I am blessed with a more or less photographic memory, not of text, but of images. It came in handy last year when I stumbled upon an academia.edu status update by Sabine Hyland about her research on an Ancash colonial Khipu board. I took some photos of the colonial items and in the background was a khipu board. A “khipu” was a record-keeping system based on knots and strings used by most notably the Inka. However, it was also used in the colonial and republican times but with less complexity. It immediately jogged my memory of a photo I took of the Instituto Nacional de Cultura storage room in Ayacucho.
I communicated the existence of this board to Sabine Hyland, and she was very excited. Anyone interested in these fascinating artifacts should go to her webpage: http://home.snc.edu/sabinehyland/ayacucho-khipu-board/ I took some additional photos and am glad that Dr. Hyland will be doing research on this board, for it is in need of conservation and proper study.
The khipu boards were used in the colonial and republican times to keep attendance at Mass and feast days (Hyland, pers. communication May 2011).
There is a nice 18th century image done by Baltasar Jaime Martínez Compañón y Bujanda showing a khipu board in action: