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Cherokee Indians



The Great Smoky Mountains are a homeland of the Cherokee Indians. Long before Columbus discovered a 'New World' they ruled a huge land that is now parts of eight states of the USA. Unique among the many tribes inhabiting North America, the Cherokee have a written language created in 1820’s. They coexisted peacefully with early settlers but white man’s lust for gold and land chipped Cherokee territory. Finally they were forced by US government to move to Oklahoma. Only a few avoided the removal by hiding in the forest. Now they call themselves the East Band of Cherokee Indians.

Oconaluftee Indian Village #1

Oconaluftee Indian Village #2

Cherokee community was divided into seven even in hierarchy clans. Each clan was identified by a different color. A council ruled every village where all clans had its representation. The main government had separation of duty in peace and war organizations. The reason for this separation was in fact that the warriors engaged in war become unclean through killing the enemies or even touching a dead body. They ware kept out of peace organization. After a battle a warrior had to wash himself seven times every morning and evening for a period of four days. It was a ritual to clean up a death.


Cherokee Canoe Small Creek

The villages of Cherokee were usually located near small creeks. Indians originally lived in simple huts, later they adopted log cabins with fireplaces. Cherokee women strung beads and wove baskets. Men used blowguns to hunt small animals. Cherokee originally did not know metal. It was a work lasting up to 6 month to make one canoe with small fires on the tree trunk. Later, after introducing a metal, an ax was in use. This simplified their work.