Masculinity, Spirituality, and Community in Late Eighteenth-Century Cherokee Warfare
This chapter utilizes an ethnohistorical approach to examine Cherokee warfare and how this complex institution interwove gendered expectations, spiritual dimensions, and communal values. By employing Cherokee voices, legends, and formulas (prayers) as often as possible, along with recorded history by outsiders of Cherokee voices, it argues that though war affected all, the military organization primarily involved Cherokee men and emphasized their masculine connections to the sacred, social, and political dimensions of Cherokee society. Warfare was a path to manhood, increased social status, and secured political influence. It especially expressed Cherokee masculinity by allowing warriors to prove their worth as real men.
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