Wednesday, September 7, 2011
The seven clans
I wanted to post some info on the seven clans of our tribe because this is vital info that not many people are aware of and is, in fact, a good civilization model where each person plays a role and equally shares the burden. Cherokee culture is matrilineal, meaning your designated clan comes from your mothers bloodline, however, this serves another purpose...men were often times warriors, it was vital that land and other resources were able to be retained by a woman in order to guarantee your children's future. The people in your clan are your family, your brothers and sisters, thus you can not marry and reproduce within your own clan, this shows an ancient awareness that in order to preserve something change must be introduced...or at least that's how I see it. Clan designation also determined seating arrangements at ceremonial gatherings and was used in medicine...makes sense, don't they always get a medical history for yourself and your fam when you go to the dr?
The clans are as follows:
Anigilohi/Longhair (which is the clan I come from)
These are the peace keepers...the peace chief came from this clan when that type of government was used. Prisoners of war, orphans and those with no Cherokee clan were adopted into this tribe.
This is the oldest clan and those from this clan hold a high responsibility as they are the healers of children and produce remedies for ailments affecting the babies.
These are the protectors...the war chief came from this clan.
These are the land keepers, the gatherers, or as we could call it one, the farmers
These are the hunters, yet they are also charged with the care of animals, insuring that animals are not abused or mistreated. They are also messengers, a sort of mail man...
These are the messengers, yet in a different sense. They could communicate between the mundane and esoteric...sort of a messenger from heaven to earth.
These are the medicine people...remedies were often mixed and then 'painted' onto someone for healing purposes.
Those are the seven...together, they form a perfect balance, a harmony, life sustaining EQUALITY.