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Native american

March 29, 2016 | Author: | Posted in history, native-american studies

Cherokee Kinship

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Kinship in Cherokee tribes proved a more defined and instrumental piece of their day-to-day living then one typically finds today . In an article by Theda Perdue , she shares the story of a white trader who was married to a Cherokee woman . After he managed to beat the pregnant wife to death , he flees to Atlanta Georgia where he subsequently purchases an African Slave , Molly . This woman was intended as a replacement for the woman who died by the traders hands . The Cherokee family [banner_entry_middle]

must decide whether or not Molly is an acceptable replacement . Once they have done so , Her ancestry , the color of her skin , and her previous status as a slave were merely incidental ‘ The ties that bind Cherokees into a family unit were so strong that not even skin tone could break it off .This Cherokee kinship tie serves many purposes . The Cherokee owned land in common , meaning the members of the family all shared the hunting and grazing grounds . In not adhering to kinship customs and cultures , the system would falter and be destroyed by way of greed . The land was the only means of sustenance , without it the Cherokees would have been forced to rely on others to provide for them , a situation not to be proud of

The family unit would also prove a stronger defense against warring tribes and could protect itself from robbery with more people emotionally to the others . In identifying itself as a group of people rather than an individual or small family unit , the Cherokee like most other pre-contact Indian societies , strengthened their ability to provide and protect each other

Charles Hudson is quoted as saying , Cherokee clans and lineages were exogamous , meaning that you could not marry someone of your own lineage or clan ‘ This definition of lineage draws directly on the definition of kinship . In defining it so , the clan manages to maintain a healthier sect of offspring , thereby , theoretically , furthering the lifespan of the clan

One of the major components to kinship was in the blood vengeance which allowed the Cherokee family members to reciprocate against those who harm family members . As with the case of the white traders mentioned initially , the Cherokee believed they were robbed essentially , when a family members was taken or killed . Reciprocation was believed to be not only honorable , but also necessary . In replacing the person , the others could go about their business of surviving However , in 1810 , the Cherokee lifestyle took a major step away from this time-honored custom . In abolishing it , the Cherokee turned their sacred duty over to the emerging Cherokee National government , and one of the major reasons for having clans apparently disappeared

The move toward a more centralized form of government affected the tribe in another , fundamental way . The Cherokee nation constructed its own constitution , based the United States , and had all of the tribesmen and citizens ‘ vote on the document . The constitution , as written switched the tribe from… [banner_entry_footer]


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