Better understanding of the Cherokee nation. More to follow of other tribes.  

youngtallymilf 34M/33F
32 posts
7/13/2005 10:55 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Better understanding of the Cherokee nation. More to follow of other tribes.

Language: Cherokee--more properly spelled Tsalagi--is an Iroquoian language with an innovative written syllabary invented by a Cherokee scholar. Tsalagi is spoken by about 22,000 people, primarily in Oklahoma and North Carolina. Though it is one of the healthier Indian languages of North America and the one in which the most literature being published, Tsalagi is still in imperiled condition because of government policies as late as the fifties which enforced the removal of Cherokee children from Tsalagi-speaking homes, reducing the number of young Cherokees being raised bilingually from 75% to less than 5% today.

People: 'Cherokee' is Creek for 'people with another language'. (It's really amazing how white settlers always managed to learn some other tribe's name for any group of Indians. They learned the Creek word for Cherokee, but not the Creek word for themselves.) Anyway, our original name for ourselves was Aniyunwiya, but Cherokee is fine too (though we say it Tsalagi--there's no R in our language). There are about 350,000 Cherokee people today, primarily in Oklahoma and North Carolina.

History: The best-known episode in Cherokee history was also the worst: the Trail of Tears, the forced relocation of the Cherokee people from their ancestral home in the southeast to Oklahoma. The Cherokee had been one of the most acculturated of Indian societies--an urban, Christian, agricultural, largely intermarried people who supported the United States against other tribes. In the end this was all for nothing. Though some prominent Americans, such as Davy Crockett and Daniel Webster, spoke against Removal, and though the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional, President Andrew Jackson, declaring "Justice Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it," sent in the army. Fifteen to twenty thousand Cherokee and their Indian neighbors (Choctaw, Muskogee, and others) were rounded up and herded to Oklahoma in the winter of 1838-1839. Driven from their homes without being allowed to collect their possessions first, even their shoes, these prosperous and largely citified Indians were no better equipped for an 800-mile forced march than a white suburb today would be. Between four and eight thousand Cherokee people died of exposure, starvation, disease, and simple exhaustion along the Trail of Tears. If you understand this, both the extent to which the Cherokees had adopted American standards of civilization before the Removal and the ultimate futility of it, you will go a long way towards understanding the Cherokee mentality and also the attitudes of other Indian people.

johnnyfluxus 32M
6 posts
7/14/2005 6:14 am

I have an affinity for language <3 i'm well on my way to speaking three.

rm_4nik8_4u 61M
2501 posts
7/15/2005 8:31 am

It was a shameful thing that took place and the hipocrasy is unbelievable. We now denounce nations that seek to forcefully control their people, and foresake human rights. What did our ancestors do to the indigenous people of this country? They forcefully took what they wanted with no regard to the "SAVAGES" they forced from their homes and lands which they freely roamed. I feel for our "TRUE AMERICANS". For the most part we owe them everything. Settlers to this country would have never survived without help from the native peoples. So why do other minorities get the attention and social programs. It has been only in the last few years that native peoples have beat us at our own game, capitolism! Casino's now exist on many of the REZ'S, Bingo halls and tobacco also bring in revenue. But the downside is that native culture is being lost. It is a culture rich in values that, in my opinion exceeds ours, shows respect for all aspects of life, spirit and earth. How we could have squandered such an opportunity to learn from these people shows the lower spiritual level of our ancestors. I would have been proud to have been brothers with the native peoples of this land. Why didn't our ancestors feel this way?

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