Originally published in 1991, Snowbird Cherokees has since inspired a documentary of the same name and remains the only ethnographic study of Snowbird, North Carolina, a remote mountain community of Cherokees who are regarded as simultaneously the most traditional and the most adaptive members of the entire tribe. Through historical research, contemporary fieldwork, and situational analysis, Sharlotte Neely explains the Snowbird paradox and portrays the inhabitants' daily lives and culture. At the core of her study are detailed examinations of two expressions of Snowbird cultural self-awareness: its ongoing struggle for fair political representation on the tribal council and its yearly Trail of Tears Singing, a gathering point for all North Carolina and Oklahoma Cherokees concerned with cultural conservation. As Gilliam Jackson, a Snowbird Cherokee himself, reflects in the new foreword, Snowbird Cherokees remains a "crucial portrait" of the Snowbird community when the "vast majority of residents spoke the ? ? ? dialect." In Jackson's estimation, only fifty-three fluent speakers remain in ? ? ?.