When worlds collide: a discussion of syncretic culture

May 2017
21
Pittsburgh
The main inspiration for this post was from reading about the Kabukimono, who were groups of thugs, ronin and unemployed samurai that grew larger as Oda Nobunaga and Toyatomi Hideyoshi consolidated their power over Japan. They were known for for having outlandish hairstyles and named after their eccentric clothes, which were often for woman or from Europe. They utilized Christian imagery and smoked tobacco out of long pipes.

The idea took further shape thinking about Catholic Mexicans who still engage in spiritual and cultural rituals inherited from their Meso-American ancestry, despite the significant Christian European influences on their country. In this same category I would place members of the Yoruba and Ewe cultures, who have melded their cultures with those of the Latin nations where they were originally enslaved across South America and the Caribbean.

Every society undergoes cultural exchange, but the catalyst, rate and effects of these exchanges produce a variety of outcomes. Categories observed are as follows, each with an example:

1. The society adopts a culture and religion - complete cultural assimilation

2. The society adopts a culture and religion, but maintains some of its own cultural and religious influences - Many Mexican communities. This category is what I would consider full syncretization

3. The society adopts a culture and religion, but maintains some of its own cultural influences - many Amazigh (Berber) communities

4. The society adopts a culture and religion, but maintains some of its own religious influences - Subbotniks (Russian Judaizers)

5. The society adopts a culture, but retains its religion - Egyptian Coptic Christians

6. The society adopts a culture, but retains its religion and some of its own cultural influences - Iberian Mozarabs

7. The society adopts a religion, but retains its culture - Pakistanis

8. The society adopts a religion, but retains its own culture and some religious influences - Quechua communities
 

David Vagamundo

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
Interesting ideas. Maybe you could expand a bit more and draw the borders between each different adaptation.