Sunday, June 24, 2012

Clans of the Cherokee Part 3: The Anigilohi

 Ah-ni-gi-lo(la)-hi or Long Hair Clan represented the human people (breath), the second level of development.

This clan was also known as the Twister Clan, Hanging Down Clan or Wind Clan, (Stranger Clan).  The Cherokee used to have a form of government in which during peace times, the Peace Chief ruled, and there was a War Chief for times of war.  The Long Hair clan were the peacemakers and the Peace Chief usually came from this clan.  Prisoners of war, orphans of other tribes, and others with no Cherokee tribe were often adopted into the clan, thus the name “Strangers”. 

Gilahi is short for an ancient Titlvgvnahita, the warrior womens society, meaning something that grows from the back of the neck.  Those belonging to this Clan wore their hair in elaborate hairdos, walked in a proud and vain manner twisting their shoulders proudly.  The Clan color for the AniGilohi is white and the wood is beech.  .  Peach Chief’s wore a white feather robe. 

As with all clans, The Ani Gilohi were matrilineal, meaning the children belong to the mother's clan, and hereditary leadership and property were passed through the maternal line.  The children learned the ways of the clan from the uncles, not the father.  It was forbidden to marry within one's clan or to someone in the clan of one's father. Such marriage was considered incest and punishable by death at the hands of the offender's own clan and by no other. The clan was also responsible for justice when one of its members was responsible for the death of another even if the death was impulsive or accidental. The one to pay the penalty did not have to be the person responsible; it could be any member of his or her clan. Indeed, if the intentional or unintentional killer escaped or found sanctuary in one of the towns so designated, such as Chota, Kituwa, or Tugaloo, the fugitive's clan was expected to deliver up another of its members. The purpose of this was not retaliation but to restore balance.

Cherokee born outside of a clan or outsiders who were taken into the tribe in ancient times had to be adopted into a clan by a clan mother. If the person was a woman who had borne a Cherokee child and was married to a Cherokee man, she could be taken into a new clan. Her husband was required to leave his clan and live with her in her new clan. Men who were not Cherokee and married into a Cherokee household had to be adopted into a clan by a clan mother; he could not take his wife’s clan.

In The Cherokee Editor on February 18, 1829, Elias Boudinot wrote the following regarding Cherokee Clan marriage customs:[4]

"This simple division of the Cherokees formed the grand work by which marriages were regulated, and murder punished. A Cherokee could marry into any of the clans except two, that to which his father belongs, for all of that clan are his fathers and aunts and that to which his mother belongs, for all of that clan are his brothers and sisters, a child invariably inheriting the clan of his mother."

1 comment:

  1. Looking for information. My great great grandfather was John Henry Lynch his mother was "moletawable" I'm sure it's misspelled. Other records show her as Mary. Cherokee for Mary is ma-lee. So I believe her name to be ma-lee tah-wah-bah. Any help finding her people, and clan would be appreciated. From western nc. Her son is recorded as mulatto and was born in 1843. Thanks