Museum of the Cherokee Indian

589 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719

Megan Gibbons

Museum of the Cherokee Indians by Megan Gibbons
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How did the Cherokee Indians survive?

  • The Cherokee Indians have more plants and vegetables in their diets than we do. Hunting and gathering was and still remains how the Cherokee Indians get their food to survive.

  • The Cherokee Indians have many methods of fishing. One method is making a fish trap by using stones placed in a V-shaped dam across the river. These ancient fish traps are still seen today in the Little Tennessee River.

The Water Trough

Megan Gibbons

Water trough by Megan Gibbons
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Indian Rate of Exchange and Trade

1 pistol = 20 deerskins or 120 bushels of corn

1 calico petticoat = 14 deerskins or 84 bushels of corn

1 broad hoe = 5 deerskins or 30 bushels of corn

1 hatchet = 3 deerskins or 18 bushels of corn

1 pair of scissors = 1 deerskin or 6 bushels of corn

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Feasting and Celebrations

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Megan Gibbons

Celebrations and Feasts by Megan Gibbons

Cherokee Indian Clans

The Wolf Clan- The largest and most influential of the clans. The wolf clan consisted of most war chiefs and were the only ones who could kill a wolf.

The Deer Clan- Members of the clan were the fastest runners and deer hunters; they were called keepers of the deer.

The Bird Clan- This clan was known for using blowguns and snares for hunting birds.

The Blue Clan- This clan made medicine from a blue-colored plant which was believed to keep children in good health.

The Long Hair Clan- This clan was also known as the "Twister Clan". Most peace chiefs came from this clan.

The Wild Potato Clan- Also known as the Blind Savannah Clan, The Bear Clan, and The Raccoon Clan. These members were known to gather wild potatoes along the streams for food.

The Paint Clan- Many medicine people came from this clan, they made the red paint used to decorate faces and bodies.

Cherokee Pottery and Basketry

The Cherokee Indians used a method of double weaving to create baskets. The tradition of making baskets still continues on today with Cherokee Indian basket makers. Cherokee Indians are also very skilled at pottery. They use this skill to make pots for cooking, serving, and eating.

Where are the Cherokee Indians today?

Around 1607 Europeans made their way to America and soon took over the Cherokee Indian territory. After the Europeans took over most Indians traveled west to find new land but some stayed. The Europeans soon made life on the new land and established a government that still is in place today.

Today there is a Indian Reserve in Cherokee, North Carolina. Many Cherokee Indians still live on this reserve and take great pride in their culture and history. During my visit to the Museum of the Cherokee Indians I had the privilege of meeting a real Cherokee Indian named John Wolf. His family history traces all the way back to when the Indians found when Europeans first settled in America. John Wolf was kind enough to share a story with me about how is grandpa was a chief leader of his tribe and offered to give me his autograph. He took great pride in his family and culture!

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Megan Gibbons

Complete virtual museum by Megan Gibbons


4.H.1.1- Summarize the change in culture, everyday life and status of indigenous American Indian groups in North Carolina before and after the European exploration.

4.G.1.3- Exemplify the interactions of various peoples, places, and cultures in terms of adaptation and modification of the environment.

4.E.1.1- Understand the basic concepts of a market economy price, supply, and demand.

4.C&G.1.3- Explain the influence of the colonial history of North Carolina on the governing documents of our state.

4.C.1.1- Explain how settlement of people from various cultures affected the development of regions in North Carolina.

4.MD.A.1- Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements from a larger unit to a smaller unit. (Trade and Exchange items)

Rl.4.7- Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitively and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which is appears.