A Cultural Analysis Of Mexico.

4693 words - 19 pages

IntroductionHistoryMexico as a nation holds a great deal of pride in its vast history and signs such as icons and landmarks make-up a significant portion of the country's cultural environment through its practices, stories, and its architecture. The symbols of the country date back as far as Mexico's history. In order to gain a true appreciation of the Mexican culture, and furthermore interact with its people, it is essential that a traveler have at least a basic understanding of Mexican history; especially because it is often a topic of conversation. Mexico's culture has been affected by two major dimensions of its history: its native roots amongst a vast number of tribes and seven major periods of history.Ancient Beginnings and Native Peoples:There is evidence of human existence in México since 20,000 years BC. In Tepéxpan to the North of the Valley of México, the remains of a human corpse were found beside those of a mammoth. Using the Carbon 14 test, these remains were dated at approximately 10,000 years BC. Agriculture began to manifest itself from the year 3,000 BC. The American continent was isolated during many centuries, which explains the originality of its civilization. Northern México was populated by peoples who lived from hunting and collecting in a desert or semi-desert geographical environment. The South was populated by agricultural societies.Even though in the vast Mesoamerica region (a term used by scholars to designate peoples which occupied the central area of México down to Guatemala and Honduras to the South), many different peoples with their own ethnic and linguistic differences coexisted, they had a cultural homogeneity, for instance they cultivated corn, they have a singular structure of government, they used the 365 day calendar, they built pyramids, they used similar rituals and worshiped the same gods and goddesses of the sky, of nature, of fertility and of war. The same concept of cosmic duality - the beginning and the end - appears in the religion and art of all Mesoamerican cultures. The most evident example of this cosmic duality is the god Quetzalcoatl (or Kukulkán in the Mayan area) which is represented by a feathered serpent (earth and sky).While there were many native cultures in México, these are six that are considered to be the most influential. Each developed in a different epoch of the history of ancient México: The Olmecs, Teotihuacáns, Toltecs, Mayans, Zapotecs &Mixtec, and Aztecs.México's first-established culture had far-reaching influence; later groups are known to have borrowed heavily from the Olmecs. The Olmec culture is quite mysterious, since we know almost nothing about where they came from, or why they disappeared.Next, the Teotihuacán; this city-state of Teotihuacán located on the central highland of México covered an area of 22.5 sq. km. and its population reached 200,000 inhabitants by the year...

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