Cherokee Past and Present
The Cherokee have many names, Cherokee is actually the English Translation of Tsalagi, which means 'Principle people'. There were originally located in: southern Appalachian mountains, west and north South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and Southwest Virginia with an estimated 12.000 members. Currently they are concentrated in Eastern Oklahoma, the eastern Cherokee band maintain their reservation in western North Carolina, however there are many Cherokee distributed all over the United States. In 2000 census, 729.533 referred themselves as Cherokee.
Originally a branch of the Iroquois family. It is believed that they migrated south from the great lakes and settled in three regional settlements about 1000 A.D. These three settlements were; the eastern lower settlements in the southern Piedmont province, the central, heartland of the tribe composed of the Kituhwa and valley settlements in the Blue ridge province and the Overhill, Tennessee settlements in the North and Western Appalachians, and great valley province.
Each regional settlement were largely independent, primarily agricultural (corn, beans and squash) with hunting and gathering of wild plants to support their lifestyle. The tribe was split into seven clans. The Wild potatoe clan are knwown tobe farmers and gathers of the wild potatoes, to make food. The Long Hair clan are knwown as the warriors womens society. The Deer clan are the keepers of the deer an dthe bird clan are the keepers of the birds and bird medicine. The Blue holly clan are the keepers of children’s medicine, while the Paint clan are the tribes medicine men. The wolf clan are the keepers of the wolf, they are the largest clan, and protectors of the tribe. Each of the clans are either white or red, red meaning war and white meaning peace, these are determined by the circumstances of the time.
The first European contact with the Cherokee was made in 1540 by H DeSoto, a Spanish explorer. Throughout the...