Sustaining Living Culture

Sustaining Living Culture



While it is indisputable that the Earth’s physical resources are being depleted, distinct cultural practices are also being eroded by forces of development and homogenization. The central question addressed in this book is how to sustain cultural practices that are still active today but are, nevertheless, vulnerable. This is a time when many unique cultures are threatened; practitioners of rare arts are aging, young people are being integrated into larger communities, languages are disappearing, and cultural memories are being lost. Sadly, once the integrity of cultural knowledge is lost, it can never be fully restored. These articles embody dynamic contemporary efforts to sustain ongoing, and therefore, ever-changing cultural practices, not merely closed histories of past events. The lessons learned in these pages can be passed on to future generations to nourish living cultures.



Publication Date



Common Ground Publishing


Champaign, IL




Table of Contents


Part I: Social Practices and Rituals

Chapter 1: Toleration, Multiculturalism and Cultural Sustainability: Are They Compatible? / Ian Alexander Young

Chapter 2: Communication of Culture: Culinary Arts / Denis Rudd and Richard Mills

Part II: The Arts

Chapter 3: The Role of the Arts in Sustaining Living Cultures / Frieda Holland Gebert

Chapter 4: Music and the Sustainability of Diasporic Identity: Considering the Black Atlantic / Adam Zanolini

Part III: Traditional Crafts

Chapter 5: Oomingmak: Sustaining Alaskan Native Culture through the Qiviut Industry / Amy Russell

Chapter 6: When Traditional Craftsmanship Encounters Technology: A Retrospective Presentation of a Biennale Artist's Artistic Path Over the Last 25 Years / Eva Man-Way Yuen

Part IV: Language and Oral Tradition

Chapter 7: The Sustainability of Languages / Lindsay J. Whaley and James N. Stanford

Chapter 8: Languages at the Precipice: Sustainability in a Context of Globalization / Peter Heffernan

Chapter 9: Learning through the Traditional Tale: An Holistic Approach to Work with Groups and Individuals in Therapy, Education, Empowerment, and Dialogue / Shai Schwartz, Yehuda Bar Shalom and Tamar Ascher Shai

Part V: Knowledge, Nature and Practices

Chapter 10: The Sustainable Aesthetic: Nature, Culture and Architecture / David Crutchfield

Chapter 11: Indigenous People's Art and Architecture / Preeti Singh and Krishna Dhote

Part VI: From Theory to Practice

Chapter 12: Rediscovering "Roots": The Immersion Stage of Cultural Identity Development / Gina Zanolini Morrison

Chapter 13: Tibetan Identity: Transformations within the Diaspora / Yosay Wangdi

Part VII: Summary

Chapter 14: Valuing Living Heritage / Kevin Gibson

Sustaining Living Culture