Today, the Cherokee tribe is located in and around Oklahoma. In order to survive off the land the natives needed to be surrounded by resourceful land and some form of fresh water such as lakes, creaks, or streams.
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 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 Society The Cherokees occupied a common homeland in the southern Appalachian Mountains known in Georgia as the Blue Ridge, including much of the northern third of the land that would become Georgia.
4,000 years ago, ancestors of The Cherokee migrated from the American southwest to the Great Lakes region. After wars with the Delaware and Iroquois tribes of that area, the Cherokee made a permanent home in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and in South Carolina’s foothills.
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’s Cherokee Indians Today, about 9,000 members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians dwell on 57,000 acres in the North Carolina Mountains known as the Qualla Boundary, and on smaller parcels to the west.
English colonists made the first written descriptions of the Cherokee people, who lived in the upper Piedmont and mountains of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia at the end of the 17th century. To the colonists, it was an alien world that bore little resemblance to their own habits and culture.
The Cherokee people had lived in Georgia in what is now the southeastern United States for thousands of years. In 1542, Hernando de Soto conducted an expedition through the southeastern United States and came into contact with at least three Cherokee villages.
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 Indians lived in villages. They built circular homes made of river cane, sticks, and plaster. They covered the roofs with thatch and left a small hole in the center to let the smoke out. The Cherokees also built larger seven-sided buildings for ceremonial purposes.
The Overhill town of Chota, in present-day Monroe County, Tennessee, was recognized as the de facto capital and mother town of the entire Cherokee Nation for most of the 18th century, when it was the major settlement.
The removal, or forced emigration, of Cherokee Indians occurred in 1838, when the U.S. military and various state militias forced some 15,000 Cherokees from their homes in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee and moved them west to Indian Territory (now present-day Oklahoma).