Cultural Intermarriage in Southern Appalachia: Cherokee by Katerina Prajznerova

By Katerina Prajznerova

Studying 4 of Lee Smith's mountain novels from the viewpoint of cultural anthropology, this examine exhibits that fragments of the Cherokee history resonate in her paintings. those parts contain connections with the Cherokee ideals concerning medicinal crops and spirit animals, Cherokee tales in regards to the Daughter of the solar, the Corn girl, the Spear Finger, the Raven Mocker, the Little humans and the booger males; the Cherokee proposal of witchcraft; and the social place of Cherokee ladies.

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Cultural Intermarriage in Southern Appalachia: Cherokee Elements in Four Selected Novels by Lee Smith (Indigenous Peoples and Politics)

Analyzing 4 of Lee Smith's mountain novels from the perspective of cultural anthropology, this research indicates that fragments of the Cherokee history resonate in her paintings. those parts comprise connections with the Cherokee ideals concerning medicinal crops and spirit animals, Cherokee tales in regards to the Daughter of the sunlight, the Corn girl, the Spear Finger, the Raven Mocker, the Little humans and the booger males; the Cherokee proposal of witchcraft; and the social place of Cherokee girls.

Additional info for Cultural Intermarriage in Southern Appalachia: Cherokee Elements in Four Selected Novels by Lee Smith (Indigenous Peoples and Politics)

Example text

That king dog was beautiful. 28 On another level, in the context of a Cherokee story about the origin of the Milky Way, the vision of her meeting the white dog brings her in touch with the spiritual forces of the universe. In Cherokee stories, dogs and their barking are also often associated with warnings of approaching danger, sickness, death or the threat of witchcraft (Fradkin 376). Interestingly, a mysterious, big, white spirit dog that comes in the moonlit night and then disappears in a line up into the mountains appears in a Cherokee myth about the origin of the Milky Way.

FTL 316) Commenting on Honey Breeding, Smith has told Gloria Underwood: “I have no notion of where he springs from. 33 In addition to his attractive golden furriness and preference for roaming in the mountains, Honey is also a good storyteller. His story about Dark Catherine, a Cherokee witch who enchanted Honey’s father, shows his familiarity with the Native American presence in the area. His combination of human and bear-like characteristics connects him further to Yona, a character in a Cherokee story about the origin of the bear.

14 In the precontact period gathered foods made up “as much as half of the nonmeat portion” of the Cherokee diet (Hatley 39). These gathered plants have also been used for medicinal purposes. 15 This is partly due to the fact that many plant species of eastern North America grow also in eastern Asia, but are not indigenous to any other parts of the world. Hill 15). The early Europeans’ respect for Cherokee doctors is noted for example by John Lawson in his 1709 travel journal (226–30) and by James Mooney during his anthropological fieldwork among the Cherokee in the late 1880s (Formulas, 323).

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