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Native American Traditions in Appalachia

Powwow dancing, frybread, beadwork--these Native American traditions have been visible at the Folklife Festival for years. Tribes from all over the United States have come to the Mall to share their music, stories, beliefs, crafts, and foodways. Beyond these brief public glimpses and behind a thick layer of stereotypes, Native Americans continue to keep alive a rich variety of traditions that sustain them spiritually and define their distinct cultures.

In the eastern United States, the Cherokees dominated all of the southern Appalachian region (140,000 square miles) for more than a thousand years. They identify the place where the first ...

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