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Home page > Current Funded Research Projects > Project ETKnoS

Project ETKnoS

PROJECT ETKnoS : ENCODING AND TRANSMITTING KNOWLEDGE WITH A STRING: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE CULTURAL USES OF MATHEMATICAL PRACTICES IN STRING-FIGURE MAKING (OCEANIA, NORTH & SOUTH AMERICA)










This project focuses on the practice which consists in carrying out a succession of operations using the fingers, to obtain a figure from a loop of string. Known in many societies with an oral tradition, this practice brings into play gestural sequences similar to algorithms concurrently with the enunciation of terms. The overall aim of this project is to understand the mathematical dimension of such a practice, by considering its place in particular cultural contexts. Through a ethnomathematical perspective, and based on ethnographies to be carried out in Oceanian, South and North American societies, the study aims particularly to investigate the relationships between the sequences of operations and the words spoken during the sequences. Our objective is to reach a better understanding of the extent to which the practice of string-figure making constitutes/ed a method for organizing and transmitting knowledge (mythological, cosmological...), involving the use of mathematical concepts.





N° ANR-16-CE27-0005-01, 2016–2020


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