. Jeffrey C. Splitstoser, Textile Specialist for the Huaca Prieta Archaeological Project, and Dr. Anne Tiballi, Director of Archaeological Textile Studies for the California Institute for Peruvian Studies offered a workshop on making and interpreting Inka Khipu (quipu) and the wrapped batons or sticks that are believed to be pre-khipu; precursors of the Khipu. Participants devised a pattern to execute on the wrapped sticks and made khipu with birth date or other significant information on it. The workshop included an introduction to yarn spin/ply analysis, as yarn qualities are important to the codification of information in the khipu.
     
Dr. Jeffrey C. Splitstoser presented the talk: "Are 2,000-Years-Old Wrapped Batons and Wrapped Cords from Cerrillos, Peru, Pre-Khipus, Precursors of Inka Khipu?"

    During excavations in 2003 at the Paracas site of Cerrillos, an important discovery was made of short wooden rods wrapped with colored, camelid-hair yarn.  Attached to, and dangling from, them are sets of pattern-wrapped cords. The wrapping of both cords and batons created multiple patterns based on yarn color, yarn structure, and band width, and they might have implications for our understanding of the nature and development of khipu knotted-string devices that served as the primary recordkeeping tool for the Inka, and possibly Wari Empires.          

    Jeffrey C. Splitstoser is currently the Textile Specialist for the Huaca Prieta Archaeological Project directed by Dr. Tom Dillehay. Splitstoser is a research associate of the Institute of Andean Studies, the Vice President of the Boundary End Archaeology Research Center in Barnardsville, North Carolina, and the editor, with Dr. George Stuart, of its peer-reviewed journal, Ancient America. He provides consultation on Andean textiles for the National Museum of the American Indian.

back to home page