Murphy, NC 28906
The Cherokee Homeland
Before the arrival of Europeans, the mountain region of what is today Western North Carolina was the center of the Cherokee homeland. Here, Cherokees built their towns and farmed the valleys formed by the Tuckaseegee, Little Tennessee, Hiwasee, and other rivers. This region holds some of the most significant and sacred Cherokee places, including Kituwah, considered the mother town of the Cherokees and a site of great religious, cultural, and historical importance. Today, these mountains are still the home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the descendants of Cherokees who sacrificed tremendously to remain in the Southeast. In Western North Carolina, the Trail of Tears is not only a story of loss and injustice, but a story of resistance, tenacity, and revival.