Anetso, the Cherokee Ball Game: At the Center of Ceremony and Identity

Overview

A precursor to lacrosse, anetso, a centuries-old Cherokee ball game still played today, is a vigorous sport that rewards speed, strength, and agility. It is also the focus of several linked ritual activities. Zogry argues that members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation continue to perform selected aspects of their cultural identity by engaging in anetso. He shows that it is a ceremonial cycle that incorporates a variety of activities which, taken together, complicate standard distinctions of game versus ...

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Anetso, the Cherokee Ball Game: At the Center of Ceremony and Identity

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Overview

A precursor to lacrosse, anetso, a centuries-old Cherokee ball game still played today, is a vigorous sport that rewards speed, strength, and agility. It is also the focus of several linked ritual activities. Zogry argues that members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation continue to perform selected aspects of their cultural identity by engaging in anetso. He shows that it is a ceremonial cycle that incorporates a variety of activities which, taken together, complicate standard distinctions of game versus ritual, public display versus private performance, and tradition versus innovation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Innovative, compelling, and thoroughly researched. . . . Specialists in Cherokee religion, ritual studies, and religion and sports will appreciate this book."—Religion in American History

"A remarkable assessment of anetso. . . . An important and compelling work. . . . It will certainly remain the standard text on the topic for years to come."—Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resources

"The kind of book that I would like to see more of . . . . Zogry has, with the publication of his rich book, renewed a (scholarly) tradition of importance."—Ethnohistory

"A significant contribution to the field of Cherokee studies, particularly Cherokee religious studies . . . . Zogry's analysis of the ball game is deeper and more nuanced than those that have come before."—Journal of Southern History

"A fascinating exploration of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians' ball game, Anetso." —Journal of American History

"A very important and significant book about a Cherokee activity that reinforces the fact that the meaning of anetso remains as elusive as the "ball" itself but still central to Cherokee cultural identity."—Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

"Zogry combines extensive archival research and ethnographic fieldwork with a firm theoretical foundation to convincingly argue for the centrality of anetso to Cherokee cultural identity. . . . Conceptually clear and culturally sensitive. . . . A valuable contribution."—West Virginia History

"Provides a striking opportunity for rethinking the understanding of ritual and performance as well as their relationship to cultural identity. . . . Offers a sharp reappraisal of scholarly discourse on the Cherokee religious system."—Edgefield Advertiser

"A superb amalgamation of historical and ethnological methodologies and interpretations of evidence, Zogry demonstrates the defiant persistence of Cherokee cultural and religious elements embedded within Anetso that contemporary Cherokee ball players and spectators continue to embrace today."—H-Net Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807833605
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 7/15/2010
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael J. Zogry is assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Kansas.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction Taladu quo! (It is still 12!) 1

1 Tadatse anetsodui (Go and play ball with them): Anetso in the Cherokee Narrative Tradition 33

2 Hani! (Here!): Anetso as an Enduring Symbol of Cultural Identity in an Era of Great Change (1799-1838) 67

3 Ahaquo! (Still there!): The Anetso Ceremonial Complex 107

4 Tseduga! (Pass it to me!): Performing the Cherokee Ball Game in the Twentieth Century 147

5 Woye! (Foul!): Theory and the Meaning of Anetso 185

Conclusion Taladu ogisquodiga (12, we finished) 227

Notes 237

Bibliography 287

Index 305

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