Abstract

Abstract:

The eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries proved transformative for Cherokee people. At the dawn of the eighteenth century, Cherokees lived in towns and nurtured strong regional affiliations that were overlaid with the sacred obligations associated with membership in one of seven matrilineal clans. But all this changed. The encroaching Anglo settler frontier from the east and pressure from the Spanish, the French, and hostile Native warriors from the north all prompted changes in how Cherokee people represented themselves to outsiders. This article draws on colonial archives, missionary records, ethnographic travel writing, and the written and oral traditions of the Cherokee people to explore the importance of friendship among Cherokees in the Native South. What did friendship mean to Cherokees? How did Cherokees represent friendship? And how was friendship performed (and those performances interpreted) in diplomatic, social, and cultural contexts? These questions frame this essay's analysis as it seeks to enrich our understanding of friendship in Cherokee history and to highlight what Cherokee Chiefs meant when they declared "Our Hands and Hearts are Joined Together."

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-1897
Print ISSN
0022-4529
Pages
pp. 609-629
Launched on MUSE
2017-06-16
Open Access
No
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