This article argues that a generational approach focusing on changing constellations of cultural practices helps to understand culture. We contrast this approach with the “box approach,” which categorizes individuals by racial or ethnic ancestry. The article focuses on the survival, disappearance, and transformation of constellations of cultural practices related to Learning by Observing and Pitching In to activities of the family and community (LOPI) in Indigenous communities of the Americas, across time and place. We illustrate the importance of considering constellations of cultural practices by showing connections among schooling, urban/rural residence, occupations, Indigenous birthing and spiritual practices, and LOPI across three cultural communities in a Mexican metropolis across three generations. We argue that a constellation of practices, including the cultural tradition of Learning by Observing and Pitching In to family and community endeavors, links widespread communities with Indigenous practices of the Americas.

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