Native Americans in Tennessee from 1500-1700

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Transcript Native Americans in Tennessee from 1500-1700

Native Americans in Tennessee from 1500-1700


The first Indian groups in Tennessee were nomads.

1. Nomads wondered from place to place.

2. Groups traveled together and set up camps in caves or rock shelters.

3. They worked together to meet their basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.


Nomads spent most of their time searching for food.

1. They gathered nuts and berries and hunted small and large animals.

2. Nomads used every part of the animals they hunted. They ate the meat, made clothing from the skins, and used the bones for tools and weapons.

Woodland Indians

The Woodland Indians were one of the first groups to settle in permanent villages.

1. They grew some of their own food.

2. The Woodlands were one of the first groups to discover seeds.

3. They built houses, made pottery, clothing and jewelry.

Native Americans in the 1500s

By the 1500s there were four main Native American tribes in Tennessee.

1. Chickasaw – West Tennessee 2. Creek – Southeast Tennessee 3. Shawnee – Middle Tennessee 4. Cherokee – East Tennessee and the Appalachian Mountains

Native Americans in the 1500s

• Each of these tribes had its own language, culture, and traditions.

• All were skilled hunters, farmers, and fishers.

• Each tribe built their homes using natural resources and the forests around them.

Tribes at War

• The tribes were often at war with one another.

• They fought for control of the land and its resources.

• Over time the Cherokees forced the Creek and Shawnee Indians from East and Middle Tennessee.

The Cherokees

• Today, the Cherokee Nation is the largest Native American tribe in North America.

• Today most Cherokee people live in Oklahoma and western North Carolina.

• Tennessee and the Tennessee River were named for a Cherokee town, Tanasi.

Check Understanding

• Who was the first group to settle in Tennessee?

• What made the Woodland Indians different from the Nomads?

• Name the four Native American groups who lived in Tennessee around 1500 and the section of Tennessee in which they lived.