The fire is very sacred to traditional Cherokees. It is built at the bottom of a pit below the ground, and burns constantly. It is believed by traditional Cherokees that soon after creation of the Cherokee people, the Creator left his throne in Heaven and visited the earth.
He chose four Cherokee men who were strong, healthy, good and true, and believed with all of their heart in the Creator. They were each given a name: Red, Blue, Black and Yellow. Each was given a wooden stick that was very straight,and was told to place one end of the stick on a surface that would not burn. He said to place the other end in their hands, and start this material that would not burn to magically burn... by giving the sticks a circular, rotating motion. When this was done, and all the sticks were burning, they were told to go to the center of the cross, and there the four would start one singular fire. This fire would burn for all time, and be the Sacred Fire.
The fire was started with the instructions and help of the Creator.The Sacred Fire has been held since that time by the Cherokee, and is kept alive by the Chief, Assistant Chief, Firekeeper,and Assistant Firekeepers of the Ground. Today, there are over 200,000 Cherokee tribal members. Although some have chosen to worship through other religious denominations (Indian Baptist, Methodist, etc.), many continue to worship at regular Stomp Dances and are members of one of the several Grounds in Cherokee Nation. Each ground has its own unique protocol and differences, but the general worship is similar with the same intention.