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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