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Taensa Group: Native American Culture Research Paper

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Updated: Oct 28th, 2021


Education for Taensa group in north America has been complex this is because this education has been from another person perspective and this meant that the attempt to change Taensa has not been a easy thing, but ion a way it is simple in that the Taensa people were taught from an oral tradition history, culture and survival as a group and it is complex when a government system determines the curriculum and standards of learning. So that the Taensa children can see the important of the education the government in America should initiate change in that they should begin to work on the content of education and not on the techniques and procedures of education. In that they should initiate the study of tribal customs on a grand scale and they must be taught in school on equal basis with any other academic subject that is to be taught. At first the Taensa had their own education that consisted of the roles that where played by each member of the tribe and this, meant that they were able to survive as a group. The education was passed from elders to young, from men to boys and from women to girls that was in line with history, culture and religion and this was created as a curriculum that was documented in an oral tradition of communication. (Ballinger, 2003).

Main Body

The tradition education emphasized on application and imitation not by memorization of basic information and it had emphasis on sharing and cooperation as compared to the American education that emphasized on competition and hardy individualism. Therefore the Taensa with their education led to problems on how to involve the formal education to them and therefore they sort means on which they could include this information to them. This was through an American Indian policy which included the belief that a process of transmission of knowledge and a communication system always existed among many diverse communities that lived in North American continent from the beginning. The transmission of knowledge included and overcame language barriers of Taensa group, religious differences and adapted lifestyles for the surrounding environment and a social system that would benefit the majority. The American Indian and Alaskan native educational system was broken as a result of an intrusion process. The traditional oral modes of education consisted to training youth by prayer, story telling, memory skills and listening. This meant that changes had to take place in the Taensa group. Conflicts between Taensa tribe and white people continued so that government sort to sign treaties with the Taensa tribe and the treaties that were signed contained a provision that education would be provided to tribal members and they made an outline of specific actions for education such as hiring practices. The new promise would affirm the ancient inherent right of the Taensa people to educate their children and the realization of this new American promise required shared and concerted efforts of federal, state and tribal educational leaders. (Bielenberg, 2001).

The American promise was to be based on sovereignty that would be guaranteed by the domestic, dependent nation and the status of Taensa tribe allowed them to reconstruct Taensa education to be consistent with their values, needs and traditions. The traditional Taensa education was to provide the yard stick for reconstruction of the social and economic life of Taensa communities that had to choose control of their educational institutions. The trust duty that was to compel the federal and state governments to respect the unique cultural and education status of Taensa. Taensa education was built upon the premise that they had a great deal to learn from the white man. After many changes made in Taensa tribe there was growth of federal Taensa boarding school system that made change to the Taensa status. They legally devolved from their historic status as a semi independent sovereigns to a governmental ward ship status. As federal wards Taensa children were to be federally educated so as to give the Taensa a white man’s chance in life. The Taensa education policy had to reflect the reality of the disappearance of the Taensa way of life within the past years. The curriculum that was provided at Carlisle Indian School was flexible, training each student according to his or her ability. The training was vocational and academic and carried students through the 10th grade level that included instructions in English, chemistry and all other subjects that were taught to the students. The Taensa were supposed to participate in various extracurricular activities at the school. In that the girls had to choose between the mercer literally society and the Susan langtreth literary society while the boys had a choice of the standard literary society or the invincible debating society. It took around 10 years for the students to graduate in their 10th grade education but because of the death of the students and many returning home none of the first students graduated. This school later became famous for its students marching bands, artists and athletic. This meant that the Taensa children learnt other new things apart from their traditions because they were not allowed to use their language the reason was because they were severely punished and this meant that they could not have their culture in place.

What this education was to do was to involve the things that were important for Taensa children in that the Taensa education was supposed to involve Taensa parents, tribal government officials and Taensa community. This is because with these people involved then the education could be accepted by their children as they could the need to have the education. (Berends, 2004).

The leadership in school administration, school board policies and the class room had to promote Taensa perspective. There was need for basic courses of reading, writing and arithmetic which would serve as the tools for real education experience of learning the traditions, customs and beliefs of tribal community. With all these requirements the Taensa children learnt many things that led to change from their traditional way of life to modern ways. This is clear that there were colleges that were for Taensa children and in these colleges the students were able to learn and know what is expected in the labor market therefore they were able to secure jobs in the same manner as the other children of white people. Even though the education was important for natives they had the view that they could loss their traditions and culture this was a barrier to the education allowance to the Taensa but they later on accepted their children to learn this formal education. It was taught in a way that it could have effect to the traditions and cultures of these people even though it later changed the Taensa children who later adopted the American culture. After the natives were out from colleges then they had learnt all sciences meaning that when they went back to their homelands they were ignorant of every means of living in the woods and they were not fit for hunters, warriors and counselors. (Barton, 2002).


Generally the Indian children had to learn new things that were important and could allow them to live in the country this meant that they had to get in line with American education and this meant that they changed their traditions and culture to American culture. Therefore with all that was reserved by their elder people to young then it was later of no importance because these children were taught education that did not support their culture and traditions. This meant that these children after their college education were useless to their homelands as they were not for the culture and traditions.


Barton, P. (2002): educational testing service. Princeton: Policy information center.

Berends, Y. (2004): achievement among racial ethnic groups. Santa Monica: RAND Corporation.

Bielenberg, T. (2001): indigenous education for a new century, flagstaff: northern Arizona university.

Ballinger, D. (2003): indigenous education. Education quarterly 24(4), pp, 10-30.

Davis, R. (2001): working group on American Indian research. American Indian rehabilitation research and training center.

Faircloth, W. (2002): issues in education of American Indian. Charleston: clearing house on rural and small schools.

Jeffries, M. (2003): American Indian students in a non punitive alternative school. American secondary education, 32 (2), pp, 60-80.

Fettes, H. (1998): indigenous education. Indigenous community based education, pp, 20-50.

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