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Cherokee stickball amongst the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is a sporting tradition that precedes written records. Historical and academic texts have focused on men’s participation in the sport. However, Cherokee women participated in their own stickball games as recent as a decade ago, and stories exist of women playing stickball in the late nineteenth century. Many in the community believe stickball should not be played by women and doubt evidence of women playing historically. Researchers sought to understand the intersectionality of gender and ethnic identity for female stickball players who took the field to play stickball at the turn of the twenty-first century. Through interviews and a focus group with Cherokee women who played stickball in the early 2000s, three themes arose: female kinship, proving they belong, and cultural connection. We hope to show how stickball fostered a sense of kinship and family, and we suggest that stickball provided these women with an opportunity to claim and connect with their Cherokee heritage in new and meaningful ways.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Annals of Leisure Research on August 9, 2019, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/11745398.2019.1652104.
Making herstory: Cherokee women's stickball.
Annals of Leisure Research, 2019, volume 22, issue 4
Welch, Natalie M.; Siegele, Jessica; Smith, Zachary T.; and Hardin, Robin, "Making Herstory: Cherokee Women's Stickball" (2019). Faculty Publications. Accepted Version. Submission 1.
Available for download on Tuesday, February 09, 2021