a member of a Native American people, many of whom now live in the US states of Oklahoma and North Carolina Culture The Cherokees lived by farming and trading. Their language was written in 1826 by Sequoyah, and they had a form of government called the Cherokee Nation. The US government moved them in 1838 from Georgia to Oklahoma, and many died on the journey, called the Trail of Tears. Some Cherokees still live in the eastern US in the Great Smoky Mountains. Word Originfrom obsolete Cherokee (the language of the Cherokee people) tsaraki, earlier form of tsaliki.