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"sabina china" Discussed on SAPIENS: A Podcast for Everything Human

SAPIENS: A Podcast for Everything Human

07:18 min | 11 months ago

"sabina china" Discussed on SAPIENS: A Podcast for Everything Human

"The first thing we need need to do is introduced the hero of our story there hello. Can you hear me. Her name is Sabina highland and she's a professor of anthropology at the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland. I just feel sorry that I have a boring American accent. Okay Sabina specializes in the anthropology of South America America. Yeah so you know I've been working in the Andes for years trying to understand what kind of keep booze might have existed still still chip. Hold on for our listeners. What's a key Pu good question. A keeble is a way of communication using using three dimensional courts right. I'm pretty sure I've seen one before it looked kind of like a grass skirt laid flat and made of strings and rope with knots in them most inca booze consist of top chord from which hang pendants on those pendants usually are not the penance are also often different colors I did. She say that. The incas used these keepers to communicate. How did that work well for a longtime. Scholars thought that keepers were a tool for recording numbers like how many people are born in the village this year and to record that number we need to tie this particular kind of not on this particular pendant cord that kind of thing a lot of scholars until really the nineteen eighties nineteen ninety s a lot of scholars said that well they were just memory aids and that when the person who made the keep who died that keep who became useless because nobody ever read it again one of the big breakthrough breakthroughs and keep research came when Gary Irt and who's at Harvard now said wait a minute that just doesn't make sense. How can you have an empire of millions ends of people but all your records are just you know memory AIDS that are meaningless. Something happens to the person who made them so what happened next. Have we figured out what these keep who's were and how they worked. That's the thing no not really keep who's are still one of the most fascinating mysteries in South America and Sabina has dedicated her entire career to studying them seeking out these communities where the key tradition might still be alive and this is where our story really starts John. Have you seen the show ancient x-files now so oh you gotta see season two episode for it aired in Twenty twelve and it was all about Sabina and the keepers the keep who are sacred objects acts with mystical powers. It's so frustrating to look at these strings and to realize that the secrets of a whole civilization are tied up in them and yet we can't read them and so that had aired it aired in Spanish in different languages and one day I'm at home. I opened my computer and there's a facebook message from someone I'd never heard of before and she said well. I just saw your documentary. I'm in Peru and the village where I come from. We have to keep us. Do you think you'd WanNa see them. This was a really incredible moment for Sabina at her mind started rated racing with possibilities can imagine especially because almost all of the eight hundred or so that we know about are stored in museums and universities or private collections and we think all of them are numerical records right like what we talked about earlier numbers of people born in a year things like that but there are Spanish records from the Sixteenth Century documenting the existence of narrative keep us modern researchers have never been able to reliably identify one but this woman said no outsider had ever seen her villages keepers before so there was a chance they contain much more than just numbers think about the untold stories the things we could learn. I mean it could be about anything that's why Sabina says that for her. Finding Decipher -able narrative active keep who would be like finding the holy grail of South American anthropology and of course. I was like yes of course I wanNA see them. Wait a second hold on. This is all super exciting but I've had my fair share of spam email. Who was this woman in wishy credible. Well Sabina didn't really know so she wrote back and this woman responded and they struck up a correspondence over the next year or so. Sabina China learned that her name is Matt Jay. She is a retired nurse. She grew up in this remote village San Juan Dakota and she left when she was fifteen and she said said that her village is really not doing well. The young people are leaving. There's no economic advanced people. Are you know the young people are making fun of a lot of the rituals and stuff and she felt that if I were to come there and write up a report about their key booze and certify how important and they are that that could be something that the local people could use to fill pride in in who they are so there's a lot more riding riding on this than just friends or policy. It sounds like her work could mean a lot to the village to so what happened. Well Msci told her that the village leaders were holding a big meeting in July of two thousand fifteen and they'd have to prove any access to the key booze so Sabina bought plane tickets to prove for her and her husband bill highland like many things that come out of the blue not really sure if they're going to really develop into something or not but this one did they made all the preparations rations they could and when July rolled around they drove to the airport and Attleboro made a connecting flight and then another one and finally hours and hours later they arrived in Lima. Were they checked into the historic Grand Hotel Boulevard. It's a beautiful old hotel and there's an old bar in it. Let's kind had a famous as a meeting place and that's where they met Metcha for the first time and then we talked and we really connected so they rented a minivan and set out into the Andes. It's a strange region the mountains around Lima because you think that because it's so close to Lima that you know it's not going to be that different from the urban cost but it's a different world. These mountains are so rugged there so steve so it's it's not very far as far as the condor indoor flies you might say from Lima but it takes hours to get up there because you're basically you're gradually ascending and then you're driving on these switchback roads. It's kind of terrifying you. Don't look down because you know you're you're literally inches from a decline that that goes down thousands dozens of fee eventually reach a point where we were able to get out and then it was very moving and very special when we got our view of the village for the first time.

Sabina Sabina highland South America Andes Sabina China Lima professor of anthropology Scotland facebook WanNa Peru University of Saint Andrews Gary Irt Harvard Matt Jay Metcha Grand Hotel Boulevard Msci San Juan Dakota