A child's display of Oksapmin's 27-body part counting system.
The website provides video and visual supports for my recent book, the Cultural development of mathematical ideas: Papua New Guinea studies (Cambridge University Press.) The book presents a developmental framework for understanding relations between culture and cognition using the Oksapmin world as an illustrative case. On the pages of this website, you will find video clips and photographs that show scenes from daily life including the Oksapmin 27-body part count system as well as the use of the system to communicate about currency values and to solve arithmetic problems. The material was collected while visiting Oksapmin communities in 1978, 1980, and 2001.
Professor, UC Berkeley