Life without numbers


Has anyone here heard of the Piraha (or Hi’aiti’ihi as they call themselves), an Amazonian tribe that has no words for specific numbers? The closest they have are three words for relative amounts, roughly “few” “some” and “many”. As a person who has struggled with math my whole life, I find this rather inspiring. Especially insofar as I have noticed that mathematics (along with other fields) has largely been developed by civilizations for the purposes of commerce. The Wikipedia article alone glosses over many other interesting details of their way of life.


i can’t even begin to express how much i dislike doing math.
it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that it’s the bane of my existence.
thanks for posting this.


I remember to’ve read that you could actually whistle their langauge. Also they have no abstract words for colors (like blue, yellow etc) .



I must be really nice to have such a tool to express yourself. That has communication clear across what is multiple platforms to us. (music/melody/whistling vs speech). So speech is music is speech.