Cherokee Indian Artifacts

Do you want to explore Cherokee history by examining Indian artifacts? Are you interested in using artifacts to learn more about the Cherokee Indians? Read our guide for more facts and information…

Cherokee Indians

The Cherokee Indians were once a large population that ranged across much of the United States with the population primarily concentrated in the southeast of the county. Prior to European settlement in the New World the Cherokee Indians were one of the dominant Indian tribes on the land that constitutes the modern day states of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. The Cherokee lived in the east of the United States for a great length of time as for a while the tribe even managed to integrate with the European settlers and engage in trade. The situation of co-existence with the new settlers would however turn sour as in the mid 1800s legislation was passed that forced all Indians in the east including the Cherokee to move West to the Indian territory in modern day Oklahoma. This forced migration remains infamous as the Trail of Tears.

General Tools

The Cherokee were a populous group which means that today many artifacts remain allowing researchers to develop a greater understanding of the past. Artifacts such as arrowheads and remains of the bow and arrow help to illustrate how the Cherokee engaged in hunting, especially of small game. Other artifacts such as spears and fishing poles again demonstrate how the Cherokee were able to fulfill their diet with fishing. Artifacts of the Cherokee also exist that illustrate the tools used for general purposes but also for war. From the artifacts it is clear that Cherokee warriors used arrows, spears and tomahawks as well as axes which were also likely commonly used for wood working.

Blow Gun

Blow guns are difficult artifacts to find as due to their size few have survived the length of time. Through artifacts combined with documentation it is clear that blow guns were on average six to nine feet in length and required relatively long darts ranging from eight to nine inches. The artifact also indicates that the Cherokee created their blowguns out of river cane. The Cherokee used the blow gun by blowing into one end to force the dart out the other. The blow gun was an important tool of the Cherokee Indians as although it was not usually used in warfare the tool was excellent for hunting small game.


The tomahawk is an artifact that is similar in appearance to an axe. The tomahawks used by the Cherokee featured a straight handle and originally a stone head; as time passed some artifacts indicate that the head also was created using brass or iron. The tomahawks used by the Cherokee Indians were usually less than two feet in length. The artifact is generally considered an all purpose tool but it was also known to be used as a hand to hand weapon in times of war.

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