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Symmetries of Culture:
"Art historians have long been aware of recurring symmetrical patterns of form and color in ancient, tribal, folk and applied arts. Lately, anthropologists have begun using 'symmetry analysis' as a tool to explain how artworks reflect patterns of human behavior and basic values--both within one culture and among far-flung peoples. This richly illustrated study brings to light dozens of intriguing examples of symmetrical designs, for instance, in a Zulu loincloth, a Japanese chopstick case, a New England quilt, a Tibetan 'Plaque of a Thousand Lamas,' a Hawaii water gourd. The same pattern found in a fantastical drawing of lizards by M.C. Escher is echoed in a Fiji basket lid and an Egyptian wall mosaic." -Publishers Weekly
"An archaeologist and a mathmatician have collaborated to write this extremely useful guide to classifying plane pattern designs. It should benefit any researcher who describes and compares designs. The authors suggest a means of recognizing aspects of symmetry as part of the process of classifying a design according to the cryptic symmetry notation used in crystallography. Question-answer flow charts enable the reader to correctly classify designs using a standard notation. The book is extensively illustrated with carvings, textiles, basketry, tiles, and pottery, which are used as examples of various symmetry patterns." -American Anthropologist
"An impressive book--both in terms of its physical appearance and its content...[Symmetries of Culture] will undoubtedly become the major reference on the analysis of patterns in terms of symmetry properties." -Antiquity
"[Washburn and Crowe] show in rigorous...ways how symmetry classifications can...and should be applied to the analysis of cultures. The book not only summarizes symmetry classifications and presents a wealth of examples, but introduces generally applicable flow-chart techniques for the classification of one-dimensional and two-dimensional and one- and two-color designs...[It] will be of great use not only to the professional anthropologist but to all interested in plane pattern analysis." -Symmetry
Winner of the George Wittenborn Award [via]