Los Quipus: bases de datos precolombinas

(Visto en Menéame)

Los Quipus, esos manojos de cuerdas anudadas que usaban los antiguos incas, pueden considerarse como una de las primeras bases de datos.

Algunos cronistas ya describían estos objetos como crónicas o registros contables, en los que los colores representaban distintos artículos (animales, guerreros, oro, etc,) que se contabilizaban por medio de nudos.

Los quipus están formados por una cuerda principal (de algodón u otro material textil) sin nudos de la que cuelgan otros ramales coloreados con nudos de distintas formas y tipos de torsión.

Leland Locke en 1932 descifró el "código máquina" que los khipu kamayud (encargados de confeccionar los quipus) utilizaban, y marcó el camino para el descifrado de los quipus que han llegado hasta nosotros.

Hay tres clases de nudos: simple (S), nudos con 2 a 9 lazos (L) y nodos con figura de ocho (E).

El nudo en ocho (E) representa el uno y los nudos largos (L) las unidades de 2 a 9, dependiendo de las vueltas que tengan dicho nudo. Los nudos sencillos (s), indican una potencis de 10, 100 ó 1000 dependiendo de su proximidad a la cuerda principal; así pues, si nos encontramos cuatro nudos en la posición de las centenas, tiene un significado numérico de "400".


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