Master of Arts (MA)
American, Cherokee, Colonial, Culture, Folk Ways, Native American
Cultural History | History | Indigenous Studies
Gunn, Christopher, "Seeds of the Real People: How Cherokee Folk Ways Conflicted with Colonial Culture" (2014). Masters Theses. 349.
The diplomatic relationship between the Cherokee and English colonists (and later the United States) was complex and affected by many variables. Chief among them were the cultural differences between the two peoples and how those differences interacted. Because the two groups were from long separated and isolated continents, their cultural ways were almost entirely alien to one another, with only the shared nature of the human condition to give them any common ground. Initially they had much to offer each other, with trade and military alliance becoming the foundation of their relationship. As the two communities grew closer together, however, and their incompatible folk ways collided more and more frequently, good relations deteriorated into bad. Plenty of individuals on either side were willing to bridge the gap, but were too few to resist the destructive inertia of the ongoing cultural collision. An examination of the conflicting Cherokee and colonial folk ways reveals how a mutually beneficial alliance degenerated into tragedy.