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Knowing Your Culture

Khloe Felker, Staff Writer

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Throughout Alliance High School, there are many different students who pay tribute to their own personal cultures. One of the many students in Alliance High School with a unique cultural background is Emily Littlehoop. Emily’s Native American ethnicity is Ogallala, Dakota, and Navajo. Her culture has many different traditions. For example, they have coming of age ceremonies which consist of learning how to become a man or woman. The men need to learn how to hunt, become a warrior, care for their family, and tie a bow. The women learn how to cut meat, dry meat, take care of a family, cook, and clean.

Emily says “There are a lot more traditions, it’s just a thing you have to learn over a lifetime.”

One of the most interesting things about Emily’s culture are the PowWows. PowWows are social gatherings where there is dancing and singing. There are also sometimes competitions for dancing. She says that PowWows are just a fun thing that her culture does on the weekends.

Not only does her culture have all of these traditions, but some of the rituals they do interfere with some of her academic time. For example, she says that her family always makes trips to South Dakota in order to be with their family for certain events, and only get two hours to sleep. Emily says, “Sometimes we’re not allowed to go to school because there’s maybe an eclipse and as Navajo we’re not allowed to be outside or eat or do anything during an eclipse.”

Many people are not as in touch with their culture because they care too much about what others think. Staying true to what cultures, or religions are passionate about has to be very hard when going to a school where many people don’t believe or are not passionate about the same things. She says one of the everyday things she does different from others, is that she prays every morning and night before eating.

Emily states “I love the way of life, it has its ups and downs but it’s a good way of life.”

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