The traditions and cultures of people that make up the populations of the United States and Canada are filled with unique experiences and events that have changed the norms of the past and present. A book titled Usable Pasts by Tad Tuleja analyzes several peoples and cultures, written by different authors.
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There are many details mentioned in the books, and a lot of them relate to different aspects of the specifics of a particular culture and beliefs. Navajo weavers are presented in the most traditional light, as their unique skills have set them apart from other people. Mexican Americans are described in relation to the Anglos and how their communication went on. The community of African American women is given an examination regarding their daily lives, and how the norms of the social make-up were kept intact and preserved. Overall, the book provides a historical tale. It talks about the indigenous people who possess knowledge that is very specific to the area and which can be used to an advantage. The environment determines the way people lead their lives and what they can offer to each other. But in the past and present indigenous people are secluded and their history is sometimes forgotten.
The native populations of all modern countries have been suspected of the influence of the dominating culture which colonized and separated the indigenous population. The results of such a shift led to a city becoming a very busy place with a lot of potential for growth. Heritage is an extremely important part of society and this can be seen in how society functions. Any culture bases its priorities on the development, and it is easy to see that the people of Canada and the US were traditional while the modern world has become technological. The modern society strives to eliminate any kind of separation between races and people so that all are able to enjoy an environment free of stress and unfair treatment. In turn, this leads to the full assimilation of indigenous people, and there is a risk that the older and valuable culture will be lost. The hardships of South Texans are explained in graphical content by Mario Montano, and it is easy to see how much the people have suffered to acquire rights that were rightfully theirs in the first place.
The segregation of the Natives that took place and happened on several levels brought about demographic changes that can be observed in the modern world. The culture is being forgotten, as it was previously defined as individual and communal differences in families, education, and character qualities. Communication would also play a great role in how indigenous people would live their lives and prosper. Sylvia Ann Grider gives specific accounts of how the Alamo is remembered by people, and what effect it had on the past, present, and even future generations. The courage and glory displayed by Mexicans explicitly remind of the people’s values and their belief in themselves and their culture. At the same time, there is an account of Texan-Mexicans who fought on the side of the Anglos, and the pity is obvious, as they lost their lives fighting against their own people. All the authors and the stories told are very specific, and take the reader back into the past, the time when the modern culture of North America was forming.
Comparing Usable Pasts review to the one done by Deanna Kingston of the same book, it is easy to see the difference in the number of details and personal relation to the topic. Kingston gives a much more technical review that focuses on the lives of people. For example, she mentions that many researchers found interesting cultural evidence about the people without ever going overseas. This means that the approach the author takes is focused more on the scientific perspective than culture. The good thing about the review is that Deanna Kingston acknowledges the strength of the native populations of the continent in mentioning that even being influenced by the changing times, people were still able to resist and keep their own values and beliefs. This means that breaking up into smaller communities was beneficial for the final result, which kept people together and brought about the traditions into the future generations. Another positive part of the review talks about the scope of the review that Tad Tuleja has compiled. It allows the readers to get an overall picture of the things that took up the lives of the native people, and how they functioned within their communities in relation to their own culture and that of the newcomers.
Even though the reviews demonstrate great knowledge about the native people, they are not enough to give the full picture of the rich history of the Natives. The fight for the preservation of culture and ways of life is very important to the present and future generations because this is the age of changes, and finally, Native Americans are starting to get the respect they deserve.