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Native Americans
Cherokee



Cherokee
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.91

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    treaty, mining, better, gunpoint, posts, banks, court, goods, council, trade, mainly, vote, lower, cause, peace, constitution
     content words:    North Carolina, South Carolina, Native Americans


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Cherokee
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     The Cherokee lived in the Southeastern part of America. Most of them lived in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. They built homes and towns. They farmed the land and grew crops. They also hunted and fished for meat. The Cherokee were also good warriors. Many of the men took great pride in how handsome they were.
 
2     The Cherokee lived over a large area. They built homes made of wood posts with branches woven in between and covered with mud. Sometimes they were dug out inside so the floor was lower than the ground. In the top was a hole for smoke to leave.
 
3     There were 30-60 homes in each village. In the middle of the village was a larger building. It was called the council house; that was where the people would meet. Villages were about one day's walk apart.
 
4     Outside the village were the fields. This is where food was grown. The people called corn, beans, and squash the "three sisters." This was because they were all grown together.
 
5     The Cherokee language was like the one spoken by the Iroquois. The culture was not the same, though. They were more like other southern tribes in how they did things.
 
6     The Cherokee were great farmers, but they did not raise animals for food. If they wanted to eat meat, they had to hunt.
 
7     These Native Americans also warred with other tribes like the Creek, Tuscarora, Chickasaw, and Shawnee. Natives living in villages on river banks made canoes. These canoes could hold twenty men. They could get to other villages quickly if they needed to.
 
8     When white men came, the Cherokee were friendly. The first white men they met were the Spanish. They only wanted gold but saw that the Cherokee wore mainly silver and copper. Even so, they did find some gold and did some mining.
 
9     When the English made colonies on the edge of Cherokee land, they made a treaty for trade. The Cherokee traded furs and sometimes other Indian people for guns. They were prisoners of war from raids. Those people became slaves. The Indian slave trade went on to cause more problems, especially in South Carolina.

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