Khipu Database Project

Khipu from Chachapoyas — Calendar Khipu

All photos on this page are by Dr. Gary Urton, and are presented courtesy of Centro Mallqui, Leymebamba, Peru.

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.