If you’re one of the proud members of the Cherokee Nation and baby is on the way, there is no better time to consider a Cherokee baby name. These names are brimming with the energy of a rich history and culture still going today. Using nature as the predominant muse, these Cherokee baby names are packed with ties to the land, its animals, and its buds.
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What is the Trail of Tears?
These days, the Cherokee Nation is based in Oklahoma. It spans 14 counties in Oklahoma in the northeast. But prior to 1829, the Cherokee people lived in what’s now known as Georgia, eastern Tennessee, and western North and South Carolina. From thriving in approximately 40,000 square miles of Native-owned land to a corner of Oklahoma, the Cherokee people have known unspeakable hardship. Their horrendous march—due to blatant greed, disregard, and active hatred—became known as the Trail of Tears. The people were forced to march 1,000 miles to their new land; naturally, thousands of Natives did not survive. However, their numbers are slowly increasing today, and there are now over 430,000 citizens of the recognized nation of the Cherokee people worldwide.
How many Cherokee Native American tribes are there?
The Cherokee Nation is a federally recognized sovereign government, and with that comes the recognition of tribes. There are three tribes officially recognized, and they are the Cherokee Nation, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The former two can be found in Oklahoma, but the latter calls North Carolina its home. However, there are unrecognized tribes in the eyes of the US government as well; there are dozens of tribes laying claim to the Cherokee line, spread out all over the United States.
What are other names for the Cherokee Nation?
The name “Cherokee” actually comes from a word given to the tribe by a different tribe. In the Creek dialect, Cherokee means “people of different speech.” This term is reasonably found as alienating to some, and there are a couple of preferred terms that can feel closer to personal identity for the nation. The alternative terms are Keetoowah and Tsalagi, with each having different beliefs and practices. Keetoowah, or Kituwah, is seen as a preservation of the “old ways,” placing a great deal of emphasis on religious ways. Tsalagi is a bit more of a secular approach, and it refers to the name of the Iroquoian language the Cherokee people speak.