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