Texas Culture Essay

This essay has a total of 1380 words and 6 pages.

Texas Culture

Texas Culture


When the three of us decided to use Texas as our micro-culture, I thought it was a great
idea. I am not a Texan, since by definition to be a Texan, you must have been born in
Texas, no exceptions (http://www.texas-best.com), but do consider myself an honorary
Texan.

My first experience with Texas was around 1983 when I visited the state. I was traveling
quite extensively at that time and most of Texas was included in those travels. I had
previously been in several other states in our nation but none seemed to compare to the
great State of Texas. Things were just different in Texas. The people were different, the
culture was different and the image of Texas, portrayed by the people, past and present is
equal to no others.

Texas has a rich and long history and much of it has passed through the state over the
years to become a part of its folklore. This Texas folklore is part of many cultures
within the state and has even filtered outside the state. The first cultural influence on
Texas was from the Paleo-American Indians. When these Indians arrived they were in a bit
of a culture shock when they met the Spanish in the 16th century. In the following
centuries, more people began to arrive in Texas and they brought new ways of talking,
believing and doing things. The Spanish and the Mexican set the patterns south of Nueces
and along the Rio Grande. Anglos brought their ways of life from the British Isles to the
South and Eastern part of Texas. African Americans who came to work on the plantations on
the Brazos and Trinity bottoms brought songs, stories and beliefs that came with them from
Africa. Germans came directly from the Old World to the Hill Country, Cajuns came from
France and eventually through Louisiana and settled in Southeast Texas. The Dutch, Danes,
Polish, Czechs, Norwegians who also came here brought with them their ways of life and
they all became bound together to become part of Texas. By the year 2000, Texas was made
up of 54.5% Anglos, 31% Hispanic, 11.4% African Americans and another 3.1% of other
ethnicities.

Much of what Texas is today is because of the people who settled her land. Crafts such as
quilting and the Texas Star pattern, dance like the Cotton-Eyed Joe and even the way
Texans still hunt today can be traced back to the Middle Ages. Cowboys in Texas follow the
dress and work customs of the vaquero who worked cattle 300 years before the post-Civil
War Texas cowboy was born. Texas dialects contain Southern Mountain, Deep South, and
Southwestern, regional vocabularies as well as African Americans, Hispanics and over two
dozen other ethnic groups. The arts and crafts of Texas have been preserved over the years
and it is evident in the Spanish ironwork, Mexican horsehair bridles and lariats, the
furniture, yard art, distinctive mail boxes, foods and adobe houses.

Texans will tell you and show you how proud they are to be Texans and you don't even have
to ask them. They are a culture that has preserved important values through the centuries
that remain a part of their beliefs today. Song writers write about Texas, people from
other states want to come to Texas, and those who are in Texas love living in a place they
refer to as the "Great State of Texas". Songs like Texas, When I Die and God Blessed Texas
compare Texas to heaven. Lines like "When I Die, I may not go to Heaven….If they don't
just let me go to Texas, ‘cause Texas is as close as I've been" and "God Blessed Texas
with his own hand, brought down angels from the promised land, he gave ‘em a place where
they could dance, If you want to see Heaven, brother here's your chance, I've been sent to
spread the message, God Blessed Texas." These are only two songs that reflect how Texas is
a place of its own, with countless others I haven't even mentioned.

Texas is just different from other parts of the country. The people in Texas are more
genuine, honest and real. The beliefs and values that made Texas what it is today are
still held in high regard and preserved for future generations. Most Texans feel that
being a Texan makes them a Southerner, not vice-versa. They have a huge "Southern Pride"
that the "Yankee's" don't seem to understand. Texans compare living in Texas to the North
and especially the North East in a variety of ways. After all, you can see the stars in
Texas, other places in the country it's just too bright from light pollution. Texas just
doesn't have that ever present smog that the Northerners have to deal with. There's a
major weather difference in Texas compared to the North. There's usually no major ice
storms, snow to shovel, shivering in your shoes waiting for the bus or months of freezing
weather. Besides a major difference in terrain and weather from most parts of the country,
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