Questions tagged [cultural-history]

Culture, from the Latin "to cultivate", references both the combined experience of a population and the works created by them. Thus culture is ultimately a combination of societal mores and taboos, historical memory, attitudes, and a people's contributions to literature, stagecraft, painting, sculpture, and other forms of art.

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Is there any general name for the three countries or former Soviet Republics of Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova? [closed]

I am looking at a map of the 15 former republics of the USSR and notice every region has a general classification/group name, except the region in red. Is there any name that I can refer to these ...
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How culturally different were the small German states within the late HRE? [closed]

I was reading online about the formation of the German Empire and encountered the phrases: At [the time the HRE came to an end] German identity only existed in a somewhat basic and symbolic form. ...
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Have any cultures had a four-element system different from fire, earth, air (or wind), and water?

Ancient Greek culture (Empedocles, Aristotle) had fire, earth, air, and water. Such a system is also known in Buddhism and alchemy. Sometimes the third of these elements is conceived as wind. Hinduism ...
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Would Jewish Ukranians historically have worn vyshyvankas and integrated Slavic embroidary into their lives?

I am trying to learn about the culture of Jewish ancestors in eastern Europe and wonder what elements of Slavic culture would have been present or distinct from Jewish culture in the area. ...
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Is there systematic cross-country studies about the relationship between individualistic/collectivistic cultures and the number of unique last names?

Anecdotally, more individualistic cultures (e.g. England) tend to have many last names, while more collectivistic cultures (e.g. Korea) tend to have many common last names (Choi, Lee, etc.). Is there ...
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Was there an East German counterpart to the Goethe-Institut?

The Goethe-Institut is a cultural association founded by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1951. It established offices all over the FRG, as well as in foreign countries, to offer German language ...
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What honorifics and forms of address were appropriate for 17th century Spanish nobility?

My world has a country that is based in quite a few regards on Spain during the 17th/18th century. I would like the readers to feel the honor and prestige of that culture by accurately mimicking ...
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7 votes
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Why is there such a dramatic shift in Tamil script during the 3rd to 5th centuries AD?

I have already asked this question in Linguistics.SE but I didn't get any answers and the comments there spoke of historical reasons rather than Linguistics shifts so I'm asking here. Recently, I was ...
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6 votes
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Why has the shape of the depiction of Sikh Guru's beard changed?

I was looking at the old pictures of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Guru Teg Bahadur Ji. I found out that something is odd if we compare them with the modern depictions of both Gurus. I looked for other old ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Did people in the area the Virgin Mary is said to have lived wear headdresses at the time?

⁹I'm an artist trying to figure out what Mary really would have looked like supposing she was a real middle eastern Jewish person, because I know nothing about the type of cultural dress or ethnic ...
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Were there hippies in the USA in 1930?

I was wondering if there were hippies or a group with similar worldviews, around 1930 in Chicago or in general in the USA. I would also be interested in their worldview / philosophy. Are they ...
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How did the Dominican Civil War impact culture?

I'm trying to find information about any cultural changes caused by the Dominican Civil War-- whether that be more or less radical politics, a general move to the right or left, hostility towards ...
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How and why was the boundary between West and East Berlin decided to be where it was?

I have been trying to find detailed explanations (and, if available, references in English or German about it) to the following about the division of Berlin into West and East sides after WW2: how ...
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Was there any significant cultural shift in Russian Empire caused by the partition of Poland?

Wikipedia article on Tsardom of Russia claims that acquisition of Wild Fields and Kiev Academy caused an influx of intellectuals in Russia, which in turn kick-started later reforms by Peter The Great ...
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From 1200 B.C. until 100 A.D. did people in the Middle East sit on mats or mainly on chairs? [closed]

Did people sit on mats in the Middle East from 1200 B.C. until 100 A.D. (like some Arabic cultures nowadays) or did they sit mainly on chairs? But maybe the term 'Middle East' is too broad and can ...
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1 vote
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How did Majapahit 14th century timepieces tell the time?

The Majapahit Kingdom existed from 1293-1527. In that period, international trade was already being done. I'm looking at the cultural history and customs from Majapahit Kingdom, and I was wondering if ...
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3 answers
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Why didn't Chiang mention technological self-reliance?

In China's Destiny & Chinese Economic Theory, Chiang Kai-Shek wrote that: The two most important ways to understand and utilize man's nature are: First, to preserve the inherited ethics of the ...
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When did the news start reporting 'women and children were killed'

I'm trying to figure out when news specifically started mentioning women and children were killed when reporting fatalities. Does anyone have any reference or idea when this differentiation happened - ...
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What is a term for cultural and social influences left by colonial power that has a long-lasting, negative influence? [closed]

I'm currently doing research on colonial effects on North African countries, and one aspect I want to comment on are both the positive and negative effects of the previous colonial power. Some of ...
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Is the Krishna (a god within Hinduism), an appropriated historical figure?

Some people on quora etc, put claims to redefine the events within in the Hinduism theology as verifiable & scientifically true historical events and in such an attempt, the Mythological narrative ...
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Were there religious wars between two sects in Hinduism?

Shaivism and Vaishnavism, are two major sects within the umbrella of Hinduism, each with a different deity as their Supreme God. This difference, is thought to have, in the ancient and even recent ...
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Can anyone help identify this statuette?

The statuette has been in my family for 3 generations now. It is presumed to be from Morocco and was brought to us before the second world war. It is damaged and it had an ivory rosary that was stolen ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Why are some cultures historically more modest than others? [closed]

Ancient Greeks, for example, were obviously very comfortable with nudity, as reflected in a lot of their art. On the other hand, Islamic cultures value modesty much more. And of course there are ...
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2 votes
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Did the Duke of Cambridge wear rouge?

I'm looking for evidence that the Prince George, Duke of Cambridge - Queen Victoria's cousin and the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army - enhanced his complexion by the judicious and semi-discreet ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What does this image symbolize or mean and who is in the image?

Aztec painting shown below sent to me by a friend trying to figure out who it is in the image, as well as what the image itself represents or symbolizes and the meaning behind it all as well as the ...
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4 votes
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Where can I find a historic recipe for red cherry-onion jam?

A while back, I had duck with red cherry-onion jam at a medieval restaurant. Allegedly, it was a historic recipe, originally prepared in 1445 for the wedding of one of René d’Anjou’s daughters. As for ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the origin of lighting candles on birthdays?

What is the origin people start lighting the candles on birthdays. Also please explain what is the reason/logic behind it?
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19 votes
1 answer
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What are the hay effigies in this Japanese movie?

I am moving this question from Movies.SE in hope of getting the answer here The movie The Blind Swordsman Zaitochi (2003) takes places somewhere in a small town in Japan, probably around the 19th ...
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8 votes
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How did Juneteenth come to be the primary national celebration of the end of slavery in the United States?

Wikipedia explains that the celebration of Juneteenth (originally Jubilee Day) began in Texas and later spread to other parts of the South. The date commemorates June 19th, 1865 when General Gordon ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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How widespread was the use of red ochre by sapiens in prehistory?

It appears that red ochre, color based on iron oxide, has been used very abundantly by prehistoric peoples, especially sapiens (Homo sapiens sapiens), but also to a lesser extent, Neanderthals. ...
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Why did Rome adopt Greek culture?

Initially, I understand the Macedonians had a Greek culture (Art, Religion, etc) because they were Greek. But then the Romans dominated the Macedonian Empire and adopted their culture too, and that ...
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3 votes
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When and how did Seethekami, the tribal version of Ramayan, come into existence amongst the Haalaki in Karnataka?

Ramayan, an ancient Sanskrit text, though true or not forms an integral part of numerous cultures not only in India but in several Asian countries. But across cultures and this text is not consistent ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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What was the first college in an English-speaking country to use Latin in their motto?

I have looked at many universities and seen how in English speaking countries, their mottoes tend to be written in Latin. What was the first college/university in an English-speaking nation-state (...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Perception of the state by an average person in pre-modern times [closed]

I would like to better understand the experience of being governed and interaction with the centralized state (or lack thereof) in pre-modern times. A cursory search did not return anything ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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What are the historical equivalents of cooperative storytelling like modern role-playing games?

I understand the direct history of RPGs mostly coming from Dungeons and Dragons, which had grown out of the combat game Chainmail, but I am wondering if there were any close equivalents in older ...
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5 votes
3 answers
411 views

What is the origin and significance of karahafu (唐破風)?

The karahafu (唐破風) is perhaps the most instantly recognisable Japanese architectural feature, yet it's origins are not well established in Western literature. Folk etymology suggests that the style ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What exactly is a Tang dynasty 壺 (pot)?

I have asked this question on Chinese Stack Exchange but received no satisfactory answer there so far. I think it is relevant to the History Stack Exchange and will link these two questions together. ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Was the Kingdom of Nri truly pacifistic?

I have been reading about the Kingdom of Nri, a political entity that lasted from medieval times to 1911. It was apparently pacifistic and saw violence as an abomination on Earth. However, it is ...
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25 votes
2 answers
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Who are these red flag worshipers from these early maps?

While doing some research into maps over the last month or so, I came across an interesting item which I found recurring on two different sources. I first encountered this scene on a copy of the ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Was Mark Twain's book 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' banned in the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany)?

I am currently studying the film Barbara directed by Christian Petzold for my undergraduate dissertation. This film is based in the former German Democratic Republic=GDR (East Germany). The ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Who are some people (or well-known fictional characters) that drew a lot of media attention in 18th/19th century Europe/US?

Suppose someone is suddenly exposed to a barrage of media attention today, they might say something like "I feel like a Kardashian". What if I have a character (in Europe) experiencing something ...
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8 votes
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What do we know about the location of Islamic schools in pre-colonial Africa?

There is much research in history and social science on how Christian missionary schools changed the formation of human capital in Africa, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. However, I find very little ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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Are there sources that record ancient women in patriarchal societies' thoughts about patriarchy?

Are there any sources describing what women in ancient patriarchal societies (like Greece, Rome, etc.) thought about the patriarchy? I've heard of feminist movements throughout history; this ...
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13 votes
1 answer
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Where did prejudice against left-handed people originate from?

I came across this Tweet recently which lists many different words used in traditional dialects to refer to left-handed people[.] It looks like a majority of the English terms listed there are all ...
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2 answers
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How to you reply to Henry Ford and Otto von Bismarck? [closed]

All history is bunk -- Ford All history is fairy tales rewritten by the winner of the last war -- Bismarck There is a LOT of truth to what they say. And with PhD thesis like the courtmartial of ...
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1 vote
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Are paintings in history generally darker? Are they related to the pigment verdigris?

I've long had a feeling that the scenes in the paintings created at least 150 years ago are generally darker than those created more recently. I just read the article "Why Renaissance Paintings Aren’t ...
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Did soldiers and/or athletes of ancient times perform any kind of stretch or warmup exercises?

There are some 'time travel' stories where the protagonist, hailing from a modern age, does stretches and warmup exercises (calisthenics, radio, etc) and the natives have no idea what that is. There'...
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74 votes
2 answers
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Which culture used no personal names?

The blog post Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names – With Examples claims that: There was an isolated culture in which no one had names – they referred to everyone in relative terms, such ...
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0 votes
3 answers
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Is there an example of one picture painted by different painters?

s there a (famous) example of the same art work created by different painters? I mean the following situation: painter X starts a painting, painter Y continues the same painting, and painter Y ...
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3 votes
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Where can I find information about "stone power" / lapidaire?

While doing some research about Middle-Ages jewelry, where stones comes from and the economy around it, I found a website mentioning this book and mention beliefs in some magical properties of ...
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