In the Native American culture a Clan is a division amongst a Tribe. It is a way of creating groups within a Tribe. The groups are generally related by family, kinship, or some common purpose. In many instances the Clans have animal names, color names, or names that are items in nature, or responsibilities to the Tribe members.
For example the Delaware Indians have three notable Clans. They are the Wolf Clan, Turtle Clan, and Turkey Clan. Also, the Cherokee Indians have seven Clans. They are the Wolf Clan, Blue Clan, Long Hair Clan, Bird Clan, Paint Clan, Deer Clan, and the Wild Potato Clan (also known as the Bear Clan).
The Cherokee Clan purposes are listed as follows:
Wolf Clan – protectors of the members of the Tribe
Blue Clan – caretakers of the herb gardens used for medicine
Long Hair Clan – traditional teachers and keepers of tradition
Bird Clan – messengers of the Tribe
Paint Clan – medical people or healers of the Tribe
Deer Clan – hunters for the Tribe, and they care for the animals that lived with the Tribe
Wild Potato Clan (Bear Clan) – farmers and food gathers of the Tribe
So, Native Americans can belong to a Native Nation, a Tribe, a Band, and a Clan.
Curious about if your ancestors belonged to a Clan? Join the “Black Red Roots Community” and learn more about it.
Article by: CherokeeCloud
Written: August 24, 2006