Amanda Gallop Online Ethnography Essay

Submitted By amandagallop
Words: 1815
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Amanda Gallop
Dr. Hale
Cultural Anthropology
7 May 2014
Cherokee Ethnography The Cherokee is a Native American tribe that originally settled in southeastern United States, in states such as Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and areas of Tennessee. Today, there are three federally recognized Cherokee Tribes. The Eastern Band, located in North Carolina, the Cherokee Nation, and the United Keetoowah Band, which are both located in Oklahoma. The Cherokee Nation is the largest federally recognized tribe in the United States, with over 200,000 out of the 369,000 plus population (Conely). There are other Cherokee tribes scattered among southeast United States. For example, the Echota Cherokee tribe of Alabama. However, these tribes are recognized only by state, not federal government (Webber). The government in the Cherokee tribes was modeled after the United States government. The government originally consisted of a Chief, senate, and a house of representatives. In 2006, a new Cherokee Constitution was passed calling for a tri-partied government, like the United States, with an executive, legislative, and judicial branch ("Eastern Band of Cherokee Government Site"). According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, “Casino wealth transformed a few small Indian communities, but most Indian reservations remain islands of extreme poverty in an ocean of national wealth” ("Indian Country Diaries"). In the Cherokee population, 66% of the men are working and 57% of the women are as well. The unemployment rates are extremely high in many tribes. In a Great Plains tribe, the unemployment rate is at an astounding 81%. Aside from unemployment being high, another factor contributing to poverty in many Cherokee tribes is that fact that Cherokees statistically earn less than other Americans, almost $10,000 less. The language of the Cherokees in southern Iroquois. The language has become more modern since the use of the internet (“Cherokee Nation”). Today, most Cherokees speak English. Children typically grow up learning the traditional Cherokee language, and then learn English as a second language when they start school. Like language, the religion of the Cherokees today has kept much of its traditional roots. “Many of the elements of the original belief system remain in place with traditional Cherokee today. Although some of these elements have evolved or have been modified, this belief system is an integral part of day to day life for many” (“Cherokee Nation”). Much of the traditional beliefs and religions have been mixed with Christianity. One of the big traditional beliefs is known as The Four Mother’s Society. It is described as a religion in nature. Plants such as the cedar, pine, spruce, laurel, and holly trees are believed to have been given special powers and are considered sacred and holy. These plants are often used in medications and herbal treatments. One of the major issues and difficulties that people from Cherokee tribes face today is finding their identity and assimilating. The Native Americans have two chooses when deciding what lifestyle to follow. They must decide to either follow the traditional culture of their tribe, or try to assimilate into Modern America. They have no way to tell if they leave their tribe if the urban world will accept them. And if they do decide to leave, they risk losing their family and their tribe thinking of them as no longer being a “real tribal person.” Leaving the family and tribe brings about another difficulty faced by Cherokees today; preserving their families. Most urban Cherokees Indians are in fact cut off from their tribe and extended family. Health issues are another issue sweeping the Cherokees tribes. Between the constant drug and alcohol problems within the tribes, and many illnesses, numerous Cherokees die well before their time. Current research has suggested that historic trauma passed through generations could be at the root of the many illnesses. Meaning