Explore the Magic of Cherokee Culture and Heritage
If you are looking for information on Cherokee heritage, plan a visit to the ancestral homelands of the Cherokee and the home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Nation, the Qualla Boundary, located next to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Western North Carolina.
On Qualla Boundary and in Cherokee, NC there are many attractions that will help you discover Cherokee heritage. See authentic Cherokee arts, crafts, preserved artifacts, dramatic retellings of history, song, dance, ceremonies and more.
Learn About Cherokee Culture at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian
Learn about Cherokee culture and the true history of the Cherokee people from prehistoric times up to today’s Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation. See artifacts dating back 11,000 years including tools, weapons, jewelry, pottery, basketry and more at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
In addition to learning about the history of the Cherokee people, you will experience and be moved by Cherokee heritage as it is brought to life by the museum’s interactive exhibits, incredible collection of Cherokee artifacts, computer generated imagery, artistic treasures, dioramas and stories, including accounts of the Cherokee’s first encounters with Europeans and the tragic and heroic tales of the 1838 Trail of Tears forcible exile.
If you are bringing a group contact the museum to arrange special experiences such as Cherokee language courses, workshops and performances by the Cherokee dance group Warriors of AniKituhwa.
Festivals that Celebrate the Ancient and Modern Culture of the Cherokee
Experience Cherokee life firsthand at one of the amazing festivals and other events that take place throughout the year in Cherokee, NC.
- Festival of Native Peoples: This festival is an annual gathering where you can watch and learn about Cherokee tradition and culture as well as the unique cultures of many other indigenous tribes from all over the Americas. Enjoy exciting concerts and performances. There will be dance, art, music and more.
- Cherokee Voices Festival: Experience traditional music, dance, singing, food and storytelling. This festival offers a unique opportunity to participate in living history discussions with members of the Cherokee Tribe. You can also watch demonstrations of basketmaking, pottery, carving, beadwork, mask making, blowgun making and more.
- Annual Cherokee Powwow: A thrilling three-day festival celebrating Cherokee culture, singing and dancing. Don’t miss the Traditional, Fancy Shawl, Grass, Two Step and Jingle dance competitions.
See “Unto These Hills” to Watch Cherokee Heritage Unfold on a Stage Under the Stars
The Mountainside Theatre has been the home to the Cherokee drama “Unto These Hills” since 1950. Cherokee heritage and history come to life on the stage as you watch this historic drama. History unfolds underneath the stars in the Theatre’s 2,000 seat amphitheater. Actors in period dress, masks and attire perform unforgettable stories from the amazing history of the Cherokee tribe.
Authentic Cherokee Art at Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc.
Learn about Cherokee arts tradition directly from the artisans at America’s premier Native American arts cooperative. Since 1946 Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc. has preserved tribal heritage and promoted tribal culture by offering a supportive environment for Cherokee artists. See unique and beautiful crafts while supporting Cherokee artists.
The gallery store offers the opportunity to take a treasured piece of Cherokee culture home with you: basketry, pottery, weaving, carving, sculpture and other works of art are available.