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Michael J. Zogry
University of Kansas, Lawrence (Lawrence, KS 66045-7505)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2005 – 8/31/2005

Playing or Praying?: The Cherokee Anesto Ceremonial Complex

This book project examines a cluster of Cherokee cultural actions that, together, can be defined as a ritual or ceremonial complex. These activities orbit around anetso, a "game" played by two teams in which the object is for players armed with two rackets each to score points by transporting a ball around a goal post. Rather than expressing one "meaning" through its performance, anetso sustains a variety of cultural meanings, which helps to explain how it has remained a vital cultural activity and symbol through hundreds of years of change. Is this Cherokee ball game, therefore, a ritual, a game, or both? Why do standard scholarly categories fail to aprehend and describe it accurately? These are among the questions this study seeks to answer.