Cherokee Tribe In American Culture

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When the Europeans began their invasion of the Americas, the Cherokees were an agricultural people whose villages could be found throughout the American Southeast. Cherokee families were based on matrilineal clans. Matrilineal clans are extended family groups with names, tradition, and oral history. Membership in each clan is through the mother: you belong to your mother’s clan. To be without a clan was to be without human identity. The clan is also exogamous, which means people cannot marry a person from their own clan. With regard to the Cherokee family, historian John Finger, in his book The Eastern Band of Cherokees 1819-1900, says: “Most incomprehensible of all to non-Indians was the Cherokee family system.” With regard to inheritance,…show more content…
Similarly, a widower was expected to marry the sister of his deceased wife. The Cherokee wedding ceremony was brief and simple. According to Grace Steele Woodward, in her book The Cherokees: “The ritual merely entailed the exchange of gifts, in lieu of vows, between a bride and her groom, and lasted but half an hour.” Children and Birthing With regard to Cherokee child birth, historian Theda Perdue, in her book Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, 1700-1835, reports: “During delivery, a woman stood, knelt, or sat, but she never gave birth lying down. Usually no one bothered to catch the baby, who simply fell on leaves beneath the mother.” It was a good omen if the child fell on its back and a bad omen if the child fell on its breast. Among the Cherokee as well as the other tribes, deformed infants were simply abandoned in the woods. Infanticide was used as a means for controlling population growth. Among the Cherokee, however, only the mother had the right to abandon a child. This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged Cherokee family, Cherokee Indians, Indians 101 by Ojibwa. Bookmark the permalink. Proudly powered by

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