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Cultural Knowledge

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  • Cultural Knowledge

    Yesterday, I had a good conversation with my pastor who was visiiting from my home church. I chose to attend his church because they incorporate native culture that is both tribal specific and intertribal. A lot of people who attend powwows attend his church. Recently they built a sweat on church property. I feel commonality with people who have the same interests as me when I am home and attend his church.


    During our talk, we discussed cultural knowledge. He expressed there is a difference between learning cultural knowledge by living it and growing up with it vs. learning from a book, the internet and DVDs.

    I have seen many times on where individuals post questions to seek cultural knowledge.

    Is this the way to seek cultural knowledge?

    What do you think of individuals who do this?

    What do you think of people who learned all their cultural knowledge from a book or the internet?
    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

  • #2
    hi who me
    this is something that has been answered many times over here at powwows .com but i will say something about a being in a internet community of Native Americans

    not growing up in my grate grand fathers
    cultures who my father told me was a real Indian ok lol any way, having a understanding only from what i know and understood about indians in general and applining that belife to my life then going in to a powwow feathers in all lol then takes ppl speaking the truth about some of the orders and relativety . so yes i belive that the internet as is important for learning some of the basic of respict in indifining one self as native american
    then to learn one own ppl takes more one on one.
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass..It's about learning to dance in the rain. for me and the wolf


    • #3
      with over 600 nations of native Americans what i have been taught is different from other, so learning other people custom and why it is done a certain way is why i ask question ,always trying to learn something new
      Last edited by rodond; 03-21-2009, 07:45 AM.


      • #4
        Is book, internet, or DVD the ideal way to learn culture? No I don't believe so. There is no way another medium can really replace firsthand learning and living. That holds true for just about anything. What I learned in college, for example, was one thing, but it was very different to have to practice my profession. There were a lot of things that couldn't really be learned effectively other than firsthand experience.

        However there are many folks (like me) who live quite a ways from their tribe and/or didn't get that teaching growing up. Some electronic or written resources can be helpful for those people, for some things, like language for example. I don't think you can or really should try to learn other things about your culture in such a way. I don't think religion or spiritual things should be learned by book, CD or internet. When I've been able to actually talk to people who have lived and are living the ways ... there's just no way any book or CD can take the place of that.

        As far as what I think of people who do so...hmm... I guess I would feel sorry for some of them - that for whatever reason they aren't able to have face-to-face learning of their traditions, or maybe they just don't want to put out the effort. To really learn things "right" might involve packing up and relocating which is a sacrifice.

        On the other hand, I have a real problem with people who have a lot of "book learning" and think that makes them some NDN expert - that part I could do without. Plus who wrote the book? If you get your info from a bad source you could be totally off track, and maybe even into dangerous territory depending on the info.
        Last edited by NorthofAda; 03-21-2009, 12:28 PM.


        • #5
          I believe that the problem with learning from the Internet is that not everything goes as planned and when that happens you need to get advice from a real person on those changes or situations. As an example you may get information on receiving a name during a ceremony but what happens when another family makes a claim that you obtained a name from somebody and lots of people remember being told that you were not authorized to pass that name on to other members of your family. The people stand up during the naming and assert their family right to question the process. I dare say that the Internet or blogging, twitter, facebooking isn't going to be a lot of assistance to you. You need to have somebody speak from your family and your land that can state the lineage to those names and not just try to get by on somebody guessing. There are other situations and this is only a small sample. Where we are from, we depend on family members to pass on our teachings. Anyway that's my two cents.


          • #6
            theres alittle confusion but its not mee, leave it to a pastor to confuse things. if u subsitute where he says 'cultural knowledge' with 'my religon' it becomes clear what hes talkin bout.

            you have to live it mr pastor man

            theres so much to learn, verry specific things and an order to things. theres almost no other way. so I dont understand his words.
            thanks dad for showing me the way, teaching me the language, and not leaving my mother...*L*

            *RoUg3 MoD sTaTuS*


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