The American Indian History of the United States is always associated with the Cherokee Indian nation. The Cherokee’s were by far the largest and most advanced of the tribes. This man was Hernando de Soto was the first European explorer to come into contact with the Cherokees, when he arrived in their territory in 1540. Then he went and came in contact with Native Americans Cherokee’s since many of their ways and customs is my family that the Cherokees occupied a large expanse of territory in the Southeast.
Their homeland included mountains and valleys in the southern part of the Appalachian Mountain chain. Their territory stretched from North Carolina to Virginia to Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama and Okalahoma.. The name the Cherokee’s had for them was Ani-yun-wiya which has means, real people. Villages were along rivers and streams so they have better advantage of the rich black soil for farming as if the corn was their was the sources. In Hunting and fishing they use this weapon for different ways like spears, traps, and fishing lines with hooks to catch many different kinds of fish.
They also used an interesting method of poisoning an area of water to kill the fish and gather them up as they floated to the surface. The Cherokees were also skilled hunters. They hunted large animals, such as deer and bear, with bows and arrows. They covered themselves in entire deerskins, antlers and all, and used deer calls to lure the animals to them. The products of their hunts were not only used for food, but for clothing as well. They dressed in buckskin shirts and skirts, made moccasins, capes and other items using their animal resources.
Cherokee families usually had two houses- a large summer home and a smaller winter home. The Cherokees practiced a variety of crafts, including basketwork and stamped pottery, carved, out from woods. These masks were used during their many hunting, agricultural and healing rituals. They held these ceremonies Festivals of the Cherokees. The Indians believed the earth was created at that season, and their year began at that time. The six main festivals held by the Chief each year were the first New Moon of spring, then when the new Green Corn Festival, when the leaves began to turn yellow and fall.
It was held in honor of the Great New Moon (Nuwtiegwa), friendship and brotherhood and “Bouncing Bush” Festival. Messengers were sent through the nation to notify the people of the Festivals. Although there was some variation in the number of days of a Festival, they were always completed within seven days of the dances and the eating Prayers were said that God might bless the corn and meat during the year and make the people healthful. The preliminary Green Corn Feast was held in August and the main Corn Feast was held in the middle or latter part of September, when the corn was ripe.
It was believed that at this festival each person might look into a crystal to see if he would live through the next year. If they could see themselves erect as they looked into the stone, it was believed they would live, but if they appeared to be lying down, they would die before the first spring moon. Those who were to die fasted all day and then had the priest consult the crystal again. If on the second trial he appeared standing erect, he was ordered to the river and bathed several times and he would be safe.
Beliefs of the Cherokees . The White Chief or Most Beloved Man helped the villagers make decisions concerning farming, lawmaking, and disputes between individuals, families, or clans. He also played a large role in religious ceremonies. The Red Chief gave advice concerning warfare. One such decision was choosing who would be the War Woman, an honored woman is chosen to accompany braves on their war parties. The War Woman did not fight, but helped feed the men, offered them council, and decided which prisoners would live or die.