Table of Contents
The Cherokee People are one of the largest Native American tribes in the United States with a rich history and culture that spans thousands of years.
Over the centuries, various Cherokee proverbs have been passed down that reflect the Cherokee’s devotion to nature, their loyalty to the community, and their understanding of the interconnectedness of all things.
So, in this post, I’ve gathered 31 Cherokee quotes about nature, love life, and Native American culture.
Whether you’re looking for guidance to live a meaningful life, or simply curious about Cherokee wisdom, these Cherokee sayings will offer you a deeper and refreshing look at life. So, let’s begin…
24 Cherokee Quotes About Life
When you pray, move your feet.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
Everything in nature is connected; if you harm one thing, you harm everything.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. ‘A fight is going on inside me,’ he said to the boy.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
‘It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.’
He continued, ‘The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.’
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, ‘Which wolf will win?’
The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.’
This famous inside you there are two wolves shows how we all have a duality within us, and we’re all constantly trying to balance positive thoughts, emotions, and actions with negative ones.
The evil wolf is representative of all the negative emotions and behaviors that can hold us back and keep us from living our best lives. On the other hand, the positive wolf represents everything that can bring us happiness, fulfillment, and peace.
And ultimately, we have the power to choose which wolf we feed. There are consequences to our thoughts and actions, and what we choose to focus on ultimately determines where we go in life.
So the next time you are experiencing conflict within yourself, remember this Cherokee quote about two wolves inside you and feed the good wolf within.
Have a vision not clouded by fear.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
Listen with your heart.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
Pay attention to the whispers,Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
so we won’t have to listen to the screams.
The weakness of our enemy makes our strength.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
In a literal sense, this Cherokee saying means that we gain an advantage by exploiting our enemies’ weaknesses. However, I believe these Cherokee words extend beyond their literal meaning.
There is a deeper truth here about strengths and weaknesses as strength actually goes beyond physical power or dominance. It is often more about adaptability, resilience, and turning adversity into opportunity.
And at the same time, if we can learn to embrace our weaknesses, we can turn them into strengths.
And then we can use them to become more flexible and determined. We can learn from our mistakes and failures and use that knowledge to become even stronger.
The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
Always remember that a smile is something sacred, to be shared.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
Every animal knows more than you do.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
There is healing in calmness and strength in humility.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
This Native American quote about healing shows how Calmness is commonly misunderstood as a weakness. But in truth, it requires great inner strength to remain calm under pressure.
Think about it… Calmness allows us to think clearly and make rational decisions instead of being swept away by emotions. It allows us to find solutions where others see chaos, and to approach life’s challenges with a clear head and steady hand.
Humility, too, is often undervalued in a world dominated by an egotistical display of power. When we are humble, our minds are open to growth, and our relationships become richer and more meaningful.
Together, calmness and humility form a powerful duo that can guide us through life’s challenges with grace, as this Cherokee Indian quote shows us. And as a result, our true strength comes not from external achievements, but from our values and character.
Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
Listen with your heart. Learn from your experiences and always be open to new ones.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
Love only has one eye – not two.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
The tongue has no bones but is strong enough to break a heart. So be careful with your words.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
With communication constantly evolving, we need to always remember the weight of our words. Our words have the power to build up or tear down the people around us. They can literally boost or crush someone’s spirits.
Words are not just mere sounds or scribbles on a page but powerful tools that can inspire action and bring comfort to the listener or the reader.
Take these Cherokee Indian proverbs you’re reading right now, for instance. These words are capable of bringing about positive changes and inspiring us to live a more conscious life.
However, if not used carefully, words can also be harmful to those around us, as well as ourselves in the long run. So, let’s always be mindful of the words we speak in our everyday lives.
I see the universe, I see myself.High Eagle
Those who have one foot in the canoe and one foot in the boat are going to fall into the river.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
The message this Cherokee quote about life conveys is that true change must come from within. Although we can offer advice, guidance, and support to our friends and family, ultimately it is up to the person to take action.
Think about it, if the other person refuses to acknowledge the problem and take steps to address it, our efforts will be in vain, exactly what these Cherokee words have conveyed.
The same is true for social change. We may want to wake up the world to injustices and inequalities, but if no one listens or takes action individually, our voices will be ignored.
So, what can we do instead? I believe that by staying true to ourselves and living with integrity, we can set an example and possibly inspire others to do the same.
The warrior who rushes into battle without a plan has already lost the fight.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
Our first teacher is our own heart.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
A true friend walks in when the rest of the world walks out.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
You can’t cross a river without getting wet.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
I think it is fairly self-explanatory that to achieve anything truly worthwhile, we must be willing to take risks and face challenges.
Life is full of rivers to cross. There are some that are shallow and small, while there are others that are deep and swift. Regardless of their size, all present their own unique challenges. However, regardless of the challenge at hand, we cannot succeed without taking the plunge.
The truth is, the journey to success is rarely easy or straightforward, but that is all part of the process. Just as rivers have rocks and raging waters that demand careful navigation, our paths to success will also require adaptability, so we need to be prepared to adjust accordingly.
Remember, there is no progress to be made by staying still. So, take inspiration from this Cherokee saying and venture into the unknown, even if it means doing what you’d rather not.
7 Cherokee Phrases About Cherokee Tribe & Culture
Negative thoughts were treated by Cherokee healers with the same medicines as wounds, headaches, or physical illness.Wilma Mankiller
It was believed that unchecked negative thoughts can permeate the being and manifest themselves in negative actions.
Our thoughts are powerful. Our negative thoughts can have severe physical consequences on our bodies if left unchecked.
That’s why the Cherokee nation viewed negative thoughts like physical ailments. In their view, both types of afflictions deserved equal attention, as this Cherokee phrase about the Cherokee tribe suggests.
We often hear the phrase “think positive,” but it’s not always easy to implement. That’s why it’s essential to address these negative thoughts proactively, like any physical illness. If we don’t, we risk allowing them to flourish and grow, eventually resulting in negative consequences.
Ultimately, the key takeaway from this quote is that our thoughts matter. They have the power to shape our experiences, relationships, and our lives, and bodies as a whole. By acknowledging this fact, we can cultivate a more positive attitude.
My tribute to mystical, magical trees that the Cherokee called “standing people”.Wallace Stevens
The Cherokee used to fear that taking a photo would make them lose their souls. Over exposure and desensitization is pretty close to losing one’s soul. So they were right to quite an extent.Sabine Shah
Cherokee towns were deeply connected. Each person belonged to one of seven clans.Danielle Smith-Llera
All things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man. The air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.Chief Seattle
Nature’s beauty and interconnectedness have always been at the core of human existence. Throughout history, nature has inspired, sustained, and guided humans.
Essentially, all things are part of the same mighty web of life, and humans are part of it as well. From the beasts that roam the land to the trees that provide shade and oxygen, we are all bound together by the same fundamental forces.
Air, for example, the very essence of life itself, is shared by all living things. And yet, unfortunately, we take this precious resource for granted, polluting it with cars and factories and completely ignoring the consequences.
So, the message is simple in this Native American Cherokee quote about nature: all things are connected, and we must learn to live in harmony with the natural world if we are to survive and thrive. Because if we continue to exploit and destroy the environment, we risk not just our own survival but the survival of all life on earth.
Money may talk, but it still hasn’t learned to speak Cherokee.Native American Proverb (Cherokee)
I’m proud of being part Cherokee, and I think it’s time all us Indians felt the same way.Loretta Lynn
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products or services that I personally find valuable and believe will be beneficial to my readers. Your purchase through these links allows me to keep providing valuable content. Thanks for your support.