You would be hard-pressed to find any major culture from anywhere in the world or any time in history that hasn’t been adapted by Hollywood or wider media in general. In many cases, the depictions we see in media are often the main source of information on that culture for a lot of people. That’s why we wanted to give you a little more background on some of those cultures to help spread some awareness!
It’s easy when you look at cultural portrayals in a lot of TV shows and movies to think that the Aztecs were some ancient, primitive culture from thousands of years ago. In other cases, the stories of gold and riches are what come to mind, an aesthetic connection that is notably prevalent in the online casino world. Slots like Aztec Spins or Aztec Ascent are familiar to those who enjoy slots online, inspired by the real-life quantities of gold and treasures the Empire possessed, as well as the legends and stories they inspired.
In reality, the Aztec Empire was around as recently as 500 years ago and was more developed than many give it credit for. They had organised cities, artificial islands, and flood protection in place for the rainy season. Until they encountered Europeans for the first time, they were by far the most dominant power in Central America and their few descendants still use many of the techniques and traditions of that time.
One of the least explored cultures in the world has to be Polynesia, which is a shame as it has one of the most fascinating histories. Much of the modern media representation around it focuses on Hawai’i as it naturally is the most familiar to an American audience. While Hawai’i is certainly a part of the culture, depictions usually only scratch the surface.
For example, most depictions don’t show just how many technological marvels were created by Polynesian ancestors. They were able to travel across thousands of miles of open ocean well over 3,000 years ago, at a time when even the most advanced European civilisations were stuck firmly to coastlines. Many of the star-reading techniques they created are still used today and have proven reliable for almost 5,000 years.
Probably the biggest case of the world misunderstanding what a country is, Egypt in the global consciousness lives in a cultural shadow of about 5,000 years long as the first thing that most think about would be the Pyramids, the Sphinx, and all the other parts of Ancient Egypt.
Outside of artefacts and museums, modern Egypt has a very different cultural identity than its ancient counterpart. The country is now primarily Islamic and there is an ongoing debate about whether the national identity is more ‘Egyptian’ or more ‘Arabic’. Most Egyptians will still hold the great achievements of their ancestors in high regard while also remaining open to new ideas and technologies.
So, the next time you see a culture you know little about in a TV show or movie, remember that you may only be seeing a small slice of a people that may have far more depth.