Thursday, February 21, 2013
My take on: Cherokee Talisman
Powerful words by David-Michael Harding, author of Cherokee Talisman. That statement was true then, and it's still true today. I don't know much about this particular piece of history, but Cherokee Talisman is a fictional but well-researched book.
Chief Tsi'yugunsini aka the Dragon wants to protect the land of his ancestors from the greedy hands of white men. Not everyone agrees with him. A deal for land is supposed to be in the interest of peace. From the white man's perspective, buying land from the Cherokee is for their own good. But where does it end? One large parcel of land can become two, then three, and on and on until all Indians are completely wiped out. They're savages right, what do they need with the land. Dragon can see their motives and he wishes others in his tribe would do the same.
When Dragon takes the young Totsuhwa under his wing, the two men band together to protect the land. This is where some of the more graphic details of the book begin. As history progresses, Indian women and children are being kidnapped, raped, and abused. Dragon and Totsuhwa's actions are certainly violent, but given the era and what had already been done to so many Indian tribes is it really that far out of character? You and your ancestors are being killed and in some cases forced off of your land. Someone is trying to force you off what is yours. Someone else believes they are entitled to what is already yours. I think most people would fight to keep what is rightfully theirs. As Totsuhwa matures, he marries and teaches his own son to adhere to Cherokee traditions. But, Totsuhwa's relationship with his son is constantly being put to the test by white men. You start to wonder if they will ever find some peace.
The writing is very detailed, but it was also very dense. It took me awhile to get through some parts and I had to reread some passages, because I didn't understand some of the material clearly. The writing is also very realistic and makes you question why some former leaders of this country are so revered despite their role in trying to wipe out an entire race. Overall, this was a very sad and graphic read.
Rating: Give it a try
Note: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review