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Chapters two, three, and four are derived largely from existing historical and ethnohistorical works.


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Chapter two deals with Cherokee social and political organization during the colonial encounter of the eighteenth century. Chapter three covers the tumultuous period from the organization of a centralized Cherokee polity in the early nineteenth century to the dissolution of the Nation by the U.

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Chapter four introduces some of the particulars of blood quan- tum and its use in Indian Country in general and in the Cherokee Nation in par- ticular. Blood quantum is kept in the foreground as the chapter then traces the rebirth of the Cherokee Nation, which began in with the federal appoint- ment of a leader, followed in by the popular election of a chief, and the adoption of a constitution.

Chapter five treats various categories used to judge authentic Cherokee—phenotype, lan- guage proficiency, religious participation, style of social interaction, and com- munity residence and participation.

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Chapter six examines kinship and marriage among the most traditional Cherokee communities. It shows how preferences for endogamy both arise from and are made difficult by questions of phenotype, bloodedness, potential child socialization, and the simultaneous existence of Cherokee matrilineal and Euro-American bilateral descent models. The majority of the Freedmen have been denied Cherokee citizenship as blood quantum has played an increas- ing role in the politics of the Nation, and Sturm uses their situation to bring to light some of the contradictions and ironies of Cherokee blood politics.

Chapter eight wraps up the book by touching on its most important historical, social, and theoretical points. As a lifelong resident of the Eastern Cherokee Reservation, I have years of expe- rience with the sort of give-and-take confusion over Cherokee identity that Sturm is able to communicate in her book.

For that alone, Blood Politics deserves praise. In addition, it serves as a nice introduction to the political history of the Cherokee Nation. The theoretical tools used are well chosen and well used. Any exposure given to this underappreciated scholar is a positive. For those interested in gaining a fuller understanding of these issues I would recommend reading the Navajo Supreme Court decision in Means v.

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Also, although I do not see them as weak points, two potential pitfalls await particular readers. Hidden categories: CS1 errors: missing periodical.


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But he also owns the space with his presence, which floods the room like warm summer light. He is standing with his grandson in a shabby, makeshift museum, a memorial to the Black Seminoles, a tribe of Native and African Americans who after intermarrying and exchanging their cultures and identities became a single people.

David Cornsilk

Old lithographs, newspaper clippings, and photos cover the wall, each placed on the dingy whitewash with careful precision. Blood has so many layers of meaning and is such a familiar metaphor that this exchange between Otis Payne and his grandson causes me to smile with recognition whenever I think about it. An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while. No cover image.