Cherokee Influence On Native American Culture

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The Cherokee are a Native American group that populate areas beyond the Appalachian Mountains. Today the Cherokee tribe flourishes with more than 285,000 people, being the second largest Indian tribe in the United States (according to the 2010 census). Their history contains numerous important historical events and their world over time has changed due to European settlement, wars, and other events but their culture and religion still has a significant role in their lives.
The Cherokee religion is a big part of their life, focuses on maintaining balance in the world. They believe that Earth is a large hanging disc of water suspended by four cords and has a large island in the center. These four cords are north, east, south, and west which …show more content…

The Cherokee often consulted the guidance of the Upper World spirits and to celebrate and communicate with them, they held festivals and rituals. They believed that festivals and rituals were the way to have peace and order on Earth. Many festivals have key factors in common, for example most festivals, including the First Moon Festival of the Spring and Friends Made Ceremony, all have a part in the ceremony where they all cleanse the impurities away with water down in the river. Another significant pattern in the ceremony that most ceremonies have in common was that they all had activities such as stickball, music, dancing, cooking and hunting. These festivals focused on feasting which usually came after fasting that was involved in most festivals. Even though these ceremonies had parts in common all the ceremonies were unique and different in their own way. But religion isn’t the only significant thing that impacted …show more content…

The Europeans came to America for many reasons but the biggest was wealth. One thing they brought with them was smallpox which had disastrous effects because the Cherokee’s immune system was never introduced to the disease. The medicine men were incapable of finding a cure so they went to the traditional purification treatment, sitting in sweat houses before wading in the chilling streams. This treatment only increased the number of deaths which was around 7,000 to 10,000 Cherokees. The Cherokees tribe suffered heavy losses due to the illness and at the end nearly half of the tribe was dead. The Cherokee at first made land cessions to the Europeans in 1721 and 1755 but soon the British colonist wanted more land after the French and Indian war when they no longer needed the Cherokees. The Cherokee gave around 50,000 square miles of land in the end, including upper-half of their hunting grounds and most of what is now Kentucky. Not only the Europeans brought illnesses, they took land and made the involuntary Cherokees into the Revolutionary

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