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Book Review

Africa Counts: Number and Pattern in African Cultures, Third Edition

We would not normally list a book published 11 years ago, but this work struck us as one that would make an interesting and useful addition to a cultural geography or cultural anthropology class. This study of mathematical thinking among sub-Saharan African peoples covers counting in words and in gestures; measuring time, distance, weight, and other quantities; manipulating money and keeping accounts; number systems; patterns in music, poetry, art, and architecture; and number magic and taboos. African games such as mankala and elaborate versions of tic-tac-toe show how complex this thinking can be. A useful resource for students, teachers, and others interested in African cultures and multiculturalism, this third edition is updated with an introduction covering two decades of new research in the ethnomathematics of Africa.