Learning about the heart and soul of a civilization
Welcome to a sweeping history of the Cherokee Nation, engaging and oftimes heart-rending, from ice age beginnings to present day life and culture. In the brushstrokes of this fascinating heritage, you’ll discover the warp and weft of treaties, the roots of a naturalistic language, artifacts of particular periods, great figures and heroes and entrancing stories of a civilization along with the Cherokee’s distinctive values and ways of being in the world before and after “the Trail of Tears.”
The museum offers courses and workshops that combine scholarly content with voices of Cherokee people and experiences on the Qualla Boundary.
A perfect place to begin exploration of Cherokee heritage and traditions is the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, North Carolina. Visitors are greeted at the entrance by a 20-foot hand-carved statue of Sequoyah, the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet.
An interpretive site for the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, this state-of-the-art facility traces the story of the Cherokee from the earliest inhabitants of the area 11,000 years ago to the present. An extensive exhibit of artifacts and photos is enhanced with computer generated holograms and other imagery, sound, and special effects that leave a lasting and haunting impression on the visitor.
The museum gift shop is rich in Cherokee tradition. Locally created baskets, pottery, wood carvings, decorated gourds and beadwork are among the art available for sale. Books on Cherokee history, culture, language, and genealogy line the shelves, along with audio CDs and tapes by local musicians and storytellers.
For hours and fees, check out the website.