North American Culture Analysis

Great Essays
Native populations have inhabited North America’s vast landscape for millions of years. These peoples have their own unique cultures and identities. Fundamentally, it is understood that Native cultures have not occurred in a vacuum and are constantly being changed, integrated, and created. However, when attempting to learn about the numerous Native populations that have and continue to inhabit North America, the shear volume of information becomes hard to process. Scholars of Native North America have grouped Native cultures together so that the information about the numerous cultures across North America can be processed. Scholars primarily use culture area concept maps and linguistic classification in survey classes to provide insight into …show more content…
The use of culture area concept is believed to be easier to understand than abstract language relations that cannot be visualized as clearly as culture areas on a map. The culture concept map has changed into more or less cultural divisions over time, but Harold Driver and William Massey created the most definitive system that is used today, which breaks North America into 10 primary culture areas (Sage 2016). Anthropologist, Clark Wissler (1927) comments that there are negatives to the culture area concept, “If tribes fall into a culture group, we may expect that all the tribes in one of these areas cook food in similar containers, perform the came ceremony, etc” (890). Wissler’s comment is meant to convey that culture area groups may give us the false impression that everyone who inhabits a culture area does everything the same, which is problematic because there may be individualities among the groups that make that group unique or different from others. However, these individualities do not deviate so much from the rest of the culture area that it allows for that trait population to have its own demarcated cultural …show more content…
However, despite this negative, it also proves to be one of the easiest and most efficient ways to educate people about Native North America in a survey class. The culture area concept is how the course that I am taking on Native North America is divided. The divisions may seem arbitrary, but they allow for easier understanding of how different societies developed in relation with each other across North America. The culture areas that my class has and is going to study include: Arctic, Subarctic, Northeast, Southeast, Plains, Plateau, Great Basin, Southwest, Northwest Coast, and California culture areas. I think that the way the survey class has been laid out by utilizing the culture area concept has allowed for a better understanding of each region across North America. By using the culture area concept, I feel that with each region I can focus on understanding individual environments for each region; and additionally, how environment affects multiple cultural facets for the groups that inhabit each particular region. Also, after we have covered a region I can start to piece together the primary cultural constituents of Native North America and easily compare the regions. At times it becomes difficult to not isolate populations to a single category, thinking that they are bound to an idealized box. However, knowing that culture is fluid and not contained in a vacuum helps me understand that

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Importance of studying Native North Americans The importance of studying the Native North Americans or any other indigenous group is that, the studies tend to offer an opportunity for intellectuals and different scholars to reflect more about the past, learn the history of colonization, and to find appropriate and effective means to forging a stronger future for different nations. The studies also help learners to get facts about the cultural groups that exist in the North Americas. The various cultural groups that live in these regions teach us more about the vast cultural groups that are evident in the region. As such, the information obtained from studying the Native North Americans can be used to know more about the cultural changes that…

    • 898 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Besides, a point to understand what is social psychology to learn about how people are thinking about the culture, traditions, ideas and thoughts. For Instance, it has a lot influence ones to others to following the same things. The Multicultural is more how people can adapt to live with different cultures and people mix the two or more cultures to living with them. Meanwhile, a person can comply with each culture and how learning to live with them. Both multicultural psychology and social psychology have to focus on all about the culture that is a lot the representative for the people.…

    • 1161 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Arikara Tradition

    • 1023 Words
    • 5 Pages

    This essay gives numerous examples as proof of the importance that oral traditions hold in knowing the past of North America and its inhabitants. Oral traditions tell not only the history of their people, but also of past landscapes, climates, and even extinct megafauna in some cases. They bridge the physical evidence with cultures that are still thriving and active. Roger C. Echo-Hawk provides an objective argument rooted in facts without vilifying mainstream archaeological techniques. His evidence and proposal for reform proves that oral traditions can, in fact, be incorporated into modern archeology to create a more comprehensive understanding of Indigenous…

    • 1023 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Secondary Research In Esl

    • 1345 Words
    • 6 Pages

    As for factuality, these methods of literature research and personal interviews are suitable as they not only in-depth and on-site methods of data gathering, but they also will provide the specific statements of those directly and in-directly involved. My interviews are meant to be conducted in a way to gather the impressions and opinions of the ESL tutors as framework, to which I will then apply in the casual interviews of those directly affected (members of the ethnic enclaves) by the linguistic discriminations during their daily rounds. Furthermore, considerations as to the ethical implications of my interview process and focus relies heavily on further advice from my ANSO…

    • 1345 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He argues that oral history should not be overlooked as unreliable and inaccurate, and concludes from his analyzes and experience that the fact the geographic knowledge of trails and names have transmitted without significant changes over the centuries proves the power and longevity of oral communication. The social artifact of the maps that Aporta use as sources ties into the historical era of the colonization and exploration of North America. The relationship of the first explorers and the First Nation can be viewed in the article. Aporta compares present-day trails and place names with those used by Inuit in the past by examining written documents and maps and conducts interviews with Inuit elders. In class, we examined and learned how the Indigenous people have helped guide the first explorers and learned how Aboriginal people presented their views through oral history.…

    • 939 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This paper will expand my knowledge on Natives Americans’ influence on American and the world and vice-versa. Cultural Description Section…

    • 1310 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In today’s society we base things upon one result, find an answer and stick to that one possible outcome. As a society, we should look at the bigger picture. Look back at our history in a multicultural perspective to understand every angle and side to our past. We have to take into consideration not only our impact on society but also how other cultures have impacted us. America is filled with diverse cultural and knowledge.…

    • 693 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Throughout history, food culture has been appreciated all over the world. Michael Pollan proposes a rule of eating more like other countries. “People who eat according to the rules of a traditional food culture are generally healthier than we are”, he says. Ofcourse, not every country is going to eat and cook the same way, different foods, different cultures. There are a lot of ways that the way other countries prepare, eat and enjoy food differs from America.…

    • 1048 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Though food was not genetically modified in the 1900s, the time period of Upton Sinclair’s novel, The Jungle, the standards for food were much worse. The advantages of the modern labor and food production system, such as food labels and availability, greatly outweigh the misfortune of more genetically modified organisms. The greatest improvement of the modern food market is food labels. Though many individuals ignore this valuable information, it can be a great tool in choosing what food is the most healthful. In the 1800-1900s, a label on a can of food could claim that the…

    • 474 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Cq Reflection

    • 1786 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Furthermore, once I realized the importance of the concept of Cultural intelligence, I should be able to relate it with my personal results from the test. Based on my CQ Assessment results and these driven from my personal consideration, I am going to analyze and discuss some of my strengths or growth areas where they are the four CQ dimensions. These dimensions represent qualitatively different aspects of the overall capability to function and manage effectively in culturally diverse…

    • 1786 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays