Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Identify and SortHow Digital Power Changed World Politics$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Josef Teboho Ansorge

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190245542

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190245542.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 15 December 2018

The Ritual

The Ritual

Chapter:
(p.55) 5 The Ritual
Source:
Identify and Sort
Author(s):

Josef Teboho Ansorge

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190245542.003.0005

This chapter studies ritual as constitutive and symptomatic of a political order and a mode of technics of politics. In such an approach, ritual rules and classifications are understood to fulfill practical purposes in the production of order and legibility. The chapter considers the rituals of the Incas and Aztecs, which should be understood as technics of politics that worked to regulate the circulation of “capital” and goods, and the identification and sorting of individuals. It gives particular attention to the khipu, assemblages of cotton or wool strings used by the Incas to store data in the form of binary codes. The discussion of the khipu illustrates four related points about the centralization and retention of data. The first is that the number reigns in these systems of information retention. The second is that context is everything. The third is that these systems are most useful and needed in situations that are not legible, such as newly conquered territories. The fourth is that although artifacts characterize these systems they always require a particular class of individuals to operate them.

Keywords:   rituals, politics, technics, political system, artifacts, Incas, Aztecs, khipu

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .