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Cherokee Indians

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Out of the many Indian tribes of the past, none have been more interesting as the Cherokee. This interesting tribe was brutally forced out of their native land during the “Trail of Tears.” Here is the story of these remarkable Indians and their legacy left in the United States today.

The Cherokee’s believed earth was a floating island suspended by four cords in the sky, which was made of solid rock. Before the island was created everyone lived above the rock sky, where it was very crowded. The tribe leader sent down a water beetle to explore the vast sea beneath the sky. The beetle came to find no land, but it dived below the water and surfaced with mud that began to grow until it formed the island of earth. The water beetle eventually returned to the sky and the buzzard went down to see if the island was dry enough for the animals. While the buzzard was flying he became tired, and his wings began to hit the ground. Everywhere his wings struck earth, which was still soft, there was a valley, and when he lifted them he made a mountain. At last the earth was dry enough for plants and animals to come down from the sky. (The Cherokee, Perdue) The first people were Kana’ti and Selu. They had only one son until a mysterious child whom they called “wild boy” sprang from the river where Selu had washed game. They tried to tame him but he remained mischievous. Kana’ti provided meat for the family. One day the two boys followed their father to see how he was such a skilled hunter. They watched him climb a mountainside where he moved a large rock and a fat buck ran out, which he eventually killed. Several days later the boys tried to imitate their father. They lifted the rock and a deer ran out, and got away. The boys left the hole where the buck ran out unattended, and eventually all the game that was hidden inside the hole escaped, which explains all the game of the world. (Cherokee History, Page 1 of 3)

The Cherokee lived in villages that sometimes stretched for several miles along river banks. Each village had a council house (or town house) and a plaza where the villagers met to socialize, make political decisions, and conduct religious ceremonies. The council house was a very large circular building that sometimes sat atop an earthen mound. The walls of the council house were constructed of wattle (a fabrication of interwoven saplings) and covered with

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