The building in the picture is 150 years old. It once served as the capitol of the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokees are one of many Indian tribes moved to Oklahoma long ago. Today the building serves as the Cherokee National History Museum.
Exhibits here tell stories of how the Indians used to live, how and why they were moved to Oklahoma, and about their customs and crafts.
Here's a picture of some special Cherokee clothing -- worn by important members of the tribe. Today Cherokees only wear special clothes at celebrations and ceremonies. Most of the time, they dress just like you, your parents and your teachers dress.
There are many interesting things in the museum. I liked this exhibit because kids can try to make a basket like the Cherokees can.
You can even see some school books that Cherokee children used over a hundred years ago. And you can see them up close because everyone who visits gets to borrow an iPad to show more information. Can you see the small pictures of things? They have the names written in the Cherokee language under each picture.
All the Cherokees can speak English; many can also speak Cherokee.
After we went to the history museum, we went to the Cherokee Cultural Heritage Center. They have a museum there, too. And they have two outside exhibit areas which are open during the nicer months of the year.
This is Leon Grayson holding me. He is a Cherokee who knows all about Cherokee history and customs. We are in a re-created Cherokee village like the ones Cherokees lived in in Tennessee 200 years ago.
He showed me many of the skills the Cherokees used to hunt and live. He is very good at using a blowgun made from a hollow reed. If you look closely, you can see that his dart hit the target turkey.
Of course, you know they also hunted with bows and arrows. They made the arrowheads out of rocks. They would chip out the shape by tapping a rock with another rock. It took a long time to learn to do it correctly. Learning to make arrowheads taught young Indians to be patient -- that to do something correctly often took a lot of time.
A Cherokee lady named Shyla Diver showed us how she weaves belts with yarn and her fingers.
After we toured the Indian Village, we went to Adams Corner. This shows what an Indian village in early day Oklahoma would have looked like. It had a school and a church and a blacksmith shop and a general store.
Many Native Americans from many tribes live in Oklahoma. It is interesting to learn about their histories and customs. I'm glad Miss Elaine took me to Tahlequah so I could learn more about the Cherokee Nation.
Before we left, we saw one last exhibit -- a really big one!
Cherokees are famous for weaving beautiful baskets. Two Cherokee ladies made this giant basket -- as tall as a regular ceiling. They used flat reeds (tall, thin marsh plants). They used dyed reeds to create designs on the basket. It took them a long time to make it this big.
I think it is pretty, don't you?