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Polygence Scholar2021
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Srihith Tirnati

Providence High SchoolClass of 2025Charlotte, North Carolina



  • "Extinct & Endangered: Histories of Cultures in the Past, Their Relevance Today, and Why Should We Care?" with mentor Aditya (Feb. 16, 2022)

Project Portfolio

Extinct & Endangered: Histories of Cultures in the Past, Their Relevance Today, and Why Should We Care?

Started June 13, 2021

Abstract or project description

Srihith Tirnati

September 7, 2021


		Project Outline: Preserving Existing Cultures

Ever heard of the Maori or Moriori culture? Possibly the first one, given the fact that it is the dominant one and also the culture actor Russell Crowe is of descent. Culture is a complicated topic that is crucial to learn about because of how it influences decisions throughout someone’s life and is part of who they are. However, there is a problem at stake: cultural extinction can threaten ethnic minorities and without prevalence in respective areas, they could be gone with the language’s last speaker or the conquest of civilization. To be honest, losing an aspect of culture can dig a hole in someone’s heart. Like the Maori and Moriori, there are numerous cultures who are threatened and need to be preserved. Whenever stating this, the initial reaction many people have is, “Why do I care?”,”What will benefit me if this culture is preserved?” The answer is somewhat simple with a logical explanation: each culture is interconnected with another because they have similar origins and therefore can run into the same problem. A great example is the cultures of ancient civilizations, such as the Aztec civilization in central Mexico. Starting with wanderers discovering an eagle on a cactus, the Aztec civilization was established with the capital being Tenochtitlan. They had a reputation for being bellicose but also were renowned for their art and pottery depicting gods such as Quezalcoatl. However as the Aztecs controlled their land, their downfall was brought upon them by Hernan Cortes and Spanish conquistadors in 1519. The Spanish erased most of Aztec culture and built Mexico City, and the Aztec culture was lost. This is exactly what happened to other cultures worldwide. In the modern world (apart from some conflicts), the issue is the disappearance of language. Around the world, one language is going extinct with its last speaker every two weeks. According to National Geographic, half of our cultures right now will be gone because the people whose culture includes the language will favor English, French, Spanish, or other large languages since those are more prevalent. This is what my project is essentially about, finding methods to help inform others and encourage them to do something to preserve these cultures. To answer the main question: if a culture is threatened because of a reason that caused the downfall of other cultures, then it is significant because it can be the exact reason that your culture might also be in jeopardy if action isn’t taken.