Cherokee Facts

Cherokee Facts
The Cherokee are an indigenous Native American tribe, originally from the regions of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia. In the 1800s they were forced along the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma, but many died along the way of this terrible ordeal. Some Cherokee managed to hide in the Appalachians or with neighbors who felt it was unjust that they were forced from their lands. Descendants of the original Cherokee Natives can be found today in Oklahoma and scattered in their original regions. While most Cherokee today speak English, many also speak the Cherokee Indian language.
Interesting Cherokee Facts:
Prior to European settlement in the eastern United States, the Cherokee Nation had already begun to become socially and culturally advanced. When the Europeans arrived they accepted many of the European elements into their own culture.
Sequoyah was a Native American scholar who created a writing system for his tribe, giving the Cherokee a unique language of their own.
Men of the Cherokee tribe hunted and fished, while the women tended to the farm and the children.
Cherokee men could become war chiefs while women could not.
Cherokee women owned the land and were able to become peace chiefs.
The Cherokee farmed beans, squash, pumpkins, corn, and gathered wild food.
The weapons that the Cherokee used included tomahawks, blowguns, spears, stones, arrows, axes, and eventually guns.
Cherokee Natives are highly talented artists. They make a quilt called the Cherokee Star Quilt, from torn fabric sewn together.
Other arts and crafts include clay pottery, wood carvings, beaded jewelry, dance masks, baskets, and soapstone carvings.
The Cherokee home was a solidly built structure that resembled an upside down basket. It was made of branches and river cane and mud with thatched roofs, sunken into the ground a bit.
As the Cherokee Nation advanced they built log cabins, just as the settlers did.
In 1829 gold was discovered in Georgia, and the process of "Indian Removal" began.
When President Andrew Jackson determined that it was best to send the thousands of Cherokee and other Natives to Oklahoma, the Cherokee took it to court.
The Supreme Court Justice John Marshall agreed with the Cherokee and ruled against the removal to Oklahoma.
President Andrew Jackson disobeyed the ruling and forced the ill-prepared Natives across 1000 miles to Oklahoma. Many died because it was winter and they were not prepared for the journey.
Once in Oklahoma, the Cherokee rebuilt their lives, establishing schools, businesses, churches, and newspapers.
The Cherokee schools were so advanced that some settlers paid to have their children attend them instead of the settler school system.
During the American Civil War the Cherokee were again seriously affected by U.S. government policies. Most Cherokee sided with the Confederate side.
The Cherokee again rebuilt their Nation, making them the largest Native tribe in the U.S.
Most of Northeast Oklahoma is now a federally-recognized sovereign Cherokee Nation. It is not an Indian reservation.
The Cherokee Nation governs with a district court, and judicial system, with a law enforcement system and codes that are governed by a code of ethics established by the tribe.


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