Deciphering the multilevel Khipu structures : a mixed-methods triangulation modelled on the communal Khipu Boards of Mangas and Casta
1-CHB3-000000 (111MAINSS 008)
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Since the Middle Horizon the Khipu, or cord writing, of Peru has employed standardised signs. The Inka empire further extended the Khipu for the recording of various aspects of mundane and ritual life. Later, hybrid Khipu combining alphabetic with Indigenous Khipu script, such as the Khipu Boards of Mangas and Casta, were used in the central Andes from the sixteenth century until the middle of the twentieth century. Using a multidisciplinary approach, I triangulated archaeometry (statistical analysis) of the first digital record of the alphabetic Khipu from the community of Mangas in Ancash, with ethnoarchaeology and ethnomethodology at the community of San Pedro de Casta in Huarochirí of Lima. I compare the Mangas Khipu Board with Middle-Horizon Khipu and I look at the use of Khipu Boards through material and ethnographic analysis. Prioritising Indigenous perspectives, I explore the multidimensionality of work tribute registered on the hybrid Khipu of Mangas and Casta to detect sign redundancy and offer an interpretation of their meaning (semantic decipherment). I demonstrate how non-hierarchical structures have been overlooked with the assumption that Khipu structures are hierarchically nested. I develop complex ethnomodels, applicable to other Khipu exhibiting multilevel structures beyond those of the ethnographic context, for the purpose of aiding Khipu methodology and towards a ‘multilevel turn’ in mixed-methods anthropology.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internationalhttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Embargo Date: 2025-08-21
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Restricted until 21 August 2025
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