Cherokee Indian Transportation
The Cherokee Indians were avid fisherman and would use large carved logs to create dugout canoes to assist them along the vast and many rivers of the territory. The dugout canoes measured at least 40 feet in length and could hold 20 men. The logs were cut close to the water as they were near impossible to transport on land, weighing tons.
The Cherokee utilized fire in order to “feld” or remove the tree. “Before building a fire at the base of the tree, a coating of mud and straw was applied to the trunk at about head-height. It was shaped out into a thick girdle that encircled the tree and protected it from burning down, allowing the Cherokees to focus on burning only the lower part of the trunk” (“Dugout Canoe”, 2011). They then used sharp stones on sticks and chipped away the charred remains.
The bark was removed immediately and in large whole pieces that the Cherokee used to roof their homes. After hollowing out the log, the surface area was burned and coated with “bear grease” which was repeated to preserve the canoe
After the Spanish settlers encountered the Cherokee in the 16th century, they traded with the European explorers and settlers to acquire horses. The Cherokee Indians utilized the horses in battle and as an important means of transportation throughout history.
Cherokee Indians bred quality horses with a unique bloodline just as their own. Today Cherokee Horse breeds are endangered.
Horses were stolen from the white colonists by the Cherokee and the Cherokee often had horses stolen from them by settlers leading to the Cherokee Indians marking their horses for proper identification. The son inherited horses from his father. The means of travel using horses was luxurious and efficient in times of war and covering a vast space in a short amount of time. Horses carried the Cherokee people along the Trail of Tears and were a robust and strong companion during somber times.