Ethnomathematics, as a field of inquiry, began in about 1970, although the term itself did not come into use until about 10 years later. Its basic tenet is that mathematical ideas are cultural expressions embedded within cultural contexts. The emergence or elaboration of mathematical ideas follows no necessary or universal path. The ideas that are stressed, their expressions, and their applications vary depending on the culture. Whether an idea arises within a culture or is stimulated by contact with another culture, it becomes enmeshed in the complex of ideas particular to the culture. This perspective is of particular importance because mathematics had long been viewed as culture‐free or culture‐neutral.
Ethnomathematics calls for a definition of mathematical ideas that is broader in scope than just those associated with modern mathematics. By modern mathematics we mean the category so designated by professional mathematicians worldwide and spread through Western‐style schooling....
- Ascher, Marcia. Graphs in Culture: A Study in Ethnomathematics. Historia Mathematica 15.3 (1988): 201–27.Google Scholar
- ‐‐‐. Ethnomathematics: A Multicultural View of Mathematical Ideas. Belmont, California: Brooks/Cole, 1991. Paper edition: Boca Ratan, Florida: CRC/Chapman & Hall, 1994.Google Scholar
- ‐‐‐. Mathematics Elsewhere: An Exploration of Ideas Across Cultures. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2002.Google Scholar
- D'Ambrosio, Ubiratan. Ethnomathematics: a Research Program in the History of Ideas and in Cognition. International Study Group on Ethnomathematics Newsletter 8.2 (1988): 5–8.Google Scholar
- Frank, Roslyn M. An Essay on European Ethnomathematics: The Basque Septuagesimal System. Part I. Actes de la V ème Conférence Annuelle de la SEAC. Ed. Arnold Lebeuf and Mariusz S. Ziólkowski. Warsaw: Départment d'Anthropologie Historique, Institut d'Archéologie de l'Université de Varsovie‐Musée Maritime Central, 1999. 119–42.Google Scholar
- Frank, Rosyln M. and Jon D. Patrick. The Geometry of Pastoral Stone Octagons: The Basque Sarobe. Archaeoastronomy in the 1990's: Papers Derived from the Third “Oxford” International Symposium on Archaeoastronomy, St. Andrews, UK, September 1990. Ed. Clive L. N. Ruggles. Loughborough: Group D Publications, 1993. 77–91.Google Scholar
- Gerdes, Paulus. SONA Geometry: Reflections on a Drawing Tradition Among Peoples in Africa South of the Equator. Maputo, Mozambique: Mozambique's Higher Pedagogical Institute, 1993.Google Scholar
- Gerdes, Paulus. Geometry from Africa: Mathematical and Educational Explorations. Washington, DC: Mathematical Association of America, 1999.Google Scholar
- Keitel, Christine, Peter Damerow, Alan Bishop, and Paulus Gerdes. Mathematics, Education and Society. Paris: UNESCO, 1989.Google Scholar
- Moore, Charles G. Research in Native American Mathematics Education. For the Learning of Mathematics 14.2 (1994): 9–14 .Google Scholar
- Pinxten, Rik, Ingrid Dooren, and van Frank Harvey. The Anthropology of Space: Explorations into the Natural Philosophy and Semantics of the Navajo. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983.Google Scholar
- Selin, Helaine ed. Mathematics Across Cultures: The History of Non‐Western Mathematics. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000.Google Scholar
- Washburn, Dorothy K. and Donald W. Crowe. Symmetries of Culture: Theory and Practice of Plane Pattern Analysis. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1988.Google Scholar
- Zaslavsky, Claudia. Africa Counts: Number and Pattern in African Culture. Boston: Prindle, Weber and Schmidt, 1973. Twenty‐Fifth Anniversary. 3rd ed. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1999.Google Scholar