The quipu was a type of calender used by the inca people and was usually manufactured from lama- or alpaca wool. The quipu consisted of one horizontal piece of spun wool and from this there were many vertical strings of wool hanging (see picture) It is believed that the vertical strings were used to record different facts and figures. By tying knots (of varying size and spacing) and using differently colored strings of wool the incas were able to keep track of large amounts of data in different areas. The Incas did not have a written language so this became another way of storing information. The 'code' of the quipu has been researched extensively but the understanding of it is still fragmented.
When I saw the quipu, liking the look of it, it hit me that a string of the quipu could be the record of an alpaca female....... the knots being crias .... a female cria would create a new string from the first and have its own knots. The quipu string becomes a family tree with the female as a focal point.
Each alpaca name is linked to a picture that will open in a new window