Cherokee Nation Case Study

How did many members of the Cherokee Nation, who originally lived in parts of what are now Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama, end up living in Oklahoma? These sources allow you to further investigate this story of American Indian Removal.

Cherokee Stickball. In spite of the hardships of removal, the Cherokee Nation managed to hang on to their language and culture. Stickball, a game like lacrosse, was played by members of the Cherokee Nation before and after removal.

Be the Anthropologist

What can these images of stickball games and sticks tell us about Cherokee removal?

  1. Why would the soldiers from the Cherokee Nation shown here choose to play this stickball game while serving in Iraq?
  2. Why do you think playing the ancient game of stickball is important for the Cherokee people to continue even to the present day?
  3. Challenge Question
  4. What important things do we learn by participating in sports?
  5. What valuable skills might the Cherokee Nation learn by playing stickball?
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Ball stick

Ball stick, ca. 1951. Oklahoma. (26/5101)

Cherokee image ball stick

Cherokee Indians playing a game of stickball

Cherokee Indians playing a game of stickball, 1908. North Carolina. Photo by Colonel Frank C. Churchill. (N26858)

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Ball sticks

Ball sticks, 2004. Oklahoma. (26/5138)

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