Where the Cherokee lived
Where people of the Cherokee nation lived, in what is now North and South Carolina and Georgia, was a great place to live. It never got very cold – even in winter it hardly ever snowed – and it never got that hot either. There was plenty of water, all year round.
Allegheny river and Appalachian mountains
Mostly Cherokee people lived in the pine forests, along the Allegheny river and other smaller rivers, and up in the Appalachian mountains. There were plenty of deer and small animals like rabbits and squirrels to hunt, and lots of fish in the rivers. The Cherokee built fishing weirs – little dams – to create ponds that made it easier for them to catch fish in the rivers. Along the coast, you could gather shellfish like clams and mussels and oysters, and soft-shell crabs, too.
Climate change and the Cherokee
But the climate didn’t always stay the same. Around 800 AD, there was a global warming period we call the Medieval Warm Period. The weather got warmer than it had been before. Summers were hotter, and it snowed less in the winter. The Iroquois moved further north, and maybe the Cherokee did too.
The Little Ice Age
Then around 1300, the earth cooled down again, starting the Little Ice Age. Winters got tougher. The Iroquois moved further south, where they probably got into fights with the Cherokee about land.
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