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Cherokee Town Layout
Transcript of Cherokee Town Layout
Contrary to popular belief, the Cherokee indians did not subside in teepees or wigwams. Instead, the Cherokees established well-developed villages among mountain rivers
A typical town had around 30-60 houses arranged around a central plaza with palisades enclosing the village for protection. In the plaza ceremonies, town activities, and meetings were held.
The Council House
The council house was held in the center of the village. Here was where ancient ceremonies took place, as well as government functions.
The council house held the Sacred Fire, the symbol of the creator, and the embodiment of the spirit of the town.
One of the most holy items of the Cherokee people were kept in the council house, including the ark, speculated to hold a large corpse.
Council house was seven sided, with sections of seats for representatives for each clan. The house was closed off to all but designated people/officials. Marriages also took place in this building.
This was one of the most important buildings in the village
In each household, walls were made of limber twigs or rivercanes, interwoven between posts. These made basket like walls. Over these walls, the Cherokee indians as well utilized natural resources such as grass and clay. By mixing together the two, the Cherokees applied these to the woven walls to harden and support the structure of their houses.
The bedrooms in the house were located at one end of the house. Beds were constructed by short posts for legs and woven white oak or ash splints for the frame. Buffalo, beaver, and other animal skins were used for warm blankets and rugs
Household Layout cont.
Roofs were made similar to the walls, however instead of grass, they were covered with bark or thatch. In the houses, the floor held a basin in the center of the floor that was scooped out for a fireplace. This, with a rock slate, was commonly used for cooking meals, while the smoke escaped through a hole in the roof of the house.
Each Cherokee family had two houses for the seasons. They had their regular house in which they inhabited during the warmer seasons and a "hot house" for the colder ones. These houses also were used to hold ceremonial purposes. The hot house fire served an important purpose in the community, and was where the "myth keepers" recited the sacred legends of their ancestors
Corn cribs, gardens, and storage sheds as well held a important role in the Cherokee household.
The Cherokees originally inhabited the Southeastern regions of America in states such as Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky. However, after events such as the Trail of Tears, alot of these Cherokees were relocated to areas in Oklahoma, although some did escape
plastered and finished house
The type of houses the Cherokees built and lived in were called wattle and daub houses. They were permanent structures that took extreme amounts of effort to build. These houses benefited the Cherokees because they were useful for people who stayed in one place and were agriculturally inclined,
Sharpe, J. Ed., and Shirley Simmons. The
Cherokees, past and Present: An Authentic Guide to the Cherokee People. Cherokee, NC: Cherokee Publications, 1970. Print.
Nardo, Don. Early Native North Americans.
Detroit: Lucent, 2008. Print.
Redish, Laura, and Orin Lewis. "
Cherokee Indian Fact Sheet." Native Languages of the Americas. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2013. <http://www.bigorrin.org/cherokee_kids.htm>.