Museum of the Cherokee Indian

museum

I was so intrigued by the Native Peoples exhibit at the McClung Museum that I incorporated a stop at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian on my journey to the coast. Because my interests lay in the anthropology and archaeology however and because the McClung museum had such an comparatively excellent exhibit I was actually a little disappointed by the Cherokee Museum. They excelled at incorporating myth and historical narrative into their exhibits but I was frequently left wondering what I was looking at. They divided the collection historically with one room Paleolithic, Archaic, Woodland, etc. but the objects themselves were almost entirely devoid of context and sometimes I was even unsure what function the item had. Likewise, they often grouped like items together without regard for time period (which is fine) but they failed to label them so I was often unable to distinguish what had been created or used during what time. I think for the average visitor this is an excellent museum; I just had different expectations and different interests. In addition to their excellent incorporation of narrative I should also point out their thorough coverage of the historical time period and the historical relations between the tribes post-European contact.

Paleolithic tool making flakes, ca. 10,000 – 8,000 B.C., Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, North Carolina

Paleolithic tool making flakes, ca. 10,000 – 8,000 B.C., Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, North Carolina

Net sinkers and hooks for trapping fish, Archaic, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, North Carolina

Net sinkers and hooks for trapping fish, Archaic, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, North Carolina

Collection of baskets, various time periods, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, North Carolina

Collection of baskets, various time periods, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, North Carolina

Kneeling sandstone statue, Mississippian Period, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, North Carolina

Kneeling sandstone statue, Mississippian Period, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, North Carolina

Display of the five modern tribes that arose from pre-historical peoples in the area, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, North Carolina

Display of the five modern tribes that arose from pre-historical peoples in the area, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, North Carolina

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