Throughout my career, I have met multiple people from different cultural backgrounds. I currently have a colleague that has taught me much of her culture and has ever since gained my attention. The Native American culture is a culture that I find truly intriguing. This is not the first time I hear about this culture. I have attended a few of their Powwows. A Powwow is how Native Americans reunite in intent to dance, sing, visit, renewing old friendships, and making new ones .
Powwows have managed to renew, enrich, and preserve the Native American culture. Back in the Twentieth Century, some performers enjoyed performing what some considered exaggerated war dances to entertain pioneer travelers. These shows started to get recognized by non-native audiences which they later got obsessed with the tradition. Powwows are a dance that celebrated the American Indian veterans that fought in World War I and II . These powwows later became a major annual tradition, which will continue to honor and celebrate American Indian veterans.
I selected the Native American culture because it’s a perfect example of a culture group. Native Americans have their core set of beliefs, patterns of behavior, and values. Not to mention Native Americans are identified by their ways of thinking and behavior .
The new cultural activity I will be witnessing is a Medicine man doing a cleanse of my interviewee. She is currently having respiratory issues and her head is falling inward. Head falling in means fontanelles occurring to the skull.
The cleanse is a total of six steps that must be carefully done for it to be effective. The overall results will help stop the fontanelles as well as the respiratory issues of the interviewee. This activity meets the requirements in the aspect that the spiritual cleanse takes two hours and thirty minutes. This experience is something that is not illegal or would place me in an unreasonable physical or psychological risk. I’ll just be in the same room as the interviewee and watching the cleanse occur. Therefore, I will have meaningful contact with the intended cultural group. This activity meets all requirements minus one. As I notify my interviewee about getting some pictures and videos of when the cleanse occurs, she advised me that the Medicine man prohibits video and photos because it’s a sacred experience. This spiritual cleansing will occur on May 30, 2020, which is this Saturday. At 5 pm MST and will end roughly at 7:30 pm which is two hours and thirty minutes.
My backup culture would be Zapotec which originates from the Valley of Oaxaca. This culture goes back at least 2500 years. What Zapotec did for financial stability was sale maize (corn) as a cash crop. In the valley region, a limited number of farmers plant garbanzo beans or wheat as an off-season crop, whereas maguey, which is used to make the liquor mescal, is widely planted as a cash crop (Encyclopedia. 2020). The activity that I’ll be concentrating on is the development of the mescal that was conducted by the Zapotec. There is a total of eight steps that must be conducted to make a fine bottle of mescal. I had the opportunity of watching the magic happen before my eyes when I was about 16 years old. The development of mescal is amusing and worth seeing. The only concern I do have is if my first cultural experience will be approved? I intended to meet all assignment expectations but due to their strict cultural ethics, it prohibits photos and videos to occur.