Q:

What religion did the Cherokee follow?

A:

The religion typically followed by the Cherokee Native Americans has many concepts that are elemental and have some relation to nature, such as Father Sky, which is equivalent to the Christian God. Cherokees also worship Mother Earth. Usually practiced on reservations, it is sometimes practiced in private homes.

Numbers also play an integral role within the practice of the Cherokees' faith. The numbers four and seven repeat in many of the myths told by the Cherokees. For example, the number four represents the four cardinal directions of east, south, north and west. Seven often represents the seven clans of the Cherokee.

In addition to numbers and directions, the Cherokee also believe that certain animals and trees are sacred. Such examples of animals are the owl and the cougar. The trees that the Cherokee hold sacred are: cedar, pine, spruce, laurel and holly. Many are used in medicine and other ceremonies.

Shapes are also of great importance to the Cherokee faith. For example, many dances are performed in a circular pattern. Fires are built in a continuous X so the fire burns in a circle.

Rivers and similar moving bodies of water are held in high regard within the Cherokee faith. It is believed that rivers hold purification qualities.


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