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Cherokee Indians - Government Illustration

Daily Life in Olden Times
for Kids

Southeast Cherokee Indians
Government

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Red Chief, White Chief: The Cherokee lived in villages. Each village had two chiefs - a "white" chief who led in times of peace, and a "red" chief who led in times of war. Unless the Cherokee were at war, the war chief had nothing to do except drill and keep himself and his warriors fit. This was very smart. The Cherokee could response instantly to a war threat with able leadership.

Peace Time Government: Peace chiefs did not rule alone. They had an able council to help them. In peacetime, his right-hand and his speaker, along with six other men, helped the chief. These 9 men made up the Village Council. The Council made important decisions for the village.

Council House: The council house was the most important building in each village. It was large enough to hold all the villagers, including the children. When the council had an announcement to make, everyone in the village could hear them.

Role of Women in Cherokee Village Government: Women have always been part of Cherokee government. Only men were priests and chiefs, but women could offer advice, and later on, could participate as council members when chosen by the village, just like the men.

Cherokee Nation Council: The Cherokee Nation was ruled in the same way. It had a peace chief and a council who made decisions for the Cherokee Nation.

Village Life

Warriors

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