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Culture: Bushmen Vs. American Essay

809 words - 4 pages

Throughout the years, humans have shaped the world and many societies have developed different cultural patterns. Culture is the way of life of a society. Through culture, we learn how to collaborate with groups of people and we learn how to survive and adapt to changes. It is composed of values and beliefs that are shared by other members of society, as well as species survival. Every culture has different cultural elements that are vital to one’s survival in a certain place.

The Bushmen are known to be one of the oldest inhabitants of the Kalahari Desert in South Africa. In the Bushmen culture, generosity and modesty is valued immensely. There are many more cultural elements of the Bushman tribe that include language, attire, animal and dance rituals, equality, music, and their amount of knowledge. They spoke San and dressed in either a small piece of animal skin tied in the front, or old and dusty western attire. Being a hunter-gatherer society, the nomadic Bushmen traveled often. They traveled light, in small bands consisting of family members. Because they traveled often and had no permanent residence, they set up camps and made their homes out of grasses and branches. Rites of passage rituals for the Bushmen people include first buck ceremony, choma, marriage, and girls’ first menstruation. The Bushmen had a small population. This is because population control was a way of life for the members of the Bushmen tribe. Women would have one child at a time and they would nurse the child until the age of 4. They would wait approximately four years to have another child, but the Bushmen people practiced infanticide. Almost twenty percent of babies would die before they reached their first birthday.

The Bushmen had a substantial lack of inequality in their culture. They had no economic or social class inequality. Although segregated in some of the roles they perform, majority of the roles of women and men were of equal importance. The most important element of the Bushmen culture is the profound amount of knowledge they possess concerning the environment around them. They possess much knowledge about plants, water sources, and animal habits. Because the Bushmen hardly worked, they spent most of their time telling stories, bonding with other members, and playing games. Music was also a major element to the Bushmen culture. They created homemade instruments and played music as a way of self-expression. The Bushmen tribe believed in one powerful god but recognized the lesser gods as well.

The American culture is quite...

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