When you visit the Museum of the Cherokee Indian on any given day, you may see a cultural specialist in traditional dress working on a special project, including firemaking, shaping an atlatl (spear thrower), making a leather hunting bag, crafting a blowgun, or demonstrating a traditional dance or game such as chunkey or marbles. 

These are the Atsila Anotasgi Cultural Specialists—highly knowledgeable and skilled cultural ambassadors for Cherokee. Their name means “fire builders” in the Cherokee language, and their mission is to share traditional aspects of Cherokee culture. 

The Atsila Anotasgi Cultural Specialists are integral members of the Museum of the Cherokee People, tasked with preserving and sharing the rich cultural heritage of the Cherokee Nation. These specialists are highly knowledgeable about Cherokee history, traditions, language, and arts, serving as custodians of their community’s cultural legacy. They play a vital role in educating visitors about Cherokee culture through guided tours, workshops, demonstrations, and storytelling sessions. With their expertise and dedication, the Atsila Anotasgi Cultural Specialists ensure that the vibrant heritage of the Cherokee people continues to be celebrated and cherished for generations to come.

Previously named the Cherokee Friends, this collective consists solely of enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Their mission is to enlighten both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities about the Eastern Cherokee belief systems, traditions, song and dance, and cultural practices. They achieve this through a variety of avenues, including lectures, captivating dance performances, engaging art demonstrations, and captivating storytelling sessions.