February 16, 2011

Miley Cyrus, Cherokee?

In response to Miley Cyrus Loves Dreamcatchers, someone mentioned that she's part Cherokee. That was news to me, so I looked it up:

Miley CyrusBirth Name:

Destiny Hope Cyrus

Birth Place:

Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Date of Birth:

November 23, 1992

What Race or Ethnicity:

Scottish, Irish, English, French, Welsh, Dutch and Cherokee Indian
Is Miley Cyrus Cherokee?A: She's part Cherokee from her father's side (her great grandmother)Miley Cyrus:  “I’m Not That Cherokee”“I’ve begged my dad for the Mercedes G-Wagen, but he was like, ‘Miley, isn’t there enough pollution in the air?’ We’re Cherokee, that’s our background. And he’s like, ‘As a Cherokee, I really don’t think you want to do this.’

And I’m like, ‘Dad, I’m not that Cherokee.’ He wants me to take care of the environment and look at hybrid cars. I’m stoked, that’s awesome, especially with the price of gas. I want to spray paint it. I want to rock out my car. I want to get my car pimped out.’”
The Ancestors of Billy Ray Cyrus, Singer and Actor!!

Comment:  The last posting lists Cyrus's ancestors by name but not by ethnicity.

The answer to the title question is: No, Miley Cyrus is not Cherokee. Like Johnny Depp, she's a non-Indian with a small amount of Indian "blood."

As you can see in the photo, Miley is trying to be all tribal with her necklace, leather bands, and turquoise beads. And we know she loves dreamcatchers and Pocahontas.

What's sad is that none of these things have anything to do with the Cherokee. Even the wannabes in the 200-plus unrecognized "Cherokee tribes" learn some of their ancestors' language and culture. But Miley apparently has no knowledge of or interest in her actual Cherokee roots.

Instead, she's mashing up a bunch of generic and stereotypical images to make herself seem Indian. Which is exactly what an Indian wannabe does.


LowRidingGranny said...

These are pretty racist views I just read. If you have Indian blood, you have Indian blood.

Edy Littlewolf Waiter said...

I dont think they are racist at all. Most caucasians who claim any Indian ancestry always claim Cherokee. Truth is the Cherokee loved to raid and rape and pillage back in the day. I am not at all saying that this is how the tribe conducts itself now. This was when the whites first got here and the animosity was very rabid...on both sides. So yes there arer alot of whites with some cherokee ancestry, that does not make them Indian. I am an Ojibwe. Being Indian means knowing who you are and being proud of that. I am a First American, know where I come from and have a whole lineage of great Indians in my history. I am proud of them and do not need to flaunt who I am, but I am intensly proud of my heritage as are the rest of my family. When I wear Native dress and artifacts, I have the right to do that and am proud for reasons of blood and family heritage. She does not claim any of that. So no, she is not an Indian. She is like 1/16th and is eligible, but she is not registered as such. Her loss. Not ours HOWAH!

Rob said...

"If you have Indian blood, you have Indian blood," Granny? And if you're Indian in your heart, I suppose, you're Indian in your heart. So anyone who defines herself as an Indian is an Indian? I don't think so.

In other words...no, they're not racist views. Unfortunately for you, saying it doesn't make it so. If you think you have a case, go ahead and make it. Prove that most Indians would agree that Miley Cyrus is an Indian.

Continuing with the self-evident truisms: If you're a non-Indian with a small amount of Indian blood, you're a non-Indian with a small amount of Indian blood. You're not an Indian unless you can meet the standards set forth in "Actual Indian" Defined. Which leaves Miley Cyrus out.

The CBear said...

I read this another blog somewhere, but I think it fits, "You're an Indian if you've been treated like s*** for being an Indian."

Jaine said...

wow, I have to say, from an outsiders view it seems pretty f*cked up to say that a small amount of blood doesn't make you Indian. In NZ, blood is blood and one is Maori no matter how small the amount is - provided of course one identifies as such. Having said that we don't really have the wannabe thing. Why anybody would claim heritage that is not theirs is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

CBear, That's the truth, and if you are both you get it from both sides. Imagine how you would feel if you actually had the ancestry Edy Littlewolf Rider describes. Imagine how you would feel if blood from both sides treated you the same way. Imagine if you looked in your own eyes and they were half-breed, and you did not see the colors in your parents because it was hidden.

Anonymous said...

Edy Little Wolf Waiter, You are being arrogant. There are plenty of Indians who don't know their true history because of rape, adoption and the mass killings of parents. Do you know how fortunate you are to have your true history and culture shared with you?

Anonymous said...

I have Native Blood, DNA confirms my ancestry, but not my tribe. I have been told all my life I am Cherokee so I believe it. However many years of genealogy only revealed I was not eligible for tribal citizenship. There are hundreds and hundreds
of us who are no doubt ancestors of the Cherokee but were disenfranchised because our ancestors chose to live elsewhere than where the roll was taken. Especially Arkansas, south Missouri, Texas and even Kansas. Those that are familiar with our history understand this. To the many racist who put people with ancestry down as NON-INDIAN WANNA-BE'S they should learn that the Principal Chief of the Cherokee was only 1/8 Cherokee Blood and 7/8 Scottish. Yes that is right! No Cherokee believes he was any less "Indian" because of his quantum. Additionally George Gist would also have been disenfranchised from tribal membership. Who was he you ask? He is more famous for his Cherokee Name Se-quo-ya who in 1821 completed his independent creation of a Cherokee syllabary, making reading and writing in Cherokee possible. He died in Mexico. His father was white, yet no one minimizes his ancestry. In summary, allow people to enjoy their ancestry without your ridicule. Why should we deny our native ancestors simply because YOU do not view us as "indian".

LA said...

I'm not understanding what a "non-Indian with a small amount of Indian blood" is (?)

(Tribal registry as opposed to "blood"/partial ancestry?)

Anonymous said...

Actually a lot of the southern "Cherokee grandma" myths were born out of civil war racism in an effort for the rebels to claim themselves "true sons of the south."