What is Culture?
NPS Photo - Dawn Daw
Culture is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as:
“the totality of socially transmitted
What does that mean?
Culture is the way we learn to look at the world and how we function in it. Our culture is taught to us by our families, friends and communities. From these people, we learn what foods to eat, what kinds of houses to build, how to communicate, and how to behave. Cultures can be defined in many different ways: by region, nationality, religion, and race, to name just a few.
Most people are a part of more than one culture. If you are living in the United States, you are a part of the American culture. But there are many other co-cultures living here as well. A co-culture is a culture that is different from the predominant culture. An example would be: the American culture is the predominant culture in the United States and the O'odham culture is a co-culture. Cultures are sometimes defined by the kinds of food we eat, types of clothes we wear, where we live, where we work, the tools we use, the language we speak, and what we do for fun.
Did You Know?
The ancient Sonoran Desert people made shell jewelry bracelets, rings, necklaces and pendants. Some of the jewelry was inlaid with turquoise, others had designs etched into the surface. The shells were acquired from as far away as the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California.