Native American Class Website
Cherokee

The Legendary Cherokee Tribe

By: Nick T. and Kevin M.

Geography of Environment:

  • The Cherokee people lived in Southeastern North America. Their territory included the Great Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Appalichian Mountains and the Great Valley of Eastern Tennessee.
  • The original Cherokee land covered up to eight states. Presently, the Cherokee people can mostly be found in Eastern Oklahoma.    
  • A legend states that the Cherokee were from the far northeast.

Settlement: Where they set up Villages:

  • They set up their villages along rivers. Each village had two chiefs.
  • They first settled in South Eastern North America in between 1000 to 1500 A.D. (which is around 1300 A.D.)
  • Their villages were, generally, built near rivers.

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Shelter: What they used for Housing:

  • The homes were wooden frames covered with woven vines and saplings plastered with mud. Each village consisted up to fifty log and mud huts grouped around the town square called the Council House, where ceremonial and public meetings were held.
  • The Cherokee lived in many different types of houses. Some of them include asis, log houses, and other types of houses.

Food:

  • For food, they grew crops, hunted, fished and gathered wild plant foods in the southeastern woodlands. Foods they ate were pumpkins, roast bison, blackberries, molasses bread, walnuts, and potatoes.
  • The Cherokee's were hunters, farmers, and gatherers. The men and the women atcually ad different jobs. The men had to hunt while the women farmed and gathered. The man only ended up getting as much food as they needed for about a year while the women farmed for food that could last the family two years. The women collect food for two years because they might end up having a bad year.

 


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Clothing

  • Cherokee people made a lot of their clothing out of deerskins or the skins of other animals. They wove other clothing out of bark strips or strands of hemp. In the summer, women wore skirts just below down their knees. It was made of deer skins.
  • The clothing that they wore depended on what season they were in just like us. They also where normal clothing like us. Cherokee men would where jeans and Cherokee women would where dresses.
  • The Cherokee also had a clan called the Long Hair Clan. This was a clan where people wore their hair in weird hair due.

Religion or Social Customs:

  • Cherokee villagers often held ceremonies inside council houses and domed seven sided temples in a central plaza. The Cherokee practiced many rituals for hunting, farming, and medicine. They were Christian and spoke English and their own genesis of language called Cherokee. The Iroquoian language was also spoken in their culture. Racism however was still ongoing in their culture.
  • The marriage ways were very interesting as well. If a Cherokee woman married a white man, that white man would become part of the Cherokee by legally to the federal court and getting approval from their ten blood relatives. However, if a Cherokee man marries a white woman, than the Cherokee man gets cut off from the clan. Because of this, very little marriages were involving a Cherokee man marrying a white woman.
  • They also celebrated a ceremony called "The Green Corn Ceremony". The ceremony is grown normally on a full moon and when the first corn harvests. There is exactly a perfect time to when the first corn is ready to harvest; it is just all up to timing. As you can tell, because it is a corn ceremony they eat a lot of food that involve food such as corn bread, corn soup, corn tortillas.

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Government:

  • In 1882 a supreme court was established. In 1823, the national committee was given power to renew acts of national council. In 1827, there was a Cherokee constitution, of the Cherokee nation was born.
  • In 1975 the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma was born.
  • In 1839 the new Cherokee Constitution was made after relocating themselves.
Tools, Art, and Trade Products:
  • Most modern art is based on the Trail of Tears. Also a lot of the art is based on people reacting like animals or learning the basics of how animals climb. 
  • The Cherokee's tools included weapons. Back then the Native Americans did not even have the bow and arrow. Instead, they used a spear that was about three to four feet long, crafted from river seed (a substance that was similar to Bamboo or Cat's Tail).
  • The Cherokee would trade pots and art for money.

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