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Summertime Cherokee Heritage Tour dates set

KNOXVILLE — Travel to Cherokee, NC the original homestead of the Cherokee 11,000 year old culture. Immerse yourself in Cherokee history and culture with Randy McGinnis as your expert guide.

Tour dates are on Saturdays June 28, August 9, September 13, and October 4. The tour departs at 7:15 am from the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend, Tennessee and will return to Townsend at approximately 7:00 pm.

For a cost of $100 per person, the tour includes all transportation, a box lunch, and admission to the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual Co-op, Oconaluftee Indian Village, and Kituwah.

Randy McGinnis will lead you through the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. Totally renovated in 1998, the new museum tells the story of the Cherokee people using high-tech wizardry along with an extensive artifact collection.

You will be able to linger while you shop and explore Native American Arts and Crafts at the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual Co-op featuring high quality fine arts and crafts from local and regional Native American artists and crafts people.

You will travel a short distance to the Oconaluftee Indian Village, a "living museum" operated by the Cherokee Historical Association inside the Cherokee reservation. The outdoor museum is a replica of a typical Cherokee village from the mid-18th century with expert guides demonstrating the making of such items as arrowheads, baskets, and blowguns.

Finally the tour will travel south of Cherokee to Kituwah, the site of an ancient earthwork mound, likely built by the Mississippian culture about 1000 CE. The Cherokee believe the ancient settlement of Kituwah (also spelled Kituwah, Keetoowah, Kittowa, and other similar variations) or giduwa on the Tuckasegee River is their original settlement and is one of the "seven mother towns" in the Southeast.

You will hear more about Cherokee history and culture from our expert Native American guide dressed in full regalia who is sure to impress you with his full depth of knowledge and passion about his Native American heritage.

Published June 21, 2014

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