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CHEROKEE INDIAN RESERVATION
For complete information visit the website Cherokee Heritage Trails. Cherokee Heritage Trails website provides historical information, a map, sites to visit, directions to Cherokee historical sites in the north Carolina Mountains, Tennessee Mountains and North Georgia.
The Cherokee Indian Reservation is located on Highways 441 and 19 at the east uncrowded entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Cherokee, derived from the Creek word "Chelokee," means "people of a different tongue."
Here at home in their ancient homeland of the Smoky Mountains, the North Carolina Cherokee Indians still compete with bows and blowguns. They still play the ancient ballgame of Indian Ball and uphold the old traditions and still play other primitive games and dances that were begun centuries before the white man ventured into the region.
Deep in the heart of North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains you will find the Cherokee Indian Reservation. Each year, visitors from across the country and around the world come to discover this ancient land and to enjoy the natural mountain beauty the Cherokee have revered and honored for centuries. Their 56,000 acre reservation, known as the Qualla Boundary is home to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians and is adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Approximately 8,000 Cherokee Indians live on the reservation. The town of Cherokee, North Carolina, within the reservation, offers many attractions such as The Museum of the Cherokee Indian, "Unto These Hills" Outdoor Drama, the Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual and the Oconaluftee Indian Village which is a recreated Cherokee Village of the 1750's. The latest attraction to the reservation is the Harrah's Cherokee Casino which offers 24 hour casino action and top-notch entertainment.
OCONALUFTEE INDIAN VILLAGE
You can get a picture of of what life was like among the Cherokees over 250 years ago at the Oconaluftee Indian Village on the reservation. The Oconaluftee Indian Village recreates the early life and contains the structures of woven cane and clay (as used in baskets) used by the earliest Cherokees. You will also see dirt-floored cabins later introduced to the Cherokees by white traders. view blowgun demos, watch craftmanship demonstrated in beadwork, pottery, weaving, mask carving, canoe making, arrowhead carvings. Learn about the language and medicinal plants and herbs as used by the Cherokee Indians.
Open May 01-October 24, 2009
Where: Cherokee Historical District Oconaluftee Indian Village — Experience Cherokee village life in the 1750s. Visit the council house, ceremonial grounds, and sweat lodge, where you’ll learn of the Cherokee way of life and the seven-clan society. See traditional potters, basket weavers, blowgun marksmen, mask-makers, bead-workers, arrowhead knappers, and craftsmen making great canoes by ancient methods. A life so peaceful you may not want to return home.
The Oconaluftee Indian Village is open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 9-Oct. 18. Admission costs $15 for adults and $6 for children ages 6-12. Children ages 5 and younger are admitted free and group discounts are available. The Village is on Drama Road, near the Mountainside Theatre, off U.S. 441 in Cherokee.
Telephone: (828)-497-2315 or (828)-497-2111 (Off Season) Located near Mountainside Theater, home of "Unto These Hills", U.S. Highway 441 North
The Oconaluftee Indian Village is open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. daily
UNTO THESE HILLS OUTDOOR DRAMA
A must-see event, the exciting outdoor drama, Unto These Hills, is performed nightly from early June through mid-August and depicts the real life drama of the what is means to be a Cherokee Indian according to Cherokee history, not the history read in white man's textbooks. Recognized as one of the top outdoor dramas in the United States with over 5,000,000 visitors since its opening in July 1950. The Drama tells the history of the Cherokee people from about 1540 through their forced removal from this area in the late 1830's.
June 5 - August 29, 2009
Mountainside Theatre Unto These Hills Outdoor Drama — “Unto These Hills” debuted on July 1, 1950 and was an instant hit. The drama has shown at the open-air Mountainside Theatre each summer since then when Kermit Hunter, a non-Native, wrote the original version as a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A new version that debuted last year adopted a Cherokee perspective of the Eastern Band’s own history and included authentic costumes, traditional dance and music and – for the first time ever – a majority of Cherokee actors. Attendance rose last season and audiences gave the revised show a standing ovation after each performance. Over the decades, more than five million people have experienced this memorable outdoor drama.
Opens 7:30 p.m. nightly except Sundays
MUSEUM OF THE CHEROKEE INDIAN
Visit the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee where you can view the largest collection of artifacts of the Cherokee nation that tell the story of the ancient tribe up until the Trail of Tears. Ancient artifacts include spear points on exhibit predate the bow and arrow by centuries, and the pottery is said to been fashioned by unknown people at least 10,000 years ago.
QUALLA ARTS AND CRAFTS MUTUAL
Established in 1946 this is the finest Native American-owned and operated arts and crafts co-op in the United States. Crafts of over 300 Cherokee craftspeople are sold through the cooperative including basket weaving, jewelry, pottery, clothing, flutes, drums, weapons,finger weaving, wood carving, art and beadwork.
DOWNTOWN CHEROKEE NORTH CAROLINA
Several Eastern Band of Cherokee artists have painted a series of large, life-size fiberglass bears and painted them in colorful vibrance and artistic meaningful designs.
Currently there are 15 painted bears completed, located in various spots around downtown Cherokee. An overall total of 25 bears have been commissioned for painting by Cherokee artists and will be placed in the Central Business District. The Bears Project began in 2005 as Cherokee wanted to highlight manyf talented artists within the Qualla Boundary, the Cherokee Reservation. Since bears are of significant importance in the Cherokee culture and it is believed the Bear Clan may have at one time been an eighth clan. The Cherokee Indian culture currently recognizes the Seven Clan Spirits Bird, Blue, Deer, Hair, Paint, Wild Potato, and Wolf. Anyway, the Cherokee Indian Reservation is a great location to view bears in the wild or as art.
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