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Ethnomathematics Resources


I have regularly taught an Ethnomathematics course, titled "Cultural Approaches to Mathematics," for the last 16 years. During that time, I, and my colleagues at Beloit College who have also taught the course, have collected and developed several resources for this course, many of which are collected here. Most of these resources are organized around the sections of the book "Ethnomathematics" by Marcia Ascher, which we have used this as a primary textbook for this course since its inception.

Course Syllabi:

Current Syllabus.

Suggested Homework Problems & In-Class Worksheets:
Since the book "Ethnomathematics" does not include homework-type problems, we have developed several to use in our classes. Faculty can email me requesting answers to these questions if they wish. I have also included links to various other available resources on these subjects.

Chapter 1: Number Systems -- Words and Symbols
§ 1.3: Arithmetic within Number Words

Beloit Resources: Introduction to Homework, In-Class worksheets Homework Problems
Web Resources: Numbers to 10 in 5000 Languages Numbers to 100 in 40 Languages

§ 1.4-1.5: Numeral Classifiers
§ 1.6-1.7: Quipus

Chapter 2: Tracing One-Line Drawings in the Sand
§ 1.2: Eulerian Drawings
§ 1.3: Algorithmic Drawings of the Bushoong
§ 1.4: Sona of the Chokwe
§ 1.5-1.7: The Nitus of Malekula

Chapter 3: Kinship Systems
§ 1.2-1.3: Kinship Riddles
§ 1.4-1.8: Kinship "Clan" Systems

Chapter 4: Mathematical Games and Puzzles
§ 1.2: Gambling Games of North American Indians
§ 1.3-1.7: Mu Torere, the Maori Position Game
§ 1.8: River-Crossing Puzzles

Chapter 5: Organization and Modeling of Space

Chapter 6: Symmetric Strip Patterns in Art
§ 1.2: Strip Symmetries, Patterns, and Perfect Coloring
§ 1.3: Maori Rafter Designs
§ 1.4: Incan Strip Patterns