This book belongs on the shelves of mathematicians, math students, and math educators, and in the hands of anyone interested in traditional societies or how people think. This scholarly work describes the anthropology of mathematical ideas in traditional societies and shows how the same ideas might be expressed by standard mathematical expressions. Examples include traditional calendars, fortune-telling devices, systems of family and societal relationships, stick-charts used as navigation maps by Polynesian cultures, and more. Through engaging examples of how particular societies structure time, reach decisions about the future, make models and maps, systematize relationships, and create intriguing figures, Marcia Ascher demonstrates that traditional cultures have mathematical ideas that are far more substantial and sophisticated than is generally acknowledged. |