For the sixth consecutive year, Cherokee Days is returning to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
The three-day festival runs April 12-14 and showcases the shared history and cultural lifeways of the three Cherokee tribes: Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians.
“It’s an honor to return to NMAI with our brothers and sisters from the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. This annual cultural celebration is a special collaboration for all of us,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “The spirit of Cherokee Days affords us a unique opportunity to showcase our talented artisans and respected historians. Preserving our culture means sharing it with the next generation, and that’s what we will again be doing in the nation’s capital.” Guests will enjoy various cultural demonstrations such as storytelling, traditional flute music, weaponry, woodcarving, beadwork, traditional games, basket weaving, pottery demonstrations and dance performances. Hands-on activities in the imagiNations Activity Center will include making silhouette drawings and miniature gourd necklaces.
“You will see culture and heritage that existed prior to removal and hear how the need for more land and the discovery of gold led to the division of the historic Cherokee Nation into three parts,” United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians Principal Chief Joe Bunch said. “Each one has separate and distinct tribal governments with their own rich traditions and histories.”
As part of the Cherokee Days event, the museum will be celebrating a new installation in the special exhibition “Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations.”
The Treaty of New Echota (1835) was an agreement made by a small group of Cherokee citizens with the U.S. government ceding all Cherokee lands in the East in exchange for lands west of the Mississippi River, though they had no legal right to represent the tribe. On loan from the National Archives, the treaty will be on display through the fall of 2019.