The Incas: Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Inca Trail


The Quipus: Illustrations from 1615 by Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala

The Quipus. Inca Empire.


Illustrations from 1615 by the "Indian Chronicler" Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala about the quipu

Finding his most persuasive medium to be the visual image, he organizes his 1200-page Nueva corónica y buen gobierno (New Chronicle and Good Government) around his 398 pen-and-ink drawings, all skillfully executed by his own hand. For the archaeologist, Guaman Poma's drawings of native life under the Incas are like photographs of the past.

Reference: Guaman Poma - 'El primer Nueva corónica y buen gobierno'.

An encounter at a "Collca" or "Warehouse of the Inca": Tupac Inca Yupanqui (left) interviews his accountant or warehousekeeper (right). The warehousekeeper is extending a cord record or quipu, which contains records of goods in the storage chambers.


Chief accountant and treasurer,  authority in charge of the quipu of the kingdom.
In the lower left corner, there is an abacus counting device used with maize kernels on which computations were performed and later transferred to the quipu.

The maize kernels are the first numbers of the Fibonacci series, in which each number is a sum of two previous: 1, 2, 3, 5. 


The native administrator of resources, with the book and quipu he uses for accounting.


The Inka’s secretary and accountant who records the dispositions of the royal lords.



 Quipu Illustrations by Guaman Poma