Cherokee Heritage Center
Main building of the Cherokee Heritage Center.
Columns of the original Cherokee Female Seminary.
Costumed interpreter at the Cherokee Heritage Center.
Cherokee hut located in the Tsa-La-Gi village.
Backstory and Context
The Cherokee Heritage Center is in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and was established in 1963. Tahlequah is known as the heart of the Cherokee Nation. To preserve and promote the Cherokee culture, the Board of Trustees of the Cherokee National Historical Society had established the Cherokee Heritage Center. The Cherokee National Archives are located at The Center and that includes the nation’s foremost collection of tribal related documents and artifacts.
The relics included in the museum are from along the Trail of Tears. The Trail of Tears involved the forced removal of Native Americans from their historical homelands west of the Mississippi. The tribes included in the removal were from the Cherokee, Chicksaw, Choctaw, Muscogee and Seminole. The removal was brought on because American settlers wanted to use the Native American’s ancestral lands.
The Cherokee Heritage Center lets customers experience the history of the Cherokee Indians using exhibits. The Cherokee Family Research Center is where you can view historic Cherokee documents in their archives. The Cherokee History Center’s Ancient Village, is located at the site of the original Cherokee Female Seminar to help preserve it. The Cherokee Female Seminar was the first school where Cherokee women could get a higher education along the banks of the Mississippi.
The ancient village Tsa-La-Gi is another attraction located at the Cherokee Heritage Center. The construction of Tsa-La-Gi village began on February 23, 1966 and was funded through the charity, The Cherokee Foundation. Construction of the village included salvaging foundation rock from the old seminary for later use. Sixty Cherokees were initially trained to cast in the village as well as tour guides. The training for working in the village lasted three months and was held at Sequoyah High School. The opening for Tsa-La village occurred on June 27, 1967 by Society President Keeler in front of a large audience. Today, tour guides can give a glimpse of a Cherokee village, before European contact.
“Photo Tour of the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.” TripSavvy, www.tripsavvy.com/cherokee-heritage-center-tahlequah-oklahoma-4051764.
“Village at Tsa-La-Gi.” Cherokee Heritage Center, www.cherokeeheritage.org/attractions/diligwa/village-at-tsa-la-gi/.