8 Truths About “Cherokee” Everyone Should Know


The word Cherokee is thought to have evolved from a Choctaw word meaning “Cave People.” It had been picked up and used by Europeans and eventually accepted and embraced by Cherokees in the form of Tsalagi or even Jalagi. Traditionally, the people now called Cherokee refer to themselves as aniyun-wiya, a name usually translated as “the Real People,” sometimes “the Original People.”

8 Truths About Cherokee Everyone Should Know
source: oneclickcheck

Who were the Cherokee princesses?

The Cherokee never had princesses. Actually, Cherokee girls were quite powerful. They owned all of the houses and houses, and they can marry and divorce as they pleased. Kinship was determined through the mother’s line. Clan mothers administered justice in several matters.Beloved girls were very special girls chosen for their exceptional qualities. As in other facets of Cherokee culture, there was a balance of power between men and women. Though they had different functions, they both were valued.

Did the Cherokee live in tipis?

The Cherokee never lived in tipis. Only the Plains Indians did thus. The Cherokee were southeastern woodland Indians, and in winter they lived in homes made of woven saplings, filled with mud and roofed with poplar bark. In summer time they lived in open-air dwellings roofed with bark. Now the Cherokee reside in ranch homes, flats, and trailers.

What was traditional Cherokee dress?

Did they use headdresses? The Cherokee have never worn feather headdresses except for please tourists. These long headdresses were worn by Plains Indians and were made popular through Wild West shows and Hollywood films. Cherokee men traditionally wore a feather or 2 tied at the crown of their head.

In the early 18th century, Cherokee guys wore cotton trade tops, loincloths, leggings, front-seam moccasins, finger-woven or beaded straps, several pierced earrings round the rim of the ear, and a blanket on one shoulder. At that moment, Cherokee girls wore mantles of feathers or leather, skirts of lace or leather mulberry bark, front-seam moccasins, and earrings pierced through the earlobe only.

From the end of the 18th century, Cherokee men were dressing much like their white neighbors. Men were wearing shirts, pants, and transaction jackets, with a clearly Cherokee turban. Nowadays Cherokee people dress like other Americans, except for special events, when the guys wear ribbon shirts with jeans and moccasins, and the women wear tear dresses with corn beads, woven belts, and moccasins.

Do the Cherokee live on a reservation?

The Cherokee do not live on a reservation, which is defined as property given by the federal government to a tribe. The Eastern Cherokee own 57,000 acres of property that they bought in the 1800s, and that is currently owned by them held in trust by the national authorities. This land, known as the Qualla Boundary, is largely woods and mountains in western North Carolina, adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

How did the Eastern Band escape the Trail of Tears?

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is descended from Cherokee people who had taken property under the Treaty of 1819 and were permitted to stay in North Carolina; from individuals who concealed in the forests and hills before the U.S. Army abandoned; and out of those who turned around and hurried back from Oklahoma.By 1850 they numbered almost a million.

Now the Eastern Band comprises about 11,000 members, while the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma maintains more than 100,000 members, making the Cherokee the next largest tribe in the USA.

Do the Cherokee people want to be called Indians or Native Americans?

The legal name for the Cherokee people in North Carolina is : “The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.” The North American Indian Women’s Association recommends using the term “American Indians.”

What is the Cherokee government, and do the Cherokee people receive money from the federal government?

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Nations is a sovereign nation within the larger nation of the United States. The Eastern Band is governed by a Principal Chief along with a Vice-Chief along with a tribal council made up of twelve members–two representatives each from six townships. All of these are elected democratically. Voter turnout in the last significant election was 70%. Tribal members also vote in state and national elections. The tribe pays for its own schools, sewer, water, fire, and emergency services.

Do Cherokee people still practice their traditional culture?

Cherokee arts and crafts are still practiced: basket-weaving, pottery, carving, finger-weaving, and beadwork. The Cherokee language is spoken as a first language by fewer than a thousand people and has declined rapidly because of the policies of federally operated schools. However, as the tribe has begun operation of the schools, Cherokee language is being systematically educated at the schools. Traditional Cherokee medicine, faith, and dancing are practiced independently.



  1. I do not know if I have Cherokee in my blood, but have always wanted to learn about Cherokee medicine and healing. When my grandmother was young, she was bitten by a rattlesnake on leg, was very sick, lost her vision. An American Indian was traveling through her area. He went to wods, gathered herbs and plants and made a poltice. She recovered and her vision too. She said she always wanted to know what he used and his name.


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