Khipu from Chachapoyas -- Calendar Khipu

The largest khipu found in the Laguna de los Condores, UR006, has 762 pendant strings. The arrangement of pendants is complex, including many loop pendants, top cords, and top loop pendants. One interpretation of this khipu is as a calendrical device. This is based on an arrangement of 730 of the strings into twenty-four groups made up of approximately 30 pendants each. This leads us to believe that the khipu is divided into two year-long sections, each section containing 12 months (2x365 = 730). With the help of the Khipu Database, it was also found that two other khipu from Chachapoyas, UR009 and UR021, match a significant four-month section of the large Calendar khipu. This relation between three khipu is an exciting development in the investigation of these devices. All photos on this page are by Dr. Gary Urton, and are presented courtesy of Centro Mallqui, Leymebamba, Peru.

P Cord end detail
UR006 Detail

Detail of pendants near one end of the khipu.

Khipu laid flat

Overall view of the khipu with primary cord linear. The top cords and top loop pendants are clearly visible.

Loop Pendant
UR006 Loop Pendant

Detail of a top loop pendant.

Round arrangement

This image of the khipu in radial arrangement shows the overall structure. The details are not clearly visible in this photo. Museum number CMA.625/LC1-254.

Top Pendant
UR006 Top Pendant

Detail showing top pendant with subsidiaries.

UR009 Detail

View of the closely spaced pendants of UR9.

Detail again
UR009 Detail

Closer view of the widely spaced pendants towards one end of UR9.


The sequence of cord totals on this khipu corresponds closely to a large section of the Calendar Khipu. CMA-850/LC1-479.

UR021 detail
UR021 Detail

One end of UR21 includes a loop pendant; here is a close view of it.

UR021 again
UR021 Detail

Closer view of cords on UR21.

UR021 overall

This khipu corresponds closely with UR9 and with a portion of the Calendar Khipu. INC-498.




Khipu from the Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin, Germany.

Khipu found at the Laguna de los Condores, Peru. Khipu from this site are divided into several categories:

Calendar Khipu

109 Series

257 Series

Other Chachapoyas Khipu

Khipu from the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography, Harvard University.

Khipu excavated at the site of Puruchuco near Lima, Peru.

Khipu from various collections around the world.


Last Updated August 2009

© 2009 Gary Urton & Carrie Brezine