Macrame, a decorative process that uses knots, is believed to have originated with 13th century Arab weavers. The Spaniards brought the culture to South America in the 15th century. But long before the arrival of the Spaniards, the Wari and Inka Empires used a sophiticated system of knots called khipu as a form of record keeping, communication, and documentation. Today khipus are still used in contemporary cultures for rituals and as symbols of heritage.
Explore the Dumbarton Oaks Exhibition Written in Knots.