Before invasion of the Americans onto Cherokee territory, the Cherokee lived in peace and harmony. Keetoowah is the name of the ancient Cherokee town in the eastern homelands, said to be the "Mother Town" of the people (Conley 18). Many of the Cherokee Indians originated here according to the traditions. They referred themselves as Ani-Kituwagi, meaning Keetoowah People, or Ani-yunwi-ya, the Real People (Conley 27). The fertile lands of the Keetoowah were filled of many resources, but as the population grew too large for the town, many people had moved out and built new towns. Overtime, many towns were built one after another. Soon, there were approximately 200 scattered tribes over vast areas that consisted of a number of politically independent tribes comprised of a war chief and peace chief as there government (King 95). Each tribe was politically independent due to the fact they didn't want a powerful central government; the idea that any one person had supreme power. Thus, tribes were held together by a common culture, language, and tradition.
Tradition played an important role in Cherokee clans. It made sure certain elements of a culture from generation to generation were passed down. Such as, the traditional matrilineal Cherokee family structure, which means descent, is traced through the female line (Conley 24). The children belonged to the mother and her family clan. There was not any relatedness with the father and he's family clan. This family structure provided a safe and secure environment for women and children. Also, it meant the man lived in the wife's house, surrounded by her clan's people, so he would not dare to abuse her unless he wanted a tribal beating. Women were largely incorporated into the tribes. Not only was she the head of her domain with mutually respected power and authority, she had equal say in the affairs of war and peace. She was also in charge of the household and nourishment of her family... [continues]
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