Leslie Silko’s Storyteller Response
After reading the passage Storyteller by Leslie Silko, I have become more aware of the conceptual terms brought to us while reading and discussing in class. Cultural assimilation plays a huge part in Native American culture and still occurs today within tribes and families. Acculturation, similar to cultural assimilation depicts cultural interactions as happening at different levels and directions. In this response, I will analyze both of these concepts and broaden the terms further more.
Cultural assimilation has been going on for hundreds of years and was fairly common when European settlers first arrived here. Once the Europeans had successfully invaded a tribe and took control, their next step was to culturally assimilate the people within the tribe. Just like in the story, natives were being brought to these new schools out East. Boarding schools were set up, which children were acquired to attend. In these schools they were forced to learn and speak in English, attend church, study standard subjects and leave all tribal rituals behind. Although the Native American people were free and independent, they still had the opportunity to become United States citizens. Some wanted a better, or shall I say diverse lifestyle rather than life with the tribe. For the most part, families would become disconnected with those who left and would continue on with their everyday lives without keeping in touch with loved ones.
The process of cultural and psychological change is the concept known as acculturation. It often seeks to explain shifts in an individual’s culture brought on by
what they have seen, such as changes in religion and food. Despite the changes in an individual’s culture, research has focused on the adjustments and adaptations Native Americans, immigrants and indigenous people have retained in response to their interaction with the superior culture they face. The focus has primarily been...