Native Americans in Tennessee from 1500-1700

Americans in
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
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.
Chickasaw – West Tennessee
Creek – Southeast Tennessee
Shawnee – Middle Tennessee
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
• Each tribe built their
homes using natural
resources and the
forests around them.
Tribes at War
• The tribes were often at war with one
• They fought for control of the land and its
• 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
• 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

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