The Cherokee Tribe
In Georgia, the government tried to run all the Cherokee off of their land. But when they appealed it, it failed. The government even tried to buy the land, but the Cherokee wouldn’t sell it. The government tried everything to get them to sell, and finally in Oklahoma a Cherokee tribe wanted to sell. It was in 1835 when around five hundred Cherokee agreed to sell their land for $5,700,000. Today the land that the Indians sold is called Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, the Cherokee culture was just about killed off. In Oklahoma, the Cherokee live on the reservation and off the reservation. The Cherokee occupations range from fishing to modern business management.
Hunting and fishing was started by Native Americans. The Native Americans made traps of all kinds, even for fishing. They would hide underneath bluffs, then they would have the other Indians run herds of bison to their hiding spot. The bison were easily killed. Large animals were hunted with stone tipped spears, then their meat was roasted over fires inside coastal caves. Hides were used for clothing, shoes, and blankets. The Cherokee tribe would make crafts. They would do this in their spare time. Fishing was very easy for them too. They would use a net or a weir trap. A weir trap is a fence or enclosure set in a waterway. In the Northwest Pacific Coast area, tons of salmon were speared at the rapid rivers. Sea shells were used for knives, tools, and utensils. Colorful feathers, gems, and shells were strung with animal hide and worn for identity.
Houses were made with wood and covered to keep them dry. Fire places were built and used to smoke fish and meat for the winter. Fields were planted and later the crops were gathered and stored in dry places. Nuts and berries were gathered, and tobacco was smoked. Eventually over time culture grew with the exchange of news, foods, clothing, metals, and art. “Fire,” the center of life, became the Cherokee word for “home.”
Native Americans were very good fighters. The Native Americans always fought in small groups. They would surprise their enemies by sneaking up on them. That usually led them to victory. The Aztecs fought battles called flower wars. The purpose of the war was to capture people and kill them. The Aztecs believed if you give the sun human blood it would die.
The Trail of Tears started in 1838 and lasted for a year. The Cherokee are driven from their southeastern homeland, by soldiers, to the Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma. While on the Trail, the Cherokee population died of starvation, disease, and exposure. The smallpox disease was brought to Carolina by slave ships. A quarter of the people eventually died of the disease while on the trail. The Cherokee had never been exposed to many of the European diseases so they had no immunity to them. To make matters worse, the traditional Cherokee remedy for serious illnesses of plunging in a cold stream was the worst possible treatment. The Cherokee were so proud of their physical appearance that when they saw their disfigured bodies from the disease many warriors committed suicide. Some shot themselves, others cut their throats, others stabbed themselves with knives, and others threw themselves into the fire.