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World Cultures

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Alexis Armijo

on 24 February 2014

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Transcript of World Cultures

World Cultures
Oglala Lakota
Inca
South Africa
Vietnam
Australian Aborigines
Overview
Australia's Aboriginal Culture is the oldest surviving culture in the world. They never developed an "iron age" or "bronze age" and stone technology did not progress the same way as it did in the rest of the world. As Modern Man spread throughout the world, Australians remained relatively isolated on their island.
Religion
The Aborigines belong to the longest continuing religion in the world. It is characterized by having a god(s) who created people and environment during a particular creation period at the beginning of time. Instead of praying to a single god that they cannot see, each group believes in a number of different deities whose image is depicted in a tangible form.
The landscape features could be the embodiment of the deity itself but they do not believe in Animism. They believe that many animals and plants are interchangeable with human life through reincarnation. This relates back to the Creation Period when animals and plants were once people. There is no one deity that covers all of Australia; each tribe has its own deities with an overlap of beliefs.
Deity Categories
Ancestral Beings: direct ancestors of the people living today; taught the first people to make tools and weapons, hunt animals, collect food, layed down laws that govern society and how to conduct ceremonies. Even though they are regarded as ancestors of people, they may not appear in human form, a plant or animal is possible. A person's spirit may return in human, animal, or plant form after death. Each Ancestral Being has its own creation story, performed specific activites in the Creation Period, and played a specific role in laying down laws for people to follow or in creating the landscape.
Creation Beings: involved with creation of people, landscape, and environmental aspects, such as the creation of red, yellow or white pigments.
Totemic Beings: represents the original form of an animal, plant, or other object, as it was during the Creation Period. The Totemic Being may create the abundance or species, and people see themselves as being derived from the different Totemic Beings. Ex) a person connected with a yam totem could believe that he was a yam in a previous life, that some yams are his relatives, and that a particularly prominent rock feature in his clan estate represents the embodiment of his yam ancestor.
Religion Continued...
Greece
This was the time when the Ancestral Beings created landforms, animals and plants. Ex) certain animals digging to create lagoons or pushing up mountain ranges. The Aborigines often interpreted dreams as being the memory of tings that happened during this time. Dreams could also represent a time when we are transformed back into that ancestral time. Their stories are told to children, discussed around campfires, and are sung and acted out in plays and dances during ceremonies. Depictions relating to the Creation Period are featured in art forms on weapons, utensils, body painting, rock art, ect. The Dreamtime stories form the basis of Aboriginal Religion, behavior, law, and order in society.
The Creation Period- Dreamtime
Aboriginal Housing
The type of housing that people used depended on the available resources. Much of Australia has a mild climate so people often slept in the open, provided with warmth from the campfire. Housing usually consisted of simple shelters from a framework of branches covered by leafy branches or sheets of bark. In many regions, shallow caves below overhanging rocks provided them with natural shelter from the weather.
Food
They ate a wide range of plants and animals along with insects such as ants, grubs, and beetles. They also ate fish and eels provided by streams. Many birds were eaten, including waterfowl, scrub fowl, the Cassowary, and the Jabiru. The yellow fat of the Goanna was considered a delicacy. People climbed trees to catch animals and reach beehives for honey. Wax from beehives was used to seal water containers. Throughout much of the island, a small hatchet with a stone head was used to cut toe holds into trees to help with climbing.
Women's Basketry
Women would create caskets out of a number of different resources. The made large baskets out of woven cane from the rainforests, string bags from string twisted from plant fibers, and water containers made from folded bark and sealed with bees wax resin.
Ceremonial Life
Small ceremonies, aka rituals, are still practiced in some parts of Australia in order to ensure a supply of plant and animal foods. They involve chants, songs, and dances or ritual action to invoke the Ancestral Beings to provide a good supply of food and rain. The most important ceremonies are those that initiate boys and girls into adulthood.
Funeral Ceremonies
For these ceremonies people will paint themselves white, cut their bodies to show remorse for the loss of their loved one, and conduct and series of rituals, songs and dances to ensure that the person's spirit leaves the area and returns to its birth place, from where it can later be reborn. Burial practices vary throughout the Australian continent.
Burials
During the Primary Burial, the corpse is layed out on an elevated wooden platform, covered in leaves and branches and left several months for the flesh to rot away from the bones. The Secondary Burial is when the bones are collected from the platform, painted with red ochre, and dispersed in different ways. Occasionally the relative will carry a portion of the bones with them for a year or more. Other times they are wrapped in paperbark and deposited in a cave shelter, where they are left to disintegrate.
Aboriginal Art
Art and decoration is an integral part of traditional life. It is used as body decoration in ceremonies, on shelter walls, on trees (dendroglyphs), carved on rocks (petroglyphs), weapons, utensils, and sacred objects. Painted and carved art can be divided into two broad categories- naturalistic/figurative and non-naturalistic/non-figurative. However, their art includes much more complex things like stencils, thread-cross strings on poles, free standing carvings and objects including beeswax models, charcoal drawings, drawings and raised designs in sand, application of feathers and feather down, ect.
Naturalistic/Figurative Style
This art form is recognizable as to what the the basic subject being depicted as. In other words, it looks natural. Some of the most prominent naturalistic art is found in the rock art in northern Australia. One form of this style is called "X-ray" art; the internal anatomy of an animal is shown in the painting. "X-ray" art is still used today for the tourist market.
Non-Naturalistic/Non-Figurative Style
Non-naturalistic art includes abstract styles and geometric patterns, the most common being those seen in the art of central Australia. Here, for example, the arc shape might represent a person sitting at their campfire or it may represent a boomerang.
Dots....
The use of dots was once used all throughout Australia. It was particularly seen on the body decoration for ceremonies. In the Kimberley Region, paintings have been found where dots are clearly seen on the body decoration of some of the earliest human figures, likely to be older than 20,000 years.
Social Structure 1
Physical or geographical structuring of society: Tribes consist of about 500 people made up of bands of about 10-20 people each. They join together daily for hunting and gathering. Each band of people is called a "horde" and within each horde are several families.
Tribes
In Australia, tribes are really language groups made up of people that share the same language, customs, and general laws. Because tribes are like small countries, some tribal groups use the term "nation" to describe themselves. Tribes were generally not war-making and were not led by a chief. There were an estimated 500 Aboriginal tribes at the time of European settlement; about 400 of these still have people representing them today.
Social Structure 2
The religious and totemic structuring of society: On a religious level, much of Australian society is divided into Moieties. These Moieties are based on Ancestral Beings from the Creation Period. Within each Moiety are significant animals, plants, or places, which are highly religious in nature. Each person belongs to a moiety and is connected with a "totem".
Moieties
The Moiety system divides all the members of a tribe into two groups, based on a connection with certain animals, plants, or other aspects of their environment. A person is born into a group and it doesn't ever change. An individual belonging to one Moiety has to marry someone of the opposite Moiety; called an Exogamous System.
Social Structure 3
The Kinship System: This system allows each person in Aboriginal society to be named in relation to one another. When Aborigines accept an outsider into their group, they have to name that person in relation to themselves, to allow that person to fit into their society. They need to have in their own minds the kinship relation of that person to themselves and that person must have a defined social position. This system allows individual naming for up to 70 relationship terms in some tribes (mother, grandfather, uncle, ect.) A person knows who their real parents are but under the kinship laws they may have similar family obligations to their aunts and uncles, the same they would to their mother and father, and this is reciprocated.
Totemic Groups
A totem is an animal, plant, or other object that is believed to be ancestrally related to a person. It can be represented in nature in the form of a large rock, tree, hill, river, or other landforms. It may have a man made emblem like a wooden pole, ceremonial board, or other decorated object represent it. The imagery of totems is often depicted in Aboriginal art.
Clans
Clans are the land-owning unit; they have their own name and territory. They consist of about 40-50 people that have a common territory, totems, and have their own group name. It includes groups of extended families. The sisters and daughters of one clan go to live on their husbands' clan territory, if that is the tradition of the tribe. Even though a clan has its own territory, members of one clan live with one another, for the wives of the clansmen have come from the clans of the opposite moiety. In other words, if a woman marries a man, but does not change her surname to his; if her surname were her clan name, then despite marrying a man from another clan, her clan name remains the same and she still belongs to the clan of her father.
Hordes/Bands
A horde is an economic group that consists of a number of families that get together for hunting and gathering. In the minds of the Aborigines, a horde is not a distinct group. At the main camp, the horde separates into family groups who each have their own campfire and cook and eat separately, but may also share food between families.
Families
A family group can be quite large, consisting of a man and his wives, the children from each wife, and sometimes parents or in-laws. A man often has two to four wives, but nowadays most have just one wife.

The Mother-in-law Rule: Aboriginal custom all over Australia bans a person from talking directly with their mother-in-law. It applies to both men and women. When food was divided and shared around campfires, a mother-in-law had a small fire of her own, separate from her son-in-law or daughter-in-law and their spouse. Her own child would talk and bring over some food; grandchildren might also act as a messenger between the two.
Today
Their culture is not described as a "civilization", yet it contains all the elements of a civilized world. Some of the most important issues that face our world today and in the future, like maintaining social cohesion, avoiding major wars, dealing with overpopulation, preventing the destruction of our environment, and the use of non-renewable resources, had been overcome by Aborigines and their ancient culture as they filled every part of Australia. Maybe we should regard Western culture as "developing" and Aboriginal culture as "advanced"...Just a thought...People today live across the full spectrum of change from traditional Aboriginal culture to European culture. It is the Spirituality and the heritage, the sense of belonging to the land, the arts, and the importance of family and ancestry, which continue as the modern essentials of Aboriginal Culture.
Quick Facts
Capital: Pretoria
Climate: mostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights
Ethnic Makeup: 75.2% black; 13.6% White; 8.6% "Colored"; 2.6% Indian
Religions: 68% Christian; 2% Muslim; 1.5% Hindu; 28.5% indigenous beliefs and animist
11 Official Languages
Overview
South Africa is one of the most multicultural countries in the world. The black majority still has a substantial number of rural inhabitants who lead largely impoverished lives; but among these people are the cultural traditions that survive most strongly. There are small groups of speakers of endangered languages, most of which are of the Khoi-San family, that have no official status. Members of the middle class have lifestyles similar to those of people in Western Europe, North America, and "Australasia".
Apartheid
Racial Segregation in South Africa began in colonial times under Dutch rule. Apartheid as an official policy was introduced following the general election of 1948. Legislation classified inhabitants into four racial groups: "black", "white", "colored", and "Indian". Residential areas were segregated, sometimes by forced removals. Non-white political representation was abolished in 1970 and starting in that year, black people were deprived of their citizen ship, legally becoming citizens of on of ten tribally based self-governing homelands called Bantustans, four of which became nominally independent states. The government segregated education, medical care, beaches, and other public services, and provided black people with services inferior to those of white people.
Apartheid Continued...
Apartheid sparked significant internal resistance and violence, and a long arms and trade embargo again South Africa. Since the 1950s, a series of popular uprisings and protests was met with the banning of opposition and imprisoning of anti-apartheid leaders. As unrest spread and became more effective and militarized, the state responded with repression and violence. Along with sanctions placed on South Africa by the West, this made it increasingly difficult for the government to maintain the regime.
More Apartheid...
Reforms to apartheid in the 1980s failed to quell the mounting opposition, and in 1990, President Frederik Willem de Klerk began negotiations to end apartheid, culminating in multi-racial democratic elections in 1994, won by the African National Congress under Nelson Mandela. The vestiges of apartheid still shape South African politics and society. Although the official abolishing of apartheid occurred in 1990 with repeal of the last remaining apartheid laws, the end of apartheid is widely regarded as arising from the 1994 democratic general elections. You can't just get rid of some laws and expect the mindset that was drilled into peoples brains for years to suddenly disappear.
{Woman's Day}
Even More Apartheid...
Before South Africa became a republic, politics among white South Africans was typified by the division between mainly Afrikaner pro-republic conservative and the largely English anti-republican liberal sentiments (the assholes). The legacy of the Boer War was still a factor for some people. Once the status of a republic was attained, Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd called for improved relations and greater accord between those of British decent and the Afrikaners. He claimed that the only difference at that point was between those who supported apartheid and those in opposition to it. The ethnic divide would no longer be between Afrikaans speakers and English speakers but between white and black ethnicities.
Not Done Yet...
Apartheid has negatively affected the lives of all South African children but its effects have been particularly devastating for black children. The consequences of poverty, racism, and violence have resulted in psychological disorders, and a generation of maladjusted children may be the result. The trauma associated with growing up in a divided society is ridiculous and the "childshock" caused by political unrest and a society in throes of major social transition is mentally and emotionally scarring.
Indian South Africans
Indian South Africans preserve their cultural heritage, languages, and religious beliefs with Indian languages like Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, or Gujarati. The first Indians arrived on the Truro ship as indentured laborers in Natal to work in sugar cane fields, while the rest arrived as traders. A post-apartheid wave of South Asian immigration has also influenced South African Indian culture.
Art
The oldest art objects in the world were discovered in a South African cave. Dating from 75,000 years ago, these small drilled snail shells could have no other function than to have been strung on string as necklaces. The scattered tribes of Khoisan people moved into South Africa around 10,000BC and had their own fluent art styles seen today in a multitude of cave paintings. They were superseded by Bantu and Nguni people with their own vocabularies and art forms. In the 20th century, traditional tribal forms of art were scattered and re-melded by the divisive policies of Apartheid. The Dutch-influenced folk art of the Afrikaner Trekboer and the urban white artists earnestly following changing European traditions from the 1850s onwards also contributed to the mix.
Architecture
The architecture of South America reflects the vast ethnic and cultural diversity of the country and its historical colonial period. Cape Dutch architecture was prominent in the early days (17th century) of the Cape Colony. The style has roots in medieval Holland, Germany, France, and Indonesia. The rural landscape of the South Africa is populated with the traditional African architecture.
Literature
Their themes included precolonial life, the days of Apartheid, and the lives of people in the "new South Africa". Many of the first black South African print authors were missionary-educated, and many wrote in either English or Afrikaans. Nadine Gordimer was the first South African to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991. Her most famous novel, July's People, was released in 1981, it depicted the collapse of white-minority rule. Afrikaans-language writers also wrote about controversial material. Breyten Breytenbach was jailed for his involvement with the guerrilla movement against Apartheid. Andre Brink was the first Afrikaner writer to be banned by the government after he released the novel A Dry White Season about a white South African who discovers the truth about a black friend who dies in police custody. English writer J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion, was born in Bloemfontein in 1892.
Poetry
South Africa has a rich tradition of oral poetry. In the 1970s, several influential poets became prominent, such as Mongane Wally Serote, whose famous work, No Baby Must Weep, gave insight into the every day lives of black South Africans under Apartheid.
Music
Many black musicians who sang in Afrikaans or English during Apartheid have since begun to sing in traditional African languages, and have developed a unique style called Kwaito. White and colored South African singers are historically influenced by European musical styles. Some may argue that the political aspects of Kwaito fave diminished after Apartheid, and the relative interest in politics has become a minor aspect of daily life. Others argue that in a sense, Kwaito is a political force that shows activism in its apolitical actions.
Food
The food in South Africa is heavily meat-based and has given rise to the distinctively South African social gathering known as a Braai, or barbecue. Braai is widely popular, especially with whites, and includes meat, especially boerewors or spicy sausages, and mielies (maize) or Mielie-meal, often as porridge, or pearl millet, a staple food of black South Africans. Pastries such as Koeksisters and desserts like melktert (milk tart) are also incredibly popular. Vegetarianism is becoming widely accepted. Indian food like curry is also popular, especially in Durban. The Portuguese community also made its mark. The South African Portuguese-themed restaurant chain Nando's now has restaurants in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Kenya.
Wine
South Africa has developed into a major wine producer. South African wine has a history dating back to 1659, and at one time, Constantia was considered one of the greatest wines in the world.
Education
Learners have twelve years of formal schooling, from grade 1-12. Grade R is a pre-primary foundation year. Primary schools span the first seven years of schooling. High School education spans a further five years. The Senior Certificate examination takes place at the end of grade 12 and is necessary for tertiary studies at a South African university. Under Apartheid, schools for blacks were subject to discrimination through inadequate funding and a separate syllabus called Bantu Education which only designed to give them sufficient skills to work as laborers. Redressing these imbalances was a focus of recent education policy.
College Education
Public universities in South Africa are divided into 3 types: Traditional universities, which offer theoretically oriented university degrees; universities of technology ("Technikons"), which offer vocational oriented diplomas and degrees; and comprehensive universities, which offer both types of qualification. Public institutions are usually English medium, however, instruction may take place in Afrikaans as well. There are also a large number of other educational institutions in South Africa -- some at local campuses of foreign universities.
Family
The basic unit of their society the family, which includes the nuclear family and the extended family or tribe. In traditional African society, the tribe is the most important community as it is the equivalent of a nation. The tribe provides both emotional and financial security in much the same way the nuclear family does to white South Africans. The more traditional Afrikaans culture considers their extended family to be almost as important as their nuclear family, while English-speaking white community places more emphasis on the nuclear family. The nuclear family is the ultimate basis of the tribe. The tribal and family units are being disrupted by changes in the economic reorganization of the country. As more people move into urban areas, they attempt to maintain familial ties, including providing financial support to family members who have remained in the village.
Random
The majority of whites living in rural areas are Afrikaner farmers who are descended from the Calvinists. The many rural black communities are still rooted in the traditions of their heritage, whereas the increasingly urban black community combines their roots with the urban environment and international influences that surround them.
Gender Roles
In general, all racial and ethnic groups in South Africa have long-standing beliefs concerning gender roles, and most are based on the premise that women are less important, or less deserving of power, than men. Most African traditional social organizations are male centered and male dominated. Even in the 1990s, in some rural areas, for example, wives walk a few paces behind their husbands in keeping with traditional practices. A minority of ultra-conservative Afrikaners' religious beliefs include a strong emphasis on the theoretically biblical based notion that women's contributions to society should normally be approved by men. English speaking whites tend to be the most liberal group. Women have been presented with new opportunities and responsibilites. They have had to guarantee the day-to-day survival of their families and to carry out financial and legal transactions that otherwise would have been reserved for men.
Sexual Orientation
South African enacted same-sex marriage laws in 2006 allowing full marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples. Although the Constitutional and legal system in South Africa theoretically ensure equality, social acceptance is generally lacking. Gay women from smaller towns are often victims of beating or rape due to the perceived threat they pose to traditional male authority. Evidence of hatred may influence rulings on a case-by-case basis, they have no specific "hate crime" legislation. Human rights organizations have criticized the South African police for failing to address the matter of bias motivated crime. For example, the NGO ActionAid has condemned the continued impunity and accused governments of turning a blind eye to reported murders of lesbians and homophobic attacks as well as to so-called "corrective rapes", in which male rapists claim that raping the lesbian victim was intended to thereby "cure" her of her sexual orientation. Human rights watchdogs believe that much of the sexism and homophobia that erupts is tied to male frustration with unemployment and poverty.
Science and Technology
Several important scientific and technological developments have originated in South Africa. The first human-to-human heart transplant was performed by cardiac surgeon Christiaan Barnard at Groote Schuur Hospital in December 1967. Max Theiler developed a vaccine against Yellow Fever, Allan McLeod Cormack pioneered x-ray Computed tomography, and Aaron Klug developed crystallographic electron microscopy techniques. These advancements were all (except Barnard) recognized with Nobel Prizes. South Africa has cultivated a burgeoning astronomy community. It hosts the Southern African Large Telescope, the largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere.
Sports
The most popular sports in South Africa are soccer, rugby, and cricket. Other sports with significant support are hockey, swimming, golf, boxing, tennis, and netball. Although soccer commands the greatest following among the youth, other sports like basketball, surfing, and skateboarding are increasingly popular. Durban Surfer Jordy Smith won the 2010 Billabong J-Bay competition making him the number 1 ranked surfer in the world at the time. South Africa has also produced numerous world class rugby players. They hosted and won the 1995 Rugby World Cup and won the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France. It followed the 1995 Rugby World Cup by hosting the 1996 African Cup of Nations, with the national team going on the win the tournament. In 2004, the swimming team of Roland Schoeman, Lyndon Ferns, Darian Townsend and Ryk Neethling won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Athens, simultaneously breaking the world record in the 4x100 relay. Penny Heyns won Olympic Gold in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. In golf, Gary Player is generally regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time, having won the Career Grand Slam.
Death Rituals
Many people believe that death is the loss of a soul, or souls. Although there is recognition of the difference between the physical person and that is buried and the nonphysical person who lives on, don't confuse this with the Western dualism that separates "physical" from "spiritual". When a person dies, there is not some "part" of them that lives on- it is the whole person who continues to live in the spirit world, receiving a new body identical to the earthly body, but with enhanced powers to move about as an ancestor. The death of children is regarded as a particularly grievous evil event, and many people give special names to their children to try to ward of the recurrence of untimely death.
Death Rituals Continued...
There are many different ideas about the "place" the departed go to, a "land" which in most cases seems to be a replica of this world. For some it it under the earth, in groves, near or in homes of earthly families, or on the other side of a deep river. In most cases it is an extension of what is known at present, although for some people it is a much better place without pain or hunger. Kenyan scholar John Mbiti wrote that a belief in the continuation of life after death for African peoples "does not constitute a hope for a future and better life. To live here and now is the most important concern of African religious activities and beliefs....Even life in the hereafter is conceived in materialistic and physical terms. There is neither paradise to be hoped for nor hell to be feared in the hereafter."
African Concept of the Afterlife
Nearly all African people have a belief in a singular supreme being, the creator of the earth. Although the dead are believed to be somehow nearer to the supreme being than the living. Most Africans believe that rewards and punishment come to people in this life and not in the hereafter. If a person is a wizard, murderer, thief, one who has broken the community code or taboos, or one who has had an unnatural death or an improper burial, then such a person may be doomed to punishment in the afterlife as a wandering ghost, and may be beaten and expelled by the ancestors or subjected to a period of torture according to the seriousness of their misdeeds, much like the Catholic concept of Purgatory.
Afterlife Continued...
They have the belief that witches and sorcerers are not admitted to the spirit world, and therefore they are refused proper burial -- sometimes their bodies are subjected to actions that would make such burial impossible, such as burning, chopping up, and feeding them to the hyenas. To be cut off from the community of the ancestors in death is the nearest equivalent of hell.
More Afterlife...
The concept of reincarnation is found among many people. In the religions of Africa, like does not end with death, but continues in another realm. The African religions scholar Placide Tempels describes every misfortune that Africans encounter as "a diminution of vital force". Illness and death results from some outside agent, a person, thing, or circumstance that weakens people because the agent contains a greater life force. Death does not alter or end the life or personality of an individual, but only causes a change in its conditions. This is expressed in the concept of "ancestors", people who have died but who continue to "live" in the community and communicate with their families. The concepts described in many cases have been altered in the 20th century through the widespread influence of Christian and Islam.
The African Concept of Death
Death, although a dreaded event, is perceived as the beginning of a person's deeper relationship with all of creation, the complementing of life and the beginning of the communication between the visible and the invisible worlds. The goal of life is to become an ancestor after death. This is hwy every person who dies must be given a correct funeral. If this is not done, the dead person may become a wandering ghost, unable to "live" properly after death and therefore a danger to those who remain alive. It might be argued that "proper" death rites are more a guarantee of protection for the living than to secure a safe passage for the dying. It is believed that the dead have power over the living.
Death Continued...
Many African people have a custom of removing a dead body through a hole in the wall of a house, and not through the door. The reason for this seems to be that this will make it difficult (or even impossible) for the dead person to remember the way back to the living, as the hole in the wall is immediately closed. Sometimes the corpse is removed feet first, symbolically pointing away from the former place of residence. A zigzag path may be taken to the burial site, or thorns strewn along the way, or a barrier erected at the grave itself because the dead are also believed to strengthen the living.
More Death...
Africans are "world-affirming" and welcome reincarnation. The dead are glad to return to the world from the darkness and coldness of the grave. the dead return to their communities, except for those unfortunate ones previously mentioned. No limits are set for the number of possible reincarnations -- an ancestor may be reincarnated in more than one person at a time. It is important to discover which ancestor is reborn in a child, for this reason for deep thankfulness. the destiny of a community is fulfilled through both successive and simultaneous multiple reincarnations.
And More Death...
Transmigration (also called Metempsychosis) denotes the changing of a person into an animal. Witches or Sorcerers are believed to be able to transform into an animal in order to perform evil deeds. Africans also believe that people many inhabit particular animals after death, especially snakes, which are treated with great respect. Some African rulers reappear as lions. Some believe that the dead will reappear in the form of the totem animal of that ethnic group, and these totems are fearsome, (such as lions, leopards, or crocodiles). They symbolize the terrible punishments the dead can inflict if the moral values of the community are not upheld.
Burial and Mourning Customs
Death in African Religions is one of the last transitional stages of life requiring passage rites. It takes a long time to complete and the deceased must be "detached" from the living and make as smooth a transition to the next life as possible. The journey to the world of the dead has many interruptions. If the correct funeral rites are not observed, the deceased may come back to trouble the living relatives. Usually an animal is killed in ritual, although this also serves the practical purpose of providing food for the guests. Personal belongings are often buried with the deceased. Some kill an ox at the burial to accompany them. It is called "the returning ox" because the beast accompanies the deceased back to his or her family and enables the deceased to act as a protecting ancestor. The "home-bringing" rite is a common African ceremony. Only when a deceased person's surviving relatives have gone, and there is no one left to remember them, can the person be said to have really "died". At that point the deceased passes into the "graveyard" of time, losing individuality and becoming one of the unknown multitude of immortals.
Burials Continued...
Many African burial rites begin with the sending away of the departed with a request that they do not bring trouble to the living. Funeral rites simultaneously mourn for the dead and celebrate life in all its abundance. Funerals are a time for the community to be in solidarity and to regain its identity. In some communities this may include dancing and merriment for all but the immediate family, thus limiting or even denying the destructive powers of death and providing the deceased with "light feet" for the journey to the other world. Ancient customs are adapted in many South African urban funerals. When someone has died in a house, all the windows are smeared with ash, all pictures in the house turned around and all mirrors and televisions and any other reflective objects covered. The beds are removed from the deceased's room, and the bereaved women sit on the floor, usually on a mattress. During the time preceding the funeral --usually from 7 to 13 days-- visits are paid by people in the community to comfort the bereaved family. In the case of Christians, consolatory services are held at the bereaved home. The day before the funeral the corpse is brought home before sunset and placed in the bedroom. A night vigil takes place, often lasting until morning. A ritual killing is sometimes made for the ancestors; it is believed that blood must be shed at this time to avoid further misfortune. Some people use the hide of the slaughtered beast to cover the corpse or place it on top of the coffin as a "blanket" for the deceased. Traditionally, the funeral takes place in early morning and not in late afternoon because it is believed that the sorcerers move around in the afternoons looking for corpses to use for their evil purposes.
More Burials...
In some communities children and unmarred adults are not allowed to attend the funeral. Immediate family of the deceased are expected to stay together on one side of the grave at a designated place at the burial. They are forbidden from speaking or taking any vocal part in the funeral. It is customary to place the deceased's personal property, including eating utensils, walking sticks, blankets, and other useful items, in the grave. After the funeral the people are invited to the deceased's home for the funeral meal. Many people follow a cleansing ritual at the gate of the house, where everyone must wash off the dust of the graveyard before entering the house. Sometimes pieces of aloe are placed in the water, and this water is believed to remove bad luck.
Mourning Customs Continued...
In Southern Africa the period of strict mourning usually continues for at least a week after the funeral. During this time the bereaved stay home and do not socialize or have sexual contact. Some wear black and shave their hair (including facial hair) from the day after the funeral. Because life is concentrated in the hair, shaving it symbolizes death, and its growing again indicates the strengthening of life. People in physical contact with the corpse are often regarded as unclean. the things belonging to the deceased should not be used during this time. Contact with the deceased are all washed. The clothes of the deceased are wrapped up in a bundle and put away for a year or until the extended period of mourning has ended, after which they are distributed to family members or destroyed by burning. After a certain period of time the house and family must be cleansed from bad luck, from uncleanness and "darkness". The bereaved family members are washed and a ritual killing takes place. The time of the cleansing is usually seven days after the funeral, but some observe a month or even longer. Traditionally, a widow had to remain in mourning for a year after her husband's death and the children of a deceased parent were in mourning for 3 months.
More Mourning Customs...
A practice that seems to be disappearing in African urban areas is the home-bringing ritual. A month or two after the funeral the grieving family slaughters beast and then goes to the graveyard. They speak to the ancestors to allow the deceased to return home to rest. It is believed that at the graves the spirits are hovering on the earth and are restless until they are brought home --an extremely dangerous situation for the family. The family members take some of the earth covering the grave and put it in a bottle. They proceed home with the assurance that the deceased relative is accompanying them to look after the family as an ancestor. Some Christian churches have a night vigil at the home after the home-bringing. In some Zimbabwean churches, where the living believers escort the spirit of the deceased relative to heaven through their prayers, after which a mediating role can be attained.
Even More Mourning Customs...
Some of the indigenous rites have indeed been transformed and given Christian meanings, to which both Christians and those with traditional orientation can relate. African funerals are community affairs in which the whole community feels the grief of the bereaved and shares in it. The purpose of the activities preceding the funeral is to comfort, encourage, and heal those who are hurting. The churches see to it that the bereaved make the transition back to normal life as smoothly and as quickly as possible. This transition during the mourning eriod is sometimes accompanied by cleansing rituals by which the bereaved are assured of their acceptance and protection by God. Because the dominance of Christianity and Islam in Africa has resulted in the rejection of certain mourning customs, the funeral becomes an opportunity to declare faith.
RIP Nelson Mandela
Economy
The economy of South Africa is the largest in Africa. It accounts for 24% of its gross domestic product. It is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank. According to official estimates, a quarter of the population is unemployed and a quarter of South Africans live on less than US $1.25 a day.
Background
The Inca empire developed between 1400 and 1500 AD. Before the 15th century the Andean region was populated by many different tribes of people. Under the military leadership of Pachacuti and his son Topa Inca, who were emperors between 1438 and 1493, the Inca state became a great empire. Geographically, the empire was not the most attractive place to live. The north-western border is the coastal region of the Pacific Ocean, which is the driest desert on Earth. The Andes Mountains begin east of the desert, with steep slopes that make agriculture difficult. To the east of the Andes is the vast and humid jungle of the Amazon River Basin, inhabited by fierce tribes whom the Inca never managed to conquer.
Little bit of History
The Inca empire and culture was largely destroyed by the Spanish in the most brutal conquest seen on the American Continent. Under the leadership of Fransisco Pizarro the Spanish stole over 280,000 kilograms of gold from the Inca, and destroyed and prohibited all expression of native religion and culture. However, many traditions managed to survive in the myths and culture of Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. The present day Quechua-speaking peoples of the Andes are the descendants of the Inca. They make up about 45% of the Peruvian population. They live in close-knit communities and combine farming and herding with simple traditional technology.
More Brief History
The Inca empire was the largest empire in pre-colombian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The official language was Quechua. The Inca referred to their empire as Tawantinsuya, which roughly translates to "The four lands together." The empire was divided into four suyus, who corners met at the capital, Cusco. The four suyus were: Chinchay Suyo (North), Anti Suyo (East; Amazon Jungle), Colla Suyo (South) and Conti Suyo (west).
Origin
Inca oral history mention three possible places as three caves. The center cave, Tambo Tocco, was named for Capac Tocco. The other caves were Maras Tocco and Sutic Tocco. Four brothers and four sisters stepped out of the middle cave. Out of the side caves came the people who were to be the ancestors of all the clans of the Inca people. Ayar Manco carried a magic staff made of the finest gold. Where this staff landed, the people would all live there. They traveled for a very long time. On the way, Ayar Cachi was boasting about his great strength and power, and his siblings tricked him into returning to the cave to get a sacred llama. When he went into the cave, they trapped him inside to get rid of him. Ayar Uchu decided to stay on top of the cave to over look the Inca people. The minute he proclaimed that, he turned to stone. They built a shrine around the stone and it became a sacred object. Ayar Auca grew tired of all this and decided to travel alone. Only Ayar Manco and his four sisters remained.
Origin Continued....
Finally, they reached Cusco. The staff sank into the ground. Before they reached here, Mama Ocllo had already bore Ayar Manco a child, Sinchi Roca. (Incest?) The people who were already living in Cusco fought hard to keep their land, but Mama Huaca was a good fighter. When the enemy attacked, she threw her bolas (several stones ties together that spun in the air when thrown) at a soldier (gualla), and killed him instantly. The other people were so scared, they ran away. After that, Ayar Manco became known as Manco Cápac, the founder of the Inca. It is said that he and his sisters built the first Inca homes in the valley with their own hands. When the time came, Manco Cápac turned to stone like his brothers did before him. His son, Sinchi Roca, became the second emperor of the Inca.
Kingdom of Cusco
Under the leadership of Manco Cápac, they formed the small city-state Kingdom of Cusco. In 1438, they began a far-reaching expansion under the command of Sapa Inca (paramount leader) Pachacuti-Cusi Yupanqui, whose name literally meant "earth-shaker". During his reign, he and his son Tupac Yupanqui brought much of the Andes Mountains under Inca control. LOL Tupac.
Reorganization & Formation
Pachacuti reorganized the kingdom of Cusco into the Tahuantinsuyu, which consisted of a central government with the Inca at its head and four provincial governments with strong leaders: Chinchasuyu (NW), Antisuyu (NE), Kuntisuyu (SW), Qullasuyu (SE). Pachacuti is also thought to have built Machu Picchu, either as a family home or as a summer retreat, although there is spectulation that Machu Picchu was contructed as an agricultural station. Pachacuti sent spies to regions he wanted in his empire; they brought reports on the political organization, military might and wealth. He would send messages to the leaders of these lands extolling the benefits of joining his empire, offering them presents of luxury goods such as high quality textiles, and promising that they would be materially richer as subject rulers of the Inca. Most accepted the rule of the Inca as a "fait accompli" and reluctantly accepted it. The ruler's children would then be brought to Cusco to be taught about Inca Administration systems, then return to rule their native lands. This allowed the Inca to indoctrinate the former ruler's children into the Inca nobility, and, with luck, marry their daughters into families at various sections of the empire.
Pachacuti and stuff
Pachacuti and his son Topa Inca managed to reform these vastly different regions, inhabited by over 100 different tribes of people into a political union that could feed and clothe millions of people, carry out construction programs, and supply large armies. He was one of the most powerful singular ruler that ever existed in world history. He did not depend on a council of advisors, but made all the decisions for his people alone. The Inca Emperor first of all appointed himself as a holy emperor. He claimed to be the direct descendant of the creator god Pachacamac (also called Viracocha). Under his rule, Cusco became a 'huaca', or holy place, dedicated to the sun god Inti. Pachacuti tore down the old adobe structures and had the entire city rebuilt in stone. On the south-end of town he built a temple dedicated to the sun god and, at the same time, to himself. Its walls were covered in vast quantities of gold.
Expansion & Consolidation
It was traditional for the Inca's son to lead the army; Pachacuti's son Túpac Inca Yupanqui began conquests to the north in 1463, and continued them as Inca after Pachacuti's death in 1471. His most important conquest was the kingdom of Chimor, the Inca's only serious rival for the coast of Peru. The advance south halted after the Battle of the Maule where they met determined resistance by the Mapuche. The empire's push into the Amazon Basin near the Chinchipe River was pushed back by the Shuar in 1527.
I don't know why this is blurry but it's annoying as heck
Spanish Conquest
One of the main events in the conquest of the Inca Empire was the death of Atahuapla, the last Sapa Inca on August 29, 1533. Spanish conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro and his brothers explored south from what is today Panama, reaching Inca territory by 1526. In 1529, Pizarro traveled to Spain and received royal approval to conquer the region and be its viceroy. When they returned to Peru in 1532, a war of the two brothers between Huayna Capac's sons Huáscar and Atahualpa and unrest among newly conquered territories--and perhaps more importantly, smallpox, which had spread from Central America--had considerable weakened the empire. Pizarro did not have a formidable force; with just 168 men, 1 cannon and 27 horses.
Spanish Conquest Continued....
The Spanish horsemen, fully armored, had great technological superiority over the Inca forces. The traditional mode of battle in the Andes was a kind of siege warfare where large numbers of usually reluctant draftees were sent to overwhelm opponents. The Spaniards had developed one of the finest military machines in the premodern world, tactics learned in their centuries-long fight against Moorish kingdoms in Iberia. Along with this tactical and material superiority, the Spaniards had also acquired tens of thousands of native allies who sought to end the Inca control of their territories.
More Spanish....
Their first engagement was the Battle of Puná, near present-day Guayaquil, Ecuador, on the Pacific Coast; Pizarro then founded the city of Piura in July 1532. Hernando de Soto was sent inland to explore the interior and returned with an invitation to meet the Inca, Atahualpa, who had defeated his brother in the civil war and was resting at Cajamarca with his army of 80,000 troops. Pizarro and some of his men, most notably a friar name Vincente de Valverde, met with the Inca, who had brought only a small retinue. Through an interpreter Friar Vincente read the "Requerimiento" that demanded that he and his empire accept the yoke of King Charles I of Spain and convert to Christianity. Because of the language barrier and perhaps poor interpretation, Atahualpa became somewhat puzzled by the friar's description of the Christian faith and was said to have not fully understood the envoy's intentions.
And More Spanish....
The Spanish became frustrated and impacient, attacking the Inca's retinue and capturing Atahualpa as hostage. Atahualpa offered the Spaniards enough gold to fill the room he was imprisoned in, and twice that amount of silver. The Inca fulfilled this ransom, but Pizarro deceived them, refusing to release the Inca afterwards. During Atahualpa's imprisonment Huáscar was assassinated elsewhere. The Spaniards maintained that this was at Atahualpa's orders; this was used as one of the charges against Atahualpa when the Spaniards finally decided to put him to death, in August 1533.
The Last Incas
The Spanish installed Atahualpa's brother Manco Inca Yupanqui in power; for some time Manco cooperated with the Spanish, while the Spanish fought to put down resistance in the north. As associate of Pizarro's, Diego de Almagro, attempted to claim Cusco for himself. Manco tried to use this intra-Spanish feud to his advantage, recapturing Cusco in 1536, but the Spanish retook the city afterwards. Manco Inca then retreated to the mountains of Vilcabamba, Peru, where he and his successors rule for another 36 years, sometimes raiding the Spanish or inciting revolts against them. In 1572 the last Inca stronghold was conquered, and the last ruler, Túpac Amaru, Manco's son, was captured and executed. This ended resistance to the Spanish conquest under the political authority of the Inca state.
Last Incas Continued....
After the fall of the Inca Empire many aspects of the Inca culture were systematically destroyed, including their sophisticated farming system, known as the vertical archipelago model of agriculture. Spanish colonial officials used the Inca "mita corvée" labor system for colonial aims. One member of each family was forced to work in the gold and silver mines. When a family member died, which would usually happen within a year or two, the family would be required to send a replacement.
Smallpox Effect on Last Incas
The effect of smallpox on the Inca Empire were even more devastating. The spread was probably aided by the efficient Inca road system. Within a few years smallpox claimed between 60% and 94% of the Inca population, with other waves of European disease weakening them further. Typhus in 1546; influenza and smallpox together in 1558; smallpox again in 1589; diphtheria in 1618--all ravaged the remains of the Inca culture.
Population
There is some debate about the number of people inhabiting Tawantinsuyu at its peak, with estimates ranging from as few as 4 million people to more than 37 million. The reason for these estimates is that in spite of the fact that the Inca kept excellent census records using their quipu, knowledge of how to read them has been lost, and almost all of them had been destroyed by the Spaniards during their conquest.
Language
Since the Inca Empire lacked a written language like English, the empire's main form of communication and recording came from quipus, ceramics, and spoken Quechua, the language the Incas imposed upon the people within the empire. The plethora of civilizations in the Andean region provided for a general disunity that the Incas needed to subdue in order to maintain control of the empire. The language imposed by the Incas further diverted from its original phonetic tone as some societies formed their own regional varieties, or slang. The diversity of Quechua at that point and even today does not come as a direct result from the Incas, who are just a part of the reason for Quechua's diversity. Although these dialects of Quechua have a similar linguistic structure, they differ according to the region in which they are spoken. Even though most of the societies within the empire implemented Quechua into their lives, the Incas allowed several societies to keep their old languages such as Aymara, which still remains a spoken language in contemporary Bolivia where it is the primary indigenous language and various regions of South America surrounding Bolivia.
Religion
Pachacuti drastically reorganized Inca religion. He claimed to be the direct descendent of the Inca Sun God Inti, which made his people extremely obedient. Pachacuti created a cult around himself and the Sun God Inti. Everyday the emperor would wear new clothes, the old ones from the previous day had to be burned, and he would only eat from golden plates. Inca society was a theocratic society, meaning that politics and religion were completely interwined. The Inca religion combined features of animism, fetishism, and the worship of nature gods representing forces of nature.
Religion Continued....
Inca myths were an oral tradition until early Spanish colonists recorded them; however, some scholars believe that they may have been recorded on quipus, Andean knotted string records. Inca Inca believed in reincarnation. Death was a passage to the next world that was full of difficulties. The spirit of the dead, camaquen, would need to follow a long, dark road and during the trip the assistance of a black dog that was able to see in the dark was required. Most Incas imagined the after world to be very similar to the Euro-American notion of heaven, with flower-covered fields and snow-capped mountains. It was important for the Inca to ensure they did not die as a result of burning or that the body of the deceased did not become incinerated.
More Religion....
Those who obeyed the Inca moral code--ama suwa, ama llulla, ama quella (do not steal, do not lie, do not be lazy)--"went to live in the Sun's warmth while others spent their eternal days in the cold earth". The Inca also practiced cranial deformation. They achieved this by wrapping tight cloth straps around the heads of newborns in order to alter the shape of their soft skulls into a more conical form; this cranial deformation was made to distinguish social classes of the communities, with only the nobility having cranial deformation. The Incas made human sacrifices. As many as 4,000 servants, court officials, favorites, and concubines were killed upon the death of the Inca Huayna Capac in 1527, for example. The Incas also performed child sacrifices during or after important events, such as the death of the Sapa Inca or during famine. These sacrifices were known as capacocha.
Deities
Viracocha: great creator god
Apu llapu: rain god
Ayar Cachi: hot-tempered god, causes earthquakes
llapa: goddess of lightning and thunder
Inti: sun god and patron deity of the holy city of Cusco
Kuychi: rainbow god, connected with fertility
Mama Kilya: wife of Inti, called Moon Mother
Qochamama: goddess of the sea
Sachamama: means Mother Tree, goddess in the shape of a snake with two heads
Economy
The Inca Empire as a whole had an economy based on exchange and taxation of luxury goods and labor. While evidence of trade between the Inca Empire and outside regions has been uncovered, there is not evidence that the Incas had a substantial internal market economy. Most inhabitants of the empire would have lived in a traditional economy in which male heads of household were required to pay taxes both in kind (crops, textiles, ect.) and in the form of the mit'a corvée labor and military obligations, though barter (or trueque) was also present in some areas. In return, the state provided security, food in times of hardship through the supply of emergency resources, agricultural projects (aqueducts, terraces) to increase productivity, and occasional feasts. The economy rested on the material foundations of the vertical archipelago, a system of ecological complementarity in accessing resources, and the cultural foundation of ayni, or reciprocal exchange.
Economy Probs
One of the problems of government was the redistribution of food and clothing. The corn, potatoes, and cotton need by millions of people were all produced in different areas of the empire. The Inca solved this problem by developing a form of practical socialism. Each village produced what its ecosystem would permit and gave its surplus to other villages. In return, poorer villages farming in the infertile mountain terraces received the products that they could not grow themselves. Some of the surplus was stored to feed soldiers or labor crews that were building temples or roads.
Government Beliefs
The Sapa Inca was conceptualized as divine and was effectively head of the state religion. Only the Willaq-Umu (chief priest) was second to the emperor. In some cases such as the Oracle at Pachacamac on the Peruvian Coast, emperors were officially venerated. Following Pachacuti, the Sapa Inca claimed descent from the Inti, which placed a high value on imperial blood; by the end of the empire, it was common to wed brother and sister. He was "son of the sun," and his people the intip churin, or "children of the sun," and both his right to rule and mission to conquer derived from his holy ancestor.
Empire Organization
The Inca Empire was a federalist system which consisted of a central government with the Inca at its head and four quarters, or suyu. These suyu were likely created around 1460 during the reign of Pachacuti before the empire assumed its largest territorial extent. The capital area, Cusco, was probably somewhat akin to a modern federal district, like Washington D.C. or Mexico City. The city served as the preeminent center of politics and religion. It was essentially governed by the Sapa Inca, his relatives, and the royal panaqa lineages, each suyu was governed by an Apu, a term of great esteem used for men of very high status and for venerated mountains. Both Cusco as a district and the four suyu as administrative regions were grouped into upper hanan and lower hurin divisions.
Laws
The Inca state had no separate judiciary or codified set of laws. While customs, expectations, and traditional local power holders did much in the way of governing behavior, the state, too, had legal force, such as through tokoyrikoq ("he who sees all"), or inspectors. The highest such inspector, typically a blood relation to the Sapa Inca, acted independently of the conventional hierarchy, providing a point of view for the Sapa Inca free of bureaucratic influence.
Architecture
Architecture was by far the most important of the Inca arts. The main example is the capital city of Cusco. The site of Machu Picchu was constructed by Inca engineers. The stone temples constructed by the Inca used a mortarless construction that fit together so well that a knife could not be fitted through the stonework. The rocks used in construction were sculpted to fit together exactly by repeatedly lowering a rock onto another and carving away any sections on the lower rock where the dust was compressed. The tight fit and the concavity on the lower rocks made them extraordinarily stable.
Measures
Physical measures employed by the Inca were based upon human body parts. Fingers, the distance between thumb and forefinger, palms, cubits, and wingspans were among those units used. The most basic unit of distance was thatkiy, or one pace. The next largest unit was reported by Cobo to be the topo, measuring 6,000 thatkiys, or about 4.8 miles (careful study has shown that a range of 2.5-3.9 miles is likely.)
Calendrics
Inca calendrics were strongly tied to astronomy. Inca astonomers understood equinoxes, solstices, and like zenith passages, not to mention the Venus Cycle. They could not, however, predict eclipses. The Inca calender was essentially lunisolar, as two calenders were maintained in parallel, one solar and one lunar. As twelve lunar months fall 11 days short of a full 365-day solar year, those in charge of the calender had to adjust every winter solstice. The twelve lunar months were all marked with specific festivals and rituals. There apparently were no names for days of the week, and it may be the case that ere were no subdivisions of time into weeks at all. Time during a given day was not reckoned in hours or minutes, but rather in terms of how far the sun had traveled or in how long it takes to perform a task.
Numbers
Numerical information itself was stored in the knots of the quipu strings, allowing for large numbers to be stored in a small amount of space. These numbers were stored in base-10 digits, the same base as used by the Quechua language and used in administrative and military units. These numbers, stored in quipu, could be calculated on yupanas, grids with squares of positionally varying mathematical values perhaps functioning along the lines of an abacus. Moving piles of tokens, seeds, or pebbles between the different compartments of the yupana allowed for calculations to take place.
Ceramics
Ceramics were painted using the polychrome technique portraying numerous motifs including animals, birds, waves, felines and geometric patterns found in the Nazca style of ceramics. In a place without a written language, ceramics portrayed the very basic scenes of everyday life, including the smelting of metals, relationships and scenes of tribal warfare, it is through these preserved ceramics that we know what life was like for the ancient South Americans. The most distinctive Inca ceramic objects are the Cusco bottles or "aryballos".
Medicine
The Inca made many discoveries in medicine. They performed successful skull surgery, which involved cutting holes in the skull in order to alleviate fluid buildup and inflammation caused by head wounds. Anthropologists have discovered evidence which suggests that most skull surgeries performed by Inca surgeons were successful. In pre-Inca times, only one-third of skull surgery patients survived the procedure. However, survival rates rose to 80-90% during the Inca era.
Coca
The Incas revered the coca plant as being sacred or magical. Its leaves were used in moderate amounts to lessen hunger and pain during work, but were mostly used for religious and health purposes. When that Spaniards realized the effects of chewing coca leaves, they took advantage of it. The Chasqui (messengers) chewed coca leaves for extra energy to carry on their tasks as runners delivering messages throughout the empire. The coca leaf was also used during surgery as an anesthetic.
Weapons & Armor
The Inca army was the most powerful in the area at that time, because they could turn an ordinary villager or farmer into a soldier, ready for battle. This is because every male Inca had to take part in war at least once so as to be prepared for warfare again when needed. By the time the empire had reached its largest size, every section of the empire contributed in setting up an army for war. The Incas had to iron or steel, and their weapons were not much better than their enemies. They went into battle with the beating of drums and blowing of trumpets. Roads allowed very quick movement for the Inca army, and shelters called Tambo were built one day's distance in traveling from each other, so that an army campaign could always be fed and rested.
Armor
The armor used by the Incas included:
Helmets made of wood, copper, cane, or animal skin; some adorned with feathers
Round or square shields made from wood or hide
Cloth tunics padded with cotton and small wooden planks to protect the spine
Weapons
The Inca weaponry included:
bronze or bone-tipped spears
two-handed wooden swords with serrated edges
clubs with stone and spiked metal heads
woolen slings and stones
stone or copper headed battle-axes
bolas (stones fastened to lengths of cord)
Everyday Life
Every Inca citizen was assigned a very strict task in life, connected to their age, gender and social position. Children over five years of age had the responsibility of carrying water up to the fields where grown-ups were growing crops. Women older than fifty had to weave cloth for making clothes. One of the tasks for the physically and mentally disabled was to chew maize, or corn, and spit it back into a bowl. By letting the substance ferment, the Inca made their own corn beer called Chicha, which they drank on festive occasions. All the individual responsibilities were recorded by bureaucrats through the Quipu System. Emperor Pachacuti also created religious holidays for his people. Six times a month the entire empire was shut down for festivities, lectures and parades. Their irrigation systems, palaces, temples, and fortifications can still be seen throughout the Andes. They had an efficient road system which was mainly used for government and military purposes. Couriers would carry messages in the form of knotted cords all over the empire. Unfortunately, this road network was also used by the Spanish, which greatly facilitated their conquest of the Inca Empire.
One Last Thing
One of the most unique thing about the Inca Civilization was its thriving existence at altitude. The Incas ruled the Andean Cordillera, second in height and harshness to the Himalayas. Daily life was spent at altitudes up to 15,000 feet and ritual life extended up to 22,057 feet to Llullaillaco in Chile, the highest Inca sacrificial site known today. This ability of the sandal-clad Inca to thrive at extremely high elevations continues to perplex scientists today.
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is an Oglala Sioux Native American reservation located in South Dakota. It originally included the territory of the Great Sioux Reservation. It was finally established in 1889 after several treaties were entered into between the Sioux and the U.S. government. It is the 8th largest reservation in the United States. It includes all of Shannon County, the southern half of Jackson County and the northwestern portion of Bennett County. Of the 3143 counties in the U.S. these are among the poorest. Only 84,000 acres of land are suitable for agriculture. The 2000 census population of the reservation was 15,521; but a study done by Colorado State University and accepted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has estimated the resident population to reach 28,787.
Red Cloud Agency
On the taking of the Black Hills- "I know of no other instance in history where a great nation has so shamefully violated its oath. Our country must forever bear the disgrace and suffer the retribution of its wrongdoing. Our children's children will tell the sad story in hushed tones, and wonder how their fathers dared so to trample on justice" (Henry Benjamin Whipple, chairman of Bureau of Indian Affairs). The Red Cloud Agency was established for the Oglala Lakota in 1871 on the North Platte River in Wyoming Territory. The location of the Agency was moved to two other locations before being settled at the present Pine Ridge location.
Loss of the Black Hills
In 1874 George Armstrong Custer led the U.S. Army Black Hills Expedition, which set out on July 2 from Fort Abraham Lincoln in the Dakota Territory, with orders to travel to the previously uncharted Black Hills of South Dakota. Its mission was to look for suitable locations for a fort, find a route to the southwest, and to investigate the potential for gold mining. His discovery of gold was made public and miners began migrating there illegally. "Custer's florid descriptions of the mineral and timber resources of the Black Hills, and the land's suitability for grazing and cultivation...received wide circulation, and had the effect of creating an intense popular demand for the 'opening' of the Hills for settlement. Initially the U.S. military tried to turn away trespassing miners and settlers. Eventually President Grant, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Secretary of War, decided that the mililary should make no further resistance to the occupation of the Black Hills by miners. These orders were to be enforced 'quietly', and the President's decision was to remain 'confidential'".
Loss of Black Hills Continued....
As more settlers and gold miners invaded the Black Hills, the Government determined it had to acquire the land from the Sioux, and appointed a commission to negotiate the purchase. The negotiations failed, as the Sioux resisted giving up what they considered to be sacred land. The U.S. resorted to military force. They declared the Sioux Indians "hostile" for failing to obey an order to return from an off-reservation hunting expedition by a specific date, but in the dead of winter, overland travel was impossible. The consequent military expedition to remove the Sioux from the Black Hills included an attack on a major encampment of several bands on the Little Bighorn River. Led by General Custer, the attack ended in the overwhelming victory of chiefs Sitting Bull and Crazy horse over the 7th Cavalry regiment, a conflict often called Custer's Last Stand. In 1876 the U.S. Congress decided to open up the Black Hills to development and break up the Great Sioux Reservation. In 1877, it passed an act to make 7.7 million acres of the Black Hills available for sale to homesteaders and private interests. In 1889 Congress divided the remaining area of the Great Sioux Reservation into five separate reservations and defined the boundaries of each in its Act of March 2, 1889.
Custer's Last Stand
Wounded Knee
Incident
In the early 1970s, tribal tensions rose and some turned to the American Indian Movement (AIM) for help. Longstanding divisions on the reservation resulted from deep-seated political, ethnic, and cultural differences. Many residents did not support the tribal government and many were upset about what they described as the autocratic and repressive actions by the current tribal president Dick Wilson, elected in 1972. He was criticized for favoring family and friends with jobs and benefits, not consulting with the tribal council, and creating a private militia, Guardians of the Oglala Nation, to suppress political opponents, which he paid from tribal funds. After an attempt to impeach Wilson failed there was a grassroots uprising. Women elders such as Ellen Moves Camp, founder of the Oglala Sioux Civil Rights Organization (OSCRO), called for action. They organized a public protest.
Wounded Knee Continued....
About 200 AIM and Oglala Lakota activists occupied the hamlet of Wounded Knee on February 27, 1973. They demanded the removal of Wilson, restoration of treaty negotiations with the U.S. government, and correction of U.S. failures to enforce treaty rights. Visits by U.S. senators from South Dakota, FBI agents and U.S. Department of Justice representatives, were attended by widespread media coverage, but the Richard Nixon administration was preoccupied with Watergate. As the events evolved, the activists at Wounded Knee had a 71-day armed stand off with the U.S. law enforcement.
More Wounded Knee....
Casualties of gunfire included a U.S. Marshal, who was seriously wounded and paralyzed; and the deaths of Frank Clearwater, a Cherokee from North Carolina, and Buddy Lamont, a local Oglala Lakota. After Lamont's death, the Oglala Lakota elders called an end to the occupation. The stand-off ended, but Wilson remained in office. The U.S. government said it could not remove an elected tribal official as the Oglala Sioux Tribe had sovereignty. Ensuing open conflict between factions cause numerous deaths. More that 60 opponents of the tribal government died violent deaths in the three years following the Wounded Knee Incident, a period called the "Reign of Terror" by many. Residents accused officials of failing to try to solve the deaths. In 2000, the FBI released a report that accounted for most of the deaths, and disputed the claims of unsolved murders. AIM representatives criticized the FBI report.
Wounded Knee
Massacre
The Wounded Knee Massacre occurred on December 29, 1890, near Wounded Knee Creek. On the day before, a detachment of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment commanded by Major Samuel M. Whitside intercepted Spotted Elk's band of Miniconjou Lakota and 38 Hunkpapa Lakota near Porcupine Butte and escorted them 5 miles westward to Wounded Knee Creek where they made camp. The rest of the 7th Cavalry Regiment led by Colonel James Forsyth, surrounded the encampment, supported by four Hotchkiss guns. On the Morning of December 29, the troops went in the camp to disarm the Lakota. One version of the events claimed that during the process, a deaf tribesman named Black Coyote was reluctant to give up his rifle, saying he had paid a lot for it. A scuffle over Black Coyote's rifle escalated and a shot was fired, which resulted in the 7th Cavalry opening fire indiscriminately from all sides, killing men, women, and children, as well as some of their fellow troopers. Those few Lakota warriors who still had weapons began shooting back at the troopers, who quickly suppressed the Lakota fire. The surviving lakota fled, but U.S. cavalrymen pursued and killed many who were unarmed.
WK Massacre Continued....
In the end, U.S. forces killed at least 150 men, women, and children of the Lakota Sioux and wounded 51, some estimates placed the number of dead at 300. Twenty-five troopers also died, and thirty-nine were wounded. Many Army victims were believed to have died by friendly fire, as the shooting took place at close range in chaotic conditions. The site has been designated a National Historic Landmark and is administered by the National Park Service.
I went to the Pine Ridge Reservation for a mission trip and they took us to Wounded Knee. The first picture is just a sign that tells the story of what happened. We went to the top of the hill where the cemetery is (second picture) and a Lakota man and his son told us the story. I'm pretty sure I cried. Then they gave us each one of these sacred flowers and we put them on the gravestones. It was quite sad.
Pine Ridge Shootout
In this period of increased violence, on June 26, 1975, the reservation was the site of an armed confrontation between AIM activists and the FBI, which became known as the Pine Ridge Shootout. Two FBI agents, Jack R. Coler and Ronald A. Williams, and the AIM activist Jim Stuntz were killed. The U.S. prosecution of suspects in the execution-style deaths of the FBI agents led to trials: AIM members Robert Robideau and Dino Butler were acquitted. Leonard Peltier was extradited from Canada, tried separately because of the delay, and convicted of aiding and abetting the murders of the two FBI agents. He was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences and has not been granted parole.
Indian Reorganization Act
During the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration tried to make some changes to benefit American Indians. In response to complaints about corruption and injustices in the BIA management of reservations, Congress passed the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, permitting tribal nations to reorganize with self-government. It encouraged a model of elected representative governments and elected tribal chairmen or presidents, with written constitutions, further eroding the traditional hereditary leaders of the clan system. The Oglala Sioux Tribe developed a tribal government along such lines, with a chairman to be elected for a two-year term. This short term makes it difficult for leaders to accomplish longer-term projects, but the tribe has not changed its constitution. The BIA still has had the ability to oversee some tribal operations. Many traditionalists among the O.L. never supported the new style of government; tribal elders were still respected, and there were multiple lines of authority and influence among different groups on the reservation. The people continued to be under assimilation pressure: through the early part of the century, many children were sent away to Indian boarding schools where they were usually required to speak English and were prohibited from speaking Lakota. They were usually expected to practice Christianity rather than native religions. Many institutions were found to have had staff who abused children in their care.
Government
The Tribal Government operates under a constitution consistent with the Indian Reorganization Act and approved by the Tribal membership and Tribal Council of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. The Tribe is governed by an elected body consisting of a 5-member Executive committee and and 19-member Tribal Council, all of whom serve a 2-year term. The Tribal Council President is the administrative head of the Tribe and is assisted by the Executive Committee which consists of the Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Fifth Member. The President and Vice President of the Tribal Council are elected at large and the remainders are selected by the Tribal Council.
Environment
The three diverse geographic regions within the service unit borders make Pine Ride one of the most scenic service units within the Aberdeen Area. The southern and eastern section of the service unit consists of wide open grassy plains. In the west central section the prairie merges into the small eastern spurs of the Black Hills which are further to the west. The result is an area of rolling pine covered hills and ridges, providing the inspiration for the name Pine Ridge. To the north of the wooded area are approximately 160,000 acres of badlands, characterized by roughly eroded ridges, peaks, and mesas. The badlands are known for their panoramic beauty created by the shaped and colors of the land formations.
Transportation
Distance, weather conditions, and lack of automobiles are the major deterrents to access at Pine Ridge. There is limited public transportation on the reservation. Almost all travel is by private car. However, not all residents have access to a car and must depend on friends or relatives for rides. (lol sounds like my life). Many people walk to reach their destination, but the distance between communities and weather conditions limit this activity. Consequently, a combination of hitchhiking and walking has become common. Isolated homes and communities are serviced by gravel roads. Most homes on the reservation are inaccessible during periods of blizzards or heavy rain.
Tribal Economy
The OL Tribes' major economic occupation is cattle ranching and farming for tribal operators. The Tribe operates a large Parks and Recreation Department, guided hunting for small game, big game, including buffalo and elk. They also operate the Prairie Wind Casino including black jack, poker, and slot machines. The casino also operates a hotel with 30 rooms, an indoor pool, conference room, and a restaurant. Commercial businesses by private operators include: grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, video arcades, fast food shops, and arts and handcrafts. The majority of employment is provided by the OL Tribe, Oglala Lakota College, Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service, and the Prairie Winds Casino.
Recreation
The Oglala Tribe sponsors an annual pow wow the first week in August. It includes a rodeo, outdoor concert, softball tournament, basketball tournament, and numerous other activities. There are other pow wows held year round in the various communities for holidays and within the schools that participate in our cultural history such as honoring, and celebrations. The community has a campground near the pow wow grounds and a number of lakes for fishing, and a Boys and Girls Club for the younger generation. Other sports activities such as softball, volleyball, and basketball tournaments are also held where facilities are available.
Environment Part 2
At the southern end of the Badlands, the reservation is part of the mixed grass prairie, an ecological transition zone between the short-grass and tall-grass prairies; all are part of the Great Plains. A great variety of plant and animal life flourishes on adjacent to the reservation, including the endangered black-footed ferret. The area is also important in the field of Paleontology; it contains deposits of Pierre Shale formed on the seafloor of the Western Interior Seaway, evidence of the marine Cretaceous Paleogene boundary, and one of the largest deposits of fossils of extinct mammals from the Oligocene epoch.
Public Utilities
The Tribe operates the Water and Sewer Department and Solid Waste Program for the communities. The Mni Wiconi Project is under construction to supply drinking water from the Missouri River to the communities that do not have potable water or are served by wells with poor water quality.
Community Services
The OG Tribe provides an elderly nutrition program and sponsors community activities. Youth recreational activities are provided through local organizations including a rodeo club. Health care is provided by the Indian Health service at the Pine Ridge Hospital and Health Center Clinic in coordination with the Tribal Health Department Community Representative and Ambulance Service. The Health Department also provides examinations and eye glasses to all residents at reduced rates.
Housing
Public housing on the reservation is managed the Oglala Sioux Tribal Housing Authority. The Authority has constructed housing for approximately 43% of the approximately 2300 families on the reservation. The Housing Authority manages housing units in the communities on scattered rural sites through HUD Low Rent and Mutual Help home ownership housing programs. Other housing is available through the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service for their employees. Private housing stock is limited.
wow um I hope that guys not dead....
Gender Roles
Typically, in the OL society, the men are in charge of the politics of the tribe. The men were usually the chiefs for political affairs, war leaders and warriors, and hunters. Women are and always have been highly regarded and respected in the tribe. The Lakota are matrilineal and children belong to the mother's clan. Chiefs were selected based on the mother's clan. Women controlled the food resources and movable property. When a man married, he went to live with his wife and her people. They could support her in the childbearing and rearing and, if the couple separated, she would not be away from her people. This also helped control the men's behavior towards women. The women elders of the clan were highly respected and had to approve the selection of chiefs and clans. If they withdrew their support, a man could not continue as chief. Both genders were equal in decisions and power.
There is also another significant people in this tribe called Winkte or in English "Two Spirit." They are biological males that assume a non-male specific identity. Two Spirit people of the Oglala Lakota Society usually held a sacred and important role in the tribe. They often were healers healing both Natives and White soldiers and settlers. Their roles included naming babies in naming ceremonies and performing healing through praying and cleansing ceremonies. In the late 1900s their roles changed from conducting sacred ceremonies to teaching the children and doing a variety of other important responsibilities. The Two Spirits mission then and now is to keep the sacred fire going and protect all people in many significant ways.
Gender Roles Continued....
Traditional Culture
Family is of utmost importance to the Oglala Lakota, with loyalty to the tribe coming in close second. Each family had one of more tipi households. The women were critical to the family's life: they made almost everything the family and tribe used. They cultivated and processed a variety of crops, prepared the food, prepared game and fish caught by the men, worked skins to make clothing and footwear, as well as storage bags, the covering of tipis, and other items. Beyond the family was the clan. Inheritance of clan chief positions and the compositions of the clans was matrilineal: only the males born to the clan could be life chiefs of it. Within the clan, relatives whom Europeans and Americans would call cousins were considered, and identified by titles, equivalent to brothers and sisters. Because of the importance of the clan, a boy's maternal uncle, rather than his father, would often be the most influential male figure in his life. The uncle would integrate the boy into the clan's male society.
Bands
Each of the 20 tribes were subdivided into bands, which consisted of a number of smaller family camps. During parts of the year, the small camps were scattered across the region; at other times, these camps gathered together as a tiyospaye (band) to cooperate on activities such as a large buffalo hunt. Each summer, usually in early June, bands from many groups gathered for the annual sacred Sun Dance. In the years immediately following the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, these bands became increasingly polarized as they and their leaders struggled with decisions relating to the continued American encroachment on their territory. Some bands chose to come in to the Indian agencies, where they received beef and other rations from the U.S. government. Other bands decided to remain out, attempting to continue the traditional lifeways for as long as possible. Many bands moved between these two extremes, coming in to the agencies during the winter and joining their relatives in the north each spring. These challenges further split the various Oglala bands.
Carlisle Indian Industrial School
Many Oglala Lakota Wild Westers from Pine Ridge attended the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Carlisle was a unique school and is considered by some native Americans like going to Yale, Princeton, or Cambridge. Carlisle Wilder Westers were attracted by the adventure, pay and opportunity and were hired as performers, chaperones, interpreters and recruiters. Wild Westers from Pine Ridge enrolled their children at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School from its beginning in 1879 until its closure in 1918. In 1879, Oglala leaders Chief Blue Horse, Chief American Horse, and Chief Red Shirt enrolled their children in the first class at Carlisle. They wanted their children to learn English, trade skills and white customs.
Reservation has 80% unemployment
Culture of Greece Overview
The culture of Greece has evolved over thousands of years, beginning in Mycenaean Greece, continuing most notably into Classical Greece, through the influence of the Roman Empire and its successor the Byzantine Empire. Other cultures and states such as Latin and Frankish states, the Ottoman Empire, the Venetian Republic, Genoese Republic, and British Empire have also left their influence on modern Greek culture, but historians credit the Greek War of Independence with revitalizing Greece and creating a single entity of its multi-faceted culture.
Architecture
During the Ottoman conquest, the Greek architecture was concentrated mainly on the Greek Orthodox churches of the Greek diaspora. These churches, such as other intellectual centers (foundations, schools etc.) built by Greeks in Diaspora, was heavily influenced by the western European architecture. After the independence of Greece and during the nineteenth century, the Neoclassical architecture was heavily used for both public and private building. Regarding the churches, Greece also experienced the Neo-Byzantine revival. During the 1960s and 1970s, Xenia was a nation-wide hotel construction program initiated by the Hellenic Tourism Organization to improve the country's tourism infrastructure. It constitutes one of the largest infrastructure projects in modern Greek history.
Cinema
Cinema first appeared in Greece in 1896 but the first actual cine-theatre was opened in 1907. In 1914 the Asty Films Company was founded and the production of long films begun. The 1950s and early 1960s are considered by many as the Greek Golden age of Cinema. More than sixty films per year were made, with the majority having film noir elements.
Dance
Classical Greece
Ancient Greeks believed that dancing was invented by the Gods and therefore associated it with religious ceremony. They believed that the gods offered this gift to select mortals only, who in turn taught dancing to their fellow-men.
Periodic evidence in ancient texts indicates that dance was held in high regard, in particular for its educational qualities. Dance, along with writing, music, and physical exercise, was fundamental to the commenced in a circle and ended with the dancers facing one another. When not dancing in a circle the dancers held their hands high or waved them to left and right. They held cymbals (very like the zilia of today) or a kerchief in their hands, and their movements were emphasized by their long sleeves. As they danced, they sang, either set songs or extemporized ones, sometimes in unison, sometimes in refrain, repeating the verse sung by the lead dancer. The onlookers joined in, clapping the rhythm or singing.

Modern Greece
Greece is one of the few places in Europe where the day-to-day role of folk dance is sustained. Rather than functioning as a museum piece preserved only for performances and special events, it is a vivid expression of everyday life. Occasions for dance are usually weddings, family celebrations, and paneyeria (Patron Saints' name days). Dance has its place in ceremonial customs that are still preserved in Greek villages, such as dancing the bride during a wedding and dancing the trousseau of the bride during the wedding preparations. Regional characteristics have developed over the years because of variances in climatic conditions, land morphology and people's social lives. People learned new dances, adapted them to their environment, and included them in their feasts. Kalamatianos and Syrtos are considered Pan-Hellenic dances and are danced all over the world in diaspora communities. The avant-garde choreographer, director and dancer Dimitris Papaioannou was responsible for the critically successful Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Olympic Games, with a conception that reflected the classical influences on modern and experimental Greek dance forms.
Education
The Academy of Athens is Greece's national academy and the highest research establishment in the country. Education in Greece is compulsory for all children 6–15 years old; namely, it includes Primary (Dimotiko) and Lower Secondary (Gymnasio) Education. The school life of the students, however, can start from the age of 2.5 years (pre-school education) in institutions (private and public) called "Vrefonipiakoi Paidikoi Stathmi". In some Vrefonipiakoi Stathmoi there are also Nipiaka Tmimata (nursery classes) which operate along with the Nipiagogeia (kindergartens). Post-compulsory Secondary Education consists of two main school types: Genika Lykeia (General Upper Secondary Schools) and the Epaggelmatika Lykeia (Vocational Upper Secondary Schools), as well as the Epaggelmatikes Sxoles (Vocational Schools). Musical, Ecclesiastical and Physical Education Gymnasia and Lykeia are also in operation. Post-compulsory Secondary Education also includes the Vocational Training Institutes (IEK), which provide formal but unclassified level of education. These Institutes are not classified as an educational level, because they accept both Gymnasio (lower secondary school) and Lykeio (upper secondary school) graduates according to the relevant specializations they provide. Public higher education is divided into Universities and Technological Education Institutes. Students are admitted to these Institutes according to their performance at national level examinations taking place at the second and third grade of Lykeio. Additionally, students are admitted to the Hellenic Open University upon the completion of the 22 year of age by drawing lots.

Language
The Greek language is the official language of the Hellenic Republic and has a total of 15 million speakers worldwide; it is an Indo-European language. The history of the language spans over 3400 years of written records. Greek has had enormous impact on other languages both directly on the Romance languages, and indirectly through its influence on the emerging Latin language during the early days of Rome.
Katharévousa: Katharévousa is a purified form of the Greek Language midway between modern and ancient forms set in train during the early nineteenth century by Greek intellectual and revolutionary leader Adamantios Korais, intended to return the Greek language closer to its ancient form. It came to be used primarily for official purposes such as diplomacy, politics, and other forms of official documentation.
Literature
Classical
Byzantine
Classical
Greece has a remarkably rich and resilient literary tradition, extending over 2800 years and through several eras. The Classical era is that most commonly associated with Greek Literature, beginning in 800 BCE and maintaining its influence through to the beginnings of Byzantine period, whereafter the influence of Christianity began to spawn a new development of the Greek written word. The many elements of a millennia-old tradition are reflected in Modern Greek literature, including the works of the Nobel laureates Odysseus Elytis and George Seferis
Philosophy entered literature in the dialogues of Plato, while his pupil Aristotle, in his work the Poetics, formulated the first set criteria for literary criticism.
The growth of Christianity throughout the Greco-Roman world in the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries, together with the Hellenization of the Byzantine Empire of the period, would lead to the formation of a unique literary form, combining Christian, Greek, Roman and Oriental (such as the Persian Empire) influences. In its turn, this would promote developments such as Cretan poetry, the growth of poetic satire in the Greek East and the several pre-eminent historians of the period.
Moving into the twentieth century, the modern Greek literary tradition spans the work of Constantine P. Cavafy, considered a key figure of twentieth-century poetry, Giorgos Seferis (whose works and poems aimed to fuse the literature of Ancient and Modern Greece) and Odysseas Elytis, both of whom won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
^^'04 Olympics
Music
Greece has a diverse and highly influential musical tradition, with ancient music influencing the Roman Empire, and Byzantine liturgical chants and secular music influencing the Renaissance. Modern Greek music combines these elements, as well as influences from the Middle East, to carry Greeks' interpretation of a wide range of musical forms.
Classical
The history of music in Greece begins once more, as one might expect, with the music of ancient Greece, largely structured on the Lyre and other supporting string instruments of the era.
Modern
A range of domestically and internationally known composers and performers across the musical spectrum have found success in modern Greece, while traditional Greek music is noted as a mixture of influences from indigenous culture with those of west and east. A few Ottoman elements can be heard in the traditional songs, dhimotiká, as well as in the modern bluesy rembétika music. A well-known Greek musical instrument is the bouzouki. "Bouzouki" is a descriptive Turkish name, but the instrument itself is probably of Greek origin.
Painting
Byzantine
Byzantine art is the term created for the Eastern Roman Empire from about the 5th century until the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The most salient feature of this new aesthetic was its “abstract,” or anti-naturalistic character. The Byzantine painting concentrated mainly on icons and hagiographies.
Modern
The term Cretan School describes an important school of icon painting, also known as Post-Byzantine art, which flourished while Crete was under Venetian rule during the late Middle Ages, reaching its climax after the Fall of Constantinople, becoming the central force in Greek painting during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. The most famous product of the school, El Greco, was the most successful of the many artists who tried to build a career in Western Europe. The Heptanese School of painting succeeded the Cretan school as the leading school of Greek post-Byzantine painting after Crete fell to the Ottomans in 1669. Like the Cretan school it combined Byzantine traditions with an increasing Western European artistic influence, and also saw the first significant depiction of secular subjects. The school was based in the Ionian islands, which were not part of Ottoman Greece, from the middle of the 17th century until the middle of the 19th century. Modern Greek painting, after the independence and the creation of the modern Greek state, began to be developed around the time of Romanticism and the Greek artists absorbed many elements from their European colleagues, resulting in the culmination of the distinctive style of Greek Romantic art.
Philosophy, Science, and Mathematics
The Greek world is widely regarded as having given birth to scientific thought by means of observation, thought, and development of a theory without the intervention of a supernatural force. It is also, and perhaps more commonly in the western imagination, identified with the dawn of Western Philosophy, as well as a mapping out of the Natural Sciences. Greek developments of mathematics continued well up until the decline of the Byzantine Empire.
Classical: The works of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and other Greek philosophers profoundly influenced Classical thought, the Islamic Golden Age, and the Renaissance. In medicine, doctors still refer to the Hippocratic oath, instituted by Hippocrates, regarded as foremost in laying the foundations of medicine as a science. Galen built on Hippocrates' theory of the four humours, and his writings became the foundation of medicine in Europe and the Middle East for centuries. The physicians Herophilos and Paulus Aegineta were pioneers in the study of anatomy. The period of Classical Greece (from 800BC until the rise of Macedon, a Greek state in the north) is that most often associated with Greek advances in science. Thales of Miletus is regarded by many as the father of science; he was the first of the ancient philosophers to seek to explain the physical world in terms of natural rather than supernatural causes. Pythagoras was a mathematician often described as the "father of numbers"; it is believed that he had the pioneering insight into the numerical ratios that determine the musical scale, and the Pythagorean theorem is commonly attributed to him. Many parts of modern geometry are based on the work of Euclid, while Eratosthenes was one of the first scientific geographers, calculating the circumference of the earth and conceiving the first maps based on scientific principles. Archimedes was the first to calculate the value of π and a geometric series, and also the earliest known mathematical physicist discovering the law of buoyancy, as well as conceiving the irrigation device known as Archimedes' screw.
Politics
Greece is a Parliamentary Republic with a president assuming a more ceremonial role than in some other republics, and the Prime Minister chosen from the leader of the majority party in the parliament. Greece has a codified constitution and a written Bill of Rights embedded within it. The current Prime Minister is Antonis Samaras. The politics of the third Hellenic Republic have been dominated by two main political parties, the self-proclaimed socialists of PASOK and the conservative New Democracy. Until recently PASOK had dominated the political scene, presiding over favorable growth rates economically but in the eyes of critics failing to deliver where unemployment and structural issues such as market liberalization were concerned. New Democracy's election to government in 2004 has led to various initiatives to modernize the country, such as the education university scheme above as well as labor market liberalization. Politically there has been massive opposition to some of these moves owing to a large, well organized workers' movement in Greece, which distrusts the right wing administration and neo-liberal ideas. The population in general appears to accept many of the initiatives, reflected in governmental support; on the economic front many are so far warming to the reforms made by the administration, which have been largely rewarded with above average Eurozone growth rates. The political process is energetically and openly participated in by the people of Greece, while public demonstrations are a continual feature of Athenian life; however, there have been criticisms of a governmental failure to sufficiently involve minorities in political debate and hence a sidelining of their opinions.
The building of the Hellenic Parliament was designed as a Royal Palace for Otto of Greece.
Religion
Classical
Classical Athens may be suggested to have heralded some of the same religious ideas that would later be promoted by Christianity, such as Aristotle's invocation of a perfect God, and Heraclitus' Logos. Plato considered there were rewards for the virtuous in the heavens and punishment for the wicked under the earth; the soul was valued more highly than the material body, and the material world was understood to be imperfect and not fully real.
Hellenistic
Alexander's conquests spread classical concepts about the divine, the afterlife, and much else across the eastern Mediterranean area. Jews and early Christians alike adopted the name "hades" when writing about "sheol" in Greek. Greco-Buddhism was the cultural syncretism between Hellenistic culture and Buddhism, which developed in the Indo-Greek Kingdoms. By the advent of Christianity, the four original patriarchates beyond Rome used Greek as their church language.
Modern
The Greek Orthodox Church, largely because of the importance of Byzantium in Greek history, as well as its role in the revolution, is a major institution in modern Greece. The Church of Greece also retains limited political influence through the fact the Greek constitution does not have an explicit separation of Church and State. A widely publicized set of corruption scandals in 2004 implicating a small group of senior churchmen also increased national debate on introducing a greater transparency to the church-state relationship. Greek Orthodox Churches dot both the villages and towns of Greece and come in a variety of architectural forms, from older Byzantine churches, to more modern white brick churches, to newer cathedral-like structures with evident Byzantine influence. Greece is one of the most religious countries in Europe, according to Eurostat. Greece also has a significant minority of Muslims in Eastern Thrace (numbering around 100-150,000), with their places of worship guaranteed since the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. The Greek state has fully approved the construction a main mosque for the more recent Muslim community of Athens under the freedom of religion provisions of the Greek constitution.


Socrates
Pythagorean Theorem
Circumference of Earth
IT WAS ISTANBUL NOW IT'S CONSTANTINOPLE
Food
Greek cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine, sharing numerous characteristics with Middle Eastern cuisines of the region. Contemporary Greek cookery makes wide use of olive oil, vegetables and herbs, grains and bread, wine, fish, and various meats, including lamb, poultry, rabbit and pork. Also important are olives, cheese, eggplant (aubergine), zucchini (courgette), and yogurt. Greek desserts are characterized by the dominant use of nuts and honey. Some dishes use filo pastry. Mezés is a collective name for a variety of small dishes, typically served with wines or anise-flavored liqueurs as ouzo or homemade tsipouro. Orektika is the formal name for appetizers and is often used as a reference to eating a first course of a cuisine other than Greek cuisine. Dips are served with bread loaf or pita bread. In some regions, dried bread (paximadhi) is softened in water.
Family Structure
In the traditional family structure, the husband/father is the main authority figure and source of discipline. The wife/mother is the focus of the home. The term nikokira refers to female family members, especially to the wife and mother who, traditionally, takes responsibility for the housework and child-rearing. The husband and father, or nikokiris, is expected to financially provide for the family and to contribute to its progress.
Hierarchy of Society
Ancient Greece
Death Rituals
After 1100 BC, Greeks began to bury their dead in individual graves rather than group tombs. Athens, however, was a major exception; the Athenians normally cremated their dead and placed their ashes in an urn. During the early Archaic period, Greek cemeteries became larger, but grave goods decreased. This greater simplicity in burial coincided with the rise of democracy and the egalitarian military of the hoplite phalanx, and became pronounced during the early Classical period (5th century BC). During the 4th century, the decline of democracy and the return of aristocratic dominance was accompanied by more magnificent tombs that announced the occupants' status—most notably, the vaulted tombs of the Macedonians, with painted walls and rich grave goods, the best example of which is the tomb at Vergina thought to belong to Philip II of Macedon.
Tomb of Philip II
Urn
Climate
The climate in Greece is predominantly Mediterranean. However, due to the country's unique geography, Greece has a remarkable range of micro-climates and local variations. To the west of the Pindus mountain range, the climate is generally wetter and has some maritime features. The east of the Pindus mountain range is generally drier and windier in summer. The highest peak is Mount Olympus at 9,570 feet (2,916.9 m) tall. The north areas of Greece have a transitional climate between the continental and the Mediterranean climate.There are mountainous areas that have an alpine climate.
Is it bad that I didn't know that Mount Olympus was an actual place?
Environmental Issues
Acid Rain: A widespread problem throughout Greece, it affects not only agricultural aspects of the environment, as well as affecting the health of Greece's lakes, but also the buildings. Acid rain has had a detrimental effect upon the Parthenon and other Ancient Monuments in Athens though a partial reconstruction process has been underway for some time now.
Deforestation: In the summer of 2007 Greece suffered heavily from arson induced forest fires which stripped the country of a significant proportion of its forest.
Mythology
Greek myth attempts to explain the origins of the world, and details the lives and adventures of a wide variety of gods, goddesses, heroes, heroines, and mythological creatures. These accounts initially were disseminated in an oral-poetic tradition; today the Greek myths are known primarily from Greek literature. The oldest known Greek literary sources, Homer's epic poems Iliad and Odyssey, focus on the Trojan War and its aftermath. Two poems by Homer's near contemporary Hesiod, the Theogony and the Works and Days, contain accounts of the genesis of the world, the succession of divine rulers, the succession of human ages, the origin of human woes, and the origin of sacrificial practices. Archaeological findings provide a principal source of detail about Greek mythology, with gods and heroes featured prominently in the decoration of many artifacts. Geometric designs on pottery of the eighth century BC depict scenes from the Trojan cycle as well as the adventures of Heracles. Greek mythology has had an extensive influence on the culture, arts, and literature of Western civilization and remains part of Western heritage and language.
Overview
The culture of Vietnam is one of the oldest in Southeast Asia; the ancient Bronze age Dong Son culture is considered to be one of its most important progenitors. Due to the long-term Chinese influence on its civilization, in terms of politics, government and Confucian social and moral ethics, Vietnam is considered to be part of the East Asian cultural sphere. Following independence from China in the 10th century, Vietnam began a southward expansion that saw the annexation of territories formerly belonging to the Champa civilization and parts of the Khmer empire. In the socialist era, the cultural life of Vietnam has been deeply influenced by government-controlled media and the cultural influences of socialist programs. For many decades, foreign cultural influences were shunned and emphasis placed on appreciating and sharing the culture of communist nations such as the Soviet Union, China, Cuba and others. Since the 1990s, Vietnam has seen a greater re-exposure to Asian, European and American culture and media. Some elements generally considered to be characteristic of Vietnamese culture include ancestor veneration, respect for community and family values, handicrafts and manual labor, and devotion to study. Important symbols present in Vietnamese culture include dragons, turtles, lotuses and bamboo.


Organization
In terms of societal levels of organization, the two most important units are làng (village) and nước (country). Vietnamese people usually say that "làng goes hand in hand with nước." Intermediate organizational units are quận (district), "xã" (sub-district) and tỉnh (province).
Kinship
Kinship plays an important role in Vietnam. Unlike Western culture's emphasis on individualism, Eastern culture values the roles of family and clanship. Vietnamese culture values clan over family. Each clan has a patriarch, clan altar, and death commemorations attended by the whole clan. Most inhabitants are related by blood. In the Western highlands the tradition of many families in a clan residing in a longhouse is still popular. In the majority of rural Vietnam today one can still see three or four generations living under one roof.

Marriage
The traditional Vietnamese wedding is one of the most important of traditional Vietnamese occasions. Regardless of Westernization, many of the age-old customs practiced in a traditional Vietnamese wedding continue to be celebrated by both Vietnamese in Vietnam and overseas, often combining both Western and Eastern elements. In the past, both men and women were expected to be married at young ages. Marriages were generally arranged by the parents and extended family, with the children having limited say in the matter. In modern Vietnam, this has changed as people freely choose their own marriage partners. Generally, there are two main ceremonies:

Lễ Đám Hoi (betrothal ceremony)
Some time before the wedding, the groom and his family visit the bride and her family with round lacquered boxes known as betrothal presents. The quantity of boxes must be an odd number. The presents include areca nuts, betel leaves, tea, cake, fruits, wine, other various delicacies and money. The presents are covered with red paper or cloth, and they are carried by unmarried girls or boys. Both families agree to pick a good date for the wedding.
Lễ Cuoi (wedding ceremony)
On the wedding day, the groom's family and relatives go to the bride's house to ask permission to for the groom to marry and take his bride to his house. Guests would be invited to come and celebrate the couple's marriage. The couple pray before the altar asking their ancestors for permission for their marriage, then to express their gratitude to both groom's and bride's parents for raising and protecting them.
Death: Wake
When a person passes away in Vietnam, the surviving family holds a wake or vigil that typically lasts about five to six days, but may last longer if the surviving family is waiting for other traveling relatives. The body is washed and dressed. A le ngam ham, or chopstick, is laid between the teeth and a pinch of rice and three coins are placed in the mouth. The body is put on a grass mat laid on the ground according to the saying, "being born from the earth, one must return back to the earth." The dead body is enveloped with white cloth, le kham niem, and placed in a coffin, le nhap quan. Finally, the funeral ceremony, le thanh phuc, is officially performed.
Death: Funeral
The surviving family wear coarse gauze turbans and tunics for the funeral. There are two types of funeral processions:
Traditional
The date and time for the funeral procession, le dua tang, must be carefully selected. Relatives, friends, and descendants take part in the funeral procession to accompany the dead along the way to the burial ground. Votives are dropped along the way. At the grave site, the coffin is lowered and buried. After three days of mourning, the family visits the tomb again, le mo cua ma, or worship the opening the grave. After 49 days, le chung that, the family stops bringing rice for the dead to the altar. Finally, after 100 days, the family celebrates tot khoc, or the end of the tears. After one year is the ceremony of the first anniversary of the relative's death and after two years is the ceremony of the end of morning.
Modern
Nowadays, mourning ceremonies follow new rituals which are simplified; they consist of covering and putting the dead body into the coffin, the funeral procession, the burial of the sike into the grave, and the visits to the tomb.
Death Continued....
In Vietnam, the family of the deceased undergo a ritual after 100 days of them passing away, were the whole family sits in pairs in a long line up to a single member of the family. A monk (Thay Cung) will place a thin piece of cotton over the family member's head and ring a bell and chant while rotating the bell around the deceased's head, sending them in to a trance and open a way for the deceased to return to the living. A bamboo tree with only leaves on the top with small pieces of paper with the deceased's name written on them will start to wave when the deceased is coming. They believe that after 100 days the deceased may return to this realm and "possess" the body of the member of the family undergoing the ritual and once it is completed the other members of the family can communicate with the spirit of the deceased through the tranced family member.
Normally this ritual will take all day to prepare and then as long as 6 hours praying and chanting, changing the family member at the front of the line. Afterward they will then burn a paper house and paper made possessions (that which the deceased would have loved during his life) so that they may take it trough to their next life with them.

Religion and Philosophy
Religion in Vietnam has historically been largely defined by the East Asian mix of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism, known locally as the Tam Giáo, or "triple religion." Beyond Tam Giáo, Catholicism is also practiced in modern Vietnam. Vietnamese Buddhism has typically been the most popular. Besides the "triple religion", Vietnamese life was also profoundly influenced by the practice of ancestor worship, as well as native animism. Most Vietnamese people, regardless of religious denomination, practice ancestor worship and have an ancestor altar at their home or business, a testament to the emphasis Vietnamese culture places on filial duty.

Literature
Vietnamese literature includes two major components: folk literature and written literature. The two forms are profoundly interrelated. Vietnamese folk literature came into being very early and had a profound effect on the spiritual life of the Viet. The folk literature contributed to the formation of Vietnam's national identity with praising beauty, humanism, and the love of goodness. Legends, fairy tales, humorous stories, folk songs, epic poems have a tremendous vitality and have lived on until today. Written literature was born roughly in the 10th century. Since the 1920s, written literature has been mainly composed in the National language with profound renovations in form and category such as novels, new-style poems, short stories and dramas, and with diversity in artistic tendency. Written literature attained speedy development after the August Revolution, when it was directed by the Vietnamese Communist Party's guideline and focused on the people's fighting and work life. Modern Vietnamese literature has developed from romanticism to realism, from heroism in wartime to all aspects of life, and soared into ordinary life to discover the genuine values of the Vietnamese people.

Visual Arts
Traditional Vietnamese art is art practiced in Vietnam or by Vietnamese artists, from ancient times (including the elaborate Dong Son drums) to post-Chinese domination art which was strongly influenced by Chinese Buddhist art, among other philosophies such as Taoism and Confucianism. The art of Champa and France also played a smaller role later on. The Chinese influence on Vietnamese art extends into Vietnamese pottery and ceramics, calligraphy, and traditional architecture. Currently, Vietnamese lacquer paintings have proven to be quite popular.

Calligraphy: Calligraphy has had a long history in Vietnam, previously using Chinese characters along with Chữ Nôm. However, most modern Vietnamese calligraphy instead uses the Roman-character based Quốc Ngữ. On special occasions such as the Lunar New Year, people would go to the village teacher or scholar to make them a calligraphy hanging (often poetry, folk sayings or even single words). People who could not read or write also often commissioned at temple shrines.

Music
Vietnamese music varies slightly in the three regions: Bắc or North, Trung or Central, and Nam or South. Northern classical music is Vietnam's oldest and is traditionally more formal. Vietnamese classical music can be traced to the Mongol invasions, when the Vietnamese captured a Chinese opera troupe. Central classical music shows the influences of Champa culture with its melancholic melodies. Southern music exudes a lively laissez-faire attitude. Vietnam has some 50 national music instruments, in which the set of percussion instruments is the most popular. The Vietnamese folksongs are rich in forms and melodies of regions across the country.
Imperial Court Music
It includes court music from the Trần Dynasty on to the Nguyễn Dynasty. It is an elaborate form of music which features an extensive array of musicians and dancers, dressed in extravagant costumes. It was an integral part of the rituals of the Imperial court.
Ca trù
An ancient form of chamber music which originated in the imperial court. It gradually came to be associated with a geisha-type of entertainment where talented female musicians entertained rich and powerful men. It was condemned in the 20th century by the government, being tied falsely with prostitution, but recently it has seen a revival as appreciation for its cultural significance has grown. Ca trù has been recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity since 2005.
Theatre
Hát tuong
A theatre form strongly influenced by Chinese opera, it transitioned from being entertainment for the royal court to traveling troupes who performed for commoners and peasants, featuring many well-known stock characters.
Cai luong
A kind of modern folk opera originating in South Vietnam, which utilizes extensive vibrato techniques. It remains very popular in modern Vietnam when compared to other folk styles.
Hát chèo
Chèo is a form of generally satirical musical theatre, often encompassing dance, traditionally performed by Vietnamese peasants in northern Vietnam. It is usually performed outdoors by semi-amateur touring groups, stereotypically in a village square or the courtyard of a public building, although it is today increasingly also performed indoors and by professional performers.
Water Puppetry
Water puppetry is a distinct Vietnamese art which had its origins in the 10th century and very popular in northern region. In Water puppetry a split-bamboo screen obscures puppets which stand in water, and are manipulated using long poles hidden beneath the water. Epic story lines are played out with many different puppets, often using traditional scenes of Vietnamese life. The puppets are made from quality wood, such as the South East Asian Jackfruit tree. Each puppet is carefully carved, and then painted with numerous successive layers of paint to protect the puppets. Despite nearly dying out in the 20th century, water puppetry has been recognized by the Vietnamese government as an important part of Vietnam's cultural heritage. Today, puppetry is commonly performed by professional puppeteers, who typically are taught by their elders in rural areas of Vietnam.
Dance
Vietnam has 54 different ethnicities, each with their own traditional dance. Among the ethnic Vietnamese majority, there are several traditional dances performed widely at festivals and other special occasions, such as the lion dance. In the imperial court there also developed throughout the centuries a series of complex court dances which require great skill. Some of the more widely known are the imperial lantern dance, fan dance, and platter dance, among others.

Communication
Vietnamese society is greatly interdependent and community value is highly appreciated, so communication is essential in relationship establishment in Vietnam. As a result, hospitality is a standard of behavior.
Cuisine
Vietnamese cuisine is extremely diverse, often divided into three main categories, each pertaining to Vietnam's three main regions (north, central and south). It uses very little oil and many vegetables, and is mainly based on rice, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Its characteristic flavors are sweet (sugar), spicy (serrano pepper), sour (lime), nuoc mam (fish sauce), and flavored by a variety of mint and basil. Vietnam also has a large variety of noodles and noodle soups. One of the nation's most famous type of noodles is phở (pronounced "fuh"), a type of noodle soup originating in North Vietnam, which consists of rice noodles and beef soup) with several other ingredients such as bean sprouts and scallions (spring onions). It is often eaten for breakfast. The boiling stock, fragrant with spices and sauces, is poured over the noodles and vegetables, poaching the paper-thin slices of raw beef just before serving. Currently, Vietnamese cuisine has been gaining popularity and can be found widely in many other countries such as the United States, Australia, Canada, South Korea, Laos, Japan, China, Malaysia, and France. Vietnamese cuisine is recognized for its strict, sometimes choosy selection of ingredients.
Clothing
In feudal Vietnam, clothing was one of the most important marks of social status and strict dress codes were enforced. Prior to the Nguyễn dynasty, people not of noble birth could dress quite liberally with only few restrictions on styles. The Áo Tứ Thân or "four-part dress" is one such example of an ancient dress widely worn by commoner women, along with the Áo yếm bodice which accompanied it. Peasants across the country also gradually came to wear silk pajama-like costumes. A vast array of other hats and caps were available, constructed from numerous different types of materials, ranging from silk to bamboo and horse hair. For footwear peasants would often go barefoot. Nguyễn Monarchs had the exclusive right to wear the color gold, while nobles wore red or purple. The rules governing the fashion of the royal court could change dynasty by dynasty, thus Costumes of the Vietnamese court were quite diverse. The most popular and widely-recognized Vietnamese national costume is the Áo Dài. Áo Dài was once worn by both genders but today it is worn mainly by females, except for certain important traditional culture-related occasions where some men do wear it. Áo Dài consists of a long gown with a slit on both sides, worn over cotton or silk trousers. White Áo dài is the required uniform for girls in many high schools across Vietnam. Some female office workers are also required to wear Áo Dài. In daily life, the traditional Vietnamese styles are now replaced by Western styles. Traditional clothing is worn instead on special occasions, with the exception of the white Áo Dài commonly seen with high school girls in Vietnam.

Martial Arts
Vietnamese martial arts are highly developed from the country's very long history of warfare and attempts to defend itself from foreign occupation. Although most heavily influenced by Chinese martial arts, it has developed its own characteristics throughout the millennium in combination with other influences from its neighbors. Vietnamese martial arts is deeply spiritual due to the influence of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism, and is strongly reliant on the "Viet Vo Dao". It is probably most famous for its scissor kicks.
The general Vietnamese term for martial arts is "Võ-Thuật." Some of the more popular include:
• Vo Co Truyen Viet Nam (Vo Thuat Co Truyen Viet Nal)
• Vovinam Vietvodao
• Vo Thuat Van Vo Dao
• Vo Thuat Binh Dinh
• Vo Bac Ninh
Vietnamese martial arts remains relatively unknown in the world today when compared to its counterparts from China, Japan, Korea or Thailand. However, this is seeing a definite change as schools teaching various styles of Vietnamese martial arts are starting to pop up all over the world, notably in countries such as Spain.

Holidays and Such
Vietnam celebrates many holidays, including traditional holidays which have been celebrated in Vietnam for thousands of years, along with modern holidays imported predominantly from western countries. Among the traditional holidays, the two most important and widely celebrated are the Lunar new year (Tết), followed by the Mid-autumn lantern festival (Tết Trung Thu).

April 30-Liberation Day: The day Saigon fell to North Vietnamese Communist forces, leading to the South Vietnamese government's dissolvement and Vietnam's unification.
September 2- National Day: Commemorate Ho Chi Minh's speech in Ba Dinh Square in 1945, declaring Vietnam's independence.
15/4(lunar)- Buddha's Birthday
World and intangible cultural heritage
Vietnam has a number of UNESCO-listed World Heritage Sites, as well as cultural relics deemed as intangible heritage. These are split into specific categories:
Cultural heritage sites
• Hội An: An ancient city and trading center. {pictured below}
• Imperial city of Huế: Complex of monuments in the former imperial capital.
• Mỹ Sơn: Ancient temple complex of the former Champa civilization in Quảng Nam Province.

Natural heritage sites
• Phong Nha Cave located in Quảng Bình Province {pictured below}
• Hạ Long Bay

Intangible cultural heritage
• Nhã nhạc: A form of Vietnamese court music.
• Space of gong culture
• Ca trù {pictured below}
• Quan họ

Language
Prior to the French Colonial period, Vietnamese had used both Chinese characters and a script called Chữ nôm which was based on Chinese but included newly invented characters meant to represent native Vietnamese words.
Education
Along with obligations to family and clan, education has always played a vital role in Vietnamese culture. In ancient times, scholars were placed at the top of society. Men not born of noble blood could only elevate their status by studying for the rigorous Imperial examination. Similar to Mandarin officials, passing the examination could potentially open doors to a government position, granting them power and prestige.
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