Known to the Cherokee as Kuwahi, or Mulberry Place, Cherokee spiritual leaders visited the highest peak in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee to fast and seek guidance and instruction from the Great Spirit.
That sacred peak, known today as Clingmans Dome, and the rugged terrain of the surrounding Smoky Mountains provided temporary refuge from pursuing soldiers during the Indian Removal in the 1800’s, known as the Trail of Tears. In 1838, nearly five hundred Cherokee hid in the shadows of Clingmans Dome to avoid the forced march to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma.
Learn more in the chapter entitled “Kuwahi – Sacred to the Cherokee” in the book I authored, Clingmans Dome Revealed: A Natural, Historical and Cultural Gem in the Smoky Mountains. Available on Amazon in paperback, Kindle e-book as well as an audio book read by a professional narrator. The free audio book introduction is available HERE.
After spending two months volunteering at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, nearly three months later I find myself in the heart of the land where the Cherokee settled after being forced out of North Carolina and Georgia and enduring the Trail of Tears.
I am in Tahlequah, Oklahoma – which became the capitol of the Cherokee Nation. I am volunteering for a couple weeks with Habitat for Humanity. More about this and pictures showing our building progress coming soon.
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Life your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.Cherokee Proverb
Cherokee Heritage Center
I explored the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah to learn more about the Native American culture. The museum featured a thorough history of the Cherokee, especially throughout the 1700’s and 1800’s. A complete village recreated as the Cherokee lived in the 16th Century is just outside the museum.
The Cherokee were not nomadic and constructed more permanent villages living as a community. The men of the village went out hunting while the women tended to gardens, among other things. Their gardens frequently covered hundreds of acres.
The living history demonstrations breathed life into the old practices. Rocks being chipped into arrowheads and spears, a blow dart accurately hitting a target, a bow made from Locust wood and utilizing bear intestine for the string shooting an arrow with surprising accuracy were all part of the Cherokee world that came to life.
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About RVing Revealed for those new to the site: I am retired and have spent the last year and a half living and traveling in my RV. Here is more info on my background: Brad Saum