Special exhibit on display at Cherokee National Prison Museum
Published July 12, 2016
TAHLEQUAH — Throughout history, Cherokees have always placed a high priority on their relationship with the Earth and emphasized the importance of being good stewards of the land.
A new exhibit at the Cherokee National Prison Museum showcases that relationship while featuring Cherokee agricultural practices from pre-removal to present day. “Of the Earth” runs July 15 through November 1. Free admission will be offered on opening day.
The special exhibit features information on a variety of crops, including corn, squash and beans. These crops are also known as the Three Sisters, which are historically the most important throughout Cherokee history. Other crops include pumpkins, apples, grapes, peaches and wild onions.
The Cherokee National Prison Museum was selected to host the exhibit, as it once featured a large garden where prisoners tended to its care. This was an important aspect of the prison, as it was used for prisoner reform and teaching life skills, as opposed to punishment.
The Cherokee National Prison was the only penitentiary building in Indian Territory from 1875 to 1901. It housed sentenced and accused prisoners from throughout the territory. The interpretive site and museum give visitors an idea about how law and order operated in Indian Territory. The site features a working blacksmith area and reconstructed gallows, exhibits about famous prisoners and daring escapes, local outlaws and Cherokee patriots, jail cells and more. The Cherokee National Prison Museum is located at 124 East Choctaw Street in Tahlequah.
Cherokee Nation museums are open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For information on Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism, including museum operations, please call (877) 779-6977 or visit www.VisitCherokeeNation.com