Questions on African Fractals ch 5-6


1)     pp. 61 What is a geometric algorithm?

2)     pp. 62 Who are the Mangbetu? Why is it that their naturalistic designs are famous, but the geometric style of their art less known?

3)     pp. 62-63 What attribute of the ivory hatpin suggests that it is more than just another esthetic fractal?

4)     pp. 62-63  What is the most prominent Mangbetu design theme?  Provide examples in their adornment designs.

5)     pp. 64-65 How do we know that the Mangbetu design theme is not merely mimicry of a natural body angle?

6)     p. 66-68 How can the Mangbetu design theme account for the geometric properties of the scaling pattern?

7)     pp. 68 What are Lusona?  What are the relations between their geometric properties and their cultural context?

8)     pp. 68-70 What conclusions can we draw from these examples of African geometric algorithms?

9)     pp. 71 Why ask African artisans about scaling?

10)pp. 71-72 Where and what is the Sahel windscreen? What is its scaling attribute? Why do the lengths repeat in pairs as you go towards the top?

11)pp. 73 What is the African artisans’ reasoning behind the design of the Sahel windscreen?

12)pp. 73-74 How does the African artisans’ design compare to the models in the wind engineering handbook?

13)pp. 74-76 In what way does kente cloth show a scaling transformation? Why do the weavers create this pattern?

14)pp. 76-77 What is the difference between a linear and a nonlinear spiral?  Where are these different forms commonly found?

15)pp. 78 How are nonlinear spirals used in Ghana? Why not view these as mimicry of nature?

16)pp. 79-80 In addition to spirals, what other kinds of logarithmic patterns do we see in Ghana? Why not view these as mimicry of nature?

17)pp. 80-81 What is conformal mapping? How is it applied in the designs in figures 6.6-6.7?

18)pp. 83-84 How is a global scaling transformation different from the scaling in conformal mapping?  How are global transformations applied in the designs in figures 6.8-6.9?

19)pp. 85 What is the one reason behind all the examples of African scaling transformations?