23 julio, 2024

Cultural regions: characteristics, types, examples

The cultural regions They are all those areas or geographical spaces that have in common various aspects of a particular culture. That is, they share the same language, customs, origin, traditions, religion and history. On the other hand, these regions do not necessarily share territorial proximity.

An example of a cultural region is the one that occurs in the American continent, which is divided into Anglo-Saxon and Latin culture. The most outstanding differentiating feature of these regions is the language, in the first English is spoken while in the second the Spanish language dominates.

However, cultural regions worldwide are classified into several types, the main ones being: formal culture, functional culture and popular culture. Each of these regions is characterized by the social and natural environment in which they have evolved, which allows them to consolidate their differential features and keep them separate from the others.


Characteristics of cultural regions

Cultural regions are distinguished by presenting the following characteristics:

– They have and share the same language, traditions, history, religion, customs and other elements of a cultural nature.

– Cultural regions are homogeneous spaces. That is to say, these are similar by virtue of the fact that they can share the same origin and have similarities in terms of their history.

– These types of regions are constant subjects of study and research in the field of geography and anthropology. This is because they are constantly changing and evolving.

– The areas covered by the cultural regions are not always limited or close to geographical delimitations and political composition.

Types of cultural regions

Cultural regions are characterized in the following types:

formal cultural region

The formal cultural region is one that has a community that has the same religion and the same language, whose constitution or demarcation is indicated. Although the features are similar, in some territories they may be more intensified due to the interaction of the inhabitants.

On the other hand, this type of region has the same means of production and subsistence. In addition, formal cultural regions have a center where all the elements that identify them originate, from there they are distributed to the rest of the communities that make them up.

functional cultural region

Although they share some cultural traits, in this type of region the focus is oriented on the way in which the inhabitants and the institutions that compose it function. In other words, functional cultural regions are framed in the development of political, economic and social aspects.

In other words, a functional cultural region operates based on compliance with the norms established by the elites or officials with domain and power, so that the rest of the members cooperate with the correct development of society. What really prevails is the organization.

popular cultural region

The popular cultural region is one that is recognized and identified by the inhabitants themselves, this makes them know the territory they cover. They usually share the language and traditions, at the same time they belong to a certain administrative area and are subject to political, economic and social norms.


– Cultural Regions of America


This region includes the following countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize and a portion of Nicaragua. At the same time, the most outstanding peoples are the Aztecs, Toltecs, Mayas, Teotihuacán, Zapotecs and Mixtecs. They all share the same architecture, writing, and cultivation process.


This cultural region of America encompasses the territories of Venezuela, the Antilles, northern Colombia, Guyana and Central America. Among the most important populations are Arawak, Darién, Caribes, Chiriquí and Taíno. Its main cultural feature is the development of goldsmithing and wood carving.


The Andean cultural region extends through the Andes Mountains starting from the North and ending in Chile. The most outstanding towns are Chapín, Tiahuanaco, Nazca, Chimú, Inca, Chibcha and Mochica. In general, they are dedicated to pottery and ceramics, in addition to the cultivation of potatoes and coca.

– Cultural regions of Europe

The main cultural regions of the European continent are Western Europe, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Baltic, Scandinavia, and the British Isles. The main languages ​​of these territories are French, English, German, Romansh and Dutch.

– Cultural regions of Asia

Asia is made up of 4 cultural regions, which are East Asia, South Asia, West Asia and Southeast Asia.

In the case of East Asia, this is made up of China, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea and Japan, where classical Chinese stands out as the main language.

For its part, South Asia is made up of the countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

While Western Asia is made up of 18 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Finally, Southeast Asia encompasses 12 countries.

– Cultural regions of Oceania

Oceania is made up of the following cultural regions: Australasia (which in turn is made up of Australia and New Zealand), Micronesia, Polynesia, and Melanesia. The territory of Micronesia is made up of the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and the Marshall Islands.

Now, the Polynesian region is made up of 4 countries: Kiribati, Tonga, Samoa and Tuvalu, making up for more than a thousand islands. For its part, Melanesia is made up of the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

– Cultural regions of Africa

The cultural regions of Africa are: West Africa, East Africa, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Africa, Central Africa, Madagascar, and the Sahel. Now, the West African region is made up of 16 countries, including: Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Ghana and Liberia.

For its part, East Africa is made up of 18 countries, all sharing the same customs and livelihood methods. As for North Africa, it is made up of Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Each of these regions has different languages, which makes the continent the richest in this area.


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