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The Cherokee DiasporaAn Indigenous History of Migration, Resettlement, and Identity$
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Gregory D Smithers

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300169607

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300169607.001.0001

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(p.1) Prologue
The Cherokee Diaspora

Gregory D. Smithers

Yale University Press

This book explores the origins of the Cherokee diaspora, focusing on the years roughly between 1756 and 1945. It investigates how or why the Cherokee people became a traveling, diasporic people and the manner in which they interpreted narratives about their origins, understood their relationships to other human beings, and reimagined their cultural beliefs and kinship practices in new places. It considers the impact of eighteenth-century colonialism on the purpose of travel and the nature of Cherokee politics and diplomacy. The discussion centers on three interconnected concepts: migration and resettlement, memory, and identity. Part I of the book deals with the significance of Cherokee narratives about human creation and migration, whereas Part II examines the nuances of Cherokee identity during the American Civil War, the tumultuous decades of Reconstruction, and the rise of the allotment, assimilation, and termination era in the period spanning the 1880s and World War II.

Keywords:   kinship, Cherokee diaspora, Cherokee, colonialism, migration, resettlement, memory, Cherokee identity, diplomacy, cultural beliefs

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