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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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2answers
511 views

When did people start believing aliens are abducting cows?

I think all of us must have seen the following scene in a film, or read it in a book: It is night, and there are cows standing in a field. All of a sudden, a flying saucer appears, and starts to beam ...
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680 views

Why women in English-speaking world commonly assume husband's family name after marriage, but women in China do not? [closed]

In English-speaking world, it is a common practice that women assume their husband's family name after marriage. This seems to be a practice that somewhat reflect patrilineality. In contrast, ...
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1answer
507 views

In the past were there gifts on the days leading up to Christmas instead of them all being on the one day?

Sometimes I'm tempted to give my kids gifts in a spread out way, instead of all at once, so they can appreciate each gift. In the song The 12 Days of Christmas the author describes getting gifts on ...
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417 views

What is the difference between a culture and a civilization?

This is my first question on this site. So, I just hope I would be helped here. As used by historians, what is the difference between a 'civilization' and a 'culture'? I used Google to find some ...
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1answer
679 views

What's the oldest monomyth?

What is the oldest example of the Joseph Campbell's monomyth (AKA: Hero's Journey) story structure ? I know about Homer's Odyssey (circa VII BC). Are there any older examples ?
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569 views

What is Machiavelli wearing in his painting?

This may not be completely relevant to this board, but what was Machiavelli wearing in his painting? I have looked and I couldn't find anything like it. Was his black "overcoat" only around in his ...
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1answer
271 views

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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1answer
319 views

Do onsen geisha still exist?

Japan's most famous geisha are from Kyoto, Japan's former capital and still a major cultural capital of Japan. But I've also heard of onsen geisha, far away from the big cities, who are at the bottom ...
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303 views

In ancient Rome what could 'childhood innocence' save a child from being punished for?

The "Innocence of a child", you know, that thing that lets curious little kids sneak onto the white house lawn and not immediately get shot or whatever. In ancient Rome (lets say during the republic ...
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316 views

What is the historical relationship between Yule and Christmas?

What is the historical relationship between Yule and Christmas? Yule is in part a set of secular and religious observances of a festival, arising out of pagan Germanic cultures. Christmas is in part ...
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1answer
1k views

Has any culture primarily worshipped an evil deity? [closed]

I was recently re-watching the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Masks, (because I'm not a nerd even a little bit), and an interesting thought struck me: the culture portrayed in that episode ...
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1answer
403 views

How and why did limerence come to be idolized as it is in modern Western society? [closed]

Limerence - the involuntary, infatuated state that has been romanticized as love. Before you read in, the basics of my question have to do with the historical forces that have shaped the modern ...
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308 views

What evidence is there to suggest that 'fear of the bomb' is culturally specific? [closed]

In the Western World, we have woven a cultural motif for our feelings about nuclear weapons. Even Scientific American would go so far as to say, "We learned to fear the bomb". Now some of this is ...
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244 views

What are some of ancient maps created from a single perspective?

Years ago I read that other civilizations had maps like that of the Herodotus, naming lands or peoples according to cardinal directions but without referring to them as continent or ethnicity. But ...
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106 views

Which time period is this wax doll?

We have an antique doll which we would like to learn more about. Can you please identify which time period this could possibly be from and the traditional dress they are wearing? If it's possible, the ...
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169 views

What evidence do we have for the state of ecstasy in primitive cultures?

I'm studying anthropology just out of curiosity and my knowledge on this field is really limited. I am interested in the state of ecstasy and its effects in primitive psychology. What evidence do we ...
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144 views

Mongolian (Tengrist) water ritual?

Is there a Mongolian (or Tengrist) ritual of throwing water in front of someone before they set off on a journey? Or is that just a Turkish thing?
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167 views

Are there any historical examples of possible alternatives to the “Nuclear Family”?

The nuclear family we see today is basically the smallest most regular social structure. Others exist like the company or the church, but at the end of the day most people ether live alone or within ...
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217 views

What was the Chinese impact on Japanese culture and the arts after ~1750?

What significant and subtle impacts has China had on Japanese social dynamics and the arts from ~1750 to the early nineteen hundreds? If at all possible include dates on which changes happened ...
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186 views

What were the cultures of peasants in China during the Hundred Schools period (600-221BCE)?

During the Hundred Schools period (600-221 BCE) Chinese cultures changed significantly as ideas were contested amongst the ruling elite. What do we know of peasant cultures in China during this ...
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5answers
471 views

A magic system at least partially based on the real-world cultural history of magic?

EDIT: Just to clarify, when I refer to magic, I am referring to the supernatural variety, not the stage variety. PREFACE: It was recommended to me that I might try and have this answered by the ...
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1answer
165 views

Is there historical evidence on what might have been a maximum hair length for males in 1st century Judea?

I am interested in getting a better idea of what a maximum acceptable hair length might have been for Jewish men in the Roman province of Judea (i.e. Israel). Because the province at the time was ...
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443 views

Animosity between Mandarin-speaking and Cantonese-speaking Chinese?

The PRC-ROC schism aside, has there historically been (or is there today) any animosity or feelings of cultural or racial superiority between Mandarin-speaking Chinese and Cantonese-speaking Chinese? ...
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124 views

Has anyone written Australian history from the perspective of the original inhabitants - the aborigines?

I once read that an aboriginal man from Australia in an ironic gesture planted a flag on English soul and proclaimed it now was a part of the aboriginal empire. I’m curious as to whether there have ...
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1answer
109 views

Pre-1900s advertising methods targeting a sub-population stratified by demography/social classification

In my view, the term "Millennial" (insert air quotes) now defines the current young (< 40 years of age) generation. It also possibly provides some sort of identity to a generation who are ...
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What does Spivak mean by “epistemic violence” in her paper “can the subaltern speak”? [closed]

What does G. Spivak mean by epistemic violence in her essay "Can the subaltern speak"? Does she mean that intellectuals in Europe and first world countries are prolonging and fixing the neo-...
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253 views

How is it determined what Culture is Period/Dynasty/Civilization part of?

I'm trying to make a fairly complete history for a con world and I'm looking at historical groups to make the history more realistic and I noticed something... At some point the names of these groups ...
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552 views

How was Chinese Communism connected to the New Culture Movement?

Looking for ways that the New Culture Movement was associated with Chinese Communism or the Chinese Communist Party.
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2k views

What is the origin of Jataka tales?

Some of the Jataka Tales are supposed to be about the Buddha in prior lives so the entire collection is touted as Buddhist by many. However, other sources will say they are tales handed down through ...
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1answer
461 views

Where can I find an English translation of 'Il Fioretto della Bibbia'?

I am currently reading The Cheese and the Worms, in which the author (Carlo Ginzburg) frequently cites a works of the apocryphal gospels titled Il Fioretto della Bibbia, an Italian translation of a ...
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1answer
99 views

Are there documented shifts in how history, time, and accuracy were regarded in society? [closed]

I recall an interview where Reza Aslan described that History, in its present form, didn't always exist that way. That is the rigor, validation, and peer review wasn't present. Instead, it was a ...
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1answer
201 views

Was arson prominent in the Kingdom of Hawaii?

Gast and Conrad's book about Francisco de Paula Marin's life in Hawaii contains entries from his journal. Several mention incidents and fears of arson, never ascribing responsibility: 30th Jany [...
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148 views

Before 1800, were there major schools of Islamic thought that relaxed behavior rules for women on the Hajj?

It is my understanding that most comprehensive works of Islamic thought (past and present) do the following: (a) Give rules or guidelines for behavior, some of them specific to women; (b) Give rules ...
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224 views

What were late eighteenth century British models of heroism?

The late eighteenth century (1780s, 90s) is sometimes characterized as a period of high idealism. Although it would be another few decades before Napoleon arrived in full force, and about half a ...
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58 views

Are the Egyptians the only ones to have carved the dead's biography on the coffin?

I know that Egyptians did it. (See Hornedjitef's coffin) It is very interesting to me that they carved a biography on the coffin that was to be buried - not to mention that it was the inner coffin, ...
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159 views

Who wrote that Americans believe their values are universal values?

I remember reading this statement (or something very close) years ago: Americans believe their values are universal values, which is the most American value of all. Who wrote this? I want to say ...
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173 views

India and Egypt: What enables a culture to endure? [closed]

What traits exist in Indian Hindu culture to allow it to persevere to the present day that did not exist in Egypt from ~3100 BCE to ~30 BCE? EDIT by Alex: What destroyed Egyptian civilization? ...
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78 views

Are there any sources which talk about the experience of attending a 15th/16th century fencing school?

I'm interested to know of any material which describes the experience of being a student at a medieval period fencing school e.g. once which may have been run by a Master teaching in the Lichtenauer ...
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230 views

How did French people greet in 1400? [closed]

How did French people greet in 1400? In particular I'm looking for french expressions that a peasant like Saint Joan of Arc could have used to greet a friend.
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136 views

Isn't the current trend of young, unmarried, women living at home merely a reversion to older practices? [closed]

The trend of Millenials "boomeranging" home, or never leaving in the first place is much-reported-upon, and much lamented, here, for example. Is this a new trend, or merely a reversion to pre-WWII ...
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0answers
69 views

How did messages in art, entertainment, etc. influence perception of Canada? [closed]

How did messages in art, entertainment, and official publications shape the English Canadian view of Canada's the world at the time of the Victorian era? So far how I understand it, is that the ...
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0answers
2k views

Effect of natural environment on the development of cultures [closed]

Let there be this quantitative question: how do the specifics of a natural environment influence the development of a newborn culture? Following are the specifics of the question: Which ...
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1answer
447 views

What role did the United States government and major corporations have in controlling dissent and protest starting in the late 1940s? [closed]

After the Second World War, numerous movements of dissent and protest amongst workers or soldiers which had been kept in check by the profits of war developed into significant movements, such as the ...
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1k views

Why study our country's history? [closed]

What's the use of studying the country's history where we come from? My country used to be one and every one studied the same history. Then it broke apart. Now students from the new countries only ...
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2answers
363 views

Where Are The Jane Fonda's Of Yesteryear? [closed]

Not long ago, New Orleans removed a well-known statue of Robert E. Lee that stood high on a pedestal in the middle of Lee Circle. That’s one of many recent examples of communities removing monuments ...
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2answers
236 views

What are canonical sources about fifth century BCE Athens?

I am looking for a history book on fifth century BCE Athens, preferably with emphasis on culture and the daily lives of the Athenians. I found recommendations of books about Ancient Greece in general,...
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1answer
321 views

When did tea become “a thing” in England?

Tea was certainly available to the aristocracy from at least the mid 18th century, but the concept of "tea" (as in tea break, afternoon tea, high tea, etc.) didn't become prominent until its adoption ...
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2answers
195 views

Are there any historical examples of (non government-approved) fake news having a strong effect?

Right now there is great concern about "fake news", with calls to regulate journalists and social media to prevent people from seeing or propagating fake news stories. I would like to know what kind ...
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2answers
198 views

What are the most famous individual toys in modern history? [closed]

Continuing my interest in the history of toys: Have there been any famous individual toys besides Winnie the Pooh and Paddington Bear? (Both were inspired by actual stuffed animals.) By individual I ...
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2answers
186 views

Ancient civilizations and their habits [closed]

What native tribe used to give much food as a gift. The people ate too much and then vomited so they could eat more. What is the name for this custom?