Cherokee Clans

A brief historical look at the clans of the Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Festivals

There were six main festivals or religious observances before the forced removal. These festivals were to be observed at the capital. The UKU, seven Principal Counselors and people from all seven Cherokee clans participated.

Cherokee Hospitality

In 1835, traditional Cherokees were very hospitable, just as they are today.

Cherokee Medicinal Herbs

The Cherokee have been gifted by the Creator with an understanding of the gathering, use and preservation of medicinal herbs. The Cherokee believe that these plants were put on this earth to provide not only healing methods, but preventative measures, as well.

Cherokee Medicine Men and Women

Traditional Cherokees consult with medicine people for help with medical problems, dilemmas in their lives, or other problems. There are fewer Medicine People alive and practicing today, but those few are still known by traditionalists and others in Cherokee communities..

Cherokee Stomp Dance

Today, there are nearly 300,000 Cherokee tribal citizens. Although many choose to worship through other religious methods and denominations including Indian Baptist, Methodist and others, many traditional Cherokee continue to worship at stomp dances and are members of one of the several stomp dance grounds located within the Cherokee Nation.

Cherokee Towns

Just like today, Cherokee communities were spread out throughout large areas. Read this 1835 account of Cherokee communities.

Cherokee Weapons

The bow and arrow, spears, tomahawks, battle hammers and blowguns were all used by the Cherokee warrior as weapons in times of warfare.


Chunkey is said by many to be the oldest game in America and was played in some form by nearly all southeast Indian tribes.

Cornstalk Shooting

From the "Indian-Pioneer Papers"...a historic look at the Cornstalk Shoot

Disease and Genocide

From the Declaration of Designed Purpose, Principal Chief Chad Smith and Deputy Chief Hastings Shade speak out on disease and genocide

Excerpts From Elmira Wauhillau

This interview from the Indian-Pioneer Papers gives us insight on a disappearing world.

Manner of Cherokee Dress

An 1835 account of common Cherokee dress.

Marbles (di ga da yo s di)

Marbles, to the Cherokee, is not the simple children's game which usually comes to mind when mentioned. It is an ancient game of skill played by teams competing in tournaments.

Shell Shaker

In the Stomp Dances of the Southeastern Indian cultures, women have an equally important role in the dance as the men. The Shell Shaker is the female counterpart of the Dance Singer.

Stickball (a ne jo di)

Stickball, or a ne jo di, is a very rough-and-tumble, physically-demanding game played by not only the Cherokee, but many other Southeastern Woodland tribes including the Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, and others.

The Cherokee Hot House

From reports by J.P. Evans on Cherokee dwellings as he observed them in 1835

The Cherokee Townhouse

Read the 1835 description of a tribal building no longer in use.

The Old Cherokee Wedding

The old, historic Cherokee wedding ceremony was a beautiful event. Although many Cherokees today choose to marry according to the customs of their chosen religious denomination, some traditionalists marry under the old belief system. . .

The Traditional Belief System

The Cherokees of old devised a belief system that, while it appears at first complex, is actually quite simple. Many of the elements of the original system remain with us today. Although some have evolved or otherwise been modified, Today's traditionalist Cherokees recognize this belief system as an integral part of their day-to-day life.

The Traditional Naming Process

See how the process of naming children differed in 1725 from today.

The Women's Dance

J.P. Evans stated in 1835 that this was a rare dance, but today it is even rarer. Read this account from almost 170 years ago.

Uses of River Cane

Information from traditionalist William Cabbagehead, compiled in 1991.