Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chasing Indians

Some Cherokee Background:

The Cherokee are a people native to North America, who, at the time of European contact in the sixteenth century, inhabited what is now the Eastern and Southeastern United States. Most were forcibly moved westward to the Ozark Plateau in the 1830s. They are one of the tribes referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, they are the largest of the 563 federally recognized Native American tribes in the United States.

The Cherokee refer to themselves as Tsa-la-gi ( pronounced "Zah la gee" or "Tsa lah gee" in the eastern Giduwa dialect or pronouced "ja-la-gee" in western dialect) or A-ni-yv-wi-ya (pronounced "ah knee yuh wee yaw" (western) or "Ah nee yuhn wi yah" (Eastern dialect), literal translation: "Principal People.

The English first had contact with the Cherokee in 1654.By the late seventeenth century, traders from both Virginia and South Carolina were making regular journeys to Cherokee lands, but few wrote about their experiences

The trade was mainly deerskins, raw material for the booming European leather industry, in exchange for European technology "trade goods" such as iron and steel tools (kettles, knives, etc), firearms, gunpowder, and ammunition. In 1705, these traders complained that their business had been lost and replaced by Indian slave trade instigated by Governor Moore of South Carolina. Moore had commissioned people to "set upon, assault, kill, destroy, and take captive as many Indians as possible". These captives would be sold and the profits split with the Governor. Although selling alcohol to Indians was made illegal by colonial governments at an early date, rum, and later whiskey, were a common item of trade.

The Cherokee people never lived in tipis. The Plains Indians lived in these, as they were able to be moved when following herds and hunting. The Cherokee people historically lived in houses made of mud and clay with roofs of brush and river cane. In the winter time, they lived in even smaller clay and mud houses which included the construction of the roof, as well, in order to keep warm. By the late 1700’s, many Cherokees were living in log cabins while some even lived in clapboard houses like their non-Indian counterparts.

The Cherokee Nation is a 7,000 square mile jurisdictional area located in all of eight counties and portions of six counties in Northeastern Oklahoma. It is not a reservation. As a federally recognized Indian tribe, the Cherokee Nation has both the opportunity and the sovereign right to exercise control and development over tribal assets which include 66,000 acres of land as well as 96 miles of the Arkansas Riverbed.

Cherokee Clan Names - English Clan Name
Ani-Wa-ya -Wolf Clan
Ani-Wa-di -Paint Clan
Ani-Ka-wi - Deer Clan
Ani-Tsi-s'qua - Bird Clan
Ani-Ga-ta-ge-wi - generally "Blind Savannah" but more likely "Wild Potato"
Ani-Gi-la-hi - Long Hair Clan
Ani-Sa-ha-ni - Blue Clan
Sources: Cherokee Registry and Wikipedia

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