Culture: It Makes Us Who We Are Essay

Culture: It Makes Us Who We Are Essay

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According to Webster’s Dictionary, culture is defined as tradition or a way of life. It is also a defining principle in how we live our life and the type of people we become. The Salish Indians of the Montana and Celie, the main character of the book The Color Purple, are two examples of cultures that made them who they are. Celie is a poor, black, woman growing up in Memphis, Tennessee in the mid-twentieth century. The men have constantly put her down, through beatings and rape, for being a woman with no talent at all. Her husband’s lover comes to town and gives Celie a chance to see a culture where a woman can stand up for herself and teaches her that love is possible. The Salish on the other hand have a culture that has gone on through the ages and still is a part of each person today despite the obstacles they have had to face. Culture does shape us because from birth it is what tells us our ideals, laws, and morals that we live by each day.
The Salish culture does shape the kind of people they are today because it is still such a prominent part of their daily life. Although today they have parts of their government and laws similar to those in the United States, they also have parts of their government that are unique in itself. Their unique government goes back to before the white men and the reservations started in 1891 when the Salish tribe “was forced to move north to Flathead reservation…. forced to select individual allotments of land.” If their government system as well as their location had been changed, the Salish would have different ideas regarding governmental system. The Salish beliefs have been passed along through the ages, affecting every Salish person today. Louis Adams, a Salish elder who spoke to our ...


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...ame place with an identical culture we would all be the same. Culture does shape everyone because it determines what they believe, how they live their daily life, and most importantly, the kind of person they can be.



Works Cited

Adams, Louis. “Sense of Place.” Interview by Mrs. Thibo’s H-English 10 class. 18 May 2010.
Allen Gunn, Paula. “We Are the Land.” Native American Literature An Anthology.Ed. Marisa L’Heureux.Illinois:NTC/Contemporary Group Inc. ,1999.315.
Irwin, Mary. “Sense of Place”. Interview by Interview by Mrs. Thibo’s H-English 10 class. 12 May 2010.
Salish Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee and Elders Cultural Advisory Council Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes. The Salish People and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Canada: University of Nebraska Press, 2005. Print
Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. New York City: Pocket Books, 1982. Print

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