Tuesday, June 20, 2006

HOW!! is your bank account?

Going back to Indian wannabees:

When I first learned we were descended from Polly Hogshed Trammell, who was a full blooded Cherokee Indian I shared the information with some Hunter cousins that I know are always interested. One of my cousins wanted me to show him a pedigree chart to show our connection to Polly. With this modern world of computers I gave him his own copy with a press of a screen button.

Later this same cousin told me the next time he was up in Cherokee, North Carolina, he dropped by the headquarters of the Cherokee Indian Nation and showed them the pedigree chart, and they declared he had enough Cherokee blood in him and as a direct descendant he received a certificate and a hunting license to hunt on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, and I think he said there is no “season” – he can hunt and fish for any game, year around.

A few years lapsed and I was doing the wedding photography for a Petty first cousin on my mother’s side. The guy she was marrying was from Chattanooga. At the wedding was his parents and his brother, a guy that appeared to me to be socially awkward. He looked uncomfortable making small talk to humans.

A few more years lapse and the father of the cousin that I took the wedding pictures died, which was my uncle-by-marriage, or uncle-in-law. At the funeral home was my cousin’s brother-in-law, the socially awkward guy.

This time he had long hair dyed black, a headband, silver jingling jewelry on him, a decorative belt buckle, and cowboy boots. I asked my cousin what was with her brother-in-law and she told me did some genealogy and found out he has some Indian heritage.

More time lapse. I was talking to my aunt within a few months ago and she told me that she and her son, a Hunter first cousin, went up to the Cherokee Indian headquarters and had a meeting with the chief of the tribe there. I am not sure the pecking order on tribal things… is their just one chief, or is a chief sort of like a council-person?

She sent me pictures of the Chief and another head honcho presenting my cousin some kind of plaque. Brave of the month?

I don’t know, but I am beginning to suspect that the right to be called an Indian has a price tag attached.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

We always have kids that claim to be Cherokee or “kin to Robert E Lee” and things like that. Sounds like some sort of Identity Crisis going on there.

1:07 AM  
Blogger ET said...

I think you are right - and they Indian heads - hey, they have a product, the white folk have a demand, so I'm sure things can be worked out.

1:48 AM  

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