Q:

What did the Cherokee Indians eat?

A:

The Cherokee Indians consumed meat from hunting, such as wild turkeys and deer, as well as grains like corn. Cherokee women did the majority of the farming while the Cherokee men did the majority of the hunting. Together, they provided enough food to feed their families.

Some of the crops that Cherokee women planted for consumption included corn, beans, sunflowers and squash. Hunted game included small game, deer, wild turkeys and bear. Cherokee men were also adept fishermen, and fish was included as part of the Cherokee diet. Prepared foods included soups and stews, using ingredients from both hunting and farming.

Turtles were also included in soups and stews, and were part of Cherokee hunting. The shell of the turtle was often used as a baby rattle for Cherokee children. The tools that Cherokee men used to hunt included bows and arrows and blowguns. They would also use animal traps to aid in hunting larger animals, such as bears. Nets and spears were used for fishing. Men hunted only to feed their families and never for sport. The Cherokee women sought to plant enough crops for two years in order to ensure that the family would be provided for.


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