Originally located in the southeastern United States in parts of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina, the Cherokee Nation was forced to relocate to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) in 1838 after gold was discovered in our homelands.
About 200 years ago the Cherokee Indians were one tribe, or “Indian Nation” that lived in the southeast part of what is now the United States. During the 1830’s and 1840’s, the period covered by the Indian Removal Act, many Cherokees were moved west to a territory that is now the State of Oklahoma.
The first live predominantly in North Carolina, the traditional heartland of the people; the latter two tribes are based in what is now Oklahoma, and was Indian Territory when their ancestors were forcibly relocated there from the Southeast.
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, three Cherokee tribes are federally recognized: the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians (UKB) in Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation (CN) in Oklahoma, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) 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.
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.
There are seven clans: A-ni-gi-lo-hi (Long Hair), A-ni-sa-ho-ni (Blue), A-ni-wa-ya (Wolf), A-ni-go-te-ge-wi (Wild Potato), A-ni-a-wi (Deer), A-ni-tsi-s-qua (Bird), A-ni-wo-di (Paint).
Osiyo! That’s how we say “hello” in Cherokee.
The Cherokee were southeastern woodland Indians, and in the winter they lived in houses made of woven saplings, plastered with mud and roofed with poplar bark. In the summer they lived in open-air dwellings roofed with bark. Today the Cherokee live in ranch houses, apartments, and trailers.
Cherokee is one of the most difficult languages to learn, according to Barbara Duncan, the education director at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, N.C. But a new language program — “Your Grandmother’s Cherokee” — is changing that.
Yes there are still full blood Cherokees. My mother was full and I have many family members that are full blood. The term is full blood not full blooded. There are 3 federally recognized tribes.
Greenfield Lake, Wilmington, NC 1950The Cherokee, members of the Iroquoian language group, are descended from the native peoples who occupied the southern Appalachian Mountains beginning in approximately 8000 b.c. By 1500 b.c., a distinct Cherokee language had developed, and by 1000 a.d.
The Cherokee Heritage Center has a genealogist available to assist in researching Cherokee ancestry for a fee. Call 918-456-6007 visit www.cherokeeheritage.org. If you need further genealogy assistance at other times, the Muskogee Public Library, 801 West Okmulgee in Muskogee, Okla., may be able to help.