Cherokee Women in Charge

Female Power and Leadership in American Indian Nations of Eastern North America

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About the Book

Cherokee women wielded significant individual and political power, and history demonstrates that indigenous women frequently bore the greater workload, both inside and outside the home. During the French and Indian War, Cherokee women resisted a chief’s authority, owned family households, were skilled artisans, produced plentiful crops, mastered trade negotiations, and prepared chiefs’ feasts. Cherokee culture was unfortunately lost when the Cherokee Nation began imitating the American form of governance to gain political favor, and white colonists reduced indigenous women’s power.
This book recounts a small portion of long-standing Cherokee traditions and their rich histories. It aims to characterize Cherokee and indigenous women as independent and strong individuals through feminist and historical perspectives. Readers will find that these women were far ahead of their time and held their own in many remarkable ways. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Karen Coody Cooper was born in 1946 in Oklahoma where her grandmother grew melons on a Cherokee allotment. After studying anthropology Cooper worked at museums in three states before employment at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Retired, she has written or co-authored half a dozen history books. She lives in Lake Worth Beach, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Karen Coody Cooper

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 35 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8818-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4638-1
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“What Richard Powers’ The Overstory and Suzanne Simard’s revolutionary Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest did for botanical science, Karen Coody Cooper does for social science and gender politics”—Robert Franklin, McFarland Founder and Editor-in-Chief.