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ERIC Number: EJ994402
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0009-4056
Kolam: A Mathematical Treasure of South India
Thirumurthy, Vidya; Simic-Muller, Ksenija
Childhood Education, v88 n5 p309-314 2012
In the art form of "kolam," dots called "pulli" are arranged in rhombic, square, triangular, or free shapes, and a single, uninterrupted linear or curvilinear line, called the "kambi," intertwines the dots (Yanagisawa & Nagata, 2007). While there are no written or verbally stated rules, Yanagisawa and Nagata have deduced some of the basic rules of "pulli" and "kambi kolam" from examining the designs: "(1) Loop drawing-lines, and never trace a line through the same route. (2) The drawing is completed when all points are enclosed by a drawing-line. (3) Straight lines are drawn along the dual grid inclined at an angle of 45 degrees. (4) Arcs are drawn surrounding the points. (5) Smooth drawing" (p. 32). They do point out that some exceptions to these rules are made, although rarely. The authors would also like to add, based on their observations, a sixth rule: there must be symmetry in the drawings. Girls somehow understand these implicit regulations and operate within the parameters. In this article, the authors discuss the significance of this sociocultural activity and provide an analysis of the inherent academic concepts, skills, and dispositions children may gain from observing and participating in the activity. Then, the authors explore the concept of (ethno)mathematics in "kolam" and the potential opportunities to learn mathematical concepts and skills. The authors will briefly discuss the importance of everyday activities to children's learning and provide a theoretical framework and the potential skills--visual, spatial, and algebraic--and academic concepts nested in the "kolam" activity. (Contains 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India