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Description - A History of the Khipu by Galen Brokaw

This book begins by proposing a theoretical model that reconciles orality-literacy studies and media theory in order to avoid the specious dichotomization of societies into those with and those without writing. The more relevant issue is the way in which a given society distributes semiotic functions among the various media that it employs and the forms of economic and political integration within which such media function. This theoretical model then informs a history of the Andean khipu from pre-Columbian times through the first 120 years of the colonial period. The first half of the book examines early Andean media and their socioeconomic and political contexts, culminating with the emergence of Wari and subsequently Inca khipu. The second half of the book documents and analyzes the continued use of khipu by indigenous individuals and communities in their interactions with Spanish officials, chroniclers, and priests. The study corrects many common misconceptions, such as the alleged mass destruction of khipu in the late sixteenth century. Even more importantly, it highlights the dialogue that occurred in the colonial period between the administrative and historiographic discourses of alphabetic Spanish and those of native Andean khipu genres.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521197793
ISBN-10: 0521197791
Format: Hardback
(228mm x 152mm x 23mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 15-Mar-2010
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Galen Brokaw

Galen Brokaw is Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University at Buffalo. He has previously taught at Lafayette College and as a visiting professor at Harvard University. Brokaw has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science Research Council, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. His articles have been published in Latin American Research Review, Colonial Latin American Review, Centennial Review, the Bulletin of the Comediantes, and other journals.