Double Strip Patterns: Between Strip Patterns and Wallpaper Patterns

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Darrah Chavey, Monica Menzies Meissen, Todd O'Bryan and Glenn Terry: Double Strip Patterns: Between Strip Patterns and Wallpaper Patterns. In: Bridges 2015. Pages 85–92



Many examples of ethnographic art have designs which can be viewed as taking two copies of a strip pattern and sewing them together along one edge of the strips. In many cases, the resultant designs have symmetry that is not appropriately modeled by either traditional strip patterns or by wallpaper patterns. For example, while most of these double strip patterns can be extended to wallpaper patterns, that extension is not always unique and, we argue, is not necessarily a good representation of the artistic intent of the person who created the design. We classify the possible (one-color) double strip patterns and show artifact examples of many of them. In particular, we focus on a large number of such designs from pre-colonial Peru and from Papua New Guinea, demonstrate the substantial differences between which classes of double strip patterns these two regions use, and offer some suggestions as to the reasons behind these differences.

Extended Abstract


 author      = {Darrah Chavey, Monica Menzies Meissen, Todd O'Bryan and Glenn Terry},
 title       = {Double Strip Patterns: Between Strip Patterns and Wallpaper Patterns},
 pages       = {85--92},
 booktitle   = {Proceedings of Bridges 2015: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture},
 year        = {2015},
 editor      = {Kelly Delp, Craig S. Kaplan, Douglas McKenna and Reza Sarhangi},
 isbn        = {978-1-938664-15-1},
 issn        = {1099-6702},
 publisher   = {Tessellations Publishing},
 address     = {Phoenix, Arizona},
 note        = {Available online at \url{ }},
 url         = { },

Used References

[1] M. Ascher, Ethnomathematics, Brooks/Cole, 1991.

[2] Sz. Bérczi, “Symmetry and technology in ornamental art of old Hungarians and Avar-Onogurians from the archaeological finds of the Carpathian Basin, seventh to tenth century A.D.” Symmetry 2: Unifying Human Understanding, Part 2. Comput. Math. Appl. 17 (1989), no. 4-6, 715--730.

[3] D. Chavey, “Symmetry Orbits: When Artists and Mathematicians Disagree”, Bridges: Coimbra, July, 2011, pp. 337-344.

[4] B. Grunbaum, “Periodic Ornamentation of the Fabric Plane: Lessons from Peruvian Fabrics,” Symmetry, Vol. 1(1), 1990, pp. 45-68.

[5] D. Washburn & D. Crowe, Symmetries of Culture, Univ. of Washington Press, 1988.


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