My research attempts to understand the construction and evolution of contemporary national and ethnic identity by studying the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. This work will attempt to discuss modern issues of identity through the context of the Cherokee Nation's constitutional law and the challenges to said law. I purpose that tensions and growth in Cherokee identity can be seen in the 1975 and 1999 Cherokee constitutions and the legal battles surrounding them. The theoretical aspect of my work will be drawing from Anthropologist Arjun Appadurai and American Indian Nationalist Jace Weaver. These two theorists provide through provide a fitting theoretical framework for my analysis as Appadurai concerns himself with identity in modernity and Weaver is a Cherokee nationalist. While Appadurai and Weaver often disagree their theoretical tensions mirror the societal tensions in the Cherokee Nation. In the process of discussing Cherokee law I will be reviewing the history of ethnic and racial tensions in the Cherokee Nation with particular attention given to the Cherokee Freedmen.


Holt, Katie

Second Advisor

Weaver, Mark


History; Political Science


Indigenous Studies | United States History


arjun appadurai, jace weaver, cherokee, nation, cherokee nation, polititcs, indian law, american indian, native american, allotment, constitutional law

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2013 Richard Tadd Pinkston