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Iroquois Culture In order to fully understand and appreciate a culture different from ones own one must first have a grasp on ethnocentrism and how it can change thoughts and viewpoints Ethnocentrism is a term used when someone is judging a cultures ethics or way of life based upon his or her own belief structure or cultural values Granted being ethnocentric is not necessarily something to be ashamed of everyone does it as a part of human nature What one must realize however is that it can change ones viewpoint to the point where another cultures practices may seem barbaric Ethnocentrism cannot be avoided One simply must be aware that it happens and reflect upon it when it does occur A few other problem areas occur when one uses particular concepts to address a culture such as development and advanced culture In the case of Iroquois culture US citizens may be inclined to judge the Iroquois as an advanced culture since they could farm the land and had a form of government structure between the cultures keep in mind that the term Iroquois describes a group of tribes not any particular one But one can see that the term advanced culture comes from an ethnocentric standpoint One might also label as society as developing but development can be defined as progress toward a goal a higher society This is also a pitfall in anthropology provided that one does not understand ethnocentrism What must be realized is that the study of ancient cultures would be more objective if ethnocentrism did not exist However it would also be much harder to study and understand a culture if it could not be compared in some way to ones own The Iroquois culture and the corresponding timeline can be crudely divided into two periods life before contact with European settlers and life after contact The term crudely is used because blame for events that occur is not to
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