Every evening the residents of Cherokee villages and towns entered the Council House, where lengthy discussions could take place about issues of concern to the town. Decisions were made by reaching a consensus among all the adults of each town, including the women. The chiefs were expected to represent and enact those decisions to the outside world, much as today's Executive and Legislative branches of the Cherokee Nation government work together.
Households could be very large, with many clan members and husbands residing in them. The more sisters there were in each generation, the larger the household would be. Usually several structures existed that loosely belonged to the sisters of each generation, comprising a clan compound.
The following is taken from a manuscript prepared by J.P. Evans in 1835.
"In the chartered limits of North Carolina and in those of Georgia and Tennessee, as far as my observations extend, the Cherokees are divided into towns and clans. By towns is not to be understood a cluster of dwellings contained within a small space, as amongst the whites, and probably with some other Indian tribes, but a small colony, generally embracing some miles in extent. In the same sense, Cherokee village is to be understood."