June 21, 2010

The myth of the Cherokee princess

Dispelling the Myth of "Was Your Grandmother a Cherokee Princess?"

Cherokee Princess Is Tribal Myth, Joke

By Evening RainIt's inevitable if you're American Indian. Somewhere, when you least expect it, a non-Indian person will step up and say, "My grandmother was a Cherokee Princess, I am trying to find out how to become a member of the tribe."

The speaker always assumes that all American Indians know each other and are experts on tribal enrollment. The question can come from the mechanic, the professor at a large university or a next-door neighbor.

Descendants of the famed Cherokee Princess are everywhere. She is elusive. Few who tell about her can actually remember her name. But she was "quite an old gal" with high cheekbones and brown skin. "You could see the Indian in her," they might say. It's often difficult, but if you're an American Indian, be polite, try not to laugh and direct the person to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for more information.

The mythological Cherokee Princess is a legend in Indian country.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Liv Tyler = Cherokee Pocahontas?! and Determining Indians = Waste of Time?

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