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The Cherokee People - Research Paper Example

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Name Date Course Section/# Title: The Cherokee: A Discussion and Analysis The Cherokee tribe, like so many other tribes throughout the United States, is one that does not have a definitively well understood history prior to its engagement with Europeans…
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The Cherokee People
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Download file to see previous pages Although a great deal of emphasis has been placed upon the interaction between Europeans and Native Americans, the reality of the fact is that rather than approaching this issue from the split standpoint of understanding that two separate entities existed at each and every juncture, a far more effective means of interpretation has to do with the melding of culture and the means through which unique dynamics in the Cherokee experience came to be evidenced as a result of the process of acculturation. Firstly, it must be understood that the geographic representation of the Cherokee people was mainly concentric within the now modern states of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. As a function of this level of geographic representation, the Cherokee people have oftentimes been referred to as those who lived in the mountains by contemporary Indian tribes. Interestingly, whereas many other Native American tribes were defined as nomadic, the Cherokee people could be defined as “semi-nomadic” (Emerald, 2012, p. 44). This is due primarily to the fact that individual branches of the tribe tended to inhabit specific regions, and cultivate crops. These crops included but were not limited to squash, beans, sunflowers, and different types of corn. So great was the emphasis upon agriculture that the Cherokee put forward that the introduction of a specific hybrid of corn was developed as a result of their agricultural endeavors. To specific theories exist with regards to the ultimate origin of the Cherokee tribe. Due to the fact that the Cherokees native-language was determined by linguists and anthropologists as uniquely Iroquoian, the most prominent theory suggests that the Cherokee tribe migrated from the Great Lakes region approximately 500 to 700 years prior to first contact with the Europeans (Chambers, 2013, p. 26). The ultimate purpose for this migration is little known; however, myths and legends exist with regards to the fact that other Iroquois nations banished this particular group of individuals from the Great Lakes regions. The subsequent removal and forced exodus led this tribe to inhabit a region that few other native peoples wanted; namely the Appalachian mountain range. A secondary theory that exists with regards the origin of the Cherokee people posits the belief that this particular tribe of Native Americans was an offshoot of the mound building Native Americans that inhabited parts of Mississippi. However, further ethnological and anthropological work, as well as a great deal of archaeological analysis has revealed the fact that this particular theory does not have a high level of evidence to support it. Moreover, the secondary theory promotes an understanding that the Cherokee people had been living within the region of the southeastern states for a period of over 1000 years; a fact that no direct archaeological evidence that is thus far been uncovered and/or analyzed denotes (Blackburn, 2013, p. 16). The first contact with Europeans was with an expedition led by Hernando De Soto. As such, like so many of the contacts initially made with Europeans, relations were friendly and ultimately somewhat profitable to both sides (Greg & Wishart, 2012, p. 11). The Native Americans received traded goods in exchange for raw material, guidance, and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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