Oconaluftee Valley II

Gary L   Suddath

Joined August 2007

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Artist's Description

Such a bittersweet site. The beautiful fall colors down the valley can be breathtaking. Gone though is the smoke rising from the villages along the river. Gone are those who once occupied the valley floor along what now is called the Oconaluftee River. Gone are the people that lived here for hundreds if not thousands of years. In about 1540 the first Europeans are thought to have encountered these people the Cherokee. Later in the 1600’s Europeans started venturing into their lands and settling. Many adopted Cherokee ways and fit into the Cherokees life of harmony with nature and personal freedom. They adapted and lived off the land,traded and married with the Cherokee. Then came larger and larger influx of immigrates. Treaties were signed and broken for 200 years. Finally under President Andrew Jackson, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act in 1830. In 1838 began a forced removal of the Cherokee from their lands to Oklahoma. Some 16-17,000 started out on the brutal marched from Georgia, about a forth died along the way. This forced removal later became known as the “Trail Of Tears”. They were some though, who were able to hold out. They hid in the mountains and valleys of the Smokies, or returned later from the Oklahoma Territory. Their children’s, children still live at the end of the valley today in what is called the Qualla Boundary. They are the Eastern Band of Cherokee. If you are around Cherokee NC, their way of life has been preserved at the Oconaluftee Indian Village…. This ancient valley is viewed from the Newfound Gap Road, U.S.441 GSMNP, just south of the gap on the North Carolina side. The overlook is on the right side if coming from Tennessee….best viewed large

Artwork Comments

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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