Defining Culture


Cultural Fusion in Art

People who move to another country or culture may experience culture shock at first. Many groups have developed their own set of ethics and ways of producing items for their daily needs. These factors have been largely a product of isolation in ancient times. Once a large group of people have survived together, they hand down their ways of conducting their daily lives to their children. These become traditions that are carried on throughout the centuries. After centuries, traditional activities and thoughts become just as important as laws. The art of a culture is much the same as the laws and ethics. Traditions are handed down and become an identifying characteristic of a culture.

Traveling to other cultures takes a person with an open mind. Immersing themselves into that culture wholeheartedly takes a suspension of their own cultural values and norms. There are very few people who can do this entirely. Because of this fact, cultural fusion often takes place. When only one or two people from a foreign culture are present, the effects are small. Cultures that are at a crossroads in the world are overrun by foreigners. Many of these cultures have absorbed outside ideas and changed their cultural values. This is the basis of cultural fusion.

Small islands in the Caribbean have experienced this type of cultural fusion. It shows in their language and accents. For example, they may all speak English, but many of them have an accent that is not the same as any other English speaking country. They may have laws and traditions that are a mixture of English and their original culture. Their art will also show a blend of both cultures.

In the Bahamas Island group, cultural fusion is apparent. Furniture produces there is often made in traditional British forms. The island influences comes from the bright colors the original native population preferred. Pottery, painting and ceramics are forms that flourish in this type of fused culture.