Discover Magazine Feature Article

“Unravelling a Secret” by Bridget Alex. October 2017 issue of Discover Magazine features a major article on my khipu decipherment work. “High in the Peruvian Andes, in the remote village of San Juan de Collata, sits a wooden box that’s sacred to the locals who keep a close guard over it. It contains 487 cords of twisted and dyed animal fibers that, according to its caretakers, encode messages planning an 18th century rebellion.
Anthropologist Sabine Hyland was invited by community members to study the strings — the first outsider permitted to view them — but only for 48 hours and under constant supervision…Discover Magazine

How Khipus Encoded Labour Obligations

Mesias Pumajulka, grandson of last khipu expertFor those interested in knotted cords and ancient writing systems, please check out my newly published article in the Journal of Material Culture, “How Khipus Indicated Labour Obligations in an Andean Village: An Explanation of Colour Banding, Seriation and Ethnocategories”. This describes my latest research into the khipus that were used in Huarochiri province, Peru, until the 1940s, including interviews with Mecias Pumajulka, the grandson of the last khipu expert in Anchucaya. It’s now published and available on JStor! For those of you without access to JStor, you can read a pre-publication version on the St Andrews research portal: https://risweb.st-andrews.ac.uk/admin/workspace.xhtml?uid=4