Diligwa adds temporary trade demonstration

06/04/2014



TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — It has been one year since Diligwa opened at Cherokee Heritage Center, and to celebrate the milestone officials have added a new temporary feature in the living village.

Every Saturday in June, visitors to the ancient village can witness a historically accurate depiction of how Cherokees traded with European settlers in 1710. These demonstrations will occur at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

“When archaeologists researched that time period while developing Diligwa, they discovered journal entries from European settlers that stated items traded and the quantities it took to make deals,” said Dr. Candessa Tehee, executive director of Cherokee Heritage Center. “Thanks to this grant from the Oklahoma Arts Council, we’re able to enhance our tour by purchasing the clothing and props needed to perform this re-creation and further educate our guests.”

Visitors will see the villagers interact with European traders to better understand how trade functioned in a Cherokee village.

The demonstration includes a Cherokee man and woman negotiating trades with a European settler. One item Cherokees sought was the lightweight cotton shirt because it was more breathable, easy to repair and allowed them to focus on other tasks instead of making clothing from deer skin.

Diligwa provides visitors the chance to experience Cherokee life in the early 18th century and features 19 wattle and daub structures, 14 interpretive stations, and a detailed historic landscape set on four acres of land adjacent to the Cherokee Heritage Center.

Visitors can witness daily life as they are guided through the interpretive stations where crafts are demonstrated, stories are told, and Cherokee lifeways are explained.

Diligwa includes eight residential sites, each with a Cherokee summer house and winter house. The public complex consists of the primary council house and summer council pavilion overlooking a large plaza that served as the center of community activity.

The Cherokee Heritage Center is the premier cultural center for Cherokee tribal history, culture and the arts. It is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive, Park Hill, Okla.

For information on 2014 season events, operating hours and programs, please contact the Cherokee Heritage Center at (888) 999-6007 or visit www.CherokeeHeritage.org. It can also be found on Facebook by searching “Cherokee Heritage Center.”


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