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Quipu

Arts of the Americas

This small yet complete quipu (notice the knots at each end of the primary cord) likely dates from the colonial period, judging by the very loosely spun and plied primary cord. According to quipu scholar Gary Urton, the scattered knots do not appear to record numeric values, and he suggests that this quipu may be a colonial-period reinvention of the traditional Inca form that has been transformed in the process. This seventeenth- or eighteenth-century example is a perfect segue to Cecilia Vicuña’s installation, in which she also transforms the quipu through an act of remembrance.
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Este pequeño, aunque completo, quipu (nótese los nudos en cada parte final de la cuerda primaria) data probablemente de la época colonial, a juzgar por el aspecto holgado del hilado y el trenzado de la cuerda primaria. Según el estudioso del quipu Gary Urton, los nudos dispersos no parecen registrar valores numéricos, y sugiere que este quipu puede ser una reinvención colonial del estilo tradicional inca, que ha sido transformado en el proceso. Este ejemplar del siglo diecisiete o dieciocho, es una transición perfecta hacia la instalación de Cecilia Vicuña, en la cual la artista transforma el quipu a través de un acto de recordación.
MEDIUM Cotton, camelid fiber
DATES circa 17th -18th century
PERIOD Probably Colonial Period
DIMENSIONS 3 1/4 × 18 3/4 in. (8.3 × 47.6 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 36.412
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Eugene Schaefer
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION probably Colonial. Quipu, circa 17th -18th century. Cotton, camelid fiber, 3 1/4 × 18 3/4 in. (8.3 × 47.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Eugene Schaefer, 36.412. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.36.412.jpg)
IMAGE overall, CUR.36.412.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
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probably Colonial. <em>Quipu</em>, circa 17th -18th century. Cotton, camelid fiber, 3 1/4 × 18 3/4 in. (8.3 × 47.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Eugene Schaefer, 36.412. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.36.412.jpg)