The Cherokee are one of the most well known native american tribes and, a powerful detached tribe of the Iroquoian family. They had originally lived in the southeast portion of the U.S. this shows where the Cherokee originally came from before 1838 their lifestyle and how and when the trail of tears happend.First a little information on the cherokee. They had originally lived in the southeast portion of the U.S. more specifically Tennessee, Georgia, north and south Carolina, and Virginia since the early 1500s before being moved to what is now today’s Oklahoma. Today the Cherokee Nation has a 7,000 square mile jurisdictional area in fourteen counties of Northeastern Oklahoma. The Eastern Band of Cherokee holds 56,000 acres within the Qualla Boundary of western North Carolina. These areas are not Cherokee reservations. Now most tribes have thier own relgions and lifestyle and that’s what you see now. First off food. Food is a life essential everyone needs it. Every tribe is different when it comes to actually getting it. Primitive Cherokee men and women were primarily hunters and gatherers. The men hunted deer, foul, and small forest animals. Later on fishing became a secondary source of food. The women harvested beans, corn, squash, pumpkins, and other wild food items. This one is interesting, religion. In the search for order and then to sustain that order, the Cherokee of old devised a belief system that, while appearing at first to be complex, is actually quite simple. Many of the elements of the original system remain in place with traditional Cherokee today. Although some of these elements have evolved or otherwise been modified, this belief system is an integral part of day-to-day life for many. Certain numbers can play a role in Cherokee ceremonies. Numbers 4 and 7 occur repeatedly in myths, stories and ceremonies. The number 4 represents familiar forces and the four cardinal direction. The number 7 represents height of purity and sacredness, a diffiecult level to attain. Acording to the Cherokee Nation website it says, ” In olden times it was believed that only the owl and cougar had attained this level and thus have always had a special meaning to the Cherokee. Cedar is the most sacred of all, and the distinguishing colors of red and white set it off from all others. The wood from the tree is considered very sacred, and in ancient days it was used to carry the honored dead.” That’s their religion and beleifs but what kind of homes do they live in? Simple the houses resemble an upside down bascketmade of river cane and interwoven branches and plastered with mud then in later periods they built log cabins with bark roofs. Finally what was the indian removal policy or much better known as the trail of tears. Now, what was the trail of tears? Well, in 1838-1839 it was part of president Andrew Jackson’s indian removal policy. The Cherokee Nation was forced to give up its lands of the east Mississippi River and migrate an area in present-day Oklahoma. This journey was called “the Trail of Tears” by the Cherokee people. The route they took went through present-day Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, and North Carolina. 16,000 Native Americans were marched over 1,200 miles of rugged land. Over 4,000 of these Indians died of disease, famine, and warfare. Around 1839 they arrived in Oklahoma with only about 4,000 remaining.
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