- The Cherokee culture was very similar to Creek culture, along with many other American Indians that lived in the Southeast United States.
- The Cherokee nation consisted of a confederacy of symbolically red (war) and white (peace) towns. The red towns were under control of the supreme war chief, while the white towns were controlled by the supreme peace chief. War ceremonies were usually perfomed in red towns.
- The Cherokee had a variety of tools and inventions, such as:
- They also made many different products, like:
- Corn (maize)
An example of Cherokee beadwork.
- The Cherokee got meat and clothing from:
- Cherokee houses were not teepees, but instead log cabins with one door and a hole on the roof for smoke, similar to a chimney.
- One of the most important Cherokee religious celebrations was the Busk, or Green Corn Festival, which celebrated first-fruits and new-fires.
War and Military:
- The Cherokee were arch rivals with the Iroquois.
- In military and trading affairs, the Cherokee allied themselves with the British, while the Iroquois sided with the French.
- After they were persuaded to sell large amounts of their land, which was against British law, the Cherokee attacked American colonists in July of 1776. They were defeated, and were forced to give up large parts of their territory, because of the Treaty of Long Island and the Treaty of DeWitt’s Corner.
- After a second attempted raid in 1780, they were defeated again and lost land to the Second Treaty of Long Island.
An assimilated Cherokee man.
- After 1800, the Cherokee assimilated into American culture.
- They formed a government similar to the United States.
- They adopted settler methods of farming, house building, and weaving.
- The Cherokee syllabary was invented, and within a short time, almost all Cherokee were literate.
The Cherokee syllabary.
- After gold was discovered in Cherokee land, Georgia wanted their land. The Cherokee filed a Supreme Court case, and the court ruled in favor of the Cherokee.
- However, Andrew Jackson ignored the case, and Congress passed the Indian Removal Act.
- About 15,000 Cherokee were gathered and moved to camps while their homes were burned and looted.
- The Cherokee were then forced to move to northeastern Oklahoma. This became known as the Trail of Tears, and took place in the fall and winter of 1838-1839.
Information taken from Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia.