Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
Phone: +49 341 3550314
E-mail: han_tran@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de
My doctoral research, under the supervision of Bret A. Beheim, Timothy Waring and Richard McElreath, focuses on processes of social information transmission that underlie material culture repertoire and evolution. Information such as designs, patterns or motifs will be transmitted differentially according to gender, status, age or frequency, and complexity, of the trait and such. Hence, stylistic variations in material culture can be reflective of these learning mechanisms. Specifically, I am interested in stylistic variations in a two-dimensional hand-drawn artistic tradition called kolam, which is practiced among the Tamils in South India. Using this case study, I develop statistical and individual-based models to understand the distribution of different styles and when and how individuals broaden and improve their repertoire as well as what kind of style they choose to copy, adapt or invent anew.