Kituhwa Mound is a sacred and incredibly historic site to the Cherokee. This mound once sat at the center of the first Cherokee village — Kituhwa, which is often referred to as the “mother town of the Cherokee.” Archaeologists date the site back to nearly 10,000 years ago. Originally 15 to 20 feet tall, the mound now measures only about 5 feet high due to nearly two hundred years of farming while the site passed out of Cherokee possession. However, the site was bought back by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in 1996 and is once again treasured as a sacred to the Cherokee people.
In 2010, the Kituwah site was at the center of a major controversy involving Cherokee cultural heritage and big business. In December of 2009 Duke Energy began clearing a site which overlooked the Kituwah Mound site. They were planning to build a $52 million dollar electrical substation on the site, but had not consulted with tribal leaders or locals about the impact that such development would have on the sacred historical site. A grassroots movement quickly took shape and launched a campaign to Save Kituwah. Tribal leader from both the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians as well as the Cherokee Nation and United Keetoowah Band all spoke out in opposition to the proposed substation site. The situation was widely reported and followed by the media throughout the country. Finally in early August of 2010, Duke Energy announced that they would move the planned substation to a new site away from Kituwah. The announcement marks a major victory for tribal community rights, cultural preservation, and grassroots political movements.
Photos Copyright Christina Berry, All Things Cherokee
Kituwah Mound Travel Details
The site is open year-round.
Directions: Kituwah Mound is just off Highway 19 between Bryson City and Cherokee, North Carolina. For specific directions, click the “Directions” link in the location bubble of the map above and enter your starting location on the left.
GPS & Map: 35.43929203991327,-83.40356826782227