Cherokee Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old cherokee quotes, cherokee sayings, and cherokee proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


Part of my ancestry is Cherokee. And in that tradition, you become an adult when you're 52.     

Alice Walker

I'm proud of being part Cherokee, and I think it's time all us Indians felt the same way.     

Loretta Lynn

The Trail of Tears has a great deal of meaning for every person of American Indian ancestry, whether they are Cherokee or not. For me, it has always stood for what is best and worst about the history of the United States.     

Joseph Bruchac

As a Cherokee, I can attest to the fact that Native Americans have been on the losing side of history. Our rights have been infringed upon, our treaties have been broken, our culture has been stolen, and our tribes have been decimated at the hands of our own United States government.     

Markwayne Mullin

I came from a family that was pretty insularly Cherokee. We kept to ourselves - the white people were there, and we were here, and it was practically a segregated kind of thing.     

Wes Studi

The Cherokee will fight. We'll fight. Where does that leave you?     

John Hawkins

Yad's right! We've got enough trouble without barkin' up the shins of the whole Cherokee Nation!     

John Hawkins

Once we Cherokees were like the Apaches. We feasted when the hunting was good. We starved when it was bad.     

James R. Webb

Before you judge a person you have to walk in their moccasins and live in their lodge for a month.     

Buddy Hannah

Cherokee fought hard. They made their run (in the fourth quarter), and they were right there. But we battled through.     

Doug Lipscomb

The Cherokee used to fear that taking a photo would make them lose their souls. Over exposure and desensitization is pretty close to losing one's soul. So they were right to quite an extent.     

Sabine Shah

Native people such as the Cherokees are just as human and complex and real as Americans are, and our nation needs to respect American Indian cultures and traditions.     

Joseph Bruchac

Individually and collectively, Cherokee people possess an extraordinary ability to face down adversity and continue moving forward.     

Wilma Mankiller

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.     

Indian Proverb

We are now about to take our leave and kind farewell to our native land, the country that the Great Spirit gave our Fathers, we are on the eve of leaving that country that gave us birth...it is with sorrow we are forced by the white man to quit the scenes of our childhood... we bid farewell to it and all we hold dear.     

Charles Hicks

All Cherokee music has been made to where it resorts back to gospel, to our Creator.     

Kathy Sierra

By peace our condition has been improved in the pursuit of civilized life.     

John Ross

You're being childish, like your Cherokee grandparents who shot arrows at the first locomotive. The wealth is under the ground, not on top of it.     

Frank S. Nugent

I am a warrior of the Cherokee Nation! Nobody owns me!     

Jason L. Blair

Cherokee princess, I'm sorry, but there's no such thing as princesses among Native people.     

Roseanne Barr

No, I am. Cherokee. Do you know, I can even tell when it's going to rain.     

Adrian Edmondson

You see, these mountain boys got injun blood in them. Cherokee. This would explain why they're animalistic in their nature.     

Nick Cave

You see, eh, when I was growing up on a ranch, my uncle and I, eh, he was half Cherokee, we had to pull about a hundred head o' cattle out of the mud on horseback.     

James L. Brooks

It's a Cherokee rose. The story is that when American soldiers were moving Indians off their land on the trail of tears the Cherokee mothers were grieving and crying so much 'cause they were losing their little ones along the way from exposure and disease and starvation.     

Frank Darabont

Well, actually, I'm one-eighth Cherokee. It's the best thing I've ever done. I mean, you know, I find art comes natural to our people, don't you?     

Sterlin Harjo

They took the whole Cherokee nation / Put us on this reservation / Took away our ways of life / The tomahawk and the bow and knife     

John Loudermilk

Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe / So proud to live, so proud to die     

John Loudermilk

My sweet Indian warrior / One day I'll hold you / In my arms fold you / Oh, Cherokee / Brave Indian warrior     

Sascha Konietzko

I am an American Indian, / My tribe is Cherokee / My forefathers loved this land / They left it here for me     

Johnny Cash

You take a black Irish temper and some solemn Cherokee / A Southern sense of humour and you got someone like me     

Dipiero

The early travelers among the Cherokees were not long discovering that in spite of their ambitions, their greatest weakness was a lack of tribal cohesion.     

Robert Sparks Walker

Cherokee literacy teaches us something important about Cherokee modes of communication and self-expression while enriching our cross-cultural understanding of what means to read and write.     

Margaret Clelland Bender

Cherokee history has been marked by a number of migrations that have resulted in, among other things, the formation of different tribes from the same original people.     

Robert J. Conley

Cherokee people lived in villages. The men were hunters. They were also warriors. The women were farmers. They were also head of their homes.     

Kelly Rodgers

Cherokee men and women had equal power in the tribe.     

Kelly Rodgers

Today, tribal members live in different places. Some still speak their own languages. They dance. They tell stories. They have a rich culture. And it is one they are happy to share with others.     

Kelly Rodgers

The Cherokee Pathe was the most famous of the Indian paths which served as early avenues of commerce.     

Thomas E. Mails

The climate factor of Cherokee country had a rhythmic or cynical nature that was a strong influence on Cherokee culture and led to a complex mythology and ritual performance.     

Thomas E. Mails

Plants and wildlife were essential to the Cherokees and played a central role in mythology and lore.     

Thomas E. Mails

The Cherokee language was soft and beautiful, with the charming melody of the tongues of southern Europe.     

Thomas E. Mails

Cherokee towns were deeply connected. Each person belonged to one of seven clans.     

Danielle Smith-Llera

Yet many Cherokee remember their traditions throughout the year. Remembering how their ancestors lived helps them guide them in their daily lives today.     

Danielle Smith-Llera

The Cherokee believe that people must live peacefully with nature.     

Danielle Smith-Llera

The Cherokee had always talked about their history and beliefs but never wrote them down.     

Danielle Smith-Llera

The Cherokee grew most of the food they ate. Women planted and harvested corn, beans, and squash. They called theses foods the 'three sisters.' Men fished and hunted for game, such as deer and fowl.     

Anne M. Todd

Cherokee boys trained to become hunters and warriors. Boys worked to improve their condition and build their strength.     

Anne M. Todd

The Cherokee have a rich and diverse background.     

Anne M. Todd

The Cherokee is probably the largest and most important tribe in the United States, having their own National Government and numbering at any time in their history.     

James Mooney

Many beliefs, particularly stories passed down over generations, are considered sacred and are deeply rooted in the Cherokees Nation's way of life.     

Cassie M. Lawton

The Cherokee also believed that the eagle had magical powers, and the eagle dance (also called the victory dance) was pretty important to their of life.     

Cassie M. Lawton

The religion of the Cherokee people was not based on the idea of a separate God. Instead, they felt a divine presence in everything around them--animals, plants, ground, and sky.     

Cassie M. Lawton

As with many Native American tribes, the Cherokee held their own religious and tribal beliefs and customs. Many of these traditions remain important to the Cherokee today. There were rituals, ceremonies, and stories devoted to every aspect of life.     

Cassie M. Lawton

The Cherokee lived in in a beautiful area that embraced land both east and westof the Appalachians. The land was well-suited for them. It includes villages, crop fields, game fields, and hunting grounds.     

William R. Reynolds Jr

Both the Cherokee men and women typically wore their coarse black hair long. It sometimes has an auburn hue.     

William R. Reynolds Jr

Cherokee civilly lived in a matriilneal society, and the children were born into the clan of the mother.     

William R. Reynolds Jr

In the old days, there was peace and harmony in the mountains where our people (the Cherokee) lived, struggled for survival, and raised the young ones. There was respect for the elders, and they were honored in our ceremonies.     

Oscar Rogers

You are not Cherokee because you have a BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs] enrollment card. You have to live and be the culture that is based on a unique heritage.      

J. T. Garrett

You have to know what it means to gift with the sacred tobacco and how to give thanks to the Great One each day. It is a way of life with values that are uniquely Cherokee.     

J. T. Garrett

The Cherokee elders have taught us that there is healing in calmness and strength in humility.     

J. T. Garrett