A photograph of a spinning wheel inside a historic home in New Echota, Georgia.
This 1978 photograph was taken by an unknown photographer inside an historic home at New Echota, the site established as the capital of the Cherokee Nation in 1825. The photograph depicts a variety of implements that would have been commonly used by Cherokee women to process textiles and make clothing for their families. The great wheel or walking wheel next to the window would have been used to spin wool into thread that could then be stretched out and measured on one of the implements standing against the wall, commonly called a weasel. When enough thread was spun, it was dyed and woven into cloth or rugs like the one on the floor. New Echota was an attempt by the Cherokee to establish a U.S.-style government center to avoid continued pressure to relinquish tribal lands to white encroachment. The town was established in 1825 in north Georgia at the headwaters of the Oostanaula River. During its short history, New Echota was the site of the publication of the first Indian language newspaper, The Cherokee Phoenix, and a point of assembly during the removal of the Cherokee to lands west on the infamous Trail of Tears. Twelve original and reconstructed buildings remain on the site, operated by Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites.