One f the most well known Native American tribes is the Cherokee. Most non-full bloods claiming to be Indian are Cherokee. The Cherokee tribe is the largest Native American tribe. In the O1770 the tried had a membership of around 12,000 (Ehle, 1955:7). When the tribe began its journey to Indian Territory there was roughly eighteen thousand members (Ellis,199:3). Along the harsh journey from Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina four thousand Cherokees died (Ellis, 1991:3). This long journey of the winter of 1832 has become known as the Trail of Tears. There term "Trail of Tears" is from the Cherokee language, nuna dat suhn"yi, simply means "the trail where they cried" (Holm, 1976:60).
The journey of the Cherokee tribe is not presently illustrated to its fulfillment. First off for example the tribe, which for the most part was not nomadic, began its journey in the middle of winter. The entire tribe was traveling in a larger group by foot that means women, children, and the elderly were all taken from a land they could go without a great deal of clothing or shoes in the dead of winter to a much colder and unfamiliar area. These conditions are indescribable to those of us who enjoy the comities of today's world.
I recently began reading a wonderful book by Jerry Ellis called Walking the Trail. Ellis, a Cherokee descent, took on the challenge of waking the actual journey of the Cherokees relocation to Indian Territory. Ellis brings to light the unthinkable ideas of how the trip in the winter or 1832 would have been like. He points out the unprepared supply of food, shelter, and water as obstacles to be dealt with on a day-to-day basis. The Cherokee people are truly remarkable in the fact they came to Indian Territory and made a productive life for themselves.
The numbers of tribe members grew after the Cherokee's resettlement in Indian Territory due to the large number of Cherokees who married whites.