Mason Archival Repository Service

An Examination of Cherokee Marriage Following the Establishment of the First Cherokee Written Laws, 1808

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Haines, David W.
dc.contributor.author Gallay, Janet M.
dc.creator Gallay, Janet M.
dc.date 2010-12-03
dc.date.accessioned 2011-02-24T21:25:35Z
dc.date.available NO_RESTRICTION en_US
dc.date.available 2011-02-24T21:25:35Z
dc.date.issued 2011-02-24
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/1920/6177
dc.description.abstract In this work I challenge the view held by some scholars that the written laws published by the Cherokee Nation on September 11, 1808 attempted to undermine matrilineal clan management of marriage practices. I describe how Cherokee leaders, both women and men, adopted aspects of the legal template from the United States juridical system and designed laws to accommodate existing marital practices, reflecting the goal to protect, defend, and ensure the political, economic, and social rights of women. Although there was now to be written law consistent with legal systems in Europe and the United States, there was already extensive Cherokee “law” (albeit unwritten) that regulated choice of spouse, defined the legality of the marriage, designated membership, and directed inheritance through the woman. The matrilineal kinship structure effectively resisted the persistent pressures exerted upon it by the government of the United States to capitulate to a patriarchal legal system that privileged men over women as heads of household, iii property owners, and guardians of children. The process of developing written laws that accurately reflected Cherokee values and beliefs involved the complementary governance defined by the authority and power exercised by both women and men. My interpretation of the events recorded by Euro-American and American men of the colonial period, including often quite biased accounts and misinterpretations of Cherokee life, ultimately provided the evidence that matrilineal clan management of marriage and inheritance was not evanescent.
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Cherokee en_US
dc.subject kinship en_US
dc.subject marriage en_US
dc.subject matrilineal en_US
dc.title An Examination of Cherokee Marriage Following the Establishment of the First Cherokee Written Laws, 1808 en_US
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.name Master of Arts en_US
thesis.degree.level Master's en
thesis.degree.discipline Anthropology en
thesis.degree.grantor George Mason University en


Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search MARS


Browse

My Account

Statistics