A contrivance employed by the ancient Peruvians, Mexicans, etc., as a substitute for writing and figures, consisting of a main cord, from which hung at certain distances smaller cords of various colors, each having a special meaning, as silver, gold, corn, soldiers. etc. Single, double, and triple knots were tied in the smaller cords, representing definite numbers. It was chiefly used for arithmetical purposes, and to register important facts and events.
- A record-keeping device of the Inca empire consisting of a series of variously colored strings attached to a base rope and knotted so as to encode information, used especially for accounting purposes.