Smith, Rex

Rex Smith is a full blood Cherokee originally from Lost City, Oklahoma. He is currently living in Gideon. Rex is one of 11 brothers and sisters. His mother Betty Smith was a former tribal council member and worked at the Cherokee Heritage Center over 25+ years starting in 1965. Rex grew up at the Cherokee Heritage Center. He started in the Ancient Village in 1967 as a villager at the age of 7 then started on stage at the Trail of Tears Drama at the age of 9 earning his first paycheck. Working in the village with his family Rex learned basket weaving, stickball, how to flint knap, how to make pottery and beads, darts for blow guns, stickball sticks, bows, etc. During this time 9 of the 11 Smith children and their mother all worked in the village. Rex eventually went on to other jobs but went back to the Heritage Center to work in 2001. He has done a variety of jobs at the Heritage Center since then including being a guide in the Ancient Village, working on grounds staff, and greeting visitors. His children, Justin and Feather Smith have also worked there along with his Grandson Talyn Smith. Rex has been doing cultural presentations with various groups and schools for over 14 years. He also enjoys horseback riding, camping, rabbit, deer, and squirrel hunting, and fishing. He loves to cook and is well known for his fry bread. Rex’s clay beads for necklaces are made by hand and then fired in the ground.

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