Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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The Sling Shot Man

This is the story of a man who makes sling shots and shoots them like an expert marksman.
Seth Dixon's insight:

While I don't think that the folk/popular dichotomy is the most important way to conceptualize differences in culture traits and groups, it is still how many textbooks arrange their cultural chapters.  Given that, I love showing this clip--this man is the embodiment of folk culture and his story shows the elements that differentiate folk culture from popular culture. Tagsculturerural, folk culturethe South,

WordPress Tags: culture, rural, folk culture, the South.

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Looking for Love in Small Religion

Looking for Love in Small Religion | Geography Education |

"Think modern dating is tough? Try hunting for a husband or wife in the Druze community—adherents are forbidden from marrying outside of the faith. This desire to marry someone within the faith is not just a preference—the religion prohibits exogamy. If a Druze marries a non-Druze, it will not be a Druze wedding, nor can the couple’s children be Druze—the religion can only be passed on through birth to two Druze parents. There are no conversions into the Druze faith."

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In The Mountains Of Georgia, Foxfire Students Keep Appalachian Culture Alive

In The Mountains Of Georgia, Foxfire Students Keep Appalachian Culture Alive | Geography Education |
For 50 years, high school students in Rabun County have chronicled their region's disappearing traditions and mountain people, from blacksmiths to moonshiners, in publications and a living museum.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an excellent, rich example of preserving old elements of rural, folk cultures that are rapidly disappearing.  The project ties local students to the region to appreciate past more and creates a remarkable archive for the future. 


Tagsculture, historicalrural, folk culturesthe Southpodcast, unit 3 culture.

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The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race

The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race | Geography Education |

"Forced to choose between limiting population or trying to increase food production, we chose the latter and ended up with starvation, warfare, and tyranny. Hunter-gatherers practiced the most successful and longest-lasting life style in human history. In contrast, we're still struggling with the mess into which agriculture has tumbled us, and it's unclear whether we can solve it."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Jared Diamond wrote this highly controversial essay back in the 80's and it still can elicit strong reactions from anthropologists, geographers, historians, and other scholars.  This is a good reading to give students during an agricultural unit.  This can get students to question many of the assumptions about humanity that they probably never knew they had (Diamond challenged the mainstream progressivist position).


Questions to Ponder: What is the progressivist view?  What were the negative impacts that early agriculture had on human health?  What social problems does Diamond attribute to agriculture?  What evidence would you present to argue against Diamond's position?


Tagsagriculturefolk culturestechnologyindigenous.

Eben Lenderking's curator insight, October 12, 2016 3:07 AM

Is it too late to reprogram ourselves?

Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, February 19, 2018 1:50 PM
Another of Jared Diamond's theories.  Agree or disagree?  Support your stance!
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Live chart: Fish stocks

"The world's fish are in danger—as is everyone who depends on them."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Every semester I share with my students this New York Times video about the rapid rise in industrial fishing and the production of Talapia.  Even with the rise of aquaculture as a major source of seafood, the world's oceans are still depleted.  As the world's population rises, many folk cultures with their roots in small fishing villages have transformed into primarily urban societies, but these urban societies still have a strong cultural preference for seafood and consume at levels that are not sustainable.    


Tags: environment modifyfolk culturesconsumption, water, physical.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, July 6, 2016 1:24 AM

Impact of overfishing and ecosystem disruption on marine environments 

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Americans Try Norwegian Christmas Food

See staff at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo try traditional Norwegian Christmas dishes. Se ansatte på den amerikanske ambassaden i Oslo smake på norsk julemat.


Tags: Norway, food, culture, seasonal, perspective.

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Is Cultural Appropriation Always Wrong?

Is Cultural Appropriation Always Wrong? | Geography Education |

We sometimes describe this mingling as 'cross-pollination’ or ‘cross-fertilization’ — benign, bucolic metaphors that obscure the force of these encounters. When we wish to speak more plainly, we talk of ‘appropriation’ — a word now associated with the white Western world’s co-opting of minority cultures.

Seth Dixon's insight:

The distinction between cultural diffusion and cultural appropriation can get very blurry, and I doubt that there is a ‘final word’ on the topic.  What is perceived as culturally inappropriate or exploitative is not clear cut.  In addition to this NY Times article about the concept of cultural appropriation, below are a few articles that can be used to discuss this idea.  These topics are by nature controversial, and you can use your discretion to know which articles are appropriate for your students given their maturity level.  I don’t agree with all the authors of these articles; I also don’t think these issues are perfect examples of cultural appropriation, but that is why they are helpful for a discussion. 

Questions to Ponder: What pushes something from cultural diffusion to cultural appropriation?  What makes these examples inappropriate or okay in your estimation? When do you feel cultural commodification is 'crossing the line' or is everything marketable fair game?  What are other examples of cultural appropriation that you can think of? 

Tagsculture, popular culturefolk cultureseconomic, unit 3 culture.

asli telli's curator insight, October 15, 2015 1:39 AM

How about "cross-polination" and "cross-fertilization" in cultures?

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, October 22, 2015 10:32 AM

unit 3

Sarah Nobles's curator insight, November 27, 2015 7:59 AM

Unit 3

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Fiddler on the Roof

Seth Dixon's insight:

Folk cultures are often described as regionally based, nearly homogeneous, rural cultures.  These societies are typically dominated by the older generation, traditional, family-based and slow to change.  This is an audio-visually rich collage showing a classic example of a folk culture being confronted by the forces of a changing world. 

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China Fences In Its Nomads, and an Ancient Life Withers

China Fences In Its Nomads, and an Ancient Life Withers | Geography Education |
The Chinese government is in the final stages of a 15-year-old effort to transform millions of pastoralists who once roamed China’s vast borderlands.

TagsCentral Asia, culturefolk culturesecology, China.

Seth Dixon's insight:

The Chinese government claims that this project is ecological in nature and that pastoralism will degrade the grasslands; however, this is stamping out cultural groups that have been resistant to assimilation. 

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 25, 2015 3:26 PM

Discrimination exists in every industrialized society in every part of the globe, the result of poverty, ignorance, and hatred. The US is guilty of it just as much as any other nation, evident by the continued existence of income gaps between whites and blacks in the US, as well as the policy of the US in its handling of our native populations. Chinese discrimination against ethnic Tibetans has long been documented and observed within the West, meeting the condemnation of much of the Western world, and such cultural discrimination has continued in other provinces within China. As the coast has exploded in wealth per capita, and the culture there becomes increasingly westernized, these other cultures and peoples are in danger of inevitably being wiped out. This is the result of Chinese policy, which has actively worked to suppress and kill of these resistant cultures, for the sake of national identity and unity. Is America in a position to judge others for how they treat their ethnic minorities? Not at all- just look at the demographics of our prison system and our families who fall below the poverty line. Such racism has long been a facet of human civilization, and it is up to us to make it a thing of our past and not of our future. For these cultures in China, I fear the worst will inevitably pass, and the world will sit passively by as they are lost forever. It saddens me, and I hope that I am proven wrong.

brielle blais's curator insight, April 1, 2018 3:10 PM
China is gaining control of a whole group of people who some have changed their nomadic way of life to that of a more current and modern lifestyle, but others feel forced and unable. China is not giving the pastoralists the help they need, but still want them to assimilate to the country's currently way of life. Geography is important because it is important to understand that these nomadic people are losing their land, or rights to roam their country's land.
David Stiger's curator insight, October 22, 2018 5:04 PM
The Chinese communist government is predicated on power and control. Its philosophy of governance runs counter to freedom, liberty, and openness. Once again, this dark reality has been evidenced by China's treatment of its nomadic-pastoral people. Citing bogus scientific research that herding and grazing is detrimental for the environment, Chinese authorities have forced minority indigenous groups (often descendants of the Mongols) to surrender their traditional ways of life and sedentary, modern people who participate in a monetary-based economy. A gaping problem with these dramatic changes is that these new relocation centers for settlement are highly inadequate. The former herders were coerced into settling down and discovered the promises of good jobs, optimistic modern living, and benefits like healthcare were lies. The ethnic Han majority, which dominates all aspects of Chinese life, may not feel obligated to provide adequate and sustainable resources for these ethnic minority groups. Cultural reasons aside, the drive behind the Communist Party's decision to relocate these nomads is geographic. 40 percent of China's territory is open grassland in central Asia. Its unfettered access is hindered by the occupation of roaming nomadic herders. For public relations reasons, China cannot simply eliminate these people, but China wants them gone in order to expand and develop out west. With no true love for these ethnic minorities, China has decided it has the resources and willpower to finally bring these people into the modern world and take their ancestral lands and their herds in exchange for a subpar home and small amount of money. It is a tragic game of deception and greed. 
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Sixty Languages at Risk of Extinction in Mexico—Can They Be Kept Alive?

Sixty Languages at Risk of Extinction in Mexico—Can They Be Kept Alive? | Geography Education |
Sixty of Mexico's native languages are at risk of being silenced forever—but many people are working to keep them alive, experts say.
Seth Dixon's insight:

If a language dies, an entire culture dies. Every year more and more languages and threatened and it gets worse as more people try to keep up with the demand of globalization. "Mexico isn't the only country losing its voices: If nothing is done, about half of the 6,000-plus languages spoken today will disappear by the end of this century."  Endangered Languages are going to be all the more common.  

TagsMexico, language, folk cultures, culture, globalization.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, September 22, 2015 8:29 AM

The demise of a language is a truly tragic event. I am heartened to see that there are efforts being undertaken to preserve these historic languages. New technologies  will hopefully aid us in this effort. I imagine that the United States probably faces similar issues when it comes to language loss. We should coordinate some sort of national policy in how to deal with the issue. The current state of political affairs will probably hamper  the cause, but it is still worth a shot. I am in full support of all efforts that might preserve these classic languages.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 2, 2015 9:29 AM

This is one of the reasons that when immigrants come into this country its important they keep their native language going as well as learning to speak English. The sharing of culture, and language is indeed very important. Lots of people come to America and are told to speak English and eventually they lose their native language as well as culture. The English speaking only citizens of this country lose out on a good education about someone's native country. Its too bad. Just think music, language, food, values etc...there is a lot to learn.

Genesis Orellana Cabrera's curator insight, January 24, 2018 10:45 PM
Languages are greatly important which is why I see the urgency in wanting to keep those endangered languages alive. Globalization through this article shows to be affecting cultural geography as Mexicans no longer see the need to know any other language but Spanish since it domains. This is causing the culture of Mexico to be forgotten. Just like Harrison said, "Each of the Mexican indigenous languages contains millennia of human experience, wisdom, and practical knowledge about the natural environment." The many languages are one of the things that shape Mexico and its people. 
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This Louisiana radio station likes their news 'en Franglais'

This Louisiana radio station likes their news 'en Franglais' | Geography Education |
For more than half a century, one small commercial radio station has been keeping French alive in the bayous of Louisiana.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This PRI podcast on Louisana's cultural geography goes nicely with this NY Times article on the same topic.    

Tagslanguage, folk cultures, culture, podcast.

Eden Eaves's curator insight, March 22, 2015 7:24 PM

Unit 3

Since 1953, this small radio station located in Ville Platte has been working to make sure the French speaking population in Louisiana does not deplete anymore; going from about one million in 1960 to less than 200 thousand in 2010. The station is interactive receiving calls from people sharing stories of their childhood and old memories that relate to the word or phrase of the day.


I think this is a great way to preserve the culture and common language of a community in a fun, interesting way that will keep listeners "tuned in" for years to come.   

Alex Lewis's curator insight, March 23, 2015 10:07 AM

This radio station is promoting the cultural history or Louisiana. Louisiana was originally French,  but was given to America in the 1700s. Most people in Louisiana could speak French fluently. Now, only roughly 175,000 native speakers are present. KVPI speaks in French and English, which keeps the French language alive in Louisiana.


Caitlyn Christiansen's curator insight, March 23, 2015 11:47 PM

In Ville Platte, a small, most French speaking town in Louisiana, a radio station, called KVPI (Keeping Ville Platte Informed), is trying hard to keep the language alive. Since French was banned from the classrooms in the 1920s, the decline of the unique Louisiana dialect has increased. KVPI speaks in a combina of English and Louisiana French in hopes to fight the downward trend and pass on the language to many more generations.


This is article is related to cultural patterns and processes through folk culture and language, by addressing these issues and the attempts to solve them. The traditional language of the area, which is part of the folk culture, is being replaced by the common language of the country as a whole, English. The English language has been spread with pop culture across the world through globalization and the smaller languages and cultures are often lost in the switch. KVPI has made it their goal to defend against that, so the unique folk culture of Louisiana will continue.

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Folk Culture--Tradition

Seth Dixon's insight:

The clip which starts at 0:25 (speaking at 0:50) is an audiovisually rich cultural collage.  Folk cultures are often described as regionally based, nearly homogenous, rural cultures.  These societies are typically dominated by the older generation, traditional, family-based and slow to change.  Folk cultures typically rural, religious, agricultural, family-based and in a word: traditional.  This classic movie's opening is a good primer for markers of folk cultures and struggles that folk cultures have to maintain there vitality in a globalizing world.  If you continue on in the movie, the actual song Tradition is also rich in explaining how the society maintains itself.  

Tags: Russia, folk cultures, culture, music.

Danielle Lip's curator insight, February 16, 2015 7:34 PM

While watching this movie I found the over idea of tradition to be quite accurate because everyone wether they are from Russia, the United States or another country has traditions that come from many years ago. These traditions tell how the people should dress, sleep, work and eat all in the eyes of God. Traditions come from a group and then are passed on for generations, everyone has some type of tradition wether it is in their family or in another community. Tradition helps the people to gain an identity for themselves so he knows and everybody else knows who he is as well as what God expects. The main focus in this movie is not only tradition but also to please and have God in mind at all cost.

Elle Reagan's curator insight, March 22, 2015 9:18 PM

This video was nice because it had a little song that played and I thought that it showed the culture well. Before the Industrial Revolution played out, this way the way it used to be in many places. Riding horses and pulling a wooden carriage to deliver milk that had been freshly squeezed from a cow. It's funny to think that this was't that long ago and how culture can change quickly.

Bella Reagan's curator insight, May 27, 2015 12:37 AM

Unit 3 

Cultural Practices

Folk Culture

This video is the intro to a movie that shows the basis of this folk culture. It gives a good representation of the different elements of folk culture. Folk culture is made up of so many different elements. In the video there is music that begin stye culture being showcased. Then the man's attire and his environment. The infrastructures show the folk culture as well and so does the accent. 


This video revealed the elements of folk culture. It tied them all together and gave a good visual and good sound to what makes up a culture. Culture consists of so much from language, to dress, to food, to music. A video really gives a good eye into what the folk culture is like in this. 


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Would You Guess There Are Fewer Amish Today? You'd Be So Wrong

Would You Guess There Are Fewer Amish Today? You'd Be So Wrong | Geography Education |

"There’s no denying that the Amish are fascinating to the rest of us ("the English," in Amish terms).  We buy their furniture and jam, and may occasionally spot their buggies when driving on country roads through America’s heartland.  Many may not realize, however, that though the Amish make up only a tiny percentage of Americans (less than 0.1 percent), the Amish population has grown enormously since the early 1960s, with much of the increase occurring in the last two decades." 

Tags:  population, USA, folk cultures, culture, religion

Ethan Conner's curator insight, March 17, 2016 10:05 AM
The Amish community is a very intresting one, they are in thieir own little world where life is simple. This makes them a very intresting community with a growing population.
Elizabeth Goodno's curator insight, February 24, 2017 9:34 AM

This article relates to our chapter in class because it is about the Amish and their culture. I think it is very cool that there are still so many Amish today, found in 30 U.S states! I am jealous that the Amish children only have to be in school until age 14 though. The culture interests me.

Mark Hall's curator insight, April 6, 2017 10:06 AM
This article shows the religious culture of the Amish people. Lately their religion has been spreading throughout about 30 states. The article give quick but precise description of the Amish lifestyle.
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The brutal world of sheep fighting: the illegal sport beloved by Algeria’s 'lost generation'

The brutal world of sheep fighting: the illegal sport beloved by Algeria’s 'lost generation' | Geography Education |

"Algeria’s ‘lost generation’ has been shaped by years of conflict, unemployment and state repression. Sheep fighting offers an arena where young men can escape the constant supervision of the state."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I must confess that it was a mixture of morbid curiosity, the allure of the strangely exotic, with more than a dash of horror that initially impelled me to read this article.  If if is not your thing (and I'm guessing that by the title you should already know), I certainly understand and don't recommend that you read it.  However, there was some intriguing geography in the article as it painted a bleak picture of disenfranchised young men in a pent-up country that did not experience an Arab Spring.  Some elements in this article that I thing might intrigue geography teachers are: the pastoral folk culture of North Africa impacting their popular culture pastimes, complexly gendered cultural customs and place-based cultural politics.   


Tags: culture, gendersport, folk cultures, Algeria, Middle East.

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Mexico is home to world’s largest pyramid

No one knows who constructed this pyramid 2,300 years ago. Cortés missed it when he invaded the pyramid's hometown in 1519 and it wasn't rediscovered until 1910. Today it stands as the largest monument ever constructed.
Seth Dixon's insight:

10 years ago, about 30 miles outside of Veracruz, Mexico, I see a hill completely covered in vegetation.  I notice that the angle is rather uniform and that it appears to have distinct faces at right angles.  It dawns on my that I'm staring at an archeological site that has not been excavated and the Indiana Jones explorer in me is immediately fascinated.  Mexico is filled with sites of ancient civilizations that stir the imagination and this is one of those. 


TagsMexicoindigenous, folk cultures, culture, tourism.

James Piccolino's curator insight, February 8, 2018 6:33 AM
I think that it is very interesting that we still do not know who constructed this pyramid. Even with all of our advanced technology and insight we still come across things that we don't know and possibly will never know. Another interesting bit is how Cortes just somehow "missed" it, so we now get this untouched and unmodified piece of history to study.
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Portraits Of NYC Immigrants Reveal Cultural Backgrounds

Portraits Of NYC Immigrants Reveal Cultural Backgrounds | Geography Education |
Here are just a handful of the 12 million men, women, and children who arrived at Ellis Island, New York, between 1892 and 1954 to start a new life in the USA, often dressed in their finest clothes. The portraits show immigrants wearing the national dress of their country of origin, including military uniforms from Albania, bonnets from the Netherlands, and clothing of Sámi people from the Arctic regions.

The photographs were taken between 1906 and 1914 by amateur photographer Augustus Francis Sherman, the chief registry clerk at Ellis Island, then the country’s busiest immigration station. In 1907 some of the photos were published by National Geographic.
Seth Dixon's insight:

These images show some of the diverse cultural backgrounds of turn-of-the-century American immigrants.  The formal clothing that represents the folk cultures that they came from hint at the massive cultural shift that these immigrants must have experienced upon arriving to the United States.  These photos of migrants wearing clothing representing their Old World lives right as they are about to culturally assimilate (or acculturate) into the New World are pictures I find quite poignant and personal.    


Tagsculturemigrationhistorical, folk culturesethnicity, unit 3 culture.

16s3d's curator insight, October 21, 2016 2:06 AM
Les couleurs révélées de la diversité des immigrants aux États-Unis entre 1906 et 1914
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'Leftover Women' in China

"Chinese women face immense pressure to get married before they turn 27. In many Chinese cities, so called marriage markets are a common sight, where parents go to post and match personal ads. A number of brave Chinese women have finally stood up to speak their mind against society’s labels and their parents' pressures."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This emotional ad about 'leftover women' in China has received a lot of traffic and is now invigorating a national conversation about marriage customs, gendered norms, and cultural expectations.  What isn't as explicit in the video is how demographic policies and cultural preferences for boys has created the situation that puts added pressure on single women


Questions to Ponder: How is this (at least partially) a lingering impact of the One Child Policy?  What traits of traditional Chinese culture led to this current situation?   


Tags: gender, folk culture, China, culture, population.

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Mexican culture...Beyond Sombreros and Tequila

Promotional Video Campaign of "Viva Mexico"
Seth Dixon's insight:

I love Mexico and love celebrating Mexican culture...this video is a reminder to not solely focus on the past, but to see a vibrant modern Mexican culture as well. 


TagsMexico, folk cultures, culture, tourism.

Jose leon's curator insight, February 7, 2016 2:25 AM

Watching this video really made me happy since I am Latino. When people think of Mexico they think of a poor country with corrupt politicians. It's funny because the country of Mexico isn't poor it's just the politicians keep it all to themselves. Many of there children take a private plane to Europe just to eat dinner and come back the very same day. This video shows that it is so much more than that. I had no idea that Mexico was number one automotive industry, and the country is extremely beautiful which is no real surprise to anybody. It has 9 out of the 11 ecosystems. Many of the avocadoes that people eat most likely came from Mexico since it’s number 1 exporter, along with tomatoes, mangoes, and guayabas. The Mexican people also have strong family values along with 1134 traditional festivals. 

Alex Smiga's curator insight, February 7, 2016 7:40 PM

Watch the video guay

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Ghanaian coffins

Ghanaian coffins | Geography Education |

"Amid calls for a three-day weekend in Ghana to allow residents to attend more funeral parties (with the emphasis on party), here's a look at some of the country's famous customized coffins."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Cultural practices surrounding death are designed to honor the departed and are deeply situated in the local customs.  Some people from a different cultural setting might find the cultural practices of Mexico's Day of the Dead startling.  A Google Image search of "Ghana coffin" is a fascinating display of vibrancy and life surrounding death in Ghana. 

Questions to Ponder: Do you this as having elements of popular culture or folk culture?  Would these coffins 'work' in other places?  Why or why not?  What other cultural traits and attitudes need to be in places for this to be cultural acceptable?       


Tagscultural norms, folk culture, cultureGhana, Africa.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 5:18 PM

the idea that funerals should be festive is an idea with a large history. it is also, i think, a very good idea. many people already get together after a funeral and drink and talk about the good times they had with the dead person, and it helps with a sort of closure.

Sarah Cannon's curator insight, December 16, 2015 5:24 PM

I've never heard of this type of burial traditions. The typical burial that I hear about and experience are the old, wake and funeral the day after the wake.  I've also heard of funerals that are held in New Orleans, when someone died the people of New Orleans paraded down the street singing and playing happy music. This was a celebration of there life. Wakes and funerals that I'm used to are always sad and depressing and held at a church and funeral home then the deceased are to be buried at a cemetery. In this article, caskets are designed differently, as you can see in the photo above. Some caskets are in the shape of a shoe, fish, car, or even a camera. Interesting way to celebrate the deceased.

James Piccolino's curator insight, February 8, 2018 6:44 AM
I have actually seen this before, in the travel documentary "The Moaning Of Life", star Karl Pilkington (also star of previous travel documentary "An Idiot Abroad") travels the world to explore other cultures to see how they deal with issues differently than the rest of the world. In episode 5 "Death" he travels here and even gets his own custom coffin made, a double coffin for him and his long time girlfriend in the shape of a Twix bar package. This cultural attitude is an interesting one to say the least, especially compared to the way others interpret death. 
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Outsiders often using the Amish name for marketing

Outsiders often using the Amish name for marketing | Geography Education |

"In and around Amish country, it's easy to find countless stores and websites advertising Amish quilts, Amish candy and Amish crafts. But though Mr. Zook is Amish, it would be impossible to tell from the name of his Evansburg farm, Maple Run, or his products, whose homemade labels make no mention of their maker's religion.  In fact, it's a good bet that if the word 'Amish' appears on a store or a product, the Amish themselves didn't put it there. Experts and Amish alike say that the name, used as a marketing tool, is almost exclusively the domain of the non-Amish."

Seth Dixon's insight:

While being an interesting topic in and of itself, this article is also an way way to introduce various concepts of cultural geography: folk culture, cultural commodification and cultural appropriation.  Here is a link to the commercial website 'Amish Origins' which, to my knowledge, has no real Amish Origins.  


Questions to Ponder: Why is there cultural and economic cachet in being affiliated with the term 'Amish' in the United States today? When do you feel cultural commodification is 'crossing the line' or is everything marketable fair game?  What are other examples of cultural appropriation that you can think of? 

Tagsfolk cultureseconomic, culture, religion, technology, popular culture.

John Puchein's curator insight, November 6, 2015 7:37 AM

Great example of folk culture and cultural commodification. 

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 7, 2015 10:03 AM

unit 3

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 7, 2015 10:05 AM

unit 3

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Peru's Pitmasters Bury Their Meat In The Earth, Inca-Style

Peru's Pitmasters Bury Their Meat In The Earth, Inca-Style | Geography Education |
What's the epitome of summer for a lot of Americans? It's communing around a grill, with friends and family, waiting for a slab of meat to cook to juicy perfection.

In Peru, people like to gather around heat and meat, too. Except the heat — and the meat — are buried in the ground. It's called pachamanca, a traditional way of cooking that dates back to the Inca Empire. The pit cooking technique has evolved over time but remains an important part of the Peruvian cuisine and culture, especially in the central Peruvian Andes all year-round for family get-togethers and celebrations.

Tags: food, folk culture, culture, indigenous, South AmericaPeru.

Peyton Conner's curator insight, March 10, 2016 10:17 AM
Pop culture is taking over the whole world and few folk traditions are still around today. I believe this article shows a great example of how societies are still honoring their heritage and ways of life. Even something as simple as a way of cooking preserves cultures that are being lost. PC
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, February 20, 2018 9:30 PM
(South America) This article describes a technique of Peruvian cooking showcased at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. I had never heard of pachamanca, the Incan cooking method that involves layers of potatoes, corn, vegetables, and meat steamed in a hole in the ground. The system involves a bottom of hot volcanic rocks, then a layer of vegetables that must be cooked for longer, followed by a layer of 3-4 types of meat. Then vegetables with shorter cooking time goes on top, with another layer of hot rocks in between. Then the hole is covered with flavoring and fabric and cooked for 1-2 hours. This way of cooking has survived through centuries of conquest and war and remains a vibrant part of Peru's culture.

Matt Danielson's curator insight, September 24, 2018 1:47 PM
Most people have had great memories at family barbecues. I for one love cooking on the grill with family on a nice sunny day. being a lover of barbecue i would love to try and cook this way one time. This method called  pachamanca is an ancient Inca method, but shares similarities to other methods used in today's pit cooking techniques in america. Though it seems the Incas perfected it many years before us
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As South Carolina deals with its Confederate flag, one town in Brazil flies it with pride

As South Carolina deals with its Confederate flag, one town in Brazil flies it with pride | Geography Education |
After the Civil War, members of the Confederacy fled to Brazil. Their ancestors still live in the region and continue to fly the Confederate flag.
Seth Dixon's insight:

While people debate why the southern states actually seceded, there are many who still honor what they see as the gallantry of genteel southern society in the Southern Hemisphere.  It is important to note that Brazil was chosen as the home of this 'Confederacy in Exile' because it was the last western country to abolish slavery (1888 it ended there too).  Here is another article discussing the the Brazilian enclaves of 'Confederados,' or children of the unreconstructed South.   

Tags: Brazil, historicalthe Southlandscape.

Rebecca Cofield's curator insight, August 5, 2015 6:25 PM

While people debate why the southern states actually seceded, there are many who still honor what they see as the gallantry of genteel southern society in the Southern Hemisphere.  It is important to note that Brazil was chosen as the home of this 'Confederacy in Exile' because it was the last western country to abolish slavery (1888 it ended there too).  Here is another article discussing the the Brazilian enclaves of 'Confederados,' or children of the unreconstructed South.   


Tags: Brazil, historical, the South, landscape.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 1, 2015 5:38 AM

The debate over the causes for the Civil War are always amusing. The main cause for the war was undoubtedly the issue of slavery. The souths  desperate attempts to hold on to the institution of slavery caused them to secede from the union. All of the major controversies between the north and the south  before the actual war involved slavery in one form or another. The Missouri Compromise or Bleeding Kansas would be just a few examples of that cause. I can understand the urge of southerners to want to celebrate their heritage. The problem is, they are celebrating a history that never existed. To describe the Civil War as an honorable gentile cause to beet back northern aggression is just not history, it is myth. I was to surprised to see Confederate celebrations in Brazil. Though, sense they were the last nation in this Hemisphere  to abolish slavery, it makes sense that some confederates would have fled there following the end of the war. Even more surprising was the fact that these heritage celebrations are biracial.  The power of myth can sway many people to a particular celebration or cause.

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When Wearing Shorts Was Taboo

When Wearing Shorts Was Taboo | Geography Education |
In certain places in American history, showing a little leg has been illegal — for men and women.
Seth Dixon's insight:

What is cultural acceptable varies over time and space.  This particular issue may seem silly now, but it is a reminder that the norms of the here and now, might have been seen as revolutionary or scandalous in a different time and place.  Cultures and customs are socially mediated and those processes creates cultural norms--norms are continually enforced, resisted and reshaped.     

Tags: culture, folk cultures, unit 3 culture.

Marianne Naughton's curator insight, April 28, 2015 8:54 AM

Changing Times

L.Long's curator insight, May 1, 2015 6:38 PM
Seth Dixon's insight:

What is cultural acceptable varies over time and space.  This particular issue may seem silly now, but it is a reminder that the norms of the here and now, might have been seen as revolutionary or scandalous in a different time and place.  Cultures and customs are socially mediated and those processes creates cultural norms--norms are continually enforced, resisted and reshaped.  

Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 5:24 AM

Currently in many Asian countries women showing any skin is looked down upon or even illegal. Now social trends have changed and shorts in Westernized civilizations have allowed the use of shorts.

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In Louisiana, Desire for a French Renaissance

In Louisiana, Desire for a French Renaissance | Geography Education |
From a long-running radio show to bilingual street signs, efforts are being made to preserve a vernacular once repressed by law.

This radio show is part of a conscious effort to sustain an iteration of French that followed its own evolutionary path here, far from the famed vigilance of the Académie française.  Many now believe Louisiana French to be endangered, even as other aspects of the state's rural culture flourish amid the homogenizing forces of modern life.  "We're not losing the music.  We're not losing the food," Mr. Layne said from his office, Ville Platte, a city of 7,500 about two and a half hours west of New Orleans. "But we're losing what I think is the most important thing, which is language."  

Tagslanguage, folk cultures, culture.

Matthew Connealy's curator insight, March 22, 2015 6:03 PM

A family owned radio show in Louisiana entertains their audience with many ways and efforts to maintain the French roots they have evolved from. Despite keeping their food and music in the French culture, the language is the one left hanging to dry, for the language is slowly dwindling from the state. The homogenizing of areas and the influx of pop culture has led to this loss of folk roots in the jazz state. Along with this influence, a mandate in the Constitution disallowed the use of any other language besides English in public schools.There was a Cajun and French movement in the 1960's to try and spur the culture back on its feet, but many people believe that it is too late to go back and fix this change in culture.


This article surprised me on the fact that the loss of folk culture can happen anywhere, and is especially prevalent in the U.S. due to instant communication and social media. Folk culture is essential in understanding how an area got started, and this topic of study intrigues me to conduct further research in other areas. This fits right in with folk and pop culture along with language and communication of the syllabus.

Emma Conde's curator insight, May 26, 2015 10:30 PM

unit 3: cultural patterns and processes


This article starts off describing a man who runs a local radio show in Louisiana completely in cajun french. This is an effort to preserve the heritage that the cajun people were once forced to let go of and assimilate in many aspects by the American government. Many conservative cajun parts of Louisiana are now pushing for a revival of their culture that has continued to be passed down through speaking at home, and old books, music, and traditions passed down to them by grandparents and great grandparents.


This shows a push for revival of a folk culture, which is very uncommon in this time especially in the United States where pop culture dominates. Revivals of folk culture like this should continue to be encouraged. 

Emerald Pina's curator insight, May 26, 2015 11:33 PM

This article is about Ville Platte, Louisianna where the people want to bring back the language French. They have set up a French radio station. The article talks about how the people want to bring back the culture and their language. 


This article relates with Unit 3: Cultural Patterns and Proccesses because it talks about how the Cajun people was forced to assimilate and speak the English language. However, today the language and people thrive through a preservationist group. The group is fighting for their culture back, and has already set up a radio station. This article is an example of a folk culture.

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After 522 Years, Spain Seeks To Make Amends For Expulsion Of Jews

After 522 Years, Spain Seeks To Make Amends For Expulsion Of Jews | Geography Education |
Spain's monarchy decimated the Jewish population by expelling, killing or forcibly converting Jews in 1492. Now the country may offer their descendants Spanish citizenship.

TagsEurope, migration, Israel, Spain.

Kendra King's curator insight, February 15, 2015 7:29 PM

Can we all agree that a 522 year apology is outdated? Honestly, Karavani, a citizen of Israel who benefits from the new policy, summarized my reaction to this when he stated, “I don't think that anybody owes me anything — definitely [not] if it happened 500 years ago.” The people involved in this situation are dead five times over at least. I think it is time to move on and if you can’t, then you have bigger issues in your life. Personally, it would make more sense for the government to remember past mistakes and learn from them by applying knowledge of discrimination to any issues of discrimination that is currently happening in the country.


I kept wondering if giving citizenship so many years later would actually be seen as a justice apology. The citizens aren’t being recognized as Jews. Plus the expense being incurred to even take the test sounds unpleasant given some of the complaints mentioned in the article. I didn’t realize that a large amount of the Israel population would actually leave for Europe. Upon realizing this, I found the trend to be amazing in a world where increased immigration is normally seen in a negative light for the nation who is welcoming the immigrants. Never did I realize that a member of Israel would view it as “a European way — to destroy this country.” I do doubt that was there intent as there are far more effective way to destroy a nation. Yet, when someone is losing a large amount of their population (some of whom speak an almost dead language) I can see how the statement was made. I guess this member of the Israeli population would be considered a person against globalization in this instance.


Leaving Israel isn’t a bad decision though. Given the instability in Israel, I think it is great that more immigrants can go someplace else. Furthermore, I think it provides a fantastic opportunity to people, like Karavani, who want better jobs. While it might be sad to see such drastic change for Levy, people can study like his cousin and keep their heritage. The world is a bigger place now that is easily traversed. I think people needed to realize there is no longer one absolute location to live and that isn’t the end of the world. It is just a new way of life.   

Chris Plummer's curator insight, February 16, 2015 9:09 PM

Summary- After almost 550 years, Spain is finally allowing decedents of expelled Jew citizenship. In 1492 Jews were forced to convert, be killed, or flee Spain. A law now grants the Jews descendants citizenship under a draft law by the Spanish Government. 


Insight- As explorers of religion in this unit, we ask out selves: Why were the Jews expelled and now let back in so long after? The expulsion was caused by the Spanish Inquisition, a goal to maintain catholic orthodox in spanish kingdoms forcing all Jews out. They are finally let back in after Spain realized  that there is now no reason to keep other people out.

Avery Liardon's curator insight, March 23, 2015 9:25 PM

Unit 3:

Spain debating whether or not they are going to let Jewish people apply to be Spanish citizens.