The Cherokee people, like all Native American tribes, possess an extensive, ancient oral history. Before European contact and the creation of the Cherokee syllabary, the only way history could be passed on was by word-of-mouth. Storytelling is still an important part of Cherokee life. Stories are used for entertainment, to teach morals and values, and to keep Cherokee history and culture alive. The Cherokee stories told today have been passed down for many generations. James Mooney, a white man who lived with the Cherokees for several years in the late 1800s, recorded Cherokee stories that are still told today. These stories are a great way to learn more about Cherokee beliefs and culture.