Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 2 - The Hawthornes Visit Cherokee, NC.

Before European settlers arrived, the Great Smoky Mountains was the homeland of the Cherokee Indians. Frontiersmen began settling here in the 18th and early 19th centuries and in 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, forcing the removal of all Indian tribes east of the Mississippi River to what is now Oklahoma, resulting in the "Trail of Tears." Both the journey and the route were called the "Trail of Tears" because of the devastating effects of this forced removal. The relocation of the Cherokee nation from their lands in the Southeastern United States resulted in the deaths of approximately 4000 out of 15,000 Cherokees. In the Cherokee language, the event is called Nunna daul Isunyi - "the Trail Where They Cried." In the winter of 1838, the Cherokee began their forced thousand mile march with scant clothing and supplies. They faced hunger, disease, and exhaustion. The Cherokee were given used blankets from a Tennessee hospital where an epidemic of small pox had broken out. Because of the diseases, the Indians were not allowed to go into any towns or villages, which meant they had to travel much farther to go around them. Most of the Cherokee left, but some, led by renegade warrior Tsali, who opposed the removal and remained in the Cherokee Homeland, hid out in the area that is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Tsali and his small group of Cherokees formed a rebellious resistance against the United States. Tsali was eventually captured and executed by the United States in exchange for the lives of the small band he protected. The band of Cherokees remained in the Cherokee Homeland and became the modern Eastern Band. Their descendants live in the Qualla Reservation south of the park. Cherokee, NC, is the headquarters for the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. It is also an extremely tourist-oriented area, located at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the site of a Harrahs Cherokee Casino. The casino is owned by the Cherokees and operated by Harrah's Entertainment.
Upon driving through the main drag, Mr. Hawthorne and I were on the lookout for Indians, tepees, bows and arrows, tomahawks, pintos, smoke signals - anything to signal that this was Indian country.
Gambling is a huge business here and just by looking around, one must acknowledge that the house pretty much always wins.
Thanks to Xmaskatie for sending me a better link to Harrah's. And thanks for this link as well. Drinking, smoking, and gambling. They all go hand in hand. Good times. And thank you also for correcting my pronunciation of Harrah's (Rhymes with Sarah.) Pffft ... My "country" is showing indeed. Aha! A tepee. Whoot! I hit the jackpot!! Indian on a cell phone!!!
We ended up checking out a few of the shops. I wanted to get a knife for Youngest Hawthorne for Christmas and I bought me some moccasins. I'll show you the mocs later.
You know how I love dead animal skins. These were beautiful.
We picked out a very nice cow hide which I'll show you later.
I was roaming around this little shop and found this tiered plant stand which I immediately wanted. I'll show you that later, too, when I have plants on it.
Wish I'd bought the benches, too. We didn't stay here very long - just about $300 plus and then some long enough. And we were off to Bryson City for the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.


Anonymous said...

Rosie...I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed your posts about your trip. When I was a child (circa 1960s), we travelled to all of these spots, and this brings back some very fond memories for me. THANKS!!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Thank you very much for your comment.
I do so appreciate it. Hope you enjoy the rest of our trip.

Lane said...

LOVE the plant stand!!! Can't wait to see the furrrrr!!!!!!