African Fractals Background 4: Recursive loop




In Africa recursive loops are sometimes represented as a snake that bites its own tail. Just as contemporary computer science uses recursion to model the fractal structures in nature, indigenous African knowledge recognizes--and makes use of--the "self generating" properties of certain natural and social systems.

Another snake symbol in Africa represents well-being that lasts forever. They say that the snake is infinitely long, but it can fit in a finite space, because it has "coiled back on itself." As we will see, fitting infinite length into a finite space is also a good description of a fractal.