Native American Cultures of North Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1427 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Native Americans

Native American Culture

Intolerance of native religion is a theme that pervades Native American studies, as the conditions that many Indian nations suffered were guised with a highly religiously motivated idea of manifest destiny. The Cherokee nation was no exception, as many members sought to live a life that was chosen for them, rather than made by choice. One hundred and fifty years of Cherokee history is peppered first with the ideal manifest destiny of taming the uncultured "barbarian" spirit by faith. Early in the Cherokee history there was struggles with conversion, indoctrination and intolerance of traditional ways. The modern Cherokee movement has been to meld Christianity (forced upon them by white society, with the spirit of the old knowledge and religion, which like many other native nations was a core aspect of life.

McLoughlin 156)

Leone 21) Despite early attempts by the Cherokee to become "civilized" and live within the traditional lands left to them, which had originally stretched the whole of the Eastern and Southeastern U.S., and even the designation as one of five "civilized" tribes they were forcibly moved from their homelands to the Ozark Plateau in the 1830s. ("Cherokee" NP) "Around 1650 the Cherokee sparsely inhabited some 40,000 square miles of eastern Tennessee and the western Carolinas."

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Carmody, and Carmody 255)

TOPIC: Term Paper on Native American Cultures of North America Assignment

The Cherokee refer to themselves as the Tsa-la-gi (jaw la gee) or a-ni-yv-wi-ya (ah knee yuh wee yah) which means the principled people. In the mid 17th century the Powhatan leader referred to his people as the Rickahockan. The word Cherokee is believed to derive from the Choctaw trade language "Cha-la-kee" which trhanslates to "those who live in the mountains, or "Chi-luk-ik-bi" which means "those who live in the caves." Other tribes also had names for the people, the Delaware peoples called then the "Alligewi" and the Iroquois called them "Oyata'ge'ronon" translated to "inhabitants of cave country." ("Cherokee" NP) the group therefore had many names and likely adopted one that the whites could pronounce and it stuck.

The Cherokee spoke a distinctive derived Iroquoian language that leads many scholars despite recorded history to be persuaded that they immigrated from the great lakes region long before the 16th century, when they are first recorded as this language is different from all the other Southwest Indian nations. The frequently cited Keetoowah settlement on the Tuckasegee River in North Carolina is often cited as the original Cherokee City among many settlements that were described by the European settlers they came into contact with. ("Cherokee" NP)

The Cherokee had a structured egalitarian society and in many ways were very "civilized" from the start with structured towns, rather than nomadic villages that moved with the seasons, a credit given to many other nations and part of the reason they were designated as one of five civilized tribes. The Cherokee were divided into seven clans, as seven was a sacred number to them and they had a war chief and a peace chief (Red Chief and White Chief) with a head medicine man that decided quarrels between the two chiefs who really worked in cooperation to rule the nation. ("Cherokee Society" NP) Lineage was patrilinial and matrilineal with the father than the maternal grandmother sharing lineal duties such as naming children and such. ("Cherokee Society" NP) the nation also had a subsistence economy where commodity was currency and there was little need for cash, the nation in fact resisted labor employment even into the beginning of the 20th century.

Finger 7)

Living stories of conflict for Cherokee identity in the modern sense is reflective of the dichotomy of a faith based on living close tot the land and a faith based on the Christian tenets of acting right and presenting yourself as an acceptable member of any society.

Duncan 106) in many ways the Cherokee were definitively good subjects for conversion to Christianity because many of their stoic personal standards were reflected in the Christian ideal. The difficulty for most them becomes the idea that there is inherent hypocrisy in the treatment of the Indian nations as it clearly does not reflect Christian ideals but land and wealth greed. (Wyss 63) the Cherokee creation story is similar to the Iroquoi and follows the line of reasoning that humans are latecomers and odd men out… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Native American Cultures of North" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Native American Cultures of North.  (2008, May 12).  Retrieved August 1, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Native American Cultures of North."  12 May 2008.  Web.  1 August 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Native American Cultures of North."  May 12, 2008.  Accessed August 1, 2021.