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Variant of khipu.

[American Spanish, from Quechua khipu, knot.]


(ˈkiːpuː; ˈkwɪpuː) or


(Historical Terms) a device of the Incas of Peru used to record information, consisting of an arrangement of variously coloured and knotted cords attached to a base cord
[C17: from Spanish quipo, from Quechua quipu, literally: knot]


(ˈki pu, ˈkwɪp u)

n., pl. -pus.
a device consisting of a cord with knotted strings of various colors attached, used by the ancient Peruvians for recording events, keeping accounts, etc.
[1695–1705; < Sp < Quechua khipu]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.quipu - calculator consisting of a cord with attached cordsquipu - calculator consisting of a cord with attached cords; used by ancient Peruvians for calculating and keeping records
calculating machine, calculator - a small machine that is used for mathematical calculations
References in periodicals archive ?
The information system of the Middle Horizon quipus, in A.
Conklin, "The Information of Middle Horizon Quipus," in Ethnoastronomy and Archaeoastronomy in the American Tropics, eds.
They were the empire's historical memory, and their quipus were learned and inherited according to a family line of descent.
The quipus, a complex system of strings and knots, explain this peculiarity of the Tawantinsuyu (the Quechua name for the Inca Empire); the quipus were mnemonic devices used to provide external storage of knowledge, allowing for centralized control.
Recently, however, she has been working on a large book of short piano pieces that she has entitled Book of Quipus, after the Inca system of knots used for keeping records.
With no written language, the Incas used bundles of knotted cords called quipus to keep their mathematical records.
The Maya and Nahua screenfold books and the Inca quipus were almost all destroyed in the first years of the Conquest.
The next chapter nicely expands the subject by looking at what Spanish writers understood by the term "book" and how they classified what the native peoples had produced, including codices, chronicles, and quipus (Andean knotted cords).
The growing network includes iGroup (Asia/Pacific), NextEd (Asia/Pacific), Cognos (Latin America), Quipus (Latin America), Softek (Caribbean), eDegree (South Africa), Educomp (India), Microsys (Italy), and Stoas (the Netherlands).