Ethnomathematics of Negev Bedouins' Existence in Forms, Symbols and Geometric Patterns
2016 - 328 pages
ISBN Paperback: 9789462099487 ($ 43.00)
Ethnomathematics of Negev Bedouins’ Existence in Forms, Symbols, and Geometric Patterns provokes a journey into the world of Negev Bedouins and attests to the beauty and sophistication of mathematics that occurs naturally in their craftwork, structures, games, and throughout Bedouin life. The major focus is Bedouin women’s traditional craftwork by which they reflect social and cultural activities in their weaving, embroidery, and similar pursuits. Their creations reveal mathematical ideas incorporated in embroidery compositions in repeated patterns of flowers and geometric figures in varying scales. The women use ground staked looms, stabilized by block-stones, to make multi-color, repeating pattern strip-rugs in a process practiced for generations. An image of this appears in the book’s cover photo collage. Bedouin men construct dwellings, tents, desert wells, and such. They and their children play games attuned to sand and other specific desert conditions. These activities of Bedouin women, men, and children require mathematical thinking and strategic reasoning to achieve desired outcomes.
The book opens with a narrative of Bedouin history, followed by a brief overview of ethnomathematics, and concludes with discussion about bridging the gap between school mathematics experiences and those outside school. It considers mathematically problematic situations embedded in Bedouin sociocultural heritage likely to appeal to teachers for use with school students. The book is intended for a diverse audience from Bedouin communities in different countries to the general public and professionals, including ethnomathematicians and mathematics educators.
Numerous photographs document the examples of Bedouin ethnomathematics. They are the subject of considerable analysis and appear throughout the book.