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The true identity of a Cherokee is a controversial subject to many. There are diverse opinions and, each response depends on the context or the subject. It is quite a serious challenge in the current set ups to maintain cultural values without erosion from other existing ideologies. The Cherokees are able to maintain this institution quite remarkably. The achievement is through the existence of well defined expectations and values that have to be fulfilled.
The Cherokee community comprises of pure and mixed races, which further heighten the controversy. The fact that intermarriages have occurred has made the people come up with various characterization of identifying a true Cherokee with no mixed blood. This has made them adopt some ways of identifying true Cherokees and also, come up with measures of ensuring that there is continuity of their values even for their future generations.
A true Cherokees must be fluent in the language among other factors that fully distinguishes them from other ethnic groups. One has to spend a lot of time in order to be fluent in it. It is extremely difficult for people from a different geographical area to catch up with it. In chapter five, the author cites various encounters that clearly bring out the different key elements in the identification of the Cherokees. They include phenotypes, language, and social behavior. Despite the fact, that other citizens have tried to break the barriers it has proven difficult due to the existence of the above elements.
The Cherokees try to show solidarity with other citizen when the situation demands it like in matters of national or international concerns. However, they strongly try to maintain their true identity and protect their values from cultural erosion from other races. Being over shadowed by other values is a significant concern of the Cherokees.
The role of religion is highly critical to them. Cherokees is to be extremely particular when choosing a spiritual leader. They look for one who has pure blood and, he or she is responsible for carrying out crucial roles in society. Sound knowledge of their culture, fluency in their language and strong ties to the Cherokee Community are of paramount importance. According to them Religion is an extremely crucial aspect of life since, spirituality helps people to cope well with challenges of life. It also helps in maintaining the sanctity of life.
In chapter five, it is evident that they strongly value their culture. Cherokee culture has many social activities that bring the people together. Race plays a vital role in fostering the widespread blood and racial domination. The encounters that the author cites in this chapter are about how they behave towards the other citizens. It clearly indicates that they have a skeptical attitude and, are remarkably particular as far as racial and, cultural aspects.
Under normal circumstances, blood and marriage ties enhance the true identity of a person. However, this is not the case with the Cherokees who strongly believe that one has to possess many outstanding features that associate them with their true identity. Marriage is a bond between two people. This illustration is in chapter six of this book.
For example, where a Cherokee woman marries a half Indian half Cherokee the attitude of her family towards her changes and, they do not treat her children in a biased manner. They believe that these children do not fully possess all the expected qualities. Half Cherokees have faced with a social problem since they at time lack a sense of belonging. This mostly affects children born from mixed race marriages. This shows that they are only willing fully identify with their own people as long as they follow their culture. Any true Cherokee who deviates from the group expectations is discriminatory from the community.
The Cherokees are always trying to protect their true identity and, they strongly believe that pure blood will maintain their true self. Intermarriages between Cherokees and, other groups are therefore, not recognizable as the pure marriages. Children that result from these intermarriages the treatment as bias not like in the same manner like those from a marriage between pure Cherokees. This belief varies from society to society and children mainly take the identity of their parents. Men and women from these intermarriages face alienation from the community who find it hard to fully accept them.
They have further tried to control religious, political and leadership positions. This achievement is through the delegating of these posts strictly to those that have unquestionable and true identity of a Cherokee. All these efforts gear towards preserving their esteemed racial, cultural and social values. They strongly believe that blood plays a vital role in establishing a true Cherokee nation. Through these practices, the assurance of continuity and preservation of their values is secure.
They maintain and protect their interest through Cherokee Leadership. Despite the existence, of other factors blood seemingly plays an extremely crucial role according to the Cherokees. It is evident that a true identity of Cherokee runs deep in the blood. A person has to possess pure blood so as to be considered as one of them. Blood is a dominating factor in the true definition of a Cherokee.
It is notable however, that some Cherokees have deviated from the original identity. Many factors like intermarriages and other demographic shifts have posed a challenge to them. They are extremely wary of the whites since they fear that if given a chance they will overshadow the existing cultural and religious ethnicity.
They sometimes expose to a different environment which demands, a change in their part so as to fit. In chapter seven, the true Cherokee sometimes has a different skin color. All the same, the expectation of Cherokees are Royalty and, not to betray their values even when faced by challenges. Their values should provide a positive living guide lines under any circumstances.
An extremely strong sense of identity is crucial. They not to divulge any information to other people who are of different cultures as this can jeopardize their culture. They also believe that the other ethnic groups will interfere with the norms, which make them more cautious on how they relate with them.
In chapter eight, we find that even the children are conscious about their identity. In many ways, the image of Cherokees people is evident as people who are happy and proud to be who they are. It feels more valuable to have that identity. In this case, a small boy outwardly points out that an old acquaintance of his mother is an Indian just because he had some qualities that were presumably Indian. Despite that, the boy was aware of the identity of the man’s family. The boy is also extremely quick to responds that he is no Indian which implies that he truly appreciates his true identity. The cultural, social, and racial identity of the Cherokees is still exceptionally well distinguished from others.
Cherokees possess a deep rooted sense of identity. The above example clearly shows that even small children are aware of the existing differences of the other races. This instillation begins from a tender age and, it is a continuous process. True Cherokees have the responsibility of ensuring that they maintain their values at all times.