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Andrew Todtenkopf


Kukulcan, the Mayan name for Quetzalcoatl, is a terribly feared god who is ... Main gods are Itzamn ; Kukulc n (Quetzalc atl); Bolon Tzacab; Chac ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Andrew Todtenkopf

  • Andrew Todtenkopf
  • Emily Pak
  • Evan Meltzer
  • Greg Lerner
  • Seth Olsen

Latin American Culture
  • Greg Lerner

Cultural Traits
  • Latin American culture is the formal or informal
    expression of the peoples of Latin America, and
    includes both high culture and popular culture as
    well as religion and other customary practices.

Latin American Music and Dance
  • The dances of Latin America are derived from and
    named for the type of music they are danced to.
  • Mambo, Salsa, Cha-cha-cha, Rumba, Merengue,
    Samba, Flamenco, Bachata, and the Tango are among
    the most popular.
  • Each of the types of dance has specific steps
    that go with the music, the counts, the rhythms,
    and the style.

Latin American Art
  • From the early twentieth century, the art of
    Latin America was greatly inspired by the
    Constructivist Movement.
  • Mexican painter Frida Kahlo remains by far the
    most known and famous Latin American artist.
  • She painted about her own life and the Mexican
    culture in a style combining Realism, Symbolism
    and Surrealism.

Day of the Dead
  • The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos)
    celebrated mainly in Mexico and by people of
    Mexican heritage
  • The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and
    friends to pray for and remember friends and
    relatives who have died.
  • Traditions include building private altars
    honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls,
    marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages
    of the departed, and visiting graves with these
    as gifts.

Latin American Cuisine
  • Latin America is a very diverse area of land that
    holds various cuisines that vary from nation to
  • Latin American cuisine include maize-based dishes
    (tortillas, tamales, pupusas) and various salsas
    and other condiments
  • Some popular beverages include mate, pisco,
    horchata, chicha, atole, cacao and aguas frescas.
  • Desserts in Latin America are generally very
    sweet in taste.
  • They include dulce de leche,
  • alfajor, arroz con leche,
  • tres leches cake, Teja and flan.

Latin Cultural Customs
  • In Mexico, crooking the index finger to say "come
    here" and the American "okay" sign are considered
  • Photographing military installations in Mexico,
    Cuba, or Paraguay could land you in jail---or at
    least lead to your forfeiting your film to the
  • If you wear the clothing of the indigenous people
    in Peru, they will think you're making fun of
  • Bikinis are not acceptable on Ecuadorian beaches.
  • Giving a Chilean yellow roses signifies scorn or

Latin American Architecture
Seth Olsen
From Ancient Wonders to Modern Architectural
Ancient Architecture
Ancient architecture is a huge part of Latin
American Culture. The many storied tribes of the
pre-colonial continent left their mark with a
myriad of breathtaking structures.
Machu Pichu is probably the most recognizable
remnant of the Incan Empire in Peru. The city was
built around 1440, and was in fact a country
retreat for Incan nobles and royalty. Its
location in the Andes is a typical aspect of the
secluded Incan culture that settled in to the
natural landscape.
These statues are on Easter Island (Rapa Nui),
Chile. Since the statues were first discovered by
the Dutch in 1772, 887 of the sculptures have
been found, some over 25 meters tall. The
predominant theory is that the carvings were done
by the ancestors of the islands modern
Polynesian inhabitants during an intense creative
period between 1100 and 1600, but the is still no
definite explanation.
This is the dominant feature in the legendary
city of Chichen Itza El Castillo, or the Temple
of Kukulcan. Kukulcan, the Mayan name for
Quetzalcoatl, is a terribly feared god who is
supposed to take the shape of a plumed serpent.
The inhabitants of the city used the temple for
ceremonies including material and human sacrifice
to both the rain god Chaac, and Kukulcan. The
city developed around one of Yucatans 3 natural
sink holes, because as a region with no
above-ground rivers, the sink holes were a vital
source of plentiful water.
This is the site of an ancient sun cults
ceremonial center, believed to be occupied around
the 4th century B.C. It is located on the
Peruvian coast in the Casma-Sechin River Basin.
The site is comprised of 13 towers which span the
suns annual rising and setting arcs, creating an
ancient calendar. The towers also served as
observatories, complete with inset staircases.
The grand scale of this ritual space demonstrates
the architectural prowess exhibited by South
American natives over 2000 years ago.
Colonial Architecture
Some of the most notable architectural features
of Latin America come from the colonial influence
of the Spanish and Portuguese. Just as in every
aspect of the regions culture, their impact is
still evident today.
The picture on the right is the gorgeous
Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. On the left is
the massive statue of Jesus Christ which presides
over the city, a monolith atop the citys highest
peak. The statue, called Christ the Redeemer,
was first conceived in the 1850s, but was not
completed until 1931. Designed by French sculptor
Paul Landowski, the statue is symbolic of the
religious culture that the Europeans spread
through their conquest of South America. Although
the statue was not created until after Brazil
became a republic, were it not for Catholicism
being pushed onto Brazilians during the colonial
era, Christ the Redeemer would not stand sentinel
On top is the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor,
the oldest cathedral in Latin America, and in the
Western Hemisphere. It was built between 1512 and
1541 in Santo Domingo. Below is a church in
Potosi, Bolivia, an example of the
Churrigueresque style brought from Spain in the
18th Century. These two Colonial pieces further
illustrate the extent to which the Europeans
influenced Latin America, and that the most
notable cultural aspect pushed upon the natives
was religion.
To the right is a Colonial fortress of San Felipe
de Barajas in Cartagena, Colombia. Built in the
mid-17th Century to defend this valuable port
city, the defensive building contrasts those of
the continents native civilizations.
Modern Architecture
Although rich tradition permeates Latin America,
there are many ways in which modernistic culture
has settled into the society. Architecture is one
aspect in which modernism can be found, such as
in Brazils capital Brasilia. The two buildings
on the left, both located in Brasilia, were
designed by famous Brazilian architect Oscar
Niemeyer. On top is the National Congress
Building of Brazil, which demonstrates Niemeyers
edgy use of concrete in creating structures that
appear to defy gravity. He designed all of the
government buildings, which gives the city an
eloquently modern atmosphere. Below is the
Catedral Metropolitana, built in the 1960s, which
is an example of the ever-present Colonial
influence, especially with regard to religion,
standing the test of time.

The Sports Palace (right) in Mexico City, Mexico,
and the Central University of Venezuela (left) in
Caracas, Venezuela are more examples of Latin
architectural embracement of modernism in the
20th century. These structures now paint the
landscape in contrast with the ancient and
colonial buildings that characterized Latin
America for so long.
On the other hand, the wealthy and modern
waterfront of Rio de Janeiro (left) and the poor
village in Peru (right) offer a more upsetting
contrast, exposing the extreme
disparity in wealth throughout the continent.
Small impoverished towns litter the landscape, to
which a sad indifference is perpetuated by the
affluent modern metropolises. Latin America has
made great leaps of progress, but, unfortunately,
many have been left behind. Out of 534 million
people living in the Latin American/Caribbean
area. Of these, 132 million live on less than 2
a day, and 57 million live on less than 1 a day,
and this cultural struggle is very present in the
architecture of rural areas.
Religion in Latin America
  • Evan Meltzer

Roman Catholicism
  • Monotheistic
  • Arrived to the region in 1492, by Christopher
  • Diffused by Jesuit missionaries, who arrived in
    1550 and were expelled in 1767. They converted
    the Guaraní tribe and offered them protection
  • Brazil is worlds largest Catholic country, with
    almost 135 million adherents
  • Mexico is one of the worlds most Catholic
    country, with over 95 Catholic

  • Monotheistic
  • Fastest growing religion in Latin America
  • Over 150 million followers, which make up 13 of
    Latin Americas population
  • Introduced by European and American in late 19th
    and early 20th centuries
  • Number of Pentecostals doubled in Central America

  • Polytheistic
  • Blend of Catholicism and African animistic
  • Founded in Rio de Janeiro in the 1920s
  • 8 main deities, called Orixás
  • Three types of spirits, pure, good, and dark
  • Belief in reincarnation
  • Animal sacrifice and possession trances
  • Over 20 millions adherents, mostly in Argentina,
    Uruguay, and Brazil

  • Monotheistic/ Animistic
  • Belief in one God, called Bondje with natural
  • Originated in Benin, Africa and spread to Haiti
  • Over 7 million followers of Haitian sect
  • Pewto and Rada spirits are hot or cold
  • Magic and sacrifice are used in rituals
  • Strong belief in family honor
  • Each believer has unique spirit

Mayan Religion
  • Polytheistic
  • Founded in 200s B.C.E in southern Mexico,
    Guatemala, and Belize
  • Once had 2 million adherents
  • Main gods are Itzamná Kukulcán (Quetzalcóatl)
    Bolon Tzacab Chac
  • Human sacrifice was an important ritual
  • Mayan rulers were religious leaders
  • Death is regarded as sacred, strong belief of an

Languages of Latin America
  • Spanish, Portuguese, Nahuatl, and Quechua
  • Andrew Todtenkopf

Indo-European Language Tree
History of Spanish
  • Spanish first introduced to Americas by
    Christopher Columbus
  • While South and Central American Spanish dialects
    differ from peninsular Spanish (from Spain),
    majority of lexicon is the same
  • Once Europeans settled, Catholic church and
    colonization spread the Spanish language

/Colonizationoftheamericas.png accessed on
Spanish Today
  • Over 330 million speakers worldwide
  • Today, Spanish is the primary language in
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Puerto Rico
  • Costa Rica
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Mexico
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

  • Portuguese, like Spanish, brought over by
  • Most widely spoken in Brazil
  • Over 177 million speakers worldwide
  • Like Latin American dialects of Spanish,
    Brazilian Portuguese
  • differs from European
  • Syntax
  • Phonetics
  • but again the lexicons are very similar

accessed on 12/11/08
  • English words derived from Nahuatl
  • Avocado (ahuacatl)
  • Chili (chilli)
  • Chocolate
  • Coyote (coyotl)
  • Tomato (tomatl)
  • Cacao (cacahuatl)
  • shell, rind
  • Chicle (tzictli)
  • sticky stuff
  • From the Uto-Aztecan language family
  • Spoken since 600 A.D.
  • Long words with complex meanings
  • Estimated 1.5 million speakers remaining
  • Mostly rural areas of Mexican states
  • Some English words and several more Spanish
    derived from Nahuatl

  • Native American language in South America
  • About 10 million speakers today
  • Mostly spoken in Peru and Bolivia
  • Like Nahuatl, English has some loanwords from
  • Words taken directly from another language with
    little or no translation
  • Differs from a calque or loan transition, which
    is where the meaning or idiom of a word is
  • Fast Facts
  • The word loanword is a calque of the German
    word Lehnwort
  • However, the word calque is actually a loanword
    from French
  • English loanwords derived from Quechua
  • Condor
  • Jerky
  • Llama
  • Puma
  • Quinine
  • Gaucho

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