Khipus to keep away the living dead : Andean funerary khipus resurge during the COVID-19 pandemic
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In the peaks of the Central Andes, people had a custom of funerary khipus -- cords with knots that embodied prayers that allowed the deceased to successfully negotiate the many obstacles in the afterlife. The centuries-old custom of burying the dead with a khipu had been dying out in the Andes. However, our research has revealed that during the COVID pandemic, which has been devastating in rural areas, funerary khipus are undergoing a resurgence. Elderly khipu experts who had given up the art have been called out of retirement to create khipus for the dead. This article examines how khipus help to alleviate the anxiety and trauma caused by so much death.
Hyland , S , Lee , C & Aldave Palacios , R 2021 , ' Khipus to keep away the living dead : Andean funerary khipus resurge during the COVID-19 pandemic ' , Anthropology News , vol. 64 , no. 5 . < https://www.anthropology-news.org/articles/khipus-to-keep-away-the-living-dead/# >
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