Cherokee - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. Cherokee society was divided into seven matrilineal, exogamous clans, or sibs. Within each town, clan sections formed corporate groups that held and allocated land, regulated marriage, and controlled conflict among local clan members. Age stratification within the clan section constituted the first level of local decision making. Clans rarely, if ever, acted as corporate groups on a tribewide basis. Since the time of contact, intermarriage with Whites and acculturation has gradually undermined the clan system. Among the Eastern Cherokee, clans are no longer meaningful social units except among the very elderly.

Kinship Terminology. Traditional kinship terminology followed the Crow system.

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