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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Cherokee Eagle Dance from the drama "Unto These Hills"
The Cherokee Eagle Dance as seen in the outdoor drama Unto These Hills  of Cherokee, North Carolina, 1968. Photo: George McKinney / Cherokee Historical Association

Unto these Hills 

This outdoor drama, performed each summer at Mountainside Theater in Cherokee, North Carolina, portrays the history of the Cherokee from 1540 through 1838, the period of impact from European exploration and settlement. It culminates in the infamous forced removal of all but a remnant of the tribe from their native lands to Oklahoma, a journey known as "the trail of tears." Held since 1950, the drama is preceded by musical entertainment provided by the production company, approximately one-half of which are members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee.

Adjacent to Mountainside Theater is the Oconaluftee Indian Village, a replica of a Cherokee community ca. 1750 containing structures from the period, including a seven-sided council house. Cherokee artisans demonstrate pottery making, bead working, basketry, flint chipping, carving, building a dug-out canoe, and weaving. Guided tours provide historical and cultural background for visitors to the village, which is open from mid-May to late October. Both the village and the drama are operated by the Cherokee Historical Association.

Originally submitted by: John Edwards, Senator.

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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