Cultural Development of Mathematical Ideas

This website provides video and visual supports for my recent book, the Cultural development of mathematical ideas: Papua New Guinea studies (Cambridge University Press.) In the book, I present a  conceptual framework for understanding relations between culture and thought. I then explore the utility of the framework through my work with the Oksapmin, a remote group situated in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. 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.

Geoffrey Saxe
Professor, UC Berkeley

A child's display of Oksapmin's 27-body part counting system.