The Cherokee And Cherokee Culture

1497 Words6 Pages
The endeavor to keep Cherokee culture alive through works of pottery, woven baskets, paintings, beaded clothing, or other assorted items has always been a focus of the Cherokee people. Building One Fire is a compilation of Cherokee art showcasing the variety of mediums they express their creative styles through and illustrating the Cherokee way of life. Throughout the years, the government of the United States has played a large part in this struggle, whether they are repressing their culture, acting as patrons to the Cherokee artists, or directly and indirectly influencing the Cherokee artists through legislation regarding the Cherokee Nation. The story of the relationship between the Cherokee and the government is clearly outlined in Art of The Cherokee, exploring how American views of the Cherokee culture have progressed over time, specifically in relation to Cherokee art. The relationship can be viewed in two parts. In the first part, the United States believed the best approach was to press assimilation onto the Cherokee people and suppress their culture. Both the government and citizens of the United States believed Cherokee land possessed more value than the Cherokee culture, and attempted to gain their land through devaluing the people and attacking their culture. Tensions between the Cherokee and the government continued well into the 20th century, but a shift occurred in the early 1900s when the government began to commission Cherokee art in an attempt to save
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