Contrasting The Cherokees And The Aztecs Essay
, Research Paper
The Cherokees and the Aztecs were very different people
in many ways not only in location but also in ways of living.
The Cherokees were southwestern woodland farmers. The
Aztecs were also farmers in mesoamerica like the Mayans.
The Cherokee lived in a very different climate than the
Aztecs and because of the difference they had different
crops and food.
The Cherokees made bows and arrows. They also made
many different kinds of baskets and pottery. They made the
bows and arrows for hunting and also to protect
themselves. The baskets were to store food and to carry
things in. The pottery was used to eat out of and they could
also trade it to other tribes for food or maybe even horses.
The Aztecs did feather working and goldworking. They
made shields and did art work with the feathers. They held
the feathers together with glue made from bat dung. They
made round objects by what was called the lost-wax
method. These gold things were mostly used for decoration
and for looks.
Housing And Shelter
One kind of house by the Cherokees were called teepees.
The teepees were made out of logs that are covered with
deer or buffalo hide. They kill and skin the animal and then
let the hide dry , they then placed the logs in a cone shape
and covered them with the animal hide. They also lived in
structures called long houses which were made of wood.
All of these houses together were called villages. They had
to make their houses easy to put up and take down so they
could so they could leave to avoid anything that might bring
harm to them. The Aztec craftsmen lived in huts. They were
made out of a mud-brick type mixture. The Aztec nobles
lived in palaces built of white washed stone and had over a
The climate in the area that the Cherokees lived in changes
from season to season this is one reason why they had to
move all the time. During the spring time the weather was
rainy but warm. The summer time was hot and dry with the
occasional rain. Fall was a time of cool and dry weather.
With maybe some rain or snow. The winter was pretty
harsh it was pretty cold and it was snowy. The Climate in
the area that the Aztecs lived in was hot and dry. They
lived in the desert. It was very hoot and very dry but they
knew how to live with it.
Geography and Location
The Cherokee lived in the southeast part of the United
States. They lived in what is now know as Tennessee,
Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The terrain
they lived in changed from season to season. During the fall
and winter months they traveled a lot so they gather food
and hunt so they can take their food with them. During the
spring and summer months they settled down and would
farm, and they would also hunt the buffalo that would be
grassing the fields so they would have food for the harsh
winter months. Cherokees would farm most of their food
except during the winter months. The Aztecs lived in
Mexico around what is now known as Mexico City. They
lived in the Sierra Madre mountains.
Most of the clothes worn by the Cherokee were made out
of buffalo or deer skin. They hunted the buffalo during the
summer and would use the hide for blankets and clothes.
The deer hide was used to make their clothes, shoes, and
many other things. The animals they killed would be
completely used up, they used every part of the animal. The
Aztecs clothes were made out of animal skin also. Their
clothes were not only to cover themselves but they were
used as a way of showing a persons rank, so there were
very strict laws on who could wear what.
Crops and Food
Cherokees were very good, farmers they could grow corn,
potatoes, and many other tasty foods. The warriors of the
tribe would be the ones that hunted and fished for food.
They would hunt deer, buffalo, and any other game
animals. They did not only hunt for food but they also
hunted to make shoes and clothes out of the animal hide.
The women and children gathered berries, fruits and any
other type of food they could find. The Aztec peasants ate
mainly maize and beans, sometimes they might trap a duck
or a crow in the garden. The richer Aztecs ate turtles and
crabs imported from the coast. King Montezuma got to
choose from a hundred dishes each day. They had no
eating utensils, everyone even the king used their hands.
The Cherokee could hunt food, grow food, and use the
sources around them. The Cherokee were great farmers
and they are the ones who taught the white people how to
farm. They were one of the first people to dry their food so
that it would keep fresh longer. The Aztec women would
get up every morning and ground maize into flour and boil it
into porridge, and flavor it with sage. They also had
steamed pancakes stuffed with tadpoles, cactus worms, or
fish. Another favorite was tortillas, dipped in a tomato and
hot pepper sauce.
The Cherokee language is the second most widely used
Native American language, spoken by an estimated 10,000
to 20,000 in Oklahoma and North Carolina. While most
Native American languages developed a hieroglyphic
writing system, Cherokee is the only Indian language to
have produced a syllabary type of alphabet. The Cherokee
language split into two main dialects after the Trail Of
Tears. Today the Eastern branch of the language is most
commonly the one spoken. The Aztecs had no alphabet
they simply wrote with pictures and glyphs. Just as we
always write a word the same way they always drew their
pictures the same way. An Aztec book looked like a
jumble of tiny pictures.
Roles Of Women
The women of the tribe would take care of the children.
They would also get water, collect fire wood, food, and
usually they were the ones that made the clothes. The
Cherokee women were treated very good compared to
most of the other women at this point in time. The Aztec
girls would marry at about sixteen and they would marry
men about the age of twenty. Men could have as many
wives as he wanted to, but most men settled for one. The
women in the Aztec tribe did weaving and things like that
but they were not treated as well as the Cherokee women.
The medicine the Cherokee used was mainly herbs and
materials from the earth. Each tribe had its own medicine
man, which is like a doctor, to take care of the sick people
in the tribe. The medicine man was considered to be a very
wise man. The Aztecs used over twelve hundred different
herbs to cure illness. Scientific tests show that many of
these are very useful for reducing fever and stopping
bleeding. Other cures like eating roast lizard for a swollen
face did not work so well. The people that did the medical
things were mostly the wives and mothers unlike the
Cherokee, who had medicine men.
Music and Dancing
The Cherokee would dance around a big fire to talk to and
to please the gods. They would also dance to ask for rain
during the droughts and to give then lick before a battle.
The music was mostly just chanting and the beating of some
drums. The Aztecs also danced around a big fire to please
the gods. They would dance to please the gods so if they
needed anything the gods would be happy and they would
grant their wish.
The Cherokee government was a kind of organized
government. Each tribe had a chief, a vice chief, and a
council of thirty-two members. They pretty much ran the
government. Their law was based more on responsibility
for wrongful actions than on the notion of justice. The
Cherokee system was ideal for keeping balance and
harmony in the spiritual and social worlds.
The Aztecs played many sacred games. One of their
favorite games was called tlachtli. It is what netball and
basketball evolved from. Nobody really knows how or
when the Indians first learned to make rubber sap into a
bouncing ball, but the game was played long before the
Aztecs came to Mexico. Sometimes they would pass time
by gambling. Some people gambled away all of their
possessions even their clothes and were forced to sell
themselves as slaves.
Aztec boys did not really start to train as warriors until they
were eight years old. At the age of eight they went off to
the telpochcalli, the clan?s boarding school, to train as
warriors. All boys led a tough life. They learned to be
humble and obedient by doing jobs nobody else wanted to
do like digging canals, and sweeping the temples.
The Cherokee religion was polytheistic (meaning many
gods). They had a god for pretty much anything you can
think of. Their main god was the god of the sun. Their
philosophy was be good to the earth and it will be good to
you. The Aztec believed that they were the chosen people
by the gods. They were also polytheistic. They too had
many gods. They sacrificed humans to please the gods.
They thought they had a debt to pay to the gods because
they were created and chosen.
Europeans Take Over
In 1828 the Europeans took over the Indians land and
killed a lot of the Indian population. This was also the time
the Trail Of Tears took place. The trail of tears was caused
by the Europeans.
Native Americans Status Today
Native Americans are equal to everyone else in the United
States. Most of them are holding steady jobs and living like
normal people but some of them still live on Indian
reservations and act like they are old time Indians from long
ago. Indians became United States citizens in 1901.