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What Native Culture Can Teach Us
~ Kiana Kaye, 2017 WINDS Scholar
Native Americans offer a wide variety of culture.
There are numerous tribes which hold different
traditions across Northern America. Native culture
can teach and learn from other global communities
through multiple forms of art. When first learning
about a community's heritage, their origin story is
typically the first to learn. Outside of Northern America,
there are other ethnicities which hold similar traditions and teachings. Presenting knowledge through storytelling, weaving, pottery making, painting, architecture, and jewelry making are some of the ways Native culture has been able to show their heritage through something that doesn’t necessarily need verbal communication.
What can be best described as a gift, the beauty held in art forms and customs is what other communities can gain from Native Americans. Art and knowledge about native teachings is something people from other areas can bring back to their homes. I have learned about other tribes through their own cultures customs. Seeing how other Native Americans weave, paint, or dress tells a story and lesson. Identifying as Navajo (Dine), I can recognize my culture's teachings through traditions and art forms. I learned to be a respectful Navajo woman through traditional clothing. The teachings about traditional wear, from the head to the toes, is something every young Navajo girl should learn about her tribe. There are certain ways Navajo women wear their hair, dress, and tie their moccasins. Something as simple as jewelry or fixing your hair is shown to others. Having different tribes represent their traditional wear, is one of many ways Native culture is presented as a gift to global communities.