The acknowledgments and credits for Indigenous communities have been disregarded by colonial reasoning, leaving origins of creations eliminated. The Mayans provided wonderful insight into belief systems and mathematical systems which continue to be used in modern-day society. At the start of the fifth century, Mayan mathematics was established to compute calculations to understand the civilizations' social constructs. Grasping mathematics curricula from historical, Mayan standpoints opens space for crediting culture discovery of mathematics in contemporary developmental agencies. Within my paper, I explore anthropological perspectives evolved into epistemological concepts, allowing man to progress and succeed.
Multicultural mathematics explains the experience of mathematical activities about diverse cultural environments, allowing the preservation of cultural dignity. Ethnomathematics is a term utilized to express culture and mathematics, requiring a dynamic interpretation describing two concepts for further understanding of the whole. The Mayan group established a well-thought, organized computation during the start of the fifth century. Their interpretation of mathematics went beyond the simplistic views of calculations, utilizing interchangeable techniques to further develop as a society. Within the Maya math context, the most significant outcome of designing symbols for zero allows the average man to compute mathematical calculations (Dantzig, 1941). The creation of Mayan math during the fifth century, looking further into the anthropological perspective which evolved into an epistemological concept, allowed the average man to progress and succeed. Math is an expression of the world with quantitative relations providing an opportunity to comprehend Mayan civilization’s social constructs that helped them develop as a community.
The concept of culture, in correlation with Mayan math, exhibits a deeper symbolization of intention behind the construction of a computation system. Symbolism represents the culture of an exploited Mayan population where their ideology takes a stand to identify historical events leading to the progression of community and intelligence. To put into context, Mayans astronomical and astrological reliance brought an array of methods on survival. A prime example of their survival traits includes the agriculture of maize. Through this farming method, they learned the significance of developing a concept of time (Lara-Alecio et al.1998). This brought insight to the factors Mayan civilization needed and an efficient numerical system that allowed its members to handle numbers, facilitating their computation. The historical contributions developed by the Mayan culture allow access to their mathematical inventions, applications, and knowledge, which further progressed discoveries. Here, a present relationship between society, science, and mathematics is conveyed, providing data on their daily lives (Lara-Alecio et al. 1998). The discoveries and inventions from Mayan culture contribute to a mosaic of cultural contributions where the evolution of mathematics provides an understanding of culture that plays a role in preserving historical context.
The discoveries and inventions from Mayan culture contribute to a mosaic of cultural contributions where the evolution of mathematics provides an understanding of culture that plays a role in preserving historical context.
In continuation with Mayan culture, their story of creation brings great perspective into their ideology of the universe. The main characteristics of the Popul Vuh, a Mayan origin story, illustrate the ideologies of how the universe came to existence and include philosophers, anthropologists, and mathematicians. Their belief about what they deem a proper society begins with procreation as a significant role to carry traditions and preserve their historical interpretations. Through brainstorming, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and other analytical thinking, they were able to bring forth more than a story. With consideration of the gods, the Mayans strived for the perfection of humans where they failed multiple times, gaining more knowledge of their capabilities.
Math was informally introduced in the Popul Vuh in regards to agriculture, the solar cycle, and the ball game played to provide insight into the underworld where forces of darkness and light were resolved. Numeracy skills were needed to practice the ball game where measurements of distance in the playing stretch needed to be crafted for appropriate play. The agricultural cycle, being maize dies and is reborn, has mathematical properties associated with the placement and amount of maize during the growing phase. Along with agriculture, sowing and dawning set into place, developing a conception of time when they needed to plant or harvest their crops. The solar cycle, relating to the ball game, represents a calendrical system as a unit of time that allowed Mayans to keep track of time.
Mayan mathematics acts as a foundation for a computation system in Mayan culture, diving into a closer belief system that served as a fundamental role in mathematics curriculum using ethnomathematics. This term expresses the relationship between culture and mathematics as a method to preserve historical significance. In Mayan culture, numbers are an expression of a world view specifically, a tool used for calculating and modeling reality (Mendez 2013). Multiple dimensions play a role in the use of mathematics, including cognitive, social, symbolic, and spiritual scopes. The epistemological and ontological domains allow ethnographers to understand the different principles Mayan communities used to guide their daily lives. The recommendation of recognizing differences in a broader view, rather than only Western points will lead to clear understandings of indigenous civilizations. The ethnographic approach dissected in Mendez’s (2013) article depicts a dialectal movement between concept and reality, based on Mayan math. Major connections between the use of numbers and present-day use in Mayan Tzeltal community social practices are clear indications of the world view tied to the cosmovision of this Mesoamerican civilization (Lopez Austin- and Millones 2008).
To dig deeper into the cosmovision, anthropologists, historians, and archaeologists have identified Mayans’ view of the world as a receptacle of divinity (Mendez 2013). The action of counting has been found useful in daily life within Mayan communities. The most significant aspect of life revolves around agriculture. Their method of organizing corn and coffee correlates to their daily organization of life. A prime example depicting the relation between numbers and cosmovision originates from women’s embroidery. The relations of quantity and numerical values within this activity include body, cognition, emotions, and aesthetic dimensions. The fieldwork done within these communities allows dialogue of cosmovision concepts, where embroiders have explained the center of reason, wisdom, and that life comes from the heart. Mendez (2013) found the customs in the everyday life of Mayan people and speaking of the heart implied they were speaking of a person as a whole. This fundamental aspect of the heart explains their ideology of every human being as a projection of divinity.
According to Mayan numeration, numbers are an expression of the world where the construction of number names derives from the principles of Mayan cosmovision. They took into account elements of their communities and went as far as looking into the names of gods. This facet conveys the relationship between names of numbers, important beliefs, and traditions in the daily life of Mayan people (Mendez 2013). Observation of this relation was conducted where involvement of numbers was found in social practices referencing cultural meanings. To further illustrate, Maria is an embroider who provided dialogue into the various dimensions executed to produce a balanced product. Mendez (2013) interviewed and collected data based on her experiences as an embroider. Maria utilizes the “heart” to express the foundation and process of her work, “I do it with my heart,” relating cosmovision models as principles of this work.
Comparison of small tablecloths and big tablecloths give insight into a form of mathematics needed for this line of work. The findings imply observation with functions of mind and body relations. When embroiderers are making their items, they make relations of quantity, counting, adding, and subtracting along with other daily actions. This social practice allows diverse dimensions of a person where they utilize math to carry out their work and tie it with the divine. Reviewing the history of mathematics has allowed for the discovery of the numeral system being used for human needs. The numerical knowledge learned in Mayan communities develops skills, contributing to the quality of life. To put into perspective, Maya populations continue to live in extreme poverty and continue speaking indigenous languages. The principal source of work pertains to the agricultural growth of coffee, corn, beans, and other producing forms. Language plays a significant role within these dimensions appearing in experiences with buying and selling products, planting, harvesting, and producing embroidered items. The oral elements have given names of amounts, commercial transactions, and women’s calculations for embroidery work (Mendez 2010). Evidence of using these construct phases while buying and selling in the market highlights language development within communities. The creation of calculations has developed into a language within Mayan people to communicate their needs, whether it be agricultural, astrological, or within the market.
Language is a fundamental skill including phonological processing, morphology, and oral comprehension (Peng et al. 2020). The construct of computation systems is paired with symbolic or visual information. For example, Mayan civilizations began their construct by drawing glyphs to facilitate calculations. Mayans depicted periods and other quantities with symbols, leaving longitudinal evidence for further understanding of their philosophy. Not only do these symbols provide historical data, but also deliver the variable of language in mathematics domains. LeFevre et al. (2010) proposed and demonstrated how both phonological processing and vocabulary serve as important mediums to form visual and verbal representations of numbers ultimately, emphasizing the function of language for math. The history of culture conveys the discovery of zero as an implemental achievement relevant in today’s worldwide society. Through such discoveries, the conventional model performed by Mayans involves intellectual thought to move them towards progressive ways of life.
Longitudinal, ethnographic, and fieldwork studies on Mayan math provide an array of perspectives into the cosmovision points they deemed significant. These individuals gathered evidence based on Mayan daily life to construct one of the most beneficial numerical values to represent a counting system. The development of Mayan math depicts sophisticated ways of thinking, as they depended on their environment, resources, and language to acquire numerical data, leading into a transnational operating system. Intelligence refers to the reasoning capacity to solve complex problems through drawing inferences, forming concepts, and identifying relations, leaving the Mayans as a novel example, concerning their principles of ideologies that developed into working systems (Cattel, 1963; Newton & McGrew 2010). Thus, mathematics curricula today must be understood from a historical standpoint where Mayans brought to life their visions of quantitative aspects to form one of the most significant achievements which continue to be utilized worldwide. In the history of culture discovery, Mayan math blooms like a great achievement of the human race, with the discovery of zero remaining pivotal in a contemporary developmental agency.
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