Traditional, linguistic, and archeological evidence shows that the Cherokee originated in the north, but they were found in possession of the south Allegheny region when first encountered by De Soto in 1540. Their relations with the Carolina colonies began 150 years later.
The Cherokee say that the ancient settlement of Kituwa on the Tuckasegee River is their original settlement in the Southeast. It was formerly adjacent to and is now part of Qualla Boundary (the base of the federally recognized Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians) in North Carolina.
The Cherokee were farming people. Cherokee women did most of the farming, harvesting crops of corn, beans, squash, and sunflowers. Cherokee men did most of the hunting, shooting deer, bear, wild turkeys, and small game. They also fished in the rivers and along the coast.
Cherokee language, Cherokee name Tsalagi Gawonihisdi, North American Indian language, a member of the Iroquoian family, spoken by the Cherokee (Tsalagi) people originally inhabiting Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
Today the majority of Cherokees practice some denomination of Christianity, with Baptist and Methodist the most common. However, a significant number of Cherokees still observe and practice older traditions, meeting at stomp grounds in local communities to hold stomp dances and other ceremonies.
All major ABO blood alleles are found in most populations worldwide, whereas the majority of Native Americans are nearly exclusively in the O group. O allele molecular characterization could aid in elucidating the possible causes of group O predominance in Native American populations.
Of the 238 measured Cherokees, 182 were males. The 113 adults aged 20 years and over had an average height of 172.3 cm. This places the Cherokee men near Prince and Steckel’s “tallest in the world” height for Plains Indians and 2 cm taller than Carlson and Komlos’ three estimates of Native height.
Sequoyah was one of the most influential figures in Cherokee history. He created the Cherokee Syllabary, a written form of the Cherokee language. The syllabary allowed literacy and printing to flourish in the Cherokee Nation in the early 19th century and remains in use today.
Sequoyah was a Native American scholar who created a writing system for his tribe, giving the Cherokee a unique language of their own. 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.
Osiyo! That’s how we say “hello” in Cherokee.
John Ross (1790-1866) was the most important Cherokee political leader of the nineteenth century. He helped establish the Cherokee national government and served as the Cherokee Nation’s principal chief for almost 40 years.
The Cherokee are North American Indians of Iroquoian lineage who constituted one of the largest politically integrated tribes at the time of European colonization of the Americas. Their name is derived from a Creek word meaning “people of different speech”; many prefer to be known as Keetoowah or Tsalagi.