The Meaning of ‘Number’ in Kaiabi Language: Indigenous Teachers’ Identity Discourses in a Multilingual Setting

  • Jackeline Rodrigues MendesEmail author
Part of the ICME-13 Monographs book series (ICME13Mo)


This study is based on ethnographic research carried out in a multilingual context in the Xingu Indigenous Park in a setting of indigenous teachers’ education. The discussion focuses on identity and language issues, examining the process of developing a mathematics textbook written in indigenous language by Kaiabi teachers to be used in indigenous schools in the Park. This discussion explores the Kaiabi cultural meaning of ‘number’ in community practices and the practices arising from contact with non-indigenous society. The aim is to point out the relationship between knowledge, language, and identity, and the tension that is established, specifically in the indigenous context, when indigenous written language has assumed a symbolic character in the assertion of ethnic identities.


Indigenous education Bilingual education Numeracy Identity Ethnomathematics Kaiabi teachers 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationState University of CampinasCampinasBrazil

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