Essay on Cherokee Indian Marriages

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Although there are several beliefs on how the Cherokee first arrived historical evidence shows they inhabited southeastern North American between A.D. 1000 and 1500 (Boudinot, 1829). Elias (1829) found The Trail of Tears to be “the best known episode in history as well as the worst,” for this devastating event forced relocation of the Indians from their home land in the southeast to a new unfamiliar land in Oklahoma. Thousands of Indians were forced from their homes with no warning and directed to march in the middle of winter to Oklahoma (Boudinot, 1829). According to Boudinot (1829), “this devastating event left 4-8 thousand Cherokee people dead from starvation and unknown diseases they picked up along the trail, thus decreasing their …show more content…
Sultzman (1996), found the history of their most familiar name “Cherokee” to come from a Creek word “Chelokee” which means “people of a different speech.” Although they are unsure as to the exact numbers that subsist in the United States today, it is believed that the Cherokee surpass 370,000 making them the largest Native American group in the United States (“Cherokee Indian Fact,” 1998). In 1721, the region occupied by the Cherokee was approximately 125,000 square miles of 60 towns varying in size, but mostly thought to be rather large (Sultzman, 1996). The Cherokee are mainly a matrilineal society in that the home, family, children, inheritance, family ties, and clan membership are all under the total control of the women (Fogelson, 1977). History shows that much of their culture was adopted from the Europeans, although they dressed very similar to the white population. During class I learned the Cherokee’s first contact with a conquistador, Hernado DeSoto, occurred in the 1540’s, which was an important mark in the Cherokee history. Much of their trading with British people from the Carolinas and Virginia was the mark of interactions that enhanced the Cherokee way of life (Fogelson, 2004, p. 339). Among the several items they received while trading, I found the most important to be the clothing and metal tools, which they used on a daily basis.
Sturtevant (1978), found

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