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There are several places in the United States named Cherokee, after the native culture described in this article.

The Cherokee are a people native to North America who first inhabited what is now the eastern and southeastern United States before being moved to the Ozark Plateau.

Ethnologists today recognize that 5 to 7 million Cherokee descendants live worldwide.

Bands recognized by the United States government, but representing only 250,000 Cherokees, have headquarters in Tahlequah, Oklahoma (Cherokee Nation) at Cherokee, North Carolina (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians) and Tahlequah, Oklahoma (United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians).

State-recognized Cherokee tribes have headquarters in Georgia and Alabama. Other large and small non-recognized Cherokee organizations are located in Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and all over the United States.

The spiritual core of the nation is the Keetoowah Nighthawk Society.

The name is an old pronunciation of Tsalagi, which is the Muscogee Creek name for the Cherokees. Their name for themselves is Ani Yunwiya, which means The Principal People.

Language and Alphabet

Main article: Cherokee language

The Cherokee speak an Iroquoian language, which is written in a syllabary invented by Sequoyah.


See: Cherokee mythology

Famous Cherokee

There were several famous Cherokees in American history, including Sequoyah, who invented the writing system, and American humorist Will Rogers.


See: Trail of Tears

Once the Cherokees reached Indian Territory, tensions ran high and the suspension of the Cherokee Blood Law was ignored. On June 22, 1839, after the adjournment of a tribal meeting, some of the prominent signers of the Treaty of New Echota were killed, including the drafter of the Blood Law, Major Ridge, along with John Ridge and Elias Boudinot. This started 15 years of civil war amongst the Cherokees. One of the notable survivors was Stand Watie, who became a Confederate general during the American Civil War.

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