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Kattullus (2)

From Folklore to Exotica: Yma Sumac and the Performance of Inca Identity

When the Andean exotica singer Yma Sumac became famous in the United States for her supposed Inca heritage and five-octave voice, her fellow Peruvians called her a sellout. UC Davis professor Zoila Mendoza, however, knew Yma Sumac as her mother’s childhood friend.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 31, 2013 - 18 comments

The last remnants of a language killed by the conquistadors

In 2008 a letter was excavated during an archaeological dig of a Peruvian colonial town abandoned for unknown reasons around the turn of the 18th Century. On the back of that letter were recorded several numbers and their names in a dead tongue, lost in the upheaval following the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. Even though this may be the only remnant of an entire language, there is quite a bit that linguists can glean from these fragments. For a brief overview of the findings of research by a joint American-Peruvian research group, read here. And here is the full journal article, which places these numbers in their historical and linguistic context.
posted by Kattullus on Sep 25, 2011 - 11 comments

Ancient, Medieval and Classic Works

In Parentheses is a collection of many ancient, medieval and classic texts from all over the world, many of whom are hard to find anywhere, let alone on the internet. There are translations from Greek, Old Norse, Medieval Irish, Japanese, Incan, Old French, Medieval Latin and many more! As well as all that they have papers in medieval studies and vaguely decadent and orientalism series. Adding to that there's a linguistics section with wordlists and language flash cards in languages such as Icelandic, Quechua, Basque, Classical Armenian and a whole bunch more. [flashcard links go to pdf files]
posted by Kattullus on Jul 10, 2008 - 18 comments

The Frozen Maiden

The maiden, the boy, the girl of lightning: they were three Inca children, entombed on a bleak and frigid mountaintop 500 years ago as a religious sacrifice.
posted by timory on Sep 11, 2007 - 30 comments

Chew this coca, sister

The Guaman Poma Website. Felipe Guaman Poma's El primer nueva coronica y buen gobierno (New Chronicle and Good Government) is one of the most remarkable manuscripts of the seventeenth century. Written by a native Peruvian, in the form of a 1200-page 'letter' to King Philip III of Spain, it provides a richly detailed account of Inca society before and after the Spanish conquest. Forgotten for three centuries, it was rediscovered in 1908 in the Royal Library, Copenhagen, which has now published a full digital facsimile online. The illustrations are extraordinary: glimpses of the abuse of colonial power ('Recite the doctrine, Indian troublemaker! Right now!') alongside gentler scenes of agriculture and everyday life ('Chew this coca, sister'). Scholarly articles help to set the manuscript in context. Browse and enjoy.
posted by verstegan on Aug 2, 2005 - 7 comments

String theory

String and Knot, Theory of Inca Writing An article today in the NY Times (you know the drill, I think it's metafi/metafi, no?) regarding a new theory to do with the decoding of the "cryptic knotted strings known as khipu".
If khipu is indeed the medium of a writing system, Dr. Gary Urton of Harvard says, this is entirely different from any of the known ancient scripts, beginning with the cuneiform of Mesopotamia more than 5,000 years ago. The khipu did not record information in graphic signs for words, but rather a kind of three-dimensional binary code similar to the language of today's computers. Dr. Urton, an anthropologist and a MacArthur fellow, suggests that the Inca manipulated strings and knots to convey certain meanings. By an accumulation of binary choices, khipu makers encoded and stored information in a shared system of record keeping that could be read throughout the Inca domain.
More information about Urton's book, which is to be published this month, here; more information about the Khipu themselves and further linkage here (note: this link is to an angelfire page, popups and limited bandwidth are to be expected). From Cornell, detailed descriptions of 200 Khipu, with photographs.
posted by jokeefe on Aug 11, 2003 - 11 comments

Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca citadel perched 8,366 feet high in the Peruvian Andes, might collapse at any time.
posted by lagado on Mar 11, 2001 - 5 comments

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