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Economic and Social Status of the Cherokee Indians Today

Home Map where the tribe is located Pictures of the tribe Other links

The Cherokee like to do some of the same things that they used to do hundreds of years ago. They still weave baskets. They also go to Cherokee schools. The Cherokee speak the same language, too.

The Cherokees called themselves “the principal people”. They lived in the southern Appalachians. They believed that their homeland was in the center of the earth and that a buzzard made the mountains. The mountains that the buzzard made was their home for at least a thousand years before the first Europeans arrived. The Cherokee villages were along the riverbank where they often stretched for miles.

wooden houseThe Cherokee way of life had to adapt to all seasons. Their dwellings were wooden shelters or clapboard houses in warm weather and asi (like a tipi) in the cold weather. The asi had a fire in the center. They ate corn and beans from their own garden. The men were responsible for the meat, which was wild game-deer, bear and turkey. The Cherokees normally wore very few clothes, mostly made of deerskin. The kids wore nothing at all. Cherokee men used a lot of things for weapons such as bows and arrows, traps, blowguns and darts. There crafts included peace pipes, baskets, pottery and facemasks. asi winter shelterCherokees are proud of who they are today. They have learned to change over thousands of years, but still do some of the same things they used to do hundreds of years ago. For example, they still weave baskets, go to Cherokee schools and many can speak the Cherokee language. But they have also learned to change over time. Today they even play football and own their own businesses. The Cherokees are after all the Ani-Yun’wiya, the principal people.