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Principles of Cherokee Regionalization and Material Practices of the Pisgah Phase in the Trans-Appalachian Area

Author(s): Tyler Howe ; Kathryn Sampeck

Year: 2017

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This paper presents ethnohistoric accounts, ethnographic commentary, early colonial cartography, and archaeological evidence to investigate factors affecting processes of regionalization in the southeastern Appalachians. Returning to ethnohistorical theoretical and methodological roots of multi-sourced data and community co-construction to understand ethnolandscapes, we explore how central tenets of the Kituwah Way, the ethical and cultural principles guiding Cherokee practices, have observable material effects and appear to be of much greater antiquity than has been considered in scholarly literature. Foregrounding research in ethnolandcapes, through regionality, highlights principles of the Kituwah Way, including tohi (steady fluidity in life), osi (neutral or normal state of life), and gadugi (town or community) which contributed to a flexible, resilient, yet integrated network of communities that made initial colonial encounters of a different tenor than other regional Native American communities. We suggest that many social aspects of the Kituwah Way are later interpretations of earlier cultural foundations, much in the same way the material culture transitions of Connestee-Pisgah-Qualla show transformations that hearken to precedents. The regionalization that Mississippianization usually involves is often superfluous, and in other ways, a poor fit for Cherokees. Ethnolandscape approaches show material practices of affiliation, distinction, and regionalization that could be termed meta-Mississippian.

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Principles of Cherokee Regionalization and Material Practices of the Pisgah Phase in the Trans-Appalachian Area. Tyler Howe, Kathryn Sampeck. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430750)


Geographic Keywords
North America - Southeast

Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16822

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America