Long ago, a magnificent race of people arose to build cities in the mountains and valleys of the southeastern quadrant of North America, to build armies feared and respected over a vast domain, and to build a society centered on amazing spiritual powers, offering a fulfilling life to every individual. These were the Cherokee people, and in this volume is their story from the most ancient times until today.
In carefully researched and documented text and vivid drawings, renowned author/artist Thomas E. Mails depicts the Cherokees' ancient culture and life ways, their government, dress, and family life, the songs they sang and the games they played. Here are the details of their vital spiritual beliefs and practices, their powerful rituals, their joyful festivals. In picture and word, Mails tells how the Cherokee warriors prepared for battle and how the Cherokee clans lived in prosperity and peace.
He tells also the story of the coming of white explorers and settlers to the domain of the Cherokee, of a gradual encroachment which all but destroyed this powerful civilization, and of the special qualities which enabled the Cherokees as a people to endure. It contains the sad chapter of the Trail of Tears, and the inspiring tale of the two Cherokee nations which arose from the ashes of the old, one in the original southeastern homeland and one in Indian Territory.
Mails continues the story up to the present day, bringing together pictures, facts, personal observations, and interviews with contemporary Cherokees to show how the ancient traditions have survived and are practiced among these amazingly adaptable people in our day.