By Brett Briggeman Native American Heritage Month
November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions and contributions of Native Americans to our country.
The staff of the HSU Brand wanted to recognize our Native American family at Hardin-Simmons University and celebrate their culture with them. We also would like to highlight the main reasons we are doing so.
In recognizing Native American Heritage Month, we take part in preserving the vast cultures that it entails. This preservation includes different languages, traditions, histories and beliefs. We also acknowledge advances in society thanks to the Native American community, such as in medical science. An instance of these medical advancements is in herbal medicine. The cultural use of willow bark by Native Americans in pain treatment led to the development of one of the most well-known modern-day painkillers, aspirin.
Native American heritage also illustrates techniques for caring for the environment. Many tribes have helped promote the importance of biodiversity and the need to care for the world around us. Preserving Native American history also allows a fuller view of certain events. It also allows for different perspectives and ideas on topics. The importance of Native American history lies in its role as a repository of cultural heritage, a source of historical perspective and a wellspring of wisdom in environmental sustainability.
Native American heritage is also replete with different modes of art, including many diverse paintings and music, which depend on situations and circumstances. One of the main artistic areas they have contributed to is visual art. Native American visual art encompasses a broad spectrum of styles and media, from traditional pottery, basketry and beadwork to contemporary painting, sculpture and mixed media. Each tribal group has distinct artistic traditions, motifs, and designs that reflect their cultural heritage. Intricate patterns, geometric shapes and vibrant colors are hallmarks of Native American visual art.
In conclusion, Native American Heritage Month helps remind us of the influence that Native American cultures have had on our society at large. By sharing cultures, we can nurture a community of mutual respect. This joint approach helps to promote a society of inclusion and diversity. Currently, there are over five million Native Americans in the United States, 78 percent of whom live outside of the United States. The states with the highest percentage of Native Americans are Alaska, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Moontana and North Dakota.