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The council meetings at which decisions were made were open to everyone including women. Sometimes they urged the men to go to war to avenge an earlier enemy attack. Women occasionally even fought in battles beside the men.
The Cherokees called these women “War Women,” and all the people respected and honored them for their bravery.
The household also had corn cribs and storage sheds.
All these buildings belonged to the women in the family, and daughters inherited them from their mothers.
By the 1800s the Cherokees had lost their independence and had become dominated by white Americans.
At this time white Americans did not believe that it was proper for women to fight wars, vote, speak in public, work outside the home, or even control their own children.
He also is related to his mother’s mother (grandmother), his mother’s brothers (uncles), and his mother’s sisters (aunts). The most important male relative in a child’s life is his mother’s brother.
Many Europeans never figured out how this kinship system worked.
Those white men who married Indian women were shocked to discover that the Cherokees did not consider them to be related to their own children, and that mothers, not fathers, had control over the children.
The black disc in the diagram below is Quatie, a Cherokee girl.
Can you figure out which of the people in the diagram belong to her family and color them in?
In a matrilineal kinship system, a person is related to people on his mother’s side.