Today on the Qualla Boundary, members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians honor and cultivate traditions that have guided their culture for thousands of years.
Balancing the modern world with these ancient traditions, the Cherokee welcome millions of visitors each year while stewarding the delicate mountain landscape that is their ancestral home. They educate their youth to participate fully in the global economy while passing on the Cherokee language and culture. Cherokee is not only a part of Cherokee history, it is also a part of Appalachian history and is one of the most historic places in North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Visitors can learn more about Cherokee history and heritage at a variety of museums, interpretive centers, and historic sites in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, including:
- Museum of the Cherokee Indian
- Cherokee Homestead Exhibit
- Oconaluftee Indian Village
- Qualla Arts and Crafts
- Unto These Hills Outdoor Drama
Cherokee Heritage Events
Events in the western part of North Carolina celebrate and interpret the culture and continuing traditions of the Cherokee people.
- Cherokee Voices Festival, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, June.
- Trail of Tears Singing, Brush Arbor Singing, Robbinsville, July.
- Mountain Heritage Day, Western Carolina University, September.
- Cherokee Heritage Festival, Hayesville, September.
- Cherokee Indian Fair, Cherokee Fairgrounds, October
Visitors will find a variety of art galleries, exhibits and outdoor sculptures throughout downtown. Painting, sculpture, writing and many other creative talents are celebrated by the Cherokee community. There are also various theatrical performances and events produced locally where visitors enjoy exceptional acting and storytelling, as well as dancing.
Cherokee is also home to many traditional artisans working to preserve Cherokee crafts that have been passed down for generations. Traditional Cherokee crafts such as basket weaving are a special skill, preserving a vibrant culture.
Many visitors will be surprised to discover the music found locally is not only Native American, but also Bluegrass, Country, Rock and Roll, Gospel and much more. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians not only celebrate their ancient culture, but also their part in shaping the history of North Carolina and Appalachian history as a whole.
Listen to some interesting stories about Cherokee Heritage in our Sights & Sounds Gallery. Just click on the links below:
Cherokee Influence on Appalachian Agriculture
Davy Arch, Cherokee Storyteller and Craftsman
From Cherokee Land to Europe’s Finest Tables