This article focuses on a linked pair of “documents” from mid-seventeenth-century coastal Peru. The analysis first examines a revisita (an administrative “revisit”) carried out in 1670 in settlements around the town of San Pedro de Corongo, in the lower Santa River Valley. The revisit describes a census of the population of what are described as six pachacas (“one-hundreds”) administrative/census units that usually coincided with ayllus (the Andean clanlike sociopolitical groups). The document identifies 132 tributaries distributed across the six ayllus, all but two of whom are identified by name. Tribute is assessed on this new census count. The information in the revisit is then compared to the organization of a group of six khipus (knotted-string recording devices) that were said to have been recovered from a burial in the Santa Valley. The six khipus are organized into a total of 133 color-coded groups of six cords. The knot values on the first cords of the six-cord groups total the same value as the tribute assessed in the revisit document, and it is argued on these grounds that the khipus and the revisit document pertain to the same administrative procedure. The attachment knots of the first cords of the six-cord groups vary in a binary fashion by attachment type (i.e., tied either “verso” or “recto”). It is argued that this construction feature divides the tributaries identified in the revisit into moieties; therefore, the khipus constitute a gloss on the social organization of the population identified in the revisit document. It is suggested that the names of the tributaries may be signed by color coding in the khipus.

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