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Essay/Term paper: Contrasting the cherokees and the aztecs

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Essays

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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

hundred rooms.


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.

Food Preparation

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.

Childrearing Practices

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.


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