Sunday, September 16, 2007

PENDANT CORD COLOR ORGANIZATION - FIRST PASS in my Pendant Group Analysis of the Khipus of the Ascher-Ascher Database - Pendant Cord Color

Hi folks,

This will be a many month project of looking to identify and catagorize the structures present within the Pendant Groups (PGs) of the Khipus recorded in the Ascher-Ascher database.

However, here is PASS 1 of the search for these structures:

In PASS 1, I simply considered the COLOR of the PENDANT CORDS making up the PGs of the khipus contained in the Ascher-Ascher Database. Note, I DID NOT CONSIDER the presence/absence of any knots on the cords or the presence/absence of SUBSIDIARY CORDS. I simply considered the COLORS of the PENDAND CORDS of the khipus of the database.

The complete results (in XLS tabular form) of this FIRST PASS can be found at:

In doing so, I found 4 basic types of pendant cord color organization across the PGs of the Ascher-Ascher database:

(1) O - cases where there was only one pendant cord in the PG.
(2) U - cases where all the cords in the PG were of the same color scheme (note sometimes the cords would be of a composite color (mottled, barberpole or joined) but nevertheless every cord in the PG was of same color scheme.
(2a) UnE - cases where almost all of the cords were the same color scheme with 1 or 2 exceptions.
(3) G - cases where three or more consecutive pendant cords were of the same color scheme
(4) I - cases where no more than two consecutive pendant cords were of the same color.
(4a) IB - 2 cords of different color apparently unrelated to other PGs in the khipu in question (a binary equivalent to O above).

The existence of color formating across several pendant groups in individual khipus: While it was already apparent to me that individual (or groups) pendant cords within a pendant group are "color formated", that is that the same order of color of the pendant cords can often be observed in multiple pendant groups within a khipu, I was able, for the first time to identify and even quantify the frequency of such formating.

As such, whenever a pendant group within a khipu was found to be of "G" or "I" organization, I compared the pendant cord color sequence within that group with other PGs of "G" and "I" organization within the khipu in question. Often enough, the color sequences of such groups were almost identical across many PGs within the Khipu. Such PGs were labeled "GF" or "IF". If such color formating was less clear but still present, I labeled such PGs "GSF" or "ISF."

As a result the degree of pendant cord color formating within the pendant groups of the khipus of the Ascher-Ascher database could be quantified, and exceptional pendant groups identified.

Of the 2319 Pendant groups present present in the 205 khipus (AS010-AS215) of the Ascher-Ascher Database, the following pendant cord color structres are observed:

O type PGs = 346 (14.9%)
U (and UnE) type PGs = 960 (41.4%)
F (GF and IF) type PGs = 674 (21.1%)
SF (GSF and ISF) type PGs = 44 (1.9%)
IB (binary, apparently non-formated) = 104 (4.5%)
other (no clear format) = 191 (8.2%)

Within the "other" category there are also a small number of maincord "knots" and "junctions" that initially put into Pendant Group table (as these were present in the pendant group tables of the Ascher-Ascher Database itself).

The remaining, non trivial "other" PGs are the ones perhaps most likely to contain narrative expressed in part through use of pendant cord color.

The more formated PGs would appear to be tables of data.

To be sure a closer analysis of the unicolor PGs needs to be done, because in number of cases, all the pendants of a khipu (across PGs) were of the same color (usually "neutral" (W) or "light (yellowish) brown." Such trivial cases need to be identified in the future as well.

However, the above results already gives one a quantified sense of the color formating present in the khipus of the Ascher-Ascher database on the most basic level (that of the color of the PENDANT CORDS of the khipus given in the Ascher-Ascher database).

And this was the intention of this FIRST PASS or ITERATION in discerning structures existing within the pendant groups of the khipus available for study.



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