Sequoyah and Nancy Ward are two famous Cherokee Indians. Sequoyah invented the Cherokee writing system, and Nancy Ward played an important role in political decisions regarding the Cherokee.
Sequoyah was born in 1770 near Knoxville, Tenn. to a woman named Wuteh and an unknown father. Much of his early life is debated, but accounts state that he never went to school or learned English. Sequoyah grew up to be a silversmith and became impressed by the white settlers' use of writing. He began creating a writing system for the Cherokee language around 1809. The Nation of Cherokees accepted his system in 1825, and the first Cherokee newspaper launched in 1828.
Nancy Ward was a Beloved Woman of the Cherokee, which means that she sat in councils with prominent Cherokee members to make important decisions. She was known as a peace negotiator and sought for a peaceful alliance between the Europeans and her people. Ward is also credited with introducing new farming and dairy-production techniques to the Cherokee. Ward became a member of the tribal council of chiefs and the leader of the Women’s Council of Clan Representatives at the age of 18. The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Tennessee holds an annual holiday in Ward’s honor, and she is considered a pioneer for women in American politics.Learn More
Cherokee Indians have facial features similar to those of other American Indians, which include high cheekbones, almond-shaped eyes, heavy eyelids, large front teeth, heavy earlobes and bronze skin. However, not all Cherokees possess these physical features, due to early contact with Scottish and German miners in the southeast.Full Answer >
Cherokee roll numbers can be found under the "Dawes Roll" tab on the United States National Archives website, located at archives.gov. The Cherokee are one of the five Native-American nations counted. The website also lists the roll numbers of the Choctaw, Creek, Seminole and Chickasaw.Full Answer >
Traditionally, people of the Cherokee Nation enjoyed a staple food diet that included the "three sisters," or corn, beans, potatoes and squash. Meat staples of the past were deer and turkey. Other foods incorporated into their diet are meals made with fish, plants and roots. Modern Cherokee people traditionally eat eggs, brown beans and wild onions, among other foods.Full Answer >
The natural resources the Cherokee Indians used to make their weapons and tools included flint and other rocks, deer antlers, animals hides, tree branches, thistledown, snake venom and plant extracts. These resources were used to make spears, arrowheads, stone weapons, axes and blowguns, among other things.Full Answer >