History 72A Paper 2

History 72A Paper 2 - Elizabeth Ritacca History 72A The...

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Elizabeth Ritacca History 72A November 23 2009 The Life of Baka As I sit alone in the field watching over our summer harvests, I began to hear soft noises. I had already warned those raccoons and birds to stay away from our crops, but obviously I was going to have to be more forceful this time around. After all, I couldn’t have them taking advantage of a poor old Cherokee woman, such as myself. I stand up and begin to look around. The corn and other crops have grown so tall that I have trouble seeing any creatures hiding in it. I begin to walk down the row nearest me, when suddenly I hear the noises again. However, this time they do not sound like animals at all. I can clearly hear footsteps now, followed by a sudden whisper of voices. By the time I realize I need to run and warn my Aniwahiya clan, it is too late. I’m surrounded by a group of men with guns. I can tell that these men are not my friends; they are from one of our rivalry clans. 1 I had even heard warnings about this happening to other clans members from my husband, but I had never thought it could happen to me. I thought about screaming but I didn’t want to endanger any people from my clan. Besides, what if that’s what they wanted me to do? It would be the perfect ambush attack. I resisted the urge and I didn’t scream. If I was going to die, I was going to do it silently, with as much pride as possible. So, I closed my eyes instead and expected the worst. I knew they were going to kill me now. The voices fell quiet and all I could hear were two men talking. I braced myself, waiting for death’s cold grasp to take me and for these men to kill me, not only ending my life but my lineage as well. I sensed two of them walking closer to me, I knew this was the moment I had feared. They grasped my arms, but instead of killing me they guided me along the crops I had planted earlier 1 Theda Perdue Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, 1700-1835 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) 89. Women that guarded the crops were often perfect targets to rival clans since they were isolated from the rest of the clan and usually not armed with any elaborate weapon.
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that year. I was confused, until all of a sudden, it hit me, they were taking me captive. My life, for now, had been spared. It is a long hard journey back to wherever they’re taking me. It gives me time to think. I think about my life. Tomorrow is my granddaughter’s third birthday and I had promised to tell her more about my life. She had always been a curious girl, and now I regret not telling her sooner. She will never know that I grew up next to the very same creek as she, or that her great great great great great ancestors had found this very spot for our very first village. I hope I gave her mother enough information to keep my little Poca entertained for a while. I already miss them terribly.
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2012 for the course HISTORY 72A taught by Professor Ritacca during the Fall '09 term at UC Davis.

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History 72A Paper 2 - Elizabeth Ritacca History 72A The...

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