The definition the clan kinship by the Cherokees
The Cherokees who happen to be one of the indigenous Native Indian Americans passed through a lot of revolution as concerns their culture and way of organisation. Among the Cherokee community chores was based on gender where men performed different duties as compared to women even though women seems to do a lot. The first role for a man was hunting since it was the responsibility of a man to provide for the family. Women on the other hand were responsible with farming because they believe their ancestral mother, Selu, was the source of corn. Though women were fully concerned with agriculture, men could assist them in land clearing and planting of crops.
The other duties carried out by women included gathering of nuts, firewood, picking of berries and fruits, set up skin, collect honey, pottery, make baskets, they make sugar and whenever they go with men for hunting they normally cook for them. With the overwhelming work for women, men also did chores like harvesting, hunting, burn bushes, strip tree parks for house constructions and chopped saplings using stone hatchets. In times of weeding and hoeing the women takes the responsibility. The women also have a duty to protect the crops from predators and ensuring the conditions for growth is good. The Cherokee society had seven clans whose leadership was hereditary. It was matrilineal in that the children followed the clan of their mother. Each kinship is traced through the lineage of the mother. The family unit was made up of the wife and husband, their daughters plus grand children and those sons who have not married (Perdue 78). The husband and wife usually reside in the wife's place. The community was structured into villages that were headed by two chiefs, the white and the red chief. White chief was responsible for cleansing the war men before they intermingle with the society, domestic issues and daily routines. The red chief played a significant role in wars and games.
Upon the involvement of the Cherokees with Europeans, the agro-based economy of the Cherokees transformed. This was due to the introduction of trade where they could exchange their normal produces with what the other societies offered. The use of tools such as hoes and mattocks led to the increase in surplus that really encouraged trade. The production of the traditional products such as Indian maize went down as they started producing corn. It led to a change in the roles being performed. The community's involvement in numerous war fares and treaties affected its population density because many people died in war and their land holdings which reduced. Most of those who died in the wars were men hence the women were forced to come in and fill the roles caused by the deficit brought out by the men's low number. The Cherokees were perceived to be strong due to their strategies of either siding with or against the colonists whenever the opportunity arose.
The Cherokees had acquired the capitalist's ideas and lived with an aim of expanding their individual family economies. The issue of intensive farming is where the aspects to do with soil nutrients were copied by the Cherokees from the Europeans. By the year 1800 the Cherokee had acquired some different culture where men and women worked on the farm where men did the arduous job such as the clearing and the felling trees. The females and the males adopted the use of tools such as mattocks and hoes which helped in the communal farming.
Strategies the U.S. government and missionaries attempted to "civilize" the Cherokees?
As the trade continues to loom, the Cherokee community continues to become more diverse because of intermarriages, others pursuing education and being introduced to Christianity. In addition, the missionaries plus the US government developed a strategy of civilizing Native-Americans to European-Americans. This civilisation came in three ways-educations, language, religion and the general culture (Prajznerová 61).
This was done through a free support of education to ensure that a set of common values and practices are instilled in a large number of citizens. Training was mostly done way from the parents so as to easily induce change of mind to the trained Cherokees. The education that was introduced to the Cherokees made them to also develop their own written language hence stepping up their spirit of belongingness.
The US government introduced imported products since they viewed the dressing of the Cherokee was backward. This was in bid to do away with the skin clothes they were using.
The education was being based on Christian beliefs hence the government tried using this to bring up the point of patrilineal families. Laws were also change to force the Cherokees to succumb to the patrilineal way of life. The laws also allowed and promoted land and property control by the men. This was in view of the whites that matrilineal organised families are not the best.
The introduction of individual land ownership system was in one way or the other to help boost their course in promoting the culture of property control by the men. The propagation of capitalism by the US government was to civilise the Cherokees from their communal system of economy. This was in way to encourage trade as individual ownership of property would boosts ones morale to investment for property acquisition which will in turn boost the economy.
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Cherokees response to the "civilization" program
The civilisation programme at the start had mixed reactions from the Cherokees. The joining of the Schools was at first was fabulous but with time the children started dropping out of the schools (Carney 29). Whilst the intention of they whites was to change the nature of family system from matrilineal to the one headed and controlled by men ,this idea was not well taken since the mothers retained their girl children at home and taught them of their maternal rights to avert this idea.
The idea of making laws to encourage the change in family system was met with a lot of hostility especially from the women which led to numerous resistants organised. The issue of change in roles led to formation of various movements that advocated for status quo. The Women's Council for instance organised demonstrations to denounce the new legislations.
There were definitely increased intermarriages between the Cherokees and the whites on a small scale. This was to be a tool that was to be used to propagate the whites claim on the property of the Cherokees since the blood relation was involved. However since the intermarriages were not that widespread its main objective couldn't be met. The teaching of the English language in the schools did not go well with the Cherokees who ended up inventing their own written form of their language. It took less time for the Cherokees to learn Cherokee language than to learn English. The penetration of English experienced a lot of obstacle coupled by the negative publicity it received.
Most of the Cherokees who went to school acquired skills l that helped boost Agriculture. Such included how to use tools such as hoes and mattocks and organic farming. The approach to farming became more scientific based rather than previously used traditional Cherokees method that ended up producing just slightly above the subsistence harvest.
The Cherokee republic experienced enormous changes as concerns the role the women played. The women took up the skills of spinning and weaving .This could be attributed to the capitalism that had led to short supply of deer skins which were primarily their export. The matrilineal control of production and ownership of property was changed to patrilineal one even as capitalism gained prominence.
After the wars the women had to do the work that is to provide for the family. This is due to the fact that most of their men had died in the war or had been taken captive. This situation was further aggravated by the fact that even those men who were lucky to come back from the war were injured and hence incapacitated in providing for the family. As time progressed the women became polarised in demanding that their culture not be changed to be like that of the whites. As both men and women got to learn writing the Cherokee language, this made them to acquire the spirit of nationalism hence the women became even more aggressive for leadership.
The retention of Traditional role by the Cherokee women
The Cherokee women resisted labor that was gender specific. The Women's Council played a part in maintaining their traditional roles by pushing and advocating for men to continue working on the farms and expanding their agricultural production while the women expanded the weaving and spinning industry. The women's council was able to get support from majority of the Cherokee women hence had a wide effect in help disregarding the whites propagations.
Mothers socialised right from the beginning, their female kids to ignore the notion spread by the Europeans that manual labor was not okay for them as females.
The majority of the mothers allowed their boy children to go to school while the girl child was kept at home and taught of their matrilineal rights. This was in bid to object the aspect of patrilineal families and the aspect of objecting abortion. This made it very difficult for the women to accept to fit in into the proposed family system (Johnston 124). There were women activist who ran movements that advocated for status quo as to the lifestyle of the Cherokees. The movements called for the return to the production of traditional Indian maize by the women and men to do away milling.
Women in way of spreading the spirit of Cherokee nationalism had female prophets that used to predict what was to happen in the near future. The prophetesses warned of doing away of the traditional Indian habits and taking up the whites' way of behaviour. Since some of their predictions used to be accurate, this prophets discouraged the acquisition of the habits displayed and propagated by the whites.
When laws were passed to erode the dominating nature of the Cherokee women, the Cherokees women responded by organising resistance that helped reduce the rate of the conversion to Christianity. This was because the rules had put conditions which would promote the "civilised" programmes.
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