Let’s start with a basic question whose answer may come as a surprise. What is culture and when did it begin? Culture is the multi-generational hard-drive of memory, change, and innovation. Culture transforms a record of the past into a prediction of the future; it transforms memory into tradition—into rules of how to proceed. And culture is profoundly social. It exists not just in one mind, but binds together mobs of minds in a common enterprise. When did culture first appear in this 13.7 billion-year-old universe?
The answers are surprising. Most evolutionary experts say that human culture kicked off 45,000 to 35,000 years ago. Paleontologists studying pre-historic Europe call this period The Cultural Explosion. 45,000 to 35,000 years ago, men and women began to perforate, grind, polish, and drill bone, ivory, antler, shell and stone into harpoons, fish hooks, buttons, ornaments, sewing needles, and awls. Frosting the cake, humans invented musical instruments, calendars marked on pieces of antler, and paintings on the walls of caves.
Then there’s the un-standard answer about culture’s beginnings, a rebel timeline of human culture that a relatively new pale anthropological school is fighting for. This new scientific movement has made its digs in Africa, not Europe, and has come up with radically different dates. Culture, says this upstart school, started approximately 280,000 years ago when humans invented the makeup industry, then followed that up with the invention of jewelry, beads, and trade. Culture is transmitted from one generation to generation and is learned mainly in childhood and during maturation. We learn not only our behavior but also our attitudes and values.
The ability to acquire culture in this way makes humans highly adaptable to different cultural environments. We has humans are born with potential to learn whatever knowledge and skills are practices in are communities. When did another ingredient of culture— social memory, a memory that gives a foundation of knowledge, perception, and direction to an entire society—first arise?
A firm answer is more elusive than you might think. Why? For the first 300,000 years after the Big Bang, the cosmos was host to a massive social dance. Particle gangs moved at super speed, colliding with each other like bullets smashing head to head, then bouncing away with ferocious velocity. Astonishingly, the particles involved—particularly the protons—came out of each crash with all their mass and form intact. Was this act of identity-retention a primitive form of memory? Was it tradition arisen before its time?
The study examines decision of middle class of U.S. and highland Mayan parents regarding sleeping arrangements during the first two years the infants sleep with their mother up until there a toddler. But in the U.S. infants only sleep in the bed with their mother every now and then. This is how Mayan explains the closeness of their infants. When we put infant in a room by themselves then this making them impendent to be able to sleep on there on. Mayan families use there bedtimes as a routines and objects to facilitate transition to sleep. Rites of passage are a category of rituals that mark the passage of a person through the life cycle, from one stage to another over time, from one role or social position to another, integrating the human and cultural experiences with biological destiny: birth, reproduction, and death.
These ceremonies make the basic distinctions, observed in all groups, between young and old, male and female, living and dead. The interplay of biology and culture is at the heart of all rites of passage, and the struggle between these two spheres asserts the essential paradox of our mortal heritage. As humans, we dwell in an equivocal world, for we belong to both nature and Reference page
Cultural Anthropology (Bonvillain)
Cultural Variation in Infants’ sleeping Arrangements
Development Psychology 1992 Vol 4 604-613