Contact Zones in Chicano Culture

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Contact Zones in Chicano Culture
Meeting someone from another culture expands your knowledge of the world. As you receive new information, you are giving some of your own. The experience of two different people meeting is far less than the experience of two different cultures of people meeting. The most common outcome of these meeting is one culture dominates over the other. This domination eventually leads to hatred towards the oppressors, until the dominated are free. Over many years, the dominated population has integrated their culture with the dominant one but there is still conflict. In “Arts of a Contact Zone” Mary Louise Pratt writes about the effects of a contact zone, when two different cultures meet and interact, and why it is good. Contact zones bring people together to share ideas and cultures but it can also lead to slavery and conquest . We will focus on one effect: literate arts. Some of the literate arts are autoethnography, transculturation, bilingualism, critique, and denunciation. These literate arts are ways people use language to express a clash of two cultures. An “autoethnographic text”, a text that a writer uses to respond to the way other people sees their ethnic group, uses things familiar with a dominant race to make a point. Pratt gave us an example of “autoethnographic text” called New Chronicle and Good Government by Guaman Poma. The title New Chronicle comes from the name of the apparatus used by the Spanish to present their American Conquests to themselves. Poma uses this to create a new picture of the world by rewriting the Christian history with the Andeans at the center of the religion. The new “Christian-Inca” history resembled European manners and custom descriptions but included the meticulous details of information stored in the Inca societies. Poma used this manner to write his letter to make a parody the Europeans could understand. Gloria's Anzaldua essays “Entering into the Serpent” and “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”...
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