Defintion of transculturation, according to Fernando Ortiz (Cuba) and GIRA:
The use of the concept of transculturation is made here referring to the original definition given by Fernando Ortiz : “transculturation is a set of ongoing transmutations; it is full of creativity and never ceases; it is irreversible. It is always a process in which we give something in exchange for what we receive: the two parts of the equation end up being modified. From this process springs out a new reality, which is not a patchwork of features, but a new phenomenon, original and independent.” According to Ortiz, transculturation describes the process at the center of which can be found a “native culture” and a “conquering culture”, but given its permanent nature, it is the later stages of this same process that are still now permeating the American continental cultural landscape.
When talking about culture or cultural identities, the term transculturation is more suited than any other to the American context since the idea of a mere phenomenon of “deculturation-acculturation” (still possible or thinkable within the national integration models of modern societies) is practically inapplicable in the various societies of the continent, given thecontinental scope of the situations and issues surrounding demographic and migratory movements, the shattering of national borders, and the flow of media information and international as well as local cultural products.
Transculturation then becomes truly essential to the understanding of an American continental specificity. It is through transculturation that cultural hybridity (understood as the result of an ongoing process of transculturation), which is made out of “DIY creations”, constructions, “negotiations”, re-appropriations of identity as well as of new cultural synthesis, becomes a central element of the developing imaginary of the Americas. In this context, identity is therefore a matter of a plurality typical of the continental cultural uniqueness, as it was based on history. It can be thought out as a whole, and this without negating “ethnic”, political and cultural distinctive features.