Currently viewing the tag: "culture"

cowboy_shootout

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a 30-second shootout between lawmen and members of a loosely organized group of outlaws called the Cowboys that took place at about 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26, 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. It is generally regarded as the most famous shootout in the history of the American Wild West. The gunfight was the result of a long-simmering feud, with Cowboys Billy Claiborne, Ike and Billy Clanton, and Tom and Frank McLaury on one side and town Marshal Virgil Earp, Special Policeman Morgan Earp, Special Policeman Wyatt Earp, and temporary policeman Doc Holliday on the other side. All three Earp brothers had been the target of repeated death threats made by the Cowboys, who were upset by the Earps’ interference in their illegal activities. Billy Clanton and both McLaury brothers were killed. Ike Clanton claimed that he was unarmed and ran from the fight, along with Billy Claiborne. Virgil, Morgan, and Doc Holliday were wounded, but Wyatt Earp was unharmed. The shootout has come to represent a period of the American Old West when the frontier was virtually an open range for outlaws, largely unopposed by law enforcement officers who were spread thin over vast territories. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set in the American Old West with an outlaw protagonist.

Journaling Prompt: If you could travel back to the Old West, where would you go and who would you like to meet?

Art Prompt: Gunfight in the Old West

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the story of the gunfight at the OK Corral.

Photo Credit: Cowboy Shootout by Donald Scott Lee on Wikimedia

indus

The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilisation (3300–1300 BCE; mature period 2600–1900 BCE) mainly in the northwestern regions of South Asia, extending from what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India. Along with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia it was one of three early civilisations of the Old World, and of the three, the most widespread. It flourished in the basins of the Indus River, which flows through the length of Pakistan, and along a system of perennial, mostly monsoon-fed rivers that once coursed in the vicinity of the seasonal Ghaggar-Hakra river in northwest India and eastern Pakistan. Aridification of this region during the 3rd millennium BCE may have been the initial spur for the urbanisation associated with the civilisation, but eventually also reduced the water supply enough to cause the civilisation’s demise, and to scatter its population eastward.

At its peak, the Indus Civilisation may have had a population of more than five million people. Inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley developed new techniques in handicraft (carnelian products, seal carving) and metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, and tin). The Indus cities are noted for their urban planning, baked brick houses, elaborate drainage systems, water supply systems, and clusters of large non-residential buildings. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set in this area and time.

Journaling Prompt: If you could travel in time and space, would you like to visit the Bronze Age civilization in the Indus Valley? Why or why not?

Art Prompt: Indus Valley Civilization

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the Bronze Age civilization in the Indus Valley.

Photo Credit: Indus Valley Major Sites on Wikimedia

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Drunkenness wa not condemned in the ancient world. It makes men feel like gods, and the Greeks, Romans, Celts, Germanic, Slav and Scandinavian peoples not only felt (like the Amerindians) that they were part of a group of friends and allies in that state, but also that mead was the drink of immortality. No god in any of their pantheons denied himself that liquor. In final homage to the fallen kings whom the Irish sent to their fathers, they were drowned in a vat of mead and their palaces set alight. (If the Celtic mead-maker, particularly in Wales, was not really a seer and healer, he was credited with those powers. Healing, like fermentation, was a magical operation, both of them graciously granted by the gods to the specialists who mediated between them and mankind.) –A History of Food by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat

Fiction Writing Prompt: How does your character view drunkenness? Add to your character sketch.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about public drunkenness? Private drunkenness?

Art Prompt: Drunkenness

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about differing cultural views on drunkenness.

Photo Credit: Fyodor Petrovich Tolstoy on Wikimedia

japanese-postcard

In 2015, Penn Ph.D. candidate Robert Hegwood, a scholar of Japanese/American cultural relations in the mid-20th century, purchased a rather innocuous looking “Scrap Book” at a used book store during a stay in Tokyo. Inside this commercially-produced scrapbook is a collection of postcards, welcome booklets, travel ephemera, and training documents collected by an unidentified Japanese sailor of the Renshu Kantai 練習艦隊, the Japanese Imperial Navy’s Training Fleet, during a 1936 voyage to the United States. From 1903 to 1940, the Renshu Kantai took such training deployment cruises almost every year, with graduates of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy, the Naval Engineering Academy, and the Naval Paymasters Academy spending several months traveling around the Pacific Ocean, occasionally venturing as far as the Mediterranean Sea or the East Coast of the United States. The 1936 cruise (lasting from June 9 to November 3) saw Vice-Admiral Zengo Yoshida commanding the ships Yakumo and Iwate as they sailed across the Pacific Ocean from Yokosuka to Seattle, down along the West Coast and up through the Panama Canal as far as New York City. –Japanese Naval Cruise Books and the Renshu Kantai by Michael P. Williams

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a character that finds a vintage scrapbook that uncovers a mystery.

Journaling Prompt: How do you save things that you want to remember?

Art Prompt: Vintage Scrapbook
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the value of keeping memorabilia and how they can easily and inexpensively get started.

Photo Credit: Charlton Clemens on Flickr

mon-polydactyly

A unique prehistoric Pueblo culture thrived in the high desert of Chaco Canyon about a thousand years ago. Scientists have known about polydactyly among these people for years, based on images and skeletal remains showing extremities with extra fingers and toes. But past research revealed only hints about its importance to the ancient culture.

Initially intrigued by the divine powers attributed to polydactyls among the Maya, researchers led by anthropologist Patricia Crown of the University of New Mexico conducted a comprehensive review of evidence for the condition at the canyon’s sacred Pueblo Bonito site.
The findings, published today in American Antiquity, indicate that the society did not view six-toed individuals as supernatural, but this form of polydactyly did grant them exalted status in life and in death.

“We found that people with six toes, especially, were common and seemed to be associated with important ritual structures and high-status objects like turquoise,” says Crown, who is also a past National Geographic grantee. –Extra Fingers and Toes Were Revered in Ancient Culture by Aaron Sidder

Fiction Writing Prompt: Create a religion for your world that reveres some physical attribute that few people have. 

Journaling Prompt: What part of your body do you wish you could change?

Art Prompt: Polydactyly

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the Pueblo culture of Chaco Canyon.

Photo Credit: ReSurge International on Flickr

tuesday virgin

Wolves populated Nero’s court, Flavia had learned. At first, they’d seemed friendly—concerned for the poor virgin held hostage in the palace. But swiftly Rome’s aristocracy had turned, circling her with hungry eyes, hearts pounding with envy, drooling for her devastation. –Suzanne Tyrpak, Vestal Virgin: Romantic suspense in ancient Rome

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a vestal virgin in Nero’s Rome.

Journaling Prompt: Have you ever felt like you were being held hostage? How did you feel about the situation? 

Art Prompt: Held hostage

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about vestal virgins in ancient Rome.

Photo Credit: Michael Day on Flickr

wed The_Ducking-Stool_from_Curious_Punishments_of_Bygone_Days_(1896)

In the common law of crime in England and Wales, a common scold was a species of public nuisance—a troublesome and angry woman who broke the public peace by habitually arguing and quarrelling with her neighbours. The Latin name for the offender, communis rixatrix, appears in the feminine gender and makes it clear that only women could commit this crime.

The offence, which was exported to North America with the colonists, was punishable by ducking: being placed in a chair and submerged in a river or pond. Although rarely prosecuted it remained on the statute books in England and Wales until 1967. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Create an offense for your story that is gender-specific. Include a punishment that is specific to this offense.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about punishments, whether legal or cultural, that are specifically anti-woman?

Art Prompt: Public nuisance

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of patriarchy and choose one example to illustrate your feelings about it.

Paestum_Quadriga1

One famous charioteer was the Roman Emperor Nero, who in 67 A.D. competed in the chariot race at Olympia. It was hardly a fair contest. Nero entered the four-horse race with a team of ten horses. He was thrown from his chariot and was unable to complete the race, but he was proclaimed the champion on the grounds that he would have won had he finished the race. –Olympic Games We No Longer Play by Nick Romeo

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story where the conflict flows from the reaction to someone who cheats and wins because of his/her position.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about cheaters who feel entitled to win?

Art Prompt: Charioteer

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story about Nero or about the ancient Olympics.

Photo Credit: Paestum Quadriga1.JPG  on Wikimedia

tuesday ritual

Native societies did not think of themselves as being in the world as occupants but considered that their rituals created the world and keep it operational. -Marshall McLuhan, College and University Journal, Volumes 6-7, American College Public Relations Association, 1967, p. 3

Fiction Writing Prompt: Create a ritual for your story’s culture or a personal ritual for one of your characters.

Journaling Prompt: What is your most important ritual?

Art Prompt: Ritual

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a humorous story about one of your rituals.

Photo Credit: danielle tineke on Flickr

thursday immigration

Choosing to emigrate was not an easy decision. In a culture in which family and community ties were so strong, the decision to leave it all behind was heart-wrenching. Emigrants knew that they would probably never see their loved ones again. Friends and family often held mock wakes for emigrants on the night before their departure, symbolic of the permanent separation that was coming between them. –101 Things You Didn’t Know about Irish History: The People, Places, Culture, and Tradition of the Emerald Isle by Ryan Hackney and Amy Hackney Blackwell

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of someone who decides to leave their home and culture to go to a new place.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about the immigrants that come into your country?

Art Prompt: Emigrate

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about a wave of emigrants – historical or current.

Photo Credit: Corey’sWorld (MDCoreBear) on Flickr