Analyzing Aceh Cultural Heritage: Mathematical Tools and Language Use

  • Zainal Abidin Universitas Islam Negeri Ar-Raniry Banda Aceh, Indonesia
  • Jarjani Usman Universitas Islam Negeri Ar-Raniry Banda Aceh, Indonesia


Acehnese people have many culturallyunique mathematical treasures, such as for measuring size and volume. Some of which are different from the ones used in other parts of Indonesia and some have been rarely used and even unknown by today’s generation. However, research on the measuring scales in Aceh is scant. This study was carried out to understand the Acehnese people’s prevailing measuring scales used. These scales are ethnomathematics parts of the Aceh culture. The research was conducted in six districts. Snowball sampling was employed through which people who are knowledgeable on Aceh culture were selected for interview. It shows that the volume scaling units of ethnomathematics in the culture of Aceh society are kay, aree, naleh, gateng, gunca, and kuyan. 1 kuyan = 10 gunca; 1 gunca = 10 naleh; 1 naleh = 16 aree; 1 aree = 4 kay. The size and volume of the kay, aree, naleh, gateng scales vary in each district.Moreover, the language used for scales and meanings slightly varies, such as naleh that is used for measuring volume or size only in some districts of Aceh and for both volume and size in other parts of the province.


Abdullah, A. S. (2017). Ethnomathematics in Perspective of Sundanese Culture. Journal on Mathematics Education, 8(1), 1-16.
Albanese, V., & Perales Palacios, F. J. (2015). Enculturation with ethnomathematical microprojects: From culture to mathematics.
Bishop, J. A. (1994). Cultural conflicts in the mathematics education of indigenous people. Clyton, Viktoria: Monash University.
Bogdan, R.C. & Biklen, S.K. (1998). Qualitative Research in Education: An Introduction to Theory and Methods (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Creswell, J. W., & Guetterman, T. C. (2019). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Pearson.
D'Ambrosio, U. (1985). Ethnomathematics and its place in the history and pedagogy of mathematics. For the learning of Mathematics, 5(1), 44-48.
D'Ambrosio, U. (1999). Literacy, matheracy, and technocracy: A trivium for today. Mathematical thinking and learning, 1(2), 131-153.
Darsa, U., Sumarlina, E., & Permana, R. (2020). Existence of Sundanese Manuscripts as a Form of Intellectual Tradition in the Ciletuh Geopark Area. Jurnal Ilmiah Peuradeun, 8(2), 259-278. doi: 10.26811/peuradeun.v8i2.369
Furuto, L. H. (2014). Pacific ethnomathematics: Pedagogy and practices in mathematics education. Teaching Mathematics and its Applications: An International Journal of the IMA, 33(2), 110-121.
Gerdes, P. (1994). Reflections on ethnomathematics. For the learning of mathematics, 14(2), 19-22.
Hiebert, J., & Carpenter, T. P. (1992). Learning and teaching with understanding. Handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning: A project of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 65-97.
Horsthemke, K. (2006). Ethnomathematics and education: Some thoughts. For the learning of Mathematics, 26(3), 15-19.
Küçük, A. (2014). Ethnomathematics in Anatolia-Turkey: Mathematical Thoughts in Multiculturalism. Revista Latinoamericana de Etnomatemática, 7(1), 171-184.
Kurniawan, H. (2013, January 13). Sindonews. Retrieved from Kurniawan, H. 2013, January 13. “Kurikulum Bahasa Daerah Gabung dengan Seni dan Budaya”.
Kusuma, D. A., Dewanto, S. P., Ruchjana, B. N., & Abdullah, A. S. (2017, October). The role of ethnomathematics in West Java (a preliminary analysis of case study in Cipatujah). In Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 893(1), 012020. IOP Publishing.
Muhtadi, D. (2017). Sundanese Ethnomathematics: Mathematical Activities in Estimating, Measuring, and Making Patterns. Journal on Mathematics Education, 8(2), 185-198.
Nurhasanah, F., Kusumah, Y. S., & Sabandar, J. (2017). Concept of triangle: Examples of mathematical abstraction in two different contexts. International Journal on Emerging Mathematics Education, 1(1), 53-70.
Nusantara, T. (2016). Ethnomathematics in Arfak (West Papua Indonesia): Hidden Mathematics on knot of Rumah Kaki Seribu. Educational Research and Reviews, 11(7), 420-425.
Orey, D. C., & Rosa, M. (2008). Ethnomathematics and cultural representations: teaching in highly diverse contexts.
Pais, A. (2011). Criticisms and contradictions of ethnomathematics. Educational studies in mathematics, 76(2), 209-230.
Pais, A. (2013). Ethnomathematics and the limits of culture. For the Learning of Mathematics, 33(3), 2-6.
Palhares, P. (2012). Mathematics Education and Ethnomathematics. A Connection in Need of Reinforcement. REDIMAT-Journal of Research in Mathematics Education, 1(1), 79-92.doi: 10.4471/redimat.2012.04. doi: 10.4471/redimat.2012.04
Prahmana, R. C. I. (2012). Learning Multiplication Using Indonesian Traditional Game in Third Grade. Indonesian Mathematical Society Journal on Mathematics Education, 3(2), 115-132.
Putra, M. (2018). How ethnomathematics can bridge informal and formal mathematics in mathematics learning process at school. For the Learning of Mathematics, 38(3), 11-14.
Rachmawati, I. (2012). Eksplorasi etnomatematika masyarakat Sidoarjo. Ejournal Unnes, 1(1).
Risdiyanti, I., & Prahmana, R. C. I. (2017, December). Ethnomathematics: Exploration in javanese culture. In Journal of Physics: Conference Series (Vol. 943, No. 1, p. 012032). IOP Publishing.doi:10.1088/1742-6596/943/1/012032
Rohrer, A., & Schubring, G. (2011). Ethnomathematics in the 1930s–the contribution of Ewald Fettweis to the history of ethnomathematics. For the Learning of Mathematics, 31(2), 35-39.
Rosa, M., & Orey, D. C. (2019). Ethnomodelling as the Art of Translating Mathematical Practices. For the Learning of Mathematics, 39(2), 19-24.
Rowlands, S., & Carson, R. (2002). Where would formal, academic mathematics stand in a curriculum informed by ethnomathematics? A critical review of ethnomathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 50(1), 79-102.
Sardjiyo & Pannen, P. (2005). Based learning culture: Method of learning innovation and implementation of competency-based curriculum. Journal of Education, 6(2), 83-98.
Selasih, N., & Sudarsana, I. (2018). Education Based on Ethnopedagogy in Maintaining and Conserving the Local Wisdom: A Literature Study. Jurnal Ilmiah Peuradeun, 6(2), 293-306. doi: 10.26811/peuradeun.v6i2.219
Sembiring, R. K. (2010). Pendidikan matematika realistik Indonesia (PMRI): Perkembangan dan tantangannya. Indonesian Mathematical Society Journal on Mathematics Education, 1(1), 11-16.
Soedjadi, R. (2007). Masalah kontekstual sebagai batu sendi matematika sekolah. Surabaya: Pusat Sains dan Matematika Sekolah UNESA.
Young, J. R. (2017). Technology integration in mathematics education: Examining the quality of meta-analytic research. International Journal on Emerging Mathematics Education, 1(1), 71-86.
Yusuf, M. W., Saidu, I., & Halliru, A. (2010). Ethnomathematics A case of Wasakwakwalwa (Hausa culture puzzles) in Northern Nigeria. Int. J. Basic Appl. Sci. IJBAS-IJENS, 10, 01-11.
How to Cite
ABIDIN, Zainal; USMAN, Jarjani. Analyzing Aceh Cultural Heritage: Mathematical Tools and Language Use. Jurnal Ilmiah Peuradeun, [S.l.], v. 9, n. 3, p. 661-680, sep. 2021. ISSN 2443-2067. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 19 july 2024. doi: