Writing The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina was educational for me and I hope it is for its readers. Today my blog post is a list of 10 things I learned about The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians as I did the research for that vintage postcard book.
- The legal name for the Cherokee people in North Carolina is The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
- Because “Native American” can refer to anyone born in America, The North American Indian Women’s Association recommends using the term American Indians.
- The Great Smoky Mountains lay in the middle of the Cherokee Indians’ territory in the mid-1600s when Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto arrived.
- In the 1820s, a Cherokee by the name of Sequoyah invented the Cherokee syllabary, making the Cherokee one of the first American Indian tribes to have a written language.
- Cherokee women have always had much power within the tribe, owning property, and administering justice.
- Descendants of the Cherokee Indians who hid out in the mountains to avoid the 1838 forced march to Oklahoma known as the Trail of Tears lived on a land trust called the Qualla Boundary.
- The land the US government gives to an American Indian tribe is a reservation. The Cherokee do not live on a reservation. The Qualla Boundary is 57,000 acres of land purchased by the Cherokee Indians in the 1800s and held in trust by the US government.
- A papoose is a type of bag or apparatus for carrying a child. It is offensive to the Cherokee for others to call one of their infants a papoose.
- The Cherokee Indians never lived in tipis. They have always lived in houses.
- Cherokee Indians have played a ball game called ani-tsagi or anetso for hundreds of years.
Want to know more? Look for my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina in your local bookstore or online. It was published by Arcadia Publishing in 2014.
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Until my next blog post, I hope you have a good book to read. If you are a writer, I hope you have productive and rewarding writing time.