We Can’t All Be Cherokee
These nations consisted of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole. The states where these Nations were predominant are as follows:
North Carolina – Cherokee
South Carolina –Cherokee
Georgia – Cherokee, Creek
Alabama – Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek
Mississippi – Choctaw
Florida – Seminole
So, if your family lineage originates in one of those states, there is a great possibility that your Native American roots are from one of the tribes that resided in the states as listed above. In other words we can’t all be Cherokee. Investigate the possibility that you are a member of one of the non-Cherokee tribes in the Southeast.
Article by: CherokeeCloud
Written: August 21, 2006
Grandma’s Hidden Memories
These memories and fears still fresh, she hid the secret that only today is revealed. This was a secret that has survived for almost two centuries by only being passed down and revealed upon the imminent death of the holder of the hidden memory. What kind of fear could hold a secret across countless generations? What atrocities were witnessed that brought shame for surviving, and hope for the resurrection of past glory.
Grandma’s fear of Indian ancestry exposure was much different than those today that claim descent from an “American Indian princess”. Many of those claiming Indian princess status are among white ethnic groups. I wonder why the claim of Indian ancestry does not bring fear to them, but rather a pride especially if the Indian ancestry is claimed along with a mixture of colonial descent. Is it the pride of a conqueror?
For African Americans with Indian ancestry you must bring Grandma’s hidden memories to light before they become deathbed confessions. Appreciate the rich legacy of two histories that demonstrate survival against all odds in yester-years and today. Express the future with promise of strength to continue to succeed against all odds.
It is your legacy and your life… don’t live it through hidden memories –make it a known reality.
What’s In A Haircut?
Hair and its length also denoted a method in which Europeans colonized the Native Americans. The native’s hair was cut to deny their cultural identity and make them more closely resemble the European images of civilized culture. Short hair for some American Indian tribal affiliations was worn by mourners, and shingled hair (cut in tapered layers) by cowards.
A native saying by Paiute Indian, states,” You ask me to cut grass and make hay and sell it and be rich like white men, but how dare I cut my mother's hair?”
This saying indicates the extent to which native hair is treasured in some tribal cultures. To cut hair in this context is to bring shame upon a person for it is tied with religious and ancestral beliefs.
African Americans have also viewed hair in positive and negative ways. Seeking to resemble European culture for assimilation and approval, hair has taken on controversy over the centuries. As hair is a symbol of identity for many African Americans, it has changed from naturals/afros, to press-n-curl, to perms and hair straighteners, to Jheri Curls, to cornrow braiding, and back again.
Hair also is a means of identifying and stereotyping African Americans. Many have heard the saying that ‘if an African American has naturally straight hair it is based on their racial composition including a mixture of Native American or European’. This is simply a stereotype as African peoples have many and varied textures of hair from their predecessors in Africa.
Amongst African American people are the myths of ‘cutting hair on the moon’ to grow it and thicken it. These myths are also part of the emphasis on hair and cultural preferences. Very little proof has been noted to substantiate this claim.
Throughout history both men and women have been noted for their ethnic and cultural hair lengths and styles. Notably famous historic Native Americans, Red Cloud, Black Elk, Tecumpseh, Crazy Horse were known for their hair. Notably famous historic and modern African Americans, Frederick Douglass, hair entrepreneur Madame C. J. Walker, and boxing promoter, Don King are characterized by hair.
Thus, before making general statements about ‘what’s in a hair cut?’ it is best to note the historic context, social leaning, and cultural significance of hair. Long, short, or in between hair significance depends upon the person. Ethnic and cultural identity is in the heart, its outward manifestations are only sometimes in the hair. Seek your belief and hold on to it.
Article by: CherokeeCloud
written August 17,2006
Learning a New Language
The Native Language is not part of the American educational system. It is not even part of foreign language (or foreign to English speaking populations) selection. Instead Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and Italian are offered in most foreign language studies. These offerings perpetuate the establishment of a non-native society.
There is power in language. The use of language to bond people in purpose is evident. Likewise, denial of Native Americans to learn and speak their native tongue weakens them and helps to destroy their community. The historical forceful mandate to only communicate in the European languages, specifically English, forced Native Americans to assimilate into the European culture, lifestyle, and community. It hindered the ability for Native Americans to keep their culture alive. It was indeed cultural genocide.
To encourage the revitalization of Native American languages determine your tribal affiliation and learn its language. Start with the basics, which are conversational words or phrases such as hello, good-bye, how are you?, and others basic words or greetings. This is a good start. Continue to build on this effort each day learning new words or phrases. Then begin to introduce your family and friends to the language. This renews the Native American language and brings you closer to reclaiming culture and heritage.
Article by CherokeeCloud -8/16/2006
Want to learn Native American Language?
contact:CherokeeCloud at “[email protected]”
FIRST NATION HISTORY (P)
Clothing and housing were also similar – buckskin and semi-permanent villages of medium-sized longhouses and wigwams. For this reason, it is difficult today to distinguish between the site of a Pequot village and that of another tribe. The main difference being that Pequot villages were almost always heavily fortified. The Pequot were not that much larger than the tribes surrounding them, but they differed from other Algonquin in their political structure. Highly organized, the strong central authority exercised by their tribal council and grand sachem gave the Pequot a considerable military advantage over their neighbors. In this way, the Pequot were more like the Narragansett of Rhode Island and the Mahican of New York's Hudson Valley (with whom they are frequently confused).
Like other New England Algonquin, the Pocumtuc were an agriculture people who lived in one of the most fertile farming areas in New England. Their homeland also abounded with game, and during the spring they were able to take advantage of large fish runs up the Connecticut and its tributaries. Besides the obvious north-south transportation provided by the Connecticut River (Quinnitukqut "long river"), the Pocumtuc homeland sat astride several important east-west trade routes, including the Mohawk Trail, which linked Native Americans in the interior with those on the Atlantic coast.
The Potawatomi name is a translation of the Ojibwe "potawatomink" meaning "people of the place of fire." Similar renderings of this are: Fire Nation, Keepers of the Sacred Fire, and People of the Fireplace – all of which refer to the role of the Potawatomi as the keeper of the council fire in an earlier alliance with the Ojibwe and Ottawa.
FIRST NATION HISTORY (O)
The Ottawa (also Odawa, or Odaawaa), meaning "traders," are a Native American and First Nations people. They are related to but distinct from the Ojibwe nation. They lived near the northern shores of Lake Huron. There are approximately 15,000 Ottawa living in Michigan, Ontario, and Oklahoma. The Ottawa language, like the Ojibwe language, is part of the Algonquian language family.The Ottawas and Chippewas (or Ojibways) were kinfolk and allies who spoke different dialects of the same language (just like most Americans and Canadians speak English, but with different accents). However, also like America and Canada, the Chippewa and Ottawa tribes were culturally and politically independent, with distinct leadership and customs. After Europeans arrived, some groups of Ottawas and Ojibways banded together for safety's sake, but in most cases, the two nations remain independent.
FIRST NATION HISTORY (Ni)
Probably their most interesting feature was their reputation among other tribes for the spiritual power of their shamans. Unfortunately, some of their neighbors were also prone to accusing them of sorcery as a result.
The Nipmuc generally lived along rivers or on the shores of small lakes and seem to have occupied the area for as far back as can be told. Like other New England Algonquin, the Nipmuc were agricultural. They changed locations according to the seasons, but always remained within the bounds of their own territory. Part of their diet came from hunting, fishing, and gathering of wild food, but as a rule they did not live as well as the coastal tribes who had the luxury of seafood. Each group was ruled by its own sachem, but there was very little political organization beyond the village or band level.
Recipe of the Week: Indian Pudding
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
4 c. milk
1 c. molasses
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix the corn meal and milk together, and cook in a double boiler for half an hour. Add the molasses, ginger, and salt. Pour into buttered pudding dish. Baking in a very slow oven 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 hours.
Serve hot with:
1/2 cups black molasses
1 tbsp. butter
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup heavy cream
Put all ingredients into a small saucepan. Allow to come to a boil. Cook to the consistency of heavy cream. Pour the molasses sauce over the Indian Pudding and serve.
What is Sachem? – A chief of a Native American tribe or confederation, especially an Algonquian chief. A member of the ruling council of the Iroquois confederacy.
What is Indian Pudding? – This hearty, old-fashioned dessert originated in New England. It is a spicy, cornmeal-molasses baked pudding that can sometimes include sliced apples.