Basic Elements/Characteristics of Native Americans Cultures Adaptability is the ability to adapt to the changing environment and time while keeping the essence of culture - changing with the times but keeping the essence of the culture. Ex: A dancer may wear a CD on his shoulder because long ago dancers wore shiny shells there. Autonomy the ethic of non-interference in the lives of others. Ex: Duane didn¹t force his youngest son to go to college. Avoidance of eye contact is a sign of respect and prolonged direct eye contact is considered an invasion of the self. Ex: Navajo only stare at another when they are angry. Bilingualism concepts and ideas of a culture are not easily translated; language carries culture so knowing your ancient language will help keep the culture strong. Ex: One word in Native American can be 1,000 words in English. Careful Listening is important because Native Americans have oral cultures therefore being able to listen well allows the culture to continue. Ex:
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