Presentation on theme: "Cherokee Indians Horticultural Society. Type of Society The Cherokee are Native Americans of the Iroquoian language Before Europeans arrived in North."— Presentation transcript:
Type of Society The Cherokee are Native Americans of the Iroquoian language Before Europeans arrived in North America, the Cherokee controlled a large region of the Southeast Settled in modern western Virginia, West Virginia, western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, southeastern Kentucky, northwestern South Carolina, northern Georgia, and northern Alabama
Trail of Tears Forced relocation in 1838 to the western United States The Cherokee reorganized their government under chief John Ross and became known as the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (which was dissolved after the American Civil War when Oklahoma achieved statehood) Known as one of the “Five Civilized Tribes” because of their having adopted many Euro-American customs
Horticulture The Cherokees are a horticulturalists on a swidden basis A horticultural society is one that utilizes animal husbandry and plant cultivation using primitive tools, such as the hoe Horticulture is linked to the nomadic hunter- gatherers, who cultivated crops on a small scale around their dwellings between migrations
Horticulture (cont’d) horticulture is different from agriculture because: – it is on a smaller scale, using small plots of mixed crops rather than large fields of single crops
Eastern vs. Western Band Today, Cherokee culture is still preserved mostly in the Eastern Band, as opposed to the severely weakened culture of the Western Band Cherokee
Subsistence and Commercial Activities Each Cherokee town maintained a mutual aid society that coordinated agricultural activities After contact with Europeans, this expanded to include relief to those in need of emergency assistance
Men in the Cherokee nation usually did the hunting and fishing – Hunted deer, bears, and elk with bows and arrows – Smaller animals, such as rabbits and squirrels, were hunted with long cane-stem blowguns that propelled wood-and-feather darts – For fishing, hooks and lines, spears, and traps were used – http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=- 904664033367384180&hl=en http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=- 904664033367384180&hl=en
Women in the Cherokee nation usually did the farming – They grew mostly corn, beans, squash, sunflowers, and tobacco Children helped by gathering wild plants – Wild grapes, berries, nuts, and dandelions Wild plant foods were also gathered by hand
Today, the Eastern Band still relies on subsistence farming and tourism provides income in the Qualla Boundary The Western Band Cherokee often rent their land to white ranchers rather than farm it themselves and they rely on other wage labor and government assistance
Industrial Arts Metalworking, potting, soapstone carving, basket weaving Cherokee women at Qualla Boundary still basket weave for tourists
Division of Labor (today) Decline of hunting and more intensive agriculture led to men replacing women in the fields Women’s work increasingly confined to the household, especially among Eastern Cherokee
Population Current Cherokee Population: 301,800 Rate of Population growth is high: – 15 times larger than it was 150 years ago – 251% more people identified themselves as Cherokee in 1980 than in 1970 – 19% more people identified themselves as Cherokee in 1990 than in 1980
Religion Cherokee religion was very important They believed in a great creator They worshipped things that come from the great creator. These included corn, fire, and other items that helped them to survive.
Sacred Numbers and Ceremonies Beliefs also included a couple sacred numbers, 4 and 7 4 was representative of the four primary directions (North, South, East, West) 7 was representative of the seven ceremonies. There were six ceremonies each year, but every seventh year, they performed another ceremony. This ceremony was performed by the chief or Uku to rejoice and give thanks to each member of the tribe.
Present Day Religious Beliefs Present day Cherokee were very influenced by their contact with Christianity By denomination, Baptist is the most numerous, followed by Methodist
Traditional Cherokee Polity Cherokee groups were widespread though bound as a distinct ethnic group but had no centralized government for all Cherokee settlements Interaction between Cherokee groups governed by common cultural traditions stressing mutual defense and discouraging conflict within the Cherokee community Individual communities often varied in governance generally utilizing a system of clan law and chiefs overseeing town councils.
Cherokee Polity after European Contact History of conflict with white settlers and US Government over land claims After American settlement Cherokee made slow moves towards more western style of government 1827 Constitution and Court System Disruption of Trail of Tears After major resettlement Cherokee group forced to sign numerous treaties ceding more and more land Full return of political autonomy returned by 1970.
Several Modern Groups of Cherokee Cherokee Nation – Oklahoma United Band of Cherokee Indians – Oklahoma Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians – North Carolina
Social Stratification To the Cherokees, social stratification was relatively unimportant; there was no such thing as social classes. However, the Cherokees were an organized tribe.
Organization One of the characteristics of Cherokee society was their powerful matrilineal clan system. – In other words, their society was a matriarchy (as some have called it). – Children took the clan of their mother. – Kinship was always traced through the mother’s side of the family. – Women had an equal voice in tribal affairs. – All members of the tribe, for that matter, had equal voices.
Distribution of Power Men of Tribe In charge of hunting, war, and diplomacy. Men made political decisions for the tribe. Cherokee men were Chiefs. Women of Tribe In charge of farming, property, and family. Women made political decisions for the clans. Cherokee women were landowners.
Importance of Equality Equality was a very important issue to the Cherokee Indians. There were two Chiefs who were elected (one during times of peace and one during times of war), but decision-making was based on a democratic process. – Any tribal member could voice a concern. – The Chiefs did not absolutely rule.
The Medicine Man Importance of equality carried over to health care—the Medicine Man helped all members of a tribe. Each member was treated individually—they were given a “potion” (made from plants and herbs) specifically designed for their illness or situation. The remedies of the Cherokee were based on the idea of “wellness” which means “harmony between the mind, body, and spirit” The Cherokee word for health, “tohi” is the same as the word for peace. The “medicine circle” has no beginning or end so it represents a concept of “harmonious unity.” Therefore, in order to keep peace between members of the tribe or personal relationships, every member was able and encouraged to see the Medicine Man. There are still “Medicine Men” today who practice these ancient remedies.
Condition of Tribe The Cherokee (as well as most Native American tribes) experienced universal conditions throughout the tribe. If the tribe was experiencing hardships, everyone felt them; and if the tribe was experiencing prosperity, everyone felt that as well. The whole society was based on the idea of reciprocity, or giving. Basically, if someone was poor, everyone was poor—their system of reciprocity eliminated the pressure of social classes.
Before the Europeans came to America, the elder men would educate the children about their culture by telling them stories about how their land was created. The first school, called Moravian Brethren, taught children reading, writing, and arithmetic. Some kids were also taught English, grammar, and geography. Children were also taught economical skills such as how to make clothes.
Children mainly learned in English until a Cherokee man named Sequoyah invented the Cherokee alphabet, which was taught in schools soon after. Before the Cherokee were forced to leave the South during the Trail of Tears, they relied on the missionaries to educate their children. Soon after reaching their destination, they established a national school system.
Historically, race was not a factor in the acceptance of individuals into Cherokee Society, since the Cherokee People viewed their self-identity as a political rather than racial distinction. Going far back into antiquity based upon existing social and historical evidence as well as oral traditions among the Cherokee, the Cherokee Society was best described as an Indian Republic.
Inheritance was largely matrilineal, and kinship and clan membership was of primary importance until around 1810, when the seven Cherokee clans began the abolition of blood vengeance by giving the sacred duty to the new Cherokee National government. Clans formally relinquished judicial responsibilities by the 1820s when the Cherokee Supreme Court was established. When in 1825, the National Council extended citizenship to biracial children of Cherokee men, the matrilineal definition of clans was broken, and clan membership no longer defined Cherokee citizenship.
Status of Women Main Role – Cultivated land and took care of young Secondary Tasks – Clothing – Ground corn meal – Planted gardens – Collected wild berries – Tanned skins – Wove baskets Sometimes came hunting Created tools for everyday tasks Women now – Miss Cherokee, Wilma Mankiller
Family Polygyny was accepted, but rarely practiced Clan was considered family Live with small, extended families Marriage – Gifts were given by both sides – Symbolic gift exchange between couples – Divorce was common – Now – Legality of Same-Gender Marriage
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherokee Wilkins, David E. American Indian Politics and the American Political System, Rowan and Littlefield Publishers Inc. 2006. http://www.everyculture.com/North- America/Cherokee-Economy.html http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/northam erica/before1500/economy/cherokee.htm http://smokymtnmall.com/mall/cindians.html