Snowbird Cherokees, Part 8 - Identity


Understanding what identity means to the Snowbird Cherokee.

Cherokee has grown enormously to accommodate tourism, which is the basis of their economy. Cherokee men dress in regalia, which the tourists expect, but it is considered street theatrics by Dr. Michael Abrams of the Cherokee Heritage Museum and Gallery. The headdresses are in the Plains Indian style. The tourists have their pictures made with them and the Indians make money. 

Other tourist attractions in Cherokee are historically accurate, such as the traditional crafts that are made and the wooden houses that Cherokee actually lived in, rather than the teepees of the Plains Indians.

By the early 1800s, a few Cherokees in Northwest Georgia were living like wealthy whites, as innkeepers and even as slave-holding plantation owners.

The question of "Who am I?" remains a struggle.