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Old 27-02-2020, 08:02   #1
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Incan knot language -khipus

Maybe of interest to knot enthusiasts:

There are all sorts of varying factors in khipus: the colour of the strings, the structure of the knots and the direction in which they were hitched. Having spent countless hours poring over them, Urton began to think that binary differences in these features might be encoding information. For example, a basic knot tied in one direction could mean “paid”, while in the other it would mean “unpaid”. By 2012, he had developed a more specific hypothesis, proposing that the direction in which knots were tied, the colours of the strings, or some combination of the two, corresponded to the social status of the people whose tributes they recorded, and even individuals’ names. Without a khipu translation, however, the idea looked destined to remain untested.

Then in 2016, Urton was browsing his personal library when he picked out a book that contained a Spanish census document from the 1670s. It was what the colonists referred to as a revisita, a reassessment of six clans living around the village of Recuay in the Santa valley region of western Peru. The document was made in the same region and at the same time as a set of six khipus in his database, so in theory it and the khipus were recording the same things...

...“This is a writing system that is inherently three-dimensional, dependent on touch as well as sight,” says Hyland – and that presents us with a uniquely tangled mystery. It also gives us an important insight. If the Inca used khipus in this way, it might tell us something about their world view. With a writing system dependent on touch, says Hyland, “you must have a different way of being in the world”.
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Old 27-02-2020, 09:18   #2
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Re: Incan knot language -khipus

There are many ways a college student might spend spring break. Making an archaeological breakthrough is not usually one of them. In his first year at Harvard, Manny Medrano did just that. With the help of his professor, Gary Urton, a scholar of Pre-Columbian studies, Medrano interpreted a set of six khipus, knotted cords used for record keeping in the Inca Empire. By matching the khipus to a colonial-era Spanish census document, Medrano and Urton uncovered the meaning of the cords in greater detail than ever before.

“Toward the Decipherment of a Set of Mid-Colonial Khipus from the Santa Valley, Coastal Peru,”
~ by Manuel Medrano and Gary Urton
https://read.dukeupress.edu/ethnohis...dFrom=fulltext
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/57d...649.1582820142

In 2002, Urton began Harvard’s Khipu Database Project.
Khipu are knotted textile record-keeping devices used by the Inkas. The Inka empire extended throughout the Andes and lasted from about 1400 A.D. until the Spanish Conquest of Peru in 1532. Through this site, you can navigate to photo albums of khipu, detailed data on over 500 individual khipu, and information about the latest research in khipu studies.
Home

“Calendars in Knotted Cords: New Evidence on How Khipus Captured Time in Nineteenth-Century Cuzco and Beyond” ~ by José Carlos de la Puente
https://read.dukeupress.edu/ethnohis...dFrom=fulltext
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Old 27-02-2020, 13:41   #3
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Re: Incan knot language -khipus

Alternate spelling is "quipu."

Thanks for the links.
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