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Ethnomathematics: A Multicultural View of Mathematical Ideas, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


A Multicultural View of Mathematical Ideas, 1st Edition

By Marcia Ascher

Chapman and Hall/CRC

214 pages

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Paperback: 9780412989414
pub: 1994-05-01
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eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203756522
pub: 2017-12-01
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In this truly one-of-a-kind book, Ascher introduces the mathematical ideas of people in traditional, or "small-scale", cultures often omitted from discussion of mathematics. Topics such as "Numbers: Words and Symbols", "Tracing Graphs in the Sand", "The Logic of Kin Relations", "Chance and Strategy in Games and Puzzles", and "The Organization and Modeling of Space" are traced in various cultures including the Inuit, Navajo, and Iroquois of North America; the Inca of South America; the Malekula, Warlpiri, Maori, and Caroline Islanders of Oceania, and the Tshokwe, Bushoong, and Kpelle of Africa.

As Ascher explores mathematical ideas involving numbers, logic, spatial configuration, and the organization of these into systems and structures, readers gain both a broader understanding and anappreciation for the idease of other peoples.


"A splendid book, well worth reading, using in courses and loaning to friends who think they don't like mathematics."

-Mathematics Magazine

Table of Contents


Numbers: words and symbol

Tracing graphs in the sand

The logic of kin relations

Chance and strategy in games and puzzles

The organization and modeling of space

Symmetric strip decorations

In conclusion: Ethnomathematics

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