Free
Admission

Tuesday – Saturday
10 AM – 4 PM

Permanent Exhibits

The Cherokee National History Museum will guide you chronologically from the Cherokee Origin Story through the Modern Era of the Cherokee Nation, with art, tribal heritage and immersive experiences to bring the Cherokee story to life.

Origin Story

Begin your experience with an art installation depicting one of the origin stories of the Cherokee Nation. According to this account, the Cherokee people lived on a southern island surrounded by salt water. The island experienced a catastrophic event in which the earth shook and spewed fire, forcing the Cherokee people to leave their homeland on canoes. They travelled for weeks, and only seven groups made landfall. These groups would become the seven Cherokee clans:

Wolf

Blue

Long Hair

Paint

Bird

Deer

Wild Potato

Pre-Contact

Life Before European Arrival

Experience a visual exhibit of art and artifacts illustrating how Cherokee people lived prior to European contact. Before Europeans arrived, Cherokee towns thrived with their own government structures, egalitarian society, and subsistence-based way of life. Cherokee people valued men and women equally and grew, gathered and hunted only what was needed for the community to thrive. You can see the artifacts that supported pre-contact era life, including games, weapons, clothing and interpretations of early structures.

Trail of Tears

Jouney From Our Homelands

Initiated by the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the Trail of Tears was the forced westward migration of American Indian tribes, including the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw and Seminole, from the South and Southeast. This gallery includes audio, visual and experiential elements to tell the Cherokee story of removal through real Cherokee voices and artifacts, while also including non-native voices from our oppressors, advocates and adversaries. The Trail of Tears gallery is designed to feel like a confined space to immerse visitors in the experience that people went through on the Trail of Tears.

Attraction Information

Hours

Tuesday – Saturday
10 AM – 4 PM

Admission

Free

Wheelchair
Accessible

Great for All
Ages

Assisted
Listening

Wheelchair
Accessible
Great for All
Ages
Assisted
Listening
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