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Transcript of cherokee
Grew corn, squash and beans, pumpkin, melons, sunflowers, tobacco and others
Corn is the most important food
The women made sure they planted enough crops to provide food for two years
Deer was important to the cherokees just as the buffalo was important to the Plains Indians Every part of animal was used e.g. turtles – food, shell for rattles
Social Organisation The Cherokee were civilized because of their system of law courts and land rights The social organisation of the Cherokee tribe was incredibly complex and dictated by chiefs They were separated into seven clans which were close knit and essential in the survival within the community There were three chiefs in the Cherokee environment, the red chief, the white chief, and the medicine chief There were also two different ‘governments’, the red government which took care of the tribe during times of war and the white government, handling affairs in more peaceful periods. In this way, the work was split up amongst the society Contrary to Hollywood myth, not all Native Americans lived in Tepees. The Cherokees, in fact, lived in structures called ‘stockades’ Inside the fencing, there was a main building near the centre of the village, for religious and political meetings. Individual family homes were constructed from logs, cedar planks, grass and mud. As soon as you would walk in to the house, it would open into a hearth, or cooking area with a ventilation hole in the roof, much like a chimney. This room was used for multiple purposes such as a kitchen, dining room, family meeting room, reception and entertainment area. The bedroom was next to the main room and fitted with bunk-beds. The mattresses were simply bundles of river reeds and the blankets were made of fur.
Some examples of furniture include wood stools and storage chests. The carpet flooring was also often crafted from hemp. The walls were separated by large pieces of animal skins and curtains made of plant fibres. The windows were also covered with the latter to keep out rain and cold. Some families lived in different houses during winter and summer. The winter houses were decorated with materials to conduct heat and prevent wind surges while the summer houses were often rectangular and supported by framework. Religion The Deer God – the tribe told him, “We only kill what is needed to feed our families, and we are sorry.” They did not want the Deer God to be angry with them because they were afraid he might make all the deer disappear. Just as the buffalo was important to the Plains Indians, the deer was important to the Cherokee. Animal Spirits – the tribe believed in many animal spirits. They wore animal skin clothing so the skills of those animals would be shared with them. Festivals – the Cherokee thanked their gods for their good fortune, and prayed to their gods for continued good luck.
Much like god is to us, Ye ho waah, was the creator of all things There were many different ceremonies. Most were based on the time of year and season. They included music, dancing, storytelling and feasting for most of the festivities. One ceremony was at the first new moon of spring. This happened as soon as the grass began to grow and trees began to redevelop leaves. Corn was also a crucial part of lifestyle for Cherokees. They had a green corn ceremony, when the corn was ripe and ready to eat, and also a ripe corn ceremony in September, when the corn matured. There was a great new moon ceremony in October when the new moon appears. That was also the time when Cherokees think the world was created, so it represents their new year. Each family shared their produce and were expected to take part in dancing and purification rituals. Ten days later, there was a friends made ceremony. This was somewhat of a match-making festival were people vowed to be friends. There was also a bush bounding ceremony, where people danced a special dance for that festival and also feasted extensively. The Uka dance was also a ceremony. In this ceremony, the chief would lead a festival of thanksgiving and rejoicing. In every ceremony, the sacred fire was re-kindled by the people with special items that made the ceremony special. Some things that were punishable include:
-Unauthorized person learning religious secrets
-Theft of sacred religious relics
-Assault on Priest
-Failure to follow rituals
-Aggressive attacks upon the person of others
-Refusal to work, contribute share of work and crops
-Rape Believed in a sort of heaven, called nightland Some punishments included whipping, mutilation, death, public humiliation, stoning, outlawry, name calling, placing in fatal battle position, bad luck and sickness. Many times the punishment was decided by elders, in a family affair, council of beloved women of seven clans, if in relation to women in tribe, and the priests and spirits, if a motion against religion. Women were given leniency. For example: Infanticide( killing a baby) was punishable by death is performed by dad, but no harm done if it is mother Therefore, the Cherokees were a deeply spiritual and culture-orientated tribe. They had a strict social organisation, with two governments and chiefs, as well as tight laws to ensure best behaviour. Food was rich and worshipped a lot, especially corn. They also lived in fenced houses and sometimes moved dwellings depending on the seasons. Similarly, their ceremonies relected their analysis of the seasons and were often lasting affairs of dancing, music and feasting. They also believed in many gods and animal spirits, much alike our own Christian faith.