By Marcia Ascher
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The quotation about the art of the story teller is from Centner (see citation above, p. 18). 5. In the 1920s, A. Bernard Deacon studied among the Malekula. With an eye and insight that were especially rare, he collected material that he believed demonstrated mathematical ability and evidence of abstract thought. One of the things he saw as mathematical was a complex drum signaling system based on identifying rhythms for each clan, rank, grade of pig, and certain special phrases, which were combined to uniquely identify each person and transmit entire messages understood by all of the adult males.
631a in Vernam Hull and Archer Taylor, A Collection of Irish Riddles, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1955. The Puerto Rican puzzle is no. 344 in R. R. de Arellano, Folklore Portorriquetio, Junta Para Ampliation de Estudios e Investigaciones Cientificas, Centro de Estudios Historicos, Madrid, 1926. No. 333 in Vernam E. Hull and Archer Taylor, A Collection of Welsh Riddles, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1942 asks about the sister of an uncle instead. The Russian puzzle is no.
T his he indicated by adding arrows to show where they came from. B ut, the elder em phasized, m arriage moves in both directions. T h e males on the diagram who were yet w ithout wives would, therefore, m arry the sisters of the m en who had m arried their sisters. T his he showed by adding three short lines and arrows from them. 6. Following the association of wives, m others, and daughters in the outer circle, we see a matricycle o f length 3. A nother m atricycle is in the inner circle. T h e two cycles do not overlap and so there are six sections form ing two m atrim orieties (“ lines” ).
Ethnomathematics by Marcia Ascher