FUk - 1 Today the United States federal government...

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Today, the United States federal government recognizes 562 different tribal nations, along with another 245 state recognized tribes who are currently seeking federal recognition. That accounts for over 800 state and federally recognized tribes, many of whom have their own language, belief systems, and view of nature and of the world. The Cherokee Nations are among these federally recognized tribes. Before their removal in 1830, the Cherokee Nation inhabited what in now the southern Appalachian Mountains; including western North and South Carolina, northern Georgia and Alabama, southwest Virginia, and the Cumberland Basin of Tennessee, Kentucky, and northern Alabama. The Cherokee sometimes refer to themselves as Ani-Kituhwagi, which means “the people of Kituhwa.” Kituhwa was the name of an ancient city that was the capital of the Cherokee Nation. Conversion efforts towards the Cherokee started as early as 1735, when the Moravains came from Central Europe. The history of the Cherokee following the contact of European colonists is one of struggle and displacement. There were efforts, however, that encouraged the assimilation of the Cherokee into this new American culture. These efforts were expressed mainly through the work of the Christian missionaries. All mission work came to a close in Cherokee Territory, though, by the mid-1830s, as the removal of Southeastern Indians became inevitable with the Treaty of New Echota and the infamous Trail of Tears that would follow it. Throughout their history of contact with non-Indians, the Cherokees were in contact mainly with two types people; the first was promoting Christianity and assimilation into this new ‘white’ culture, the second was seeking the complete removal of the Cherokee from their lands. Prior to coming into contact with the European colonists, Cherokee religious observances focused on the maintenance of a pure and balanced world. The Cherokee 1
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did not separate religious practice from the ordinary tasks of daily life. Hunting, farming, bathing, and eating all had religious elements. Cherokees also believed that a person became what they ate, for example, pregnant women would not eat squirrel for the fear of the baby going up, like a squirrel goes up a tree, during the delivery instead of down. Men and women would also isolate themselves from each other when they were doing certain things that pertained to their own gender; men before and after going to war and women during menstruation. They did this for the fear of “overwhelming their opposite and upset the precarious balance” (Purdue and Green, 4). The first types of non-Indians that the Cherokee came into contact with were
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This note was uploaded on 06/09/2008 for the course RS ST 14 taught by Professor Talamantez during the Winter '08 term at UCSB.

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FUk - 1 Today the United States federal government...

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