quipu

A quipu is a device for recording data that was traditionally used in one region of South America. Information was recorded on a quipu using a system of knots tied into strings.

In South America's Andean region, many cultures have historically used the quipu to keep track of things like census data and calendars. The Incas were among these quipu users, encoding information into knots and string colors that some researchers believe included a complete writing system for recording literature. Today, quipus serve a mainly ritual purpose. Quipu is a Quechua word that means "knot."

Definitions of quipu
  1. noun
    calculator consisting of a cord with attached cords; used by ancient Peruvians for calculating and keeping records
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    type of:
    calculating machine, calculator
    a small machine that is used for mathematical calculations
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