Traditional Thanksgiving foods in the Cherokee Nation

Traditional Thanksgiving foods in the Cherokee Nation |
Photo credit: 4x4foto/Getty Images

According to the Cherokee Nation Cultural Resource Center, when the Cherokee sat down to Thanksgiving Dinner, they were most likely to see much of the following on the table:

Meat and seafood

  • Venison (Awi hawiya)
  • Crawdads (Tsisdvna)
  • Boiled Crawdads (Dilitlianv tsisdvna)
  • Cornmeal and Crawdad Mush (anisda)
  • Baked Rabbit (Disvnatanv tsisdu)
  • Squirrel Gravy (Saloli ugami gotlvtanv assusti)


  • Raw Vegetable Dish (Iyudalegi itse tlogesi udenv)
  • Winter Green Onions (Gola ehi svgi)
  • Leeks (Svgi)
  • Green Bean Casserole (Tuya anitse dilisyidi)
  • Mushroom Soup and Fried Onions (Dawoli ugami ale gvtsatlanv svgi)
  • Sauteed Wisi – a type of mushroom (Goi gvtsatlanv)


  • Biscuits and whole wheat bread (Gadu disvnatanvi ale owodige gadu)
  • Variety of Rices (Dilikwa ilusgi iyudalegi)


  • Pear Halves, Pumpkin and Pecan Canoe (Digadvdi iya sohi aninvhida)

Historically, traditional Cherokee foods included corn, beans and squash — are known as the “Three Sisters.” These were their staple foods for many years in addition to deer, turkey, many plants and roots, berries, potatoes, pumpkin, fish, soup, cornbread, and even popcorn.