Cultural Maintenance and Revitalization in Oaxacan Indigenous Communities in Los Angeles
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The purpose of my research is to analyze what causes culture loss, specifically within the community of Oaxacan indigenous migrants here in Los Angeles (primarily the Zapotec and the Mixtec) and to analyze the different ways in which they maintain and revitalize their cultures. This is an important topic because there will soon be an extensive population of indigenous people in Los Angeles. By gathering information on key parts of their cultures including religion, language, and familial organization I will be able to find the causes of culture loss and what they do in order to maintain their culture here in Los Angeles. Gathering information for my research includes interviewing professors who research Oaxacan indigenous culture, interviewing indigenous migrants from Oaxaca, and participating in events and workshops sponsored by the Bi-national Center for the Development of the Indigenous Communities (CBDIO). The interviews are tailored specifically for each group, while I interview professors about their interactions with Oaxacan indigenous migrants and about their specific research within the field; I interview the indigenous Oaxacan migrants about their personal experiences and feelings. Lastly, extensive reading allows me to compare and synthesize the information gathered from my interviews and from my participation in the workshops in order to answer my question of what causes culture loss and how Oaxacan indigenous migrants maintain and revitalize their cultures here in Los Angeles.