College Composition I
Professor M. Dreisonstok
25 June 2013
Paragraph 1: Heritage
Paragraph 2: Stories and Ceremonies
Paragraph 3: Cherokee Seal
Paragraph 4: Housing
Paragraph 5: Jobs/Responsibilities
Paragraph 6: Clothing
Paragraph 7: Games
Paragraph 8: Musical Instruments
Paragraph 9: Weapons
Paragraph 10: Effect of white men
Paragraph 11: Population prior to white men
Paragraph 12: Ani-Yun' wiya
Paragraph 13: Removal Act
Paragraph 14: Reunion
Paragraph 15: Current Recognized Cherokee Nations
The Cherokee tribe originated from Iroquoian descent. Being they were one of the largest of Five Civilized Tribes (Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole), they divided into several smaller sections lead by chiefs; one famous Cherokee leader is Sequoya who invented the Cherokee writing system between 1809 and 1824; by 1830, 90 percent of the Cherokee tribe were literate in their language. They are also very religious and spiritual.
They told many stories, usually around bond fires. Some well-known stories are The First Fire, Legend of the Ballgame between the Birds and the Animals, and Why the Mole Lives Underground. A traditional ceremony of the Cherokee tribe is that on the first new moon of spring they celebrated the new growing season. Another ceremony takes place ten days after the first moon of fall, which was the Cherokee New Year. On this day they would have a feast, would burn old clothing, and light a new fire in the council house.
The Cherokee created a seal that was designed to embrace the early government structure, and the eternal endurance of the Cherokee Indians. It was adopted by Act of the Cherokee National Council, and approved in 1871. The seven point star in the center of the seal represents the seven age old clans of the Cherokee and the seven characters of Sequoyah’s syllabary, meaning "Cherokee Nation." These Cherokee characters are pronounced "Tsa-la-gi-hi A-yi-li". The oak leaves on the seal represent sacred fire that the Cherokee Indians would burn in their land; and the wording on the seal, both in English and Cherokee languages, proclaims the authority of the seal. “This seal was imprinted on all documents until the dissolution of the Cherokee Nation at Oklahoma Statehood.”
The Cherokee tribe lived in log cabins or Wattle and Daub Houses (Asi) that were used primarily because they wanted permanent homes to suit their farmer-hunter life styles located near water. These were made by utilizing a framework of poles intertwined with branches and vines covered by mud. Special religious and political houses were called stockades. They were similar to a fort but did not have a gate, with overlapping fences at the entrence.
Cherokee Indians were a tribe of hunting farmers but there was a balance of power between the men and women The men’s’ job was to hunt and protect the tribes as well as being in charge of diplomacy. Animals they would hunt include turkeys, bear, rabbit, deer and fish. The women were responsible for the home life, raising the family, and family matters as well as buying and selling property. Farming included corn, beans, squash, melons and sunflower seeds. Supplements for some were nuts, berries and fruit. They’re clothing were mainly made from animal skin sewn by sinews of deer, as well as woven cloth. The men wore breechcloths that wrapped between their legs and was tucked under the belt. The women wore blouses made like ponchos with a skirt wrapped around the waist. Both men and women would wear leggings sometimes decorated with fringe. On special occasions, vey decorated aprons were worn over men’s breechcloths. Shoes were constructed from soft leather or deerskin, and held together by deer sinew. These shoes were called Moccasins, or a soft slip on shoe.
While both men and women wore headbands; women’s hair was