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     What were the Cherokee people like before the white man came? How did they live? What did they eat? What were the Cherokee beliefs and habits? Our research into the old books and articles have revealed the following. We have taken nothing for granted, and have searched for verification of everything. In most cases we include the source and page number. If you know of material that should be included, please advise us of it, to : email:
Lee Ross MacDonald

1st Edition, March 26, 2001 Last change 8/28/2001
      Our research has convinced us that it was over by 1880 -- that is, by then all the people of Cherokee blood in the Oklahoma area were living just like their white pioneer neighbors around them. There was nothing Cherokee left. There were no more clans, no council meetings, no teaching of the young in ancient Cherokee ways, because by then nobody alive knew anything about it. It only takes one generation (who are not taught) for it to be gone forever, and that time had passed. The previous generation had just been moved (mostly through the Trail of Tears) from their ancestral grounds east of the Mississippi into what is now the northeastern part of Oklahoma. The times had been hard. Many had died. Very little, if anything, had been passed on by word of mouth. It was gone.
     Fortunately, some of the old ways had been written down... not enough, but some. It seems impossible that the names of the seven Cherokee clans (which controlled all Cherokee affairs) cannot be accurately ascertained today. There are a half dozen lists of them, none of which totally agree.
     And, late in the 20th century, we never found a person claiming Cherokee blood (even the ones who can prove their Cherokee ancestry, and have a registration card to prove it) who ever heard of a Cherokee "king", much less can give you the names of even one. The genocide had worked -- whether deliberate or due to cruel circumstances, knowledge of ancient Cherokee life ("before the white man came and ruined everything") was gone. .
     All the living Cherokees of the last century ever heard was this "chief" crap (chief is an English word which became a generic term, like "moccasin" and "tomahawk") but it is not Native American at all, in any language. It was not in general use, or official use, by the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, etc. until into the 19th century, about the time they wrote their constitutions in the 1830's. Until then, the Cherokees were presided over by an Oukah (uku, ukuh, ookuh) which was always translated as "king", the Creeks, Choctaws, Alabamu's, etc (Muskogeean) by a "Micco", always translated as 'king".
     Young Cherokees today tell us they grew up being told they were an "Indian" belonging to a "tribe". They should have been told they are a "Cherokee" belonging to a "nation".
     Introducing an "oukah" (king) to them has been an almost impossible task, and introducing them to some truth of their own heritage has been like beating our heads against a stone wall. What little they do know is all wrong, produced by "old wives tales" made up at the moment, bad western movies and worse comic strips. Yet they clasp that poison to their breasts, not knowing it is poison and is killing them. It is their lies, and it is all that they know. Still, we have persisted in trying to teach some of the truth that we know, and have uncovered, and discovered. We do so again with this work, which nobody else has seen fit to produce, or has known enough about to produce. Here, below, is the best we can do, along with as many sources as we can name, or feel necessary to prove the point.
Lee MacDonald, Editor, Triskelion Press
Cherokees of North Texas, Inc.

ANIMALS (Fauna) 
FIRE (Cooking & Sacred) 

Amphibians & Reptiles 
Bird Habitats 
Cultivated Crops 
Principal Freshwater Fish 
Herbs & Medicines 
Bugs & Insects 
Nuts & Seeds 
Fruit, Wild 
Vegetables, Wild 


      "The clan was the most important social entity to which a person belonged. Membership in a clan was more important than membership in anything else. An alien had no rights, no legal security, unless he was adopted into a clan. For example, if a war party happened to capture an enemy and the captive was not adopted by a clan, then any sort of torture could be inflicted upon him. But if he were adopted into one of his captors' clans, then no one could touch him for fear of suffering vengeance from the adopting clan. The rights of clansmanship were so fundamental they were seldom if ever challenged." (Hudson, 193,194)
     Sometimes Cherokee citizens would choose to "adopt" a person from another nation or tribe - somebody who was not Cherokee by blood. This was because of friendship, for great affection was sometimes forged between those of alien nations. Some Cherokee women had Creek friends, for instance, and sometimes named their children for them, which accounts for some Cherokees ending up with foreign names (names that were not Cherokee in origin). These adopted Cherokees were given the same protection and privileges of any other member of the clan. So it can truly be said that membership in a Cherokee clan could be either by birth or adoption, both carrying the same weight, and no distinction being made between the two.
ADOPT A RELATIVE: "This seems to point to a custom which has escaped the notice of earlier
writers on the eastern tribes, but which is well known in Africa and other parts of the world, and is
closely analogous to a still existing ceremony among the plains Inds. by which two young men of
the same tribe formally agree to become brothers, and ratify the compact by a public exchange of
names and gifts." (Mooney, 493)
     Private adoptions were not unusual, and the selection of someone as a "particular friend" was a very serious matter, to last a lifetime. This was usually "symbolized by a complete exchange of clothing and sometimes of names as well. It lasted throughout life, binding the Ind. at least, in loyalty to his special friend, and often it was the means of saving" a whiteman's life. "This custom is reflected in the name of  'Judd's Friend'  which was applied to the great warrior Ostenaco; and it may be hazarded, too, that the devotion of Atta Kulla Kulla, who which Captain John Stuart owed his escape from the Fort Loudoun massacre, was an exhibition of Ind. loyalty to a "special friend". (quoted, Rothrock, 16)

      Some of the ornaments made of stone, bone, shell and copper hint of 'ancient ideas of adornment'. "Bone bracelets were made from animal rib bones, the backbones of snakes were sometimes strung on cords to serve as ready-made necklaces. Among other odd items strung for necklaces were bear and bobcat eye teeth and turtle thigh bones. Some of the bone ornaments were decorated with engraving. Marine shell and copper ornaments have occasionally been found but were rare because the shells had to come from the distant Gulf of Mexico and the copper from the Lake Superior region. Small shells were merely perforated, while large conchs were cut up and made into beads of various sizes." (Lewis & Kneberg, 30,31)
     "They strung turkey bone beads around their necks 'in such manner that the breast was frequently nearly covered with beads'". (Hill, 23) Longe & Payne.
    "The carving and engraving of shell was another art in which the late temple mound builders excelled.... dug from the walls of large marine conchs, the disks range in diameter from an inch and a half to seven inches. Two small holes, drilled close together near the edge, indicate that they were worn suspended from necklaces, with the concave surfaces showing elaborately engraved designs.
    "The cross design, which was used frequently, represented either the four quarters of the world or the sun, since it was occasionally surrounded by a sun circle motif.
    "Another design with a central symbol composed of three radiating whorls surrounded by a pattern of concentric circles had the scalloped edge that completed the design. Variations of the central symbol, called a triskelion, are also found in the Old World where they appear on many different objects.
    "Animal motifs also were present on the gorgets. An intricately balanced design was formed by a coiled rattlesnake with gaping jaws. Pileated woodpeckers, wild turkeys and spiders were depicted with a combination of realism and stylized art. All of these creatures -- snakes, birds and insects, figured in mythology..."
    Beads: "One reason for the profuse use of beads as ornaments was the fact that they also constituted a medium of exchange and could be made useful in that capacity at a minute's notice, besides furnishing visible witness to the standing and credit of the wearer." (Swanton, #137, 481)
      "Lavish use of shell beads -- as many of ten thousand have been found with a single skeleton (in the excavations). Small fresh water and marine shells, unaltered except for perforations, formed necklaces or were sewn into garments and headbands. Beads cut from the cores of marine conchs were used in the same manner and also for legbands, belts and wrist cuffs. While most of these beads were small, having disk, globular, and tubular shapes, others were as large as walnuts. ... "Fresh water pearls, skillfully perforated with very small drills, were another source of beads. One (excavated) necklace contained a thousand pearls, and individual examples a half inch in diameter have been found... The fabulous size and beauty of the pearls... impressed the early Spanish and  English explorers who, seeing in them a possible source of wealth, secured as many as they could by barter." (Lewis & Kneberg, 111,112,113)
     The two main types of beads are the tubular and the disk. ...Disk-shaped beads were generally cut from bivalves and pierced. ...beads have been found made of shell, bone, clay, antler, stone, copper, and trade beads (the latter of white, blue and green glass, obtained after the white man came).
     Beads (Sacred): Every shaman was in possession of sacred beads, some red, some black, some white. One way  these were used is explained in the chapter of the Ball Game.
      Beads (Wampum): "Under the classification of shell beads, perhaps those commonly known as wampum may be considered the most important. During the early days of white settlement in the northern continent wampum was a recognized medium of exchange, or, when arranged on strings in a particular order as to color, served in the conveyance of intertribal messages, or, when woven into a form known as belts, played an important part in the ratification of treaties. In personal adornment, the belts were very effective. Woven into the form of collars, or on strings as necklaces, ear-pendants, or wristlets, they were more commonly used.
    "The wampum to be discussed ... is to be understood as having the form of small cylindrical shell beads, averaging about a quarter of an inch in length by an eighth of an inch in diameter --- the wampum in mind is the cylindrical kind which was made in two colors, white and purple. The quahog, or hard-clam (Venus mercenaria), furnished extensively the material for the manufacture of both colors of wampum, although other shells of a suitable nature, such as the columellae of the conch, were used for the white beads.... (Orchard, 70)
    ...the large clam is too old and tough for food, and the smaller, younger clams are the ones usually seen. It was only the large, inedible clams that had a shell thick enough to have a purple band of three-eights of an inch thick, or thereabout.
    "If this Wampum Peak be black or purple, as some Part of that Shell is, then it is twice the Value. This the Inds. grind on Stones and other things ..., but the Drilling is the most difficult ... which is managed with a Nail stuck in a Cane or Reed. Then they roll it continually on their Thighs with their Right-hand, holding the Bit of Shell with their left, so in time they drill a Hole quite through it, which is a very tedious Work. (Lawson, 194)
    .... they "had nothing which they reckoned Riches, before the English went among them, except Peak, Roenoke, and such like trifles made out of the Conk-shell. These past with them instead of Gold and Silver, and serv'd them both for Money, and Ornament....
    "Peak is of two sorts, or rather of two colours, for both are made of one Shell, tho of different parts; one is a dark Purple Cylinder, and the other a white; they are both made in size, and figure alike, and commonly much resembling the English Buglas (bugle beads), but not as transparent nor so brittle. They are wrought as smooth as Glass, being one third of an inch long, and about a quarter, diameter, strung by a hole drill'd thro the Center. The dark colour is the dearest, and distinguish'd by the name of Wampom Peak. The English-men that are called Ind. Traders, value the Wampom Peak, at eighteen pence per Yard, and the white Peak at nine pence." (Beverley, 58,59)
    Copper... was the rarest of the materials used for ornaments and was probably the most highly prized because of its scarcity. Its only use was for small beads that added bright accents to necklaces of white shell beads." (Lewis & Kneberg, 50) (see Earth materials)
     Belts: "The belt was very frequently made to combine decorative with utilitarian functions like the head band or necklace. LeMoyne (1875, p. 14) indicates what looks like a bead or pearl belt worn for purely ornamental purposes..." (Swanton, #137, 523)
     Bracelets: "Cherokees wore bracelets on their arms and wrists... " (Timberlake, 75). Some bracelets were made of wampum and other beads, such as pearls. Others were made of deer bones, bleached and smoothed. After the white traders came, there was an enormous interest in obtaining silver bracelets for both the upper and lower arms. These were almost always requested as gifts from the Cherokee men visiting Charlestown, especially wide silver bracelets for the upper arm.
     Combs: "Antler and bone,decorated with carving and engraving, wee used for ornaments as well as tools. Large engraved antler combs that resemble the ones worn in the hair by Spanish women may have served the same purpose...Combs were sometimes used in hand weaving to tighten the weft strands." (Perdue, Tribes, 48)
      Ear Rings: "The ears are slit and stretched to an enormous size, putting the person who undergoes the operation to incredible pain, being unable to lie on either side for near forty days. To remedy this, they generally slit but one at a time; so soon as the patient can bear it, they are wound round with wire to expand them, and are adorned with silver pendants and rings, which they likewise wear at the nose. This custom does not belong originally to the Cherokees, but (was) taken by them from the Shawnese, or other northern nations. (Timberlake, in Williams, 75-76).
      Gorgets (Shell):  Beverley, in his 'History of Virginia' says, "Of this shell (the conch) they also make round tablets of about four inches in diameter, which they polish as smooth as the other, and sometimes they etch or grave thereon circles, stars, a half-moon, or any other figure suitable to their fancy". Adair states, in his 'History of the American Inds." that the priest wears a breastplate made of a white conch-shell, with two holes bored in the middle of it, through which he puts the ends of an otter skin strap, and fastens a buck-horn white button to the outside of each."
      "They often times make, of this Shell, a sort of Gorge, which they wear about their Neck in a string; so it hangs on their Collar, whereon sometimes is engraven a Cross, or some odd sort of Figure, which comes next in their Fancy. There are other sorts valued at a Doe-Skin, yet the Gorges will sometimes sell for three or four Buck-Skins ready drest. (Lawson, 203)
     " gorgets, are usually round, although some are squared, and they have two perforations for suspension. On the concave surface some are engraved, and in North Carolina the rattlesnake, the cross, and some other designs have been found. The figures on a few have been designed by cutting away part of the shell." (Rights, 273)
     "The shell gorgets that most excite our admiration are not the ones with iconographic designs, but those depicting men engaged in various activities. The drawings are springhtly, indicating a sense of movement. Men are shown fighting, running, dancing, playing games, and performing ritual acts...Some of the men depicted have animal features, perhaps representing spiritual beings or men mimicking animals. A wealth of information is contained in these gorgets, much of it still not well understood." Hudson).
     Gorgets (Stone): These stone pieces, presumably ornaments for suspension about the throat or worn on the breast, have two perforations, and the wear of the cords for attachment is plainly indicated on some of the gorgets. Slate is the favorite material.
     Headbands: "For a headdress they wear a thick skein of thread in whatever color they desire which they wind about their heads and tie the ends over the forehead in two half-knots, so that one end hangs down over either temple as far as the ears. (Garcilaso, 17-18)
     Of a Natchez headband: "The crown is composed of a cap and a diadem, surmounted by large feathers. The cap is made of a netting which holds the diadem, a texture 2 inches broad, tied as tightly behind as is desired. The cap is of black threads, but the diadem is red and embellished with little beads or small white seeds as hard as beads. The feathers which surmount the diadem are white. These in front may be 8 inches long and those behind 4 inches. These feathers are arranged in a curved line. At the end of each is a tuft of hair and above a little hairy tassel, all being only an inch and a half long and dyed a very beautiful red. (duPratz, vol 2, 201; Swanton, #137, 509)
     Of  "Mico Chlucco, the Long Warrior, King of the Seminoles",  "a very curious diadem or band, about four inches broad, and ingeniously wrought or woven, and curiously decorated with stones, beads, wampum, porcupine quills, etc., encircles their temples; the front peak of it being embellished with a high waving plume, or crane or heron feathers." (Bartram,  499,500)
     Leg Ornaments: "Most Southeastern Inds. wore leggings at times, and beaded garters, made of bison hair, opossum hair, or other material, were constant accompaniments of these.
    "Strings of beads seem sometimes to have been worn by men even without their leggings..." (Swanton, #137, 523). It seems that whatever was suitable to hang around their necks, or around their arms, was also used to decorate their legs.
    Other leg ornaments were the terrapin shells which were strapped to the legs. During the ceremonial dances the shells were filled with pebbles, which made a rhythmic sound.
      Necklaces: 'Four sorts of neck ornaments are mentioned, necklaces proper, collars, gorgets of shell, and gorgets of metal. The distribution of the first was most general or, at least, there are more references to this type of ornamentation." (Swanton, #137, 516).
     Strings of animal teeth... most frequently came from bears, but bobcat, groundhog, elk, dog, and even human teeth were combined with them. On some of the most elaborate necklaces the teeth alternated with marine shell beads which came from the Gulf of Mexico. Beads were often shaped like flat disks, but some were inch-long tubes whose performations represent remarkable skill with a very small drill." (Perdue)
     Pendants:  There are some small triangular cutouts of conch shell with a groove near the apex for attaching string. Pierced pendants of the same material have been recorded.
Pendants with perforation near the top for suspension were made of soapstone, slate, and granitic material. Some had notches on the base or side for decoration.

     Cherokees, like other natives of the Southwest, relied on agriculture for only a part of their
food supply. Hunting, fishing, and the gathering of wild foods, roots, fruits, berries, augmented the cooking pots. Every Cherokee realized that they were merely caretakers of the land, or "trustee" for future occupants. To them, no one could "own" the land - they could only use or abuse it.
    Towns were occasionally moved, and it is possible that this was in part owing to the fact that the land for these garden plots would gradually become exhausted, as would the firewood supply. As the town became surrounded by more and more useless land, the women would have to walk farther and farther to tend their gardens and gather firewood until at last the town would become an undesirable place to live.
    Fields that had never been used had to be cleared of all vegetation. Fields that had been used the year before had to be cleared, in the early spring, of the weeds and cane that had since grown up. Although agriculture was principally an activity for the women and children, the initial clearing of the fields, and preparation for the new planting, was done by the men.
CROPS: "The chief cultivated plants were melons, maize, beans, tobacco, peas, cabbages, potatoes, and pumpkins." (Gilbert, 316)
CORN:   "Inds. in the eastern United States began cultivating beans at about the same time they began cultivating the eastern flint corn, at around AD 800 to 1000. The common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) occurs in hundreds of varieties, including kidney, navy, pinto, snap, and pole beans. Some of these beans grow on bushy plants, while others grow on vines, requiring that they be planted alongside cornstalks or poles. Most of these varieties ripen in about ten weeks.
    they "began cultivating squash perhaps as early as 1000 B.C., far earlier than they began cultivating corn and beans. They planted the northern species, Cucurbita pepo L., a species comprising pumpkins and summer squashes. Squash is a good vegetable because it is relatively easy to grow and it is highly productive. Some varieties of squash could be stored in a cool, dry place and kept through the winter.
     "Corn, beans and squash were unusually well suited to each other. When grown in the same field they complemented each other, and in recognition of their basic compatibility the Iroquois called them the "three sisters"... Corn and beans are particularly suited to each other, because while corn removes nitrogen from the soil, beans replace nitrogen, and the soil is therefore exhausted more slowly. Moreover, beans and corn complement each other in a dietary sense. Corn supplies some of the protein which is essential for good nutrition, but it lacks the amino acid lysine, which, as it turns out, is relatively abundant in beans. Thus when eaten together corn and beans are a relatively good source of vegetable protein.
    "....sunflowers... yielded "large quantities of oily seeds rich in vitamins. With their hard shells, sunflower seeds would have been easy to store for use in winter. And considering the importance of the sun in their belief system, the Southeastern Inds. would not have failed to notice that the sunflower turns to face the sun when it rises, and then follows it across the heavens to where it sets in the west.
     Fields were cleared "...of large trees by girdling them with rings cut into the bark. Before contact they used stone axes for this, for European steel axes were so superior that they quickly became one of the items which were most desired. ..After the girdled trees died, they were either burned or simply left to stand and rot. Fields that had been used the year before had to be cleared in the spring of the weeds and cane that had grown up in the past season. Although agriculture was principally a woman's occupation, the initial clearing of the fields was done by men.
     "The time when crops were planted depended upon the climate. The  first planting of early corn usually came in March or April; in the northerly parts the first planting usually came in May. They planted the early corn as soon as the threat of frost had passed, but they waited another month or so before planting the late corn because by that time there were wild foods available to deflect the attention of crows and other pests. Early corn was planted in the garden plots in and around the town, and late corn was planted in the large fields in the river bottoms. The garden plots were planted by the women, but the large fields were planted by both sexes. The labor in the large fields was communal. Early in the morning of a working day, one of the old leaders would stand on top of a mound or in the plaza and call all of the people out to work. Those who failed to come had fines imposed upon them. Before the Natchez planted seed, they took it to the Great Sun to have it sanctified. This may have been done in  one form or another throughout the Southeast.
     "Although labor was communal, the large fields were divided into individual allotments. Each household or lineage had its own plot, separated from the others by a strip of untilled soil. All the people worked together on one plot until it was worked up and planted, and then they moved on to another. In some cases an entire field would be cultivated by the people... and its produce turned over to the chief to use for ritual occasions and for redistribution to people in need. Planting had a festive quality, and there was always a great deal of singing and joking. They worked the soil with digging sticks and with short hoes that had wooden handles and blades made of shell, flint, or the shoulder blade of a large mammal. The Inds. did not till the entire field, but instead worked up small "hills" a foot or more in diameter. This both prevented soil erosion and preserved the fertility of the soil longer than did the plow-agriculture introduced by the European colonists. Hills were laid out in straight lines and spaced three or four feet apart in both directions. Laying out the corn in a regular pattern made weeding easier later on. In each hill.. they.. made a cluster of four to six holes spaced about one or two  inches apart. Seed that had been soaked for a day to hasten germination was dropped in, one grain to a hole. A little hill of dirt was then piled over each group of seeds. Some of the Inds. carefully planted just four grains of corn in each cluster; others probably planted more and thinned out the less robust stalks after they came up.
     "The kind of soil suitable for riverine agriculture was scarce, and because of its scarcity, the agricultural strategy of the Southeastern Inds. was designed to produce maximum yield from relatively small fields. They accomplished this by two techniques: intercropping and multiple cropping. Intercropping was the planting of several  kinds of vegetables mixed together in the same field. As we have seen, corn, beans, and squash complemented each other. The Inds. planted corn and beans together so that the bean vines grew up they twined around the corn stalks. In between the hills of corn and around the edges of the field they planted gourds, squash, pumpkins, and sunflowers, and chenopodium (goosefoot plant) came up wherever they allowed it to grow.
     "Multiple cropping was the planting of two successive crops on the same field in one season. They.. used this technique on their early corn, which ripened early and was picked and eaten green. As soon as they could clear the field of the first crop, they planted another crop in the same field to be eaten later in the season....
     "After they planted their corn, cultivation consisted of "hilling" the corn, keeping predators away, and keeping the weeds down. After the corn came up a few inches, they.. hilled it by piling loose dirt around the roots. Corn requires a large quantity of water during its growing season, but it also needs good drainage so that the plants do not drown. Hilling helps satisfy both of these requirements. Furthermore, corn has roots that are relatively weak and shallow for its size, and hilling helps keep the stalks from being blown over by the wind.
     "People stayed on watch in the fields during the day in order to frighten away bird and animal pests. At night fires were sometimes built around the fields for the same purpose. This job of watching the fields fell to old women, or to young boys under the supervision of old men. Watching the fields was a rather dangerous and sometimes fatal occupation because enemies would seize upon the watchman's lack of protection for a surprise attack. (Note: there is not one recorded incidence that this ever happened.).
    "Some... employed a particularly clever way of keeping pests out of their gardens. They placed poles around the gardens and on the poles they hung gourd houses for purple martins. Purple martins not only consume large numbers of insects each day, but they are also aggressive toward crows and blackbirds, both of which are especially destructive of newly planted corn... also, some "may also have encouraged the nesting of swifts and wrens, which also eat insect pests and chase away crows and blackbirds.
    "When the corn was about one foot high," they "went through their fields with hoes, cutting down the weeds. Some repeated this weeding several times during the summer, but others were less meticulous, letting the weeds grow up to compete with their crops. Each they they weeded the corn, they hilled it a little more, until by the end of the summer a noticeable mound of earth was piled around the bases of the Stalks. Some.. "suckered" their corn by breaking off the secondary shoots which grew at the bases of the stalks. This was to make the ears grow larger, increasing the yield. In August, after growth had stopped, the ears of the late corn were bent down against the stalk to keep water from running into the husk and rotting the corn.
    "They harvested this late corn as soon as it was dry enough, usually in September or October. Each household or lineage harvested its own plot of corn, though in some places the plot assigned to the chief was harvested with volunteer labor from the entire town. They went through the fields collecting the ears of corn in large pack baskets carried on their backs. In some places each household or lineage contributed a portion of its crop to the chief's store.
      "The last essential step in raising a crop of corn was storing it and keeping it safe from field mice and other animals. In some places.. (they).. stored their corn in cribs raised seven or eight feet from the ground on posts which were polished so mice could not climb them. The crib itself was plastered inside and out with mud. The only entrance was a small door which was sealed with mud each time it was used. They stacked the ears of corn in rows, with the better corn near the back of the crib, and the poorer corn near the entrance where it could be used first. In other places  ..they.. stored their corn in special rooms in the houses in which they lived." ... "sometimes... ears of dried corn "were protected from insects by wrapping each one with grass and then plastering it all over with wet clay mixed with grass. In this manner they were able to keep corn from one year to another." (Hudson, 292-299).
FIELDS: "In the spring, women walked "a considerable distance from the town" to sow fields of "pompions, and different sorts of melons". They chose to plant when days were longer and warmer and predators might bypass their fields in favor of other succulent foods. By May "the wild fruit is so ripe," wrote Adair, "as to draw off the birds from picking up the grain." After planting time, old women guarded outfields form high scaffolds that overlooked "this favorite part of their vegetable possessions" If hungry animals or birds approached, the sentries frightened them away "with their screetches". It was dangerous work, for human predators came first to such far-flung fields and "sometimes kills them in this strict watch duty". Long past the age of farming, older women continued to share responsibility for food, even endangering their lives to do so.
    "Community fields of corn, beans, and other staples stretched two to four miles beyond the towns. In addition to small, early corn,... the diversity and sequential planting of staple foods offered a slender margin of defense against crop failures and pest invasions. At the very least, seeds from limited crops could be harvested and stored for the following year.
    "Town priests allotted land to each clan in proportion to their numbers and need. In May, the entire town joined together to plant under the direction of a chosen leader. They began "fellowshiply on one End", continuing across each field "till they have finished all". As they worked "one of their old orators cheers them on with jests and humorous old tales, and sings some of their most agreeable wild tunes". Drumming and singing, joking and calling, elders urged on planters while reinforcing town customs and community solidarity. Everyone, including chiefs, joined the labor. Though disdainful Europeans usually described them solely as hunters and warriors, men -- brothers -- also prepared community fields, clan by clan, as Selu had instructed. Landholdings remained centered in the matrilineage, cared for by male as well as female members.
    "...Farming was a great leveler of social distinctions. Community lands meant community crops so that "thire vitols" could be "comen to all people". Portions from every clan's field went into the "publick Granery", a resource "to repair to in case of necessity". Since every family contributed, each could claim an allotment if their own food "falls short, or is destroyed by accidents, or otherwise". The public storehouse also made it possible to offer hospitality to "armies, travelers, or sojourners", as well as neighboring towns.
    "When fields 'became impoverished', town members left them 'with one consent' and found a fresh spot to clear and sow. Old fields then became in important component of a settlement's changing resources. Fallowing fields were gradually colonized by useful weeds like poke and by fleshy fruits such as strawberries, maypops, sumac, plums, and persimmon. Over time, pioneering shrubs and tree seedlings transformed old fields into patches of secondary growth. Such scrub communities supplied food, medicine, and dye to gatherers and attracted a variety of animals and birds for hunters. Bartram journe'd through five miles of such fields "now under grass, but which appeared to have been planted the last season."
    "...Farming skill and fertile soil produced an "abundance of corn, beans, and vegetables" unless disasters intervened; but forces of nature frequently injured or destroyed even the most carefully tended fields. Floods, droughts, or crop failures were reported several times a decade throughout the eighteenth century, and surely many 'hungary times' went unrecorded... The specter of famine hovered over Southeastern fields, and farmers of all races and both sexes regularly watched the skies and felt the soil with anxiety.
 "Long memories of early frosts, harsh winters, spring floods, and summer droughts contributed to a rich complex of religious beliefs and social behaviors. Townswomen enacted secret rituals to avert disaster; for example, they disrobed every full moon 'at the dead of night' to circle 'entirely around the field of corn'. They said 'thanks and prayers in a series of devotional chaunts' to Selu while they tended corn and weeded fields. When drought came, women from each clan fasted while men brought deerskins and meat to the priest. The priest then prayed to the creator moon and sun, shaking a terrapin shell filled with pebbles to summon thunder and rain. To avert cold, priests built fire of seven special woods and sacrificed to the Woman of the East a terrapin shell filled with old tobacco. In ritual speeches at Green Corn Festivals, priests urged strict adherence to customs and prohibitions i  "Corn, or Maize;... besides the Stalks bruis'd and boil'd, make very pleasant Beer, being sweet like the Sugar-Cane." (Lawson, 81)
    Several varieties of Apples are said to make good Cider. In the old days, however, of which we are concerned, there was little if any fermenting of corn or grape to make an alcohol. Perhaps the nearest to it was persimmon beer:
     A medical student, Rafinesque, wrote in his Medical Flora in 1818: "The Persimmon Beer is made by forming the fruits into cakes with bran, drying them in an open oven, and bruising these cakes afterwards in water. The large variety has fruits as big as an egg, and deserves to be cultivated on a large scale as a fruit tree".
     Another writer gave this procedure: "Wheat bran is kneaded with persimmons in fall and baked as a pone. The pones are broken into pieces and placed in a runlet. Warm water is added and left for about nine days. Wheat chaff or hay straw may be placed in as a strainer". It should be noted that this straw will aid in the growth of bacteria and fungi which abound in such a medium as it decomposes.
     Another recipe went like this: Put a bunch of wheat straw above mouth of hopper and then layer of ashes..Next layer of persimmons to layer of honey locust beans. Put boiling water on and let seep through. Must have a large ash cake put above the ashes to act as yeast".
     Most made this in a barrel with a spigot near the bottom. After it fermented they opened the spigot and let out a little into a cup, it being filtered through the straw. Since it contained penicillin and gramicidin, no wonder the users of it remained more healthy than other folks.


      Speaking of the council house: "Inside, near the center of the floor, was always an altar, a circular or rectangular platform modeled from clay with a small central fire basin where the sacred fire burned perpetually." (Lewis & Kneberg, 85).

 "Although the early Cherokees lacked a notable amount of fish lore, there were a number of myths related to amphibians and reptiles. Huey and Stupka list seventy-one amphibians and reptiles found in the Great Smoky Mountain area.
  "The common snapping turtle ranged throughout the region and was commonly found in muddy-bottomed ponds or shallow streams. Kindred to the snapping turtle were the spiny soft-shelled turtle, musk turtle, painted turtle, and map turtle. All these turtles were aquatic species and preferred either a river habitat or slackwater cove. They hibernated in winter and could be captured most easily in the early spring to November period.
    "Most important of the turtle species, however, was the land tortoise, or box turtle, which was found at elevations up to 4,000 feet and preferred a scrubby oak-pine habitat. These terrestrial animals were very prominent in Cherokee folklore, and were probably more common in the mountain habitat of the Cherokees than the water species. The tortoise was considered to have been a great warrior in old times and, thus, Cherokee warriors would rub the thick turtle legs to their own legs in an attempt at transferring that sought-after quality (ability to withstand stout blows). Turtle shells were also used as cups, containers, and hand and leg rattles." (Goodwin, 75, quoting Mooney and Rights)
    "At water's edge, on forest floors, or in grassy fields, nesting and feeding areas abounded for reptiles and amphibians. Lizards, frogs, turtles, more than two dozen kinds of salamanders, and an equal number of snake species populated Cherokee settlement areas. Important in ecosystems as food and feeders ... they appeared in myths, songs, medicine formulas, dances, and often as giants in folktales. For sacred dances, ... women wore leg rattles made from the shells of box turtle.. as the women danced, pebbles clattered rhythmically inside the shells." (Hill, 24)
    For a list of Amphibians and their habitats, see Index section.

       "...scarcely any animal was domesticated in the older days. The dog appears to have been tamed and possibly also the bee, and turkeys were kept in captivity when young. The chief pursuit of the Cherokee men in the older period was the hunt. The principal objects of the hunt were bears, deer, bison, eagles, elk, beaver, turkeys, wild duck, and geese. These animals were hunted for food and for their hides, feathers, teeth, and bones." (Gilbert, 185)
    "The characteristic native mammals of the area are bats, moles, shrews, raccoons, skunks, weasels, otters, bears, wolves, foxes, wildcats, panthers, hares, porcupines, groundhogs, beavers, rats and mice, squirrels, bison, deer, opossum, and a native dog." (Gilbert, 185)
    Prehistoric: "Remains of two elephant species, moth and mastodon, have been found in the Southeast at Natchez, Mississippi & at Vero & Melbourne, Florida. (Lewis & Kneberg, 11)
    "The Beasts of Carolina are the: Buffalo, or wild Beef; Bear; Panther; Cat-a-Mount-Wild Cat; Wolf; Tyger; Polecat; Otter; Beaver; Musk-Rat; Possum; Raccoon; Minx; Watr-Rat; Rabbet (two sorts); Elks; Stags; Fallow-Deer; Squirrel (four sorts); Fox; Lion and Jackall on the Lake; Rats (two sorts); Mice (two sorts) Moles; Weasel, Dormouse; Bearmouse." (Lawson, 120). He then goes on to give detailed descriptions of each, which you may research if you are interested. We will touch only on a few.
BEAR: "The flesh of this Beast is very good, and nourishing, and not inferior to the best Pork in Taste. It stands betwixt Beef and Pork, and the young Cubs are a Dish for the greatest Epicure living. I prefer their Flesh before any Beef, Veal, Pork, or Mutton; and they look as well as they eat, their fat being as white as Snow, and the sweetest of any Creature's in the World. If a Man drink a Quart thereof melted, it never will rise in his Stomach. We prefer it above all things, to fry Fish and other things in. Those that are strangers to it may judge otherwise; But I who have eaten a great deal of Bears Flesh in my Life-time (since my being an Inhabitant in America) do think it equalizes, if not excels, any Meat I ever eat in Europe. The Bacon made thereof is extraordinary Meat; but it must be well saved, otherwise it will rust.... They are seemingly a very clumsy Creature, yet are very nimble in running up Trees, and traversing every Limb thereof. When they come down, they run Tail foremost. ...There is one thing more to be consider'd of this Creature, which is, that no Man, either Christian or Indian, has ever kill'd a She-bear with Young.
    "...The Oil of the Bear is very Sovereign for Strains, Aches, and old Pains. The fine Fur at the bottom of the Belly, is used for making Hats, in some places. The Fur itself is fit for several Uses; as for making Muffs, facing Caps, etc. but the black Cub-skin is preferable to all sorts of that kind, for Muffs. Its Grain is like Hog Skin." (Lawson, 121,122)
    "Black bear (yanu, yona) also held a place of honor. The largest omnivore in the Southern Appalachians, black bear dwell in deep forests, whose dense understories protect their young. The primarily solitary adults mate in early summer, and subsequent pregnancy coincides with the time of greatest abundance of food resources in late summer and fall. "The she-bear" wrote Adair, "takes an old hollow tree for the yearning winter-house, and chuses to have the door above" to protect her cubs. Males make winter beds in "solitary thickets" by breaking "a great many branches of trees" for the bottom and adding "the green tops of large canes". In January of alternate years, sows give birth to one or two cubs, who remain with their mother for a year. Never in a true state of hibernation, a black bear sleeps intermittently through two months of Southern Appalachian winter." (Hill, 19,20)
    "Bear oil was a favorite food among both Europeans and Cherokees, particularly after the animals fattened on Acorns, Chestnuts and Chinkapins, Wild Honey and Wild Grapes. Women fried the oil, "mixing plenty of sassafras and wild cinnamon with it over the fire" and stored it "in large earthen jars, covered in the ground". The oil was delicious, claimed Adair, and also "nutritive to hair". Women oiled their hair with bear fat as a mark of beauty, and both women and men greased their bodies with it to ward off insects. Bear claws, teeth, and bone became tools and jewelry in the hands of artisans. Women also processed the skins for clothing, bedding, and blankets, and they spun the coarse black hair into thread." (Hill, 20)
    "The animal that fell into both the human category and the four-footed animal category was the bear, an animal which is four-footed, but which often walks upright on two legs, and it frequently eats the same kinds of food men eat. We shall presently see that the Cherokees used to tell a story about a clan of people turning into bears, and the bear shows up in the Cherokee oral tradition about the origin of disease and medicine, which is itself primarily concerned with the opposition between men and animals." (Hudson, 139)
    "The black bear was a valued game animal in the Southeast, but it was valued in a different way than the deer. Because the bear has a low reproductive rate, it was a scarce animal, and the number of bears the Inds. killed was negligible compared to the number of deer they killed. But where was the deer was killed as a staple food, the bear was killed mainly for the oil that could be extracted from its fat.
    "The preferred season for hunting bear was winter, for then the bears were spending most of their time sleeping. The females were particularly fond of hibernating high up in the trunks of hollow trees. The Inds. would locate them by finding claw marks on the tree. One of the hunters would imitate the sound of a bear cub in distress, and the female bear would reveal herself. A man would then climb a nearby tree and throw a bundle of burning canes into the hollow tree, and when the bear was driven out by the fire and began descending the tree, it was an easy matter for the hunters to shoot and kill it. If,  however, they only succeeded in wounding  the bear, all the hunters would run and climb saplings that were too small for the bear to climb in pursuit." (Hudson, 279,280)
      Bearskins were highly prized as bed covers, matchcoats (mantles, like capes), their teeth were always saved as ornaments for necklaces, as were their claws.
    "The black bear was commonly found anywhere from the lowlands and floodplains, all the way to the spruce-fir uplands -- although generally, it preferred to establish relatively well-defined home ranges, e.g., females stayed within a ten mile radius of a chosen habitat, while the male might wander slightly farther.
     "The bear sought a variety of food, and usually preferred chestnuts and acorns, although it was satisfied with any of a vast array of available grasses, berries, fish, reptiles, amphibians, honey, fruits, tender under bark,  and insects...
      "Bears were killed only after great ceremonial preparation. The bear hunter fasted the entire day before the kill and considered the entire process an act of reverence, always asking the animal's spirit for forgiveness." (Goodwin, 70)
Skinning and Dressing: "Cut jugular vein and bleed, or cut head off. Slice down the middle of the underside from the neck to the back legs, sliding the knife between the hide and the flesh. Roll the bear from side to side while cutting until the hide is off.
    "With the axe, cut off the legs below the knees, cut through the breastbone, and cut between the buttocks to the backbone. Cut the end of the large intestine and strip out the innards. Cut on either side of the backbone (as in the hog) separating the meat into two halves. Cut out the hams and shoulders for curing in salt. Cut the neck, flank, and lower part of the shoulder into small pieces for stewing at once."
BEAVER:  "Bevers are very numerous in Carolina, their being abundance of their Dams in all Parts of the Country, where I have travel'd. They are the most industrious and greatest Artificers (in building their Dams and Houses) of any four-footed Creatures in the World. Their Food is chiefly the Barks of Trees and Shrubs, viz. Sassafras, Ash, Sweet-Gum, and several others. If you take them young, they become very tame and domestick, but are very mischievious in spoiling Orchards, by breaking the Trees, and blocking up your Doors in the Night, with the Sticks and Wood they bring thither. If they eat any thing that is salt, it kills them. Their Flesh is a sweet Food; especially, their Tail, which is held very dainty. There Fore-Feet are open, like a Dog's; their Hind-Feet webb'd like a Water-Fowl's. The Skins are good Furs for several Uses, which everyone knows. The Leather is very thick; I have known Shooes made thereof.. which lasted well. It makes the best Hedgers Mittens that can be used." (Lawson, 125)
BUFFALO: "The Buffelo is a wild Beast of America, which has a Hunch on his Back... his chief Haunt being in the Land of Messiasippi, which is, for the most part, a plain Country; yet I have known some kill'd on the Hilly Part of Cape-Fear-River...I have eaten of their Meat, but do not think it so good as our Beef; yet the younger Calves are cry'd up for excellent Food, as very likely they may be. It is conjectured, that these Buffelos, mixt in Breed with our tame Cattle, would much better the Breed for Largeness and Milk, which seems very probable. Of the wild Bull's Skin, Buff is made. The Inds. cut the Skins into Quarters for the Ease of their Transportation, and made Beds to lie on. They spin the Hair into Garters, Girdles, Sashes, and the like, it being long and curled, and often of a chestnut or red Colour. These Monsters are found to weight (as I am informed by a Traveller of Credit) from 1600 to 2400 Weight. (Lawson, 120,121)
    "The availability of buffalo must have transformed Cherokee life. By the 1700s, buffalo provided food, clothing, bedding, war paraphernalia, utensils, and musical instruments. According to Adair, women "continually wear a beaded string round their legs, made of buffalo hair" as ornamentation and to prevent misfortune, thus weaving together concepts of beauty and medico-magic. In winter, "they wrapped themselves in the softened skin of buffalo calves" with "the shagged wool inward." Alexander Longe wrote that one of the "great many dances to divert their king" honored the buffalo. Warriors made quivers of buffalo hide, and shields of buffalo crania, and war chiefs wore bracelets and headbands of buffalo skin. Men blew through buffalo horn trumpets and crafted horns into spoons and scapula into hoes. Women prepared the nourishing meat, spun hair for thread, and dressed calfskins for the special bedding of infant girls." (Hill, 18)
     "Bison (buffalo) skins were used for matchcoats (a mantle usually made of animal skins and worn over one or both shoulders in colder weather). It extended down to the knees.
COON: Skinning and dressing: Many hunters cut the jugular vein and bleed the coon as soon as they have killed one to prevent the meat from spoiling. Then they either bring it home and skinit, or skin it in the field. It is done as follows:
    Ring the hind legs and the front legs at the foot joint. Split the pelt on the inside middle of both hind legs from the ring to the crotch.
    Repeat on front legs, splitting to the middle of the chest.
    Then split the pelt up the middle of the underside from the crotch, through the split from the front legs, and up to the end of the bottom jaws.
    Cut around tail on the underside ONLY. Connect split. Skin out both hind legs, and make a small slice between bone and tendon and insert a gamblin' stick. Hang the coon up. Take two small sticks, and grip them together firmly so that the base of the tail is between. Pull carefully while holding the sticks tightly clamped together, and the tail will slide off the tail bone. If you want to keep the skin, be sure not to pull the tail off.
    Work the pelt off to the front legs, slicing the mesentery between skin and muscle when necessary. Slice up to front legs, and then skin the front legs out. If you want to eat the coon, remove the two pear-shaped musk glands from under the forearms.
    Skin around the neck until you get to the head. Cut the ears off even with the head. If you make a bad ear hole, the pelt's value will be reduced by fifty cents. Skin right around the eyes leaving only the eyeballs. Then go down the snout, cutting off the end so that the nose button is still attached to the pelt.
    Now split the flesh down the middle from throat to crotch and remove intestines and organs. Cut off the head, tail, and feet, and soak the carcas in cold water (preferably overnight unless you have just killed it) to get the blood out.
DEER: "The most important Cherokee game animal was white-tail deer (ahwi), which gave name to one of the seven clans (Ani-Kawi: Deer Clan). Deer frequent forest edges and continually after forest composition by feeding on succulent foliage during spring and early summer, on woody leaves and shoots in late summer, and on forest mast in autumn and winter. Dependent on shrubby growth for cover, they restrict their range to sheltered areas of lower elevations in winter months. Among Cherokees, extensive hunting coincided with deer concentrations in relatively small, predictable locales.
    "Cherokees utilized virtually all parts of the deer, which comprised as much as half the meat in their diet. Payment for tribal obligations could be made in deerskins. Women and men made deer sinews into string and made entrails into bow strings and thread. They worked antler and bone into tools, musical instruments, and beads. Women boiled antlers and hooves for glue and converted small bones into needles and awls. They tanned hides with deer brains, then fashioned the leather into clothing or bedding, moccasins or hairpieces, bags or belts. For dances they fastened rattles on "white-drest deerskin" tied onto their legs.
    "During special ceremonies and at annual celebrations, the priest sat on one deerskin, which was painted or chalked white, and rested his feet on another. To assemble a general council, the "beloved man" (uku) raised over the town house a deerskin painted white with red spots... "Ceremonial feasts always included ritual sacrifice of deer tongue. The priest 'cuts 4 other pieces and throws one north the other south the other east and the other west. After the ritual offering, he passed the remainder of meat "through the flame of the fire and then (gave) it to the women to dress for the priest and all others that pleases to eat of it"" (Hill, 19)
     Deerskins provided the clothing for both men and women. For a woman, a short deer-skin skirt covered her from the waist to her knees. Ceremonial pouches, such as medicine bags, were traditionally made out of deerskin, with the hair on the outside. They were sometimes as large as one foot by two feet, and a half foot thick.
    "No deer could be killed indiscriminately and without proper ritualistic preparation since animals had afterlife and could be vengeful. Ceremonial observances were made before slaying the animal, or else the powerful protector of deer and agent of revenge, the invisible "Little Deer" would condemn the hunter to a life of perpetual pain by implanting the spirit of rheumatism." (Goodwin, 68)
    Skinning and Dressing: "After killing, remove the scent glands (on the hind legs at the inside of the knee joint), the testes, and cut the jugular vein immediately. Then hang the carcass up by its hind legs, and ring each of the back legs below the knee. Cut down the inside of the back legs to the crotch, cut down the belly to the center of the chest, and ring the front legs in a manner similar to the back. Cut down the inside of the front legs to meet the cut in the chest. Peel the hide off the back legs to meet the cut in the chest. Peel the hide off the back legs, down the body, and off the front legs up the neck to the ears. Cut off the head right behind the ears with an axe.
    "With the same axe, chop down between the hams. Cut from the hams to the chest with a knife, and then separate the ribs using the axe again. Cut down to the brisket with the knife, cut around the anus, and then remove the entrails. Save the heart and liver if desired.
    "Another method used by local hunters was to make a diagonal cut just behind the chest cavity about twelve inches long. The entrails were removed through this cut, which was plenty large enough and yet small enough to prevent dirt and leaves from entering the cavity.
    Curing: Sometimes hunters would salt the entire carcass with about 25 pounds of salt, let it dry, and hang it in the smokehouse. When they needed pieces, they simply stripped them off and cooked them.
    "Others cut the deer into pieces very similar to those that a beef is cut into (legs, ribs, rump, loin, etc.) These pieces were either dried in the sun until all the moisture was out and then put in the smokehouse; put into a fairly thick salt brine and left; or salted down (about one inch thick) and put in the smokehouse to cure in the same manner as pork.
GROUNDHOG: Dressing: Skin the groundhog, remove the glands from under the legs, gut, and soak overnight in salty water. The hide was often placed in a bucket of ashes over which water was poured. After the ashes had taken the hair off, the hide was removed, dried, kneaded, and cut up in strips for shoe strings.
HOGS: Today, hogs are very important to Cherokees, but the ancient Cherokees did not have hogs before the white man came. DeSoto was said to have some that he drove throughout his travels, but they did not come into Cherokee hands until the mid-1700's. They became very important, very soon, thereafter. Today, Cherokee feasts are "hog frys" -- but this is not ancient Cherokee, any more than "squaw" and "fry" bread is ancient native American.
HORSES: The ancient Cherokees, before the white man came and ruined everything, did not have horses.  "Horses were probably not owned in any great number before the marking out of the horse-path for traders from Augusta about 1740. The Cherokees, however, took kindly to the animal, and before the beginning of the war of 1760 had a 'prodigious number'. In spite of their great losses at that time they had so far recovered in 1775 that almost every man then had from two to a dozen (Adair, 231) (Mooney, Myths, 213)
MOUNTAIN LION: "The mountain lion (also referred to as panther, puma, or cougar) was a religious 'symbol of cunning, strength, and prodigious spring', and (the Cherokees) would later compare it to White man who they said 'instead of being satisfied with enough for his present necessities, and no more, was covetously eager, as the cougar, to pile around him far more property and substance than it was possible for him to consume upon himself" (Logan, 55). The mountain lion was seldom killed by the precontact Cherokees (due to folkloric belief) yet by the end of the eighteenth century -- after the advent of the European -- the animal virtually disappeared from traditional Cherokee lands." (Goodwin, 70,71)
POSSUM:  "The Possum is found no where but in America. He is the Wonder of all the Land Animals, being the size of a Badger, and near that Colour. The Male's Pizzle is placed retrograde; and in time of Coition, they differ from all other Animals, turning Tail to Tail, as Dog and Bitch when ty'd. The Female, doubtless, breeds her Young at her Teats; for I have seen them stick fast thereto, when they have been no bigger than a small Rasberry, and seemingly inanimate. She has a Paunch, or false Belly, wherein she carries her Young, after they are from those Teats, till they can shift for themselves. Their Food is Roots, Poultry, or wild Fruits. They have no Hair on their Tails, but a sort of a Scale, or hard Crust, as the Bevers have. If a Cat has nine Lives, this creature surely has nineteen; for if you break every Bone in their Skin, and mash their Skull, leaving them for Dead, you may come an hour after, and they will be gone quite away, or perhaps you meet them creeping away. ....I have, for Necessity in the Wilderness, eaten of them. Their Flesh is very white, and well tasted; but their ugly Tails put me out of Conceit with that Fare. They climb Trees, as the Raccoons do, Their fur is not esteem'd nor used, saved that the Inds. spin it into Girdles and Garters. (Lawson, 125,126)
    "The opossum is the size of a European cat; it has a head like a fox's, feet like a monkey's, and a tail like a rat's. This animal is very curious. I once killed a female that had seven young clinging to her teats in a most surprising manner. That is where they develop, and they do not let go until they are able to walk. Then they drop into a membrane pouch. The ones I saw were the size of newborn mice. Nature has provided the female with a pouch located under the belly and covered with hair. When the young are attacked, they enter the pouch, and the mother carries them off to safety. Opossum meat tastes like that of a suckling pig. Their hair is whitish, and their fur is like the beaver's. They live in the woods on beechnuts, chestnuts, walnuts, and acorns. I have eaten opossum several times while on trips. An excellent ointment for the cure of hemorrhoids is made of its extremely fine, white fat." (Bossu, Travels in the Interior of N. America, 198)
NOTE: The Cherokee king's (uku's, Oukah's)  crown was made of 'possum fur -- dyed yellow.
    "Dressing: Few people bother to skin the few possums they eat. The prevailing tradition is to scald the possum in boiling water containing a half cup of lime or ashes. Then it is scraped until hairless, gutted (it should have been bled immediately after being caught), the musk glands under the forearms removed, and either the head or at least the eyes removed. The carcass is then soaked, preferably overnight, before cooking.
RABBIT:   Skinning and Dressing: Some hunters in this area gut the rabbit as soon as they have killed it. Many carry it home and gut it that evening, however. They do this by making one short slash in the belly parallel to the backbone, and removing the entrails through this cut. At home they skin it, often making a cut across the middle of the back, inserting their fingers, and pulling both ways. The legs are lifted out of the pelt as with the squirrel.
    "The rabbit (Lepus americanus) known in Cherokee lore as a "trickster" figured quite prominently in the mythology, and was especially prized for its meat and skin. The rabbit preferred a habitat consisting of laurel and rhodendron thickets, and semi-open tracts surrounded by evergreen trees. (Goodwin, 70)
SQUIRREL: Skinning and Dressing: - The most common way of skinning a squirrel in the mountains was to ring the back legs at the feet, and cut around the top of the base of the tail. The hunter than put the squirrel on its back, put his foot in its tail, grabbed its back legs firmly, and pulled. The hide would come off just like a jacket right up to the neck. Then the front legs were pulled up out of the skin and cut off at the feet, and the pelt cut off at the neck. Usually the head was not skinned out, but if you wanted to, it would be done about the same as with the coon. Cut off the head, back feet, and tail. Then gut.
WOLVES:  "Next to humans, wolves (wa-hya) were the foremost predators in Southeastern ecosystems and the totem identity of a Cherokee clan (Ani-Wahya: Wolf Clan). Wolves pruned animal communities of young, old, weak, and sick members, which helped maintain healthy herds and relieved pressure on plant populations. Wolves greatly reduced small game predation of agricultural fields and gardens, for in their absence, animals like rodents and rabbits reproduced rapidly. After feeding, wolves abandoned carrion that then fed scavengers, like foxes, eagles, ravens, and buzzards.... Wolves affected virtually the entire Southeastern food chain" (Hill, 18,19)
        Wolves were never eaten, but sometimes the pelts were used the same as other furs.
"Other mammals held a lesser, but important position in Cherokee society. Elk, for instance, conceived of as a'wi'e'gwa (great deer) by the Cherokees, abounded in the floodplains during the summer months and were probably stalked by lone hunters. Next to deer meat, that of the elk was preferred to other mammals, as were its horn and skin (Logan, 36)
    "Several other smaller mammals... were important, although not necessarily as food sources, including: beaver, muskrat, otter, raccoon, porcupine, and mink. All of these mammals generally were most abundant in the floodplain forests and timbered bottomlands.
    "Preferring the deciduous forest habitat were: chipmunk or ground squirrel, gray squirrel, striped skunk, and woodchuck. These animals were valuable food sources and were prepared for consumption in a variety of ways. The ground-hog, for instance, was utilized in a rather unique manner.... would cook the meat first and then pounded it with a mortar until a sausage (a'gansta'ta) could be processed.
    "The larger, predatory carnivores, e.g., bobcat, mountain lion, gray fox, and gray wolf, tended to favor those biotic zones that attracted the greatest number of small game. All of these animals had a wide range and were found, thus, at various seasons in many parts of Cherokee-claimed lands." (Goodwin, 70,71)  
     Little is known of the ancient sacred arks of the old Cherokee Nation, for sometime before the white man arrived the Delawares slipped into the sacred mother city of Echota and stole the precious ark which contained so much of their ancient history and lore.
    Adair tells of an ark he encountered in a neighboring nation: it "contains several consecrated vessels, made by beloved superannuated women, and of such various antiquated forms, as would have puzzled Adam to have given significant names to each. The leader and his attendant, are purified longer than the rest of the company that the first may be fit to act in the religious office of a priest of war, and the other to carry the sacred ark."  and,
      "The Ind. ark is deemed so sacred and dangerous to be touched either by their own sanctified warriors, or the spoiling enemy, that they durst not touch it upon any account. It is not to be meddle with by any, except the war captain and his waiter, under the penalty of incurring great evil. Nor would the most inveterate enemy touch it in the woods for the very same reason." (Adair, 170,171)
    "The Cherokee once had a wooden box, nearly square and wrapped up in buckskin, in which they kept the most sacred of their old religion. Upon every important expedition two priests carried it in turn and watched over it in camp so that nothing could come near to disturb it. The Delawares captured it more than a hundred years ago (this was written about 1890), and after that the old religion was neglected and trouble came to the Nation. (Mooney, Myths, 396,397)
    "A gentleman who was at the Ohio in the year 1756 assured me he saw a stranger there very importunate to view the inside of the Cheerake ark, which was covered with drest deerskin and placed on a couple of short blocks. A (Cherokee) centinel watched it, armed with a hiccory bow and brass-pointed barbed arrows; and he was faithful to his trust, for finding the stranger obtruding to pollute the supposed sacred vehicle, he drew an arrow to the head, and would have shot him through the body had he not suddenly withdrawn. The interpreter, when asked by the gentleman what it contained, told him there was nothing in it but a bundle of conjuring traps. This shews what conjurers our common interpreters are, and how much the learned world have really profited by their informations" (from Adair, 161,162, quoted in Mooney, Myths, 503)

      "Arrow pointing was done by cutting triangular bits of brass, copper, and bone and inserting them into the end of split-reed arrows. Deer sinew was wound around the split end and drawn through a small hole in the head and then the sinew was moistened." (Gilbert, 317)
    In 1956, in an excavation site in Greene County, Tennessee, a two-thousand-year-old arrowshaft was found. "Although only eight and a half inches long, the cane arrowshaft section was the nock end. The cane, known as 'switch cane' is a slender, tough variety that grows in uplands. It was used for arrowshafts by the historic Cherokee who called it guni (goonee) -- the same word that they used for 'arrow'. The nock in the prehistoric example was made just beyond a joint; this prevented the shaft from splitting when the bow string was drawn taut."
    "...Arrows, tipped with ...small, wickedly sharp points, were deadly weapons capable of killing men and animals. Other types of points with various stems and notches were used both on arrows and spears, but the ones used on spears were usually larger. Among the spearpoints, some were chipped from quartzite. This hard crystalline rock, which occurs in a range of colors -- milky-white, yellow, dove-gray, and pink -- required much skill to shape. The... evidently chose it for its beauty, since flint was far easier to chip." (Lewis & Kneberg, 47,48)
    "The process for making implements such as arrowheads, spears, and knives is described as follows: At the quarry site the stone was broken out with stone hammers or large boulders. The desired material was such that it broke with a conchoidal fracture; that is, when a chip was broken off, a shell or saucer-shaped shallow depression was left. The rough stone of the quarry was shaped with the hammers into blades, usually leaf-shaped, with a range of  from one inch to one foot or more in length. These blanks could be transported, in lots of one hundred or more, conveniently by carriers. Deposits of these have been found where they were buried near camp sites, in caches, to be dug up later for finishing. The blanks were specialized by further chipping. Tools of bone or antler were used for shaping the blades into sharp-pointed and notched implements. Tradition says that the old men... were the arrow-makers". (Rights, 266)
      "Their method of pointing arrows is as follows: Cutting a bit of thin brass, copper, bone, or scales of a particular fish, into a point with two beards, or some into an acute triangle, they split a little of their arrow, which is generally of reeds; into this they put the point, winding some deers sinew around the arrow, and through a little hole they make in the head; then they moisten the sinew with their spittle, which, when dry, remains fast glewd, nor ever untwists." (Timberlake, 85)
       Triangular arrow points, called bird points, are very numerous. A popular form in central North Carolina was the stemmed, shouldered, and barbed arrowhead, one to three inches long. Favorite materials were the Randolph igneous stone ..and white quartz was much prized for making arrowheads of fine workmanship.
    "They made their Arrows of Reeds or small Wands, which needed no other cutting, but in the length, being otherwise ready for Notching, Feathering and Heading. They fledged their Arrows with Turkey Feathers, which they fastened with Glue made of the Velvet Horns of a Deer, but it has not that quality it's said to have, of holding against all Weathers; they arm'd the Heads with a white transparent Stone ... of which they have many Rocks; they also headed them with the Spurs of the Wild Turkey Cock" (Beverley, bk 3, 60)
    Another writer wrote:" The arrows are made of certain reeds, like canes, very heavy, and so tough that a sharpened one passes through a shield. Some are pointed with a fish bone, as sharp as an awl, and others with a certain stone like a diamond point.."
Darts: see under Blowguns

Abrasive Stones: Of the surviving specimens, some native stone, particularly traprock material, has grooves, suggesting use as abrasive material, and certain specimens show apparent wear.
Animal Teeth: Teeth of bear, beaver, and other animals served as tools, they were also perforated and otherwise specialized as ornaments.
Arrowheads: see above.
Arrow Shaft-Straighteners: A few stones with grooves have been found, similar to specimens noted elsewhere, and classed as arrow-shaft straighteners.
Arrow tools: Short plugs of antler, with blunt end, some showing use, are classified among arrow-making tools.
Axes: "Axes were made by pecking and polishing. Unfinished axes show marks of workmanship in this fashion. Granitic stone, diorite, and other volcanic material predominate. Illustrations show a variety of shapes, with grooves variously placed. Sometimes the under side of the ax has been grooved for tightening on the handle. There are several with double blades. Rough-chipped axes are also represented. Adzes are rare."
    "They cut a slit in a sapling with a razor-sharp flint or pebble; into this incision, they fitted a stone cut into the shape of an ax. As the tree grew, the stone became so firmly fixed it could not be removed from the young tree. The sapling was then cut down when they needed it. Their lances and darts were made in the same way." (Bossu, Travels, 127)
Banner Stones: Stones with a hole bored for handle are classed as banner stones. A problematical form, this type is regarded as symbolic, an emblem of authority like our modern gavels. The half-moon or pick-shaped form is the most common, of local materials, including banded slate. A few are boat-shaped. Winged banner stones, or butterfly stones, are so called according to the shape. The most striking of these are made of quartz or quartzite. Unfinished banner stones show the method of boring the stone, as the uncompleted boring shows a core. A reed or tube twirled patiently, possibly with the help of a little sand in the opening, could be used for boring."
Beamers: The leg bone of the deer was shaped into a tool adaptable for use in tanning leather.
Bird Stone: This is a straight bar, on one end of which in effigy is the head of a bird, or deer.
Bone & Antler: Awls and needles. Many tools were made of bone and antler. Most numerous are the awls and needles. Wild turkey bones and deer horns provided most material. Ends of the implements were ground down to a point. Many are nicely shaped, although decoration and perforation for suspension are rare.
Celts: "The series of celts runs from the rough-chipped implement with narrow edge to the finely polished artifact with broad, sharp edge. Material is usually of gray or green stone, with some granite rock and slate. The rough-chipped specimens are mostly of the arrowhead-type stone. Chisel and gouge shapes are rare."
Discoidals: "Many biscuit-shaped stones are found, often classed as hammer stones. A pit on either side of the flat surfaces is usually found. Some are classed as mullers. While there is probability of such use, many stones, ranging to six inches or more in diameter, are finely finished and formed with concave or convex sides."
Drills: "Implements with wide base and slender body terminating in a point served as drills, or could have been used in making perforations for sewing."
Scrapers: Short implements shaped like arrowheads, with a wide, blunt edge instead of a point, could be fitted with a handle and used as scrapers. Some of these are merely chunks of flint with finished edge.
Game Balls: Spheres in size from marbles to baseballs, a few of hematite, may be classed as game stones.
Hoes and Spades: "Rough chipped implements that could be fitted with handles for agricultural purposes are found, usually on bottom lands or old fields."
Jaw Bones: The preservation of jaw bones of the deer and some other animals suggests application for some utilitarian purpose. They could have served as corn-shellers.
Mortars, Anvils, and Nutcrackers: Stones with concave depressions show use as mortars. On some stones, scars indicate use as anvils. Stones with pits the size of walnuts have been classed as nutcrackers, and although this classification is regarded as doubtful, experiments show that such use is practicable. Some of the mortars have pits of this kind on the under side.
Pestles and Grinding Stones: Bell-shaped and straight pestles were used in preparation of food. Grinding stones without handles served similarly, and small stones of this kind were used in producing paint material.
Plugs: Knobbed plugs of stone and clay, resembling bolts, have been found, suggesting ear plugs.
Sinkers: Soapstone and hardstone specimens, both irregular and symmetric types, have one or more perforations. Some have a groove instead of perforation. They could have served as net sinkers in fishing. There are other perforated stones, the use of which is still regarded as problematical.
Shell: Shells were widely used, and in many ways. The marine shells include conch, oyster, clam, scallop, and others. The inland deposits, mostly freshwater shells, with mussel and periwinkle predominating, are usually found in refuse pits and sometimes associated with burials. Some of the freshwater shells were used for making shell objects or served the purpose whole as spoons. The larger portion of the specialized shell material, however, was marine in origin. Small shells were pierced for stringing. Olive shells pierced at the end made attractive necklaces, bracelets, and anklets, when strung. Elaborate ornaments were sometimes outlined with the marine shells strung in this way and sewed on garments. ...Mussel shells with notches along the edge appear to be diminutive saws.
     Tortoise shells, both terrapin and turtle shells, were used as cups and rattles.
Spears & Knives: The line of demarcation between arrowheads and spears or knives is not easy to determine. The larger blades or points that are four inches or more in length are presumably too large for convenient use on an arrow shaft. Some of the blades show a well-defined cutting edge.
Tubes: Large tubes of hourglass shape have been found in western North Carolina. Their use is uncertain. There are straight tubes, some identified as broken pipestems. Finished bone objects of similar shape are included, and decoration has been noted. Their use for tobacco smoking and for smoke blowing has been suggested. It is known also that the shamans used instruments for blood-sucking, and the tube form presents itself for consideration.  
     "The Cherokee excelled in weaving baskets and mats from narrow strips of cane dyed in several brilliant colors with native vegetable dyes. Intricate patterns were achieved with various combinations of colors and weaves. Some of the finest examples of ... weaving are the double-woven Cherokee baskets, made in the early historical period, that have been preserved in museums." (Lewis & Kneberg, 162)
    "They make the handsomest baskets I ever saw, considering their materials. They divide large swamp canes into long, thin, narrow splinters, which they dye of several colours, and manage the workmanship so well, that both the inside and outside are covered with a beautiful variety of pleasing figures; and, though for the space of two inches below the upper edge of each basket, it is worked into one, through the other parts they are worked asunder, as if they were two joined a-top by some strong cement. A large nest consists of eight or ten baskets, contained within each other. Their dimensions are different, but they usually make the outside basket about a foot deep, a foot and a half broad, and almost a yard long... Formerly, these baskets which the Cheerake made, were so highly esteemed even in South Carolina, the politest of our colonies, for domestic usefulness, beauty, and skilful variety, that a large nest of them cost upwards of a moldore." (Adair, 424)
    There were Back baskets (called Pack baskets); Bamboo baskets; Berry baskets; Ceremonial baskets; Domestic baskets; Doubleweave baskets; Grapevine baskets; Honeysuckle baskets (late period); Red Maple Baskets (late period); Rivercane baskets (early); Serving baskets; Storage baskets; Trade baskets; Vine baskets (late); White Oak baskets (late); Willow baskets; and Winnowing baskets for the corn preparation.
    Through the years four distinct basket traditions developed by the weavers themselves: rivercane, white oak, honeysuckle, and maple. "The rivercane period extends from the earliest contact with Europeans until the removal, encompassing the era when Cherokees depended most on cane as a basket source.... The white oak period begins with removal. ...By the end of the nineteenth century white oak baskets were as much an index of change as rivercane baskets had been signifiers of continuity... The honeysuckle period develops around the turn of the twentieth century... in this strange combination of genocide and preservation, eroding land and a longing for traditional lifeways, weavers began to make baskets of Japanese honeysuckle vine... Changing basket forms represent changing concepts.... Weavers did not relinquish rivercane or white oak basketry. Rather they incorporated a third material and developed a new tradition.... The red maple period includes the New Deal for Inds. ...." (Hill, xvii,xviii,xix)
    "For more than a thousand years, women wove an astonishing array of baskets and mats for scores of uses. They made them for exchange with friends, neighbors, and strangers, for food gathering, processing, serving, and storage, and to utilize in ceremonies and rituals. They kept ceremonial objects and medicinal goods in baskets. They covered ceremonial grounds, seats, floors, and walls with mats. They concealed and protected household items and community valuables in baskets. Basketry was central to women's activities and to Cherokee society." (Hill, 37)
    "Before the removal, the material women used most often for basketry was rivercane (i-hya). Cane once grew along virtually every kind of Southeastern waterway. Great stands lined rivers, banked streams and creeks, and radiated from swamps, bogs, and lakes". (Hill, 38)
     "Techniques for weaving patterns differ in cane and white oak basketry. Cane splits are the same width and thickness. White oak splits can be any width or thickness. Cane patterns are made with contrasting weave called twill. White oak patterns are made by contrasting the size and color of splits. Cane weavers can make an almost infinite number and size of geometric patterns with dyed splits and twill weave. In contrast, white oak weavers rely on color... and on the use of wide and narrow splits in a simple plait." (Hill, 127)
    In the old days, Cherokees did not have handles on their baskets. They carried large baskets with tumplines. For smaller baskets, Cherokees used flexible handles of thong or cord. After they were into white oak, however, Cherokees began carving wooden handles for baskets. The best of them interlocked under the basket for greater strength and durability.
    In the early days, Cherokees did not have lids for their baskets. Instead, another shallow basket was over the top, which could be removed and used as a tray or another shallow basket.
    "Rib baskets (talu-tsa de-ga-nu-li-dsi-yi) are made from two relatively wide and dense pieces of white oak, tapers their ends, and binds them together to make two intersecting hoops that form a frame. She then whittles ribs in graduating lengths to outline the basket body and prepares very narrow splits for weaving the ribs together. By changing the shape of the frame and the lengths of the ribs, the weaver creates different forms. Rib baskets can have square, round, or bilobed bases and square, ovoid, or flat-sided bodies. The same technique of framing rods and interlacing splits produces flat lids...." (Hill, 129)
    "While some rib baskets became identified with particular tasks-- egg, pie, and market baskets -- other were known by their distinctive shapes -- gizzard, melon, and fanny baskets. Mallets, wedges, scissors, and nails joined axes and knives in the weaver's tool kit. Whittling became as important as scraping to complete a basket. Technologies, forms, and materials long noted but never adopted gradually became part of the lives of nineteenth-century Cherokees." (Hill, 131)
    "The traditions Europeans brought with them did not include doubleweaving, dyed splits, linear patterns, detached lids, or twill work. Cherokee baskets did not include carved handles, attached lids, or whittled foundations. But the most important difference between the two traditions was that
European basketry did not include rivercane and cherokee basketry did not include white oak.... Cherokees continued to rely on rivercane for their primary basket material until removal." (Hill, 114)
    "Smaller baskets also have lighter, thinner rims. The density of the rim... depends on the type of basket... Like if it's a big basket you've got to have a thicker rim. If it's a small basket you can have a thinner rim on the outside". (Hill, 321)
    "Weaving splits into baskets was the work of women. Yet, for more than a century, both women and men have cut white oak trees and have woven white oak splits into baskets. In contrast to cane basketry, white oak basketry was never identified exclusively with women. The association of white oak basketry with men as well as women indexes profound change. It indicates the diffusion of gender roles, values, and identities and points to the increasing interactions of Cherokees with white culture, where white oak basketry originated and where men dominated in private as well as public spheres. Once the province of women, basketry became common to their husbands and fathers, brothers and sons. For the first time, the work that had long signified the community and culture of women became part of the male domain" (Hill, 120)
    SIEVES: "Women relied on sieves of 'different sizes, curiously made with the coarser or fine cane splinters' for various tasks. They used them to sift wood ashes, seed fruit, screen nuts, strain oils, sort and rinse foods, infuse herbs, and refine grains. Sieves enabled women to "produce as fine Flour as any Miller" But Moravian missionary Martin Schneider found the time involved a distinct problem. "The richer people " he confided in his diary, sifted corn "thro'a fine sieve of Reed... but they can scarce prepare as much in a forenoon as they consume the rest of the day". Brother Martin may have been right. Cornmeal was the base for so many dishes that pounding and sifting must have occupied many hours of a woman's day.
    "Larger sieves (chatter, ti-di-a) measured approximately eight inches across and five inches deep, with checkerweave bases for leaching corn and sorting meal. The smallest sieves (ga-gu-sti,ha-i-yolugiski) ranged from three to five inches across and one to four inches deep, with extremely narrow splits and tightly woven sides. Made to scoop cornmeal and strain parched corn (gahawi-sita) the small baskets were profoundly associated with the role of women as sources of generation and regeneration. The sieve represented "a sacred container which holds the meal of life' a basket that never emptied completely."  (Hill, 53,54)
    "Winnowing baskets (saga-i: flat) were the largest. Tightly woven and as much as three feet across from convex sides a half foot deep, winnowing baskets enabled women to separate corn particles, sort beans, and mix dough. Weavers sometimes reversed the splits in the basket base so that the shiny cane exterior lay faceup. The smooth base created a slick surface that did not absorb moisture or snag food particles. And the texture of the reversed splits in the base contrasted with those in the sides, creating a subtle design." (Hill, 50)
    There is a wonderful, big book, fully illustrated with examples, called "Ind. Baskets", by Sarah Peabody Turnbaugh and William A. Turnbaugh, Schiffer Publishing Ltd., West Chester, Pennsylvania. . It is published in collaboration with the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, and it is very valuable because it LISTS PRICES! (Value guide, 1997). Of the baskets today, they write: "North Carolina - plain plaiting with oak splints; twill plaiting river cane; some double twill plaiting. Rims characteristically are a hoop bound with hickory bark. Oklahoma - wicker plaiting.
    Forms: usually square base with bulging upper walls and round rim, "melon" baskets which are hemispherical with flat woven lids and splint handles; utilitarian forms for gathering, processing, and storing grain, etc; narrow-necked, bottle-shaped basket; fish baskets with thin cane-splint on string handles; trays, sieves, nests of baskets; miniature baskets produced by the North Carolina Cherokee.
    Decoration: North Carolina-structural manipulation of elements to produce twill plaited geometric patterns, often with dyed splints; diamond patters are most common in twill plaiting. Oklahoma- wicker elements brilliantly dyed with aniline dyes.
    Materials: In Manufacture-- North Carolina - usually splints of white oak or basket oak.. some river cane, or sugar maple splints. North Carolina and Oklahoma - honeysuckle vine in wicker plaiting. Hickory bark withes are used to bind hoops in rim finishes of North Carolina baskets.
    In Decoration - North Carolina - fiber usually dyed with vegetal dyes such as boiled root of black walnut or butternut for dark brown; occasionally dyed light red-brown with puccoon or blood root; Oklahoma - wicker elements are brilliantly dyed with aniline dyes.

      "In almost all ... houses, of every type, a bench extended around the entire interior next to the wall, except at the doorway, though in a few of the longer summer houses such benches or "beds" as they were called, seem to have been confined to sections at either end... The material of which they were made, except perhaps for the posts themselves, was of cane. Four or six forked posts carried long canes over which were laid crosspieces also of cane and above all were cane mats... Among the Cherokee, however,... other materials were (sometimes) used. White-oak splints are especially mentioned, and Bartram says the Cherokee also employed ash splints. Rush mats take the place of cane mats. The bed clothing, such as there was, consisted of skins of bison, bear, panther, and other animals.." (Swanton, #137, 422)
     "Parents and children slept on comfortable cane 'mattresses'. They went to sleep with their heads to the east, the direction from which the sun came. It was not good to sleep headed west, for trouble and bad spirits came from that direction."

"...bees were kept for their honey from as early a date..." . (Gilbert, 360)
         Early writers say that bees were introduced by the Europeans. That may be so, although it is hard to believe, as those little things have wings that could take them far, and strong winds could blow them even farther. At any rate, they spread throughout North America at a rapid rate, and came to be greatly appreciated.
     It was not long before beeswax became an important item of trade. Beeswax candles were highly prized by the early white settlers on the East coast.
     "The DeSoto narrative mentions the finding of a pot of honey in a ... village in Georgia in 1540". (Mooney, Myths, 214)
    "Bees were kept by many of the Cherokee, in addition to the wild bees which are hunted in the woods. Although they are said to have come originally from the whites, the Cherokee have no tradition of a time when they did not know them...." (Mooney, Myths, 309)

BERRIES: Lawson, in the Carolinas in 1700-1702, speaks of many berries: Raspberries; Hurts (Huckleberries); Piemento (All-Spice-Tree); Blackberries, Dewberries; Wild Fig; Red Plum; Damson; Winter Currant; Bermuda Currant; Figs (two kinds) Gooseberry; Currants (white, red, and black); Mulberry; Barberry; Strawberry; Grapes (several kinds). (Lawson, 98-118)
    "Some of the more common and widespread of wild fruits native to the Cherokee habitat included: blueberry, deerberry, red mulberry, huckleberry, blackberry, dewberry, flowering raspberry, red raspberry, mountain blackberry, black-haw, serviceberry (several species) and strawberry. As virtually ubiquitous fruits, berries in particular proved a multi-usable substance. Berries could be eaten raw, boiled, baked, dried, crushed (for cake), mixed with seed meal for flour, pulverized for drink, prepared as a spice or seasoning agent, and utilized as an active ingredient in herbal remedies ... it is likely that the wild black raspberry, wild red raspberry, blackberry, and dewberry, predominated in use among the Cherokees. (Goodwin, 57)
  For a list of  Berries and their habitats, see Index section.

      "The bird species of the area are especially diversified and numerous. Among the more important can be mentioned tanagers, larks, finches, buntings, creepers, woodwarblers, pipita, nuthatches, kinglets and goldcrests, titmice, shrikes, vireos, thrushes, wrens, gnatcatchers, swallows, hummingbirds, owls, buzzards, hawks, woodpeckers, cuckoos, kingfishers, eagles, ospreys, vultures, cormorants, pelicans, geese, ibises, storks, herons, cranes, plovers, quail, woodcocks, snipes, sandpipers, grebes, doves, rails, coots, and pigeons. It was taboo to kill some species of birds but many types were snared by various means or shot with blow gun or arrow. Along with quadrupeds, birds were closely connected with clan names." (Gilbert, 185)
    "The most important game bird was the wild turkey, hunted wherever it could be found. Second in importance was the passenger pigeon, whose roosts were gathering places for Inds. hunters at certain seasons. ...Partridges, ducks and geese... Birds' eggs were probably eaten everywhere... (Mooney, Myths, 302)
    "...and  other animals, beside turkeys, geese, ducks of several kinds, partridges, pheasants, and an infinity of other birds, pursued only by the children... (see Blowgun) (Timberlake, 71)
    Forgotten, or not mentioned, are: Blue Jay; Lapwing; and Wren.
    In "A New Voyage to Carolina" John Lawson lists the birds he found there, and elsewhere throughout the old south area. They are: Eagle, bald; Eagle, gray; Fishing Hawk; Turkey Buzzard (or Vulture); Herring-tail'd Hawk; Goshawk; Falcon; Merlin; Sparrow-hawk; Hobby; Jay; Green Plover; Plover, gray or whistling; Pigeon; Turtle Dove; Parrakeet; Ring-Tail; Raven; Crow; Black Birds (two sorts); Buntings (two sorts); Pheasant; Woodcock; Snipe; Partridge; Moorhen; Red Bird; East-India Bat; Martins (two sorts); Diveling, or Swift; Swallow; Humming Bird; Thrush; Wood-peckers (five sorts); Mockingbirds (two sorts); Cat-Bird; Cuckoo; Blue-Bird; Bulfinch; Nightingale; Hedge-Sparrow; Wren; Sparrows (two sorts); Lark; Tom-Tit (or Ox-eye); Owls (two sorts); Scitch Owl; Baltimore bird (oriole); Throstle (no singer); Whippoo Will; Reed Sparrow; Weetbird; Rice bird; Cranes and Storks; Snow-birds; Yellow-wings. (Lawson, 140,141)
    "Water Fowl are, (he continues): Swans, called Trompeters; Swans, called Hoopers; Geese (three sorts); Brant, gray; Brant, white; Sea-pies (or pied Curlues); Will Willets; Great Gray Gulls; Old Wives; Sea Cock; Curlues (three sorts); Coots; Kings-fisher; Loons (two sorts); Bitterns (three sorts); Heron, gray; Heron, white; Water Pheasant; Little gray Gull; Little Fisher, or Dipper; Gannet; Shear-water; Great black pied Gull; Marsh-hens; Blue Peter's; Sand-birds; Runners; Ducks (as in England); Ducks, black, (all Summer); Ducks, pied, (build on Trees); Ducks, whistling; Ducks, scarlet-eye; Blue-wings; Widgeon; Teal (two sorts) Shovelers; Whisslers; Black Flusterers (or bald Coot); Turkeys, wild; Fishermen; Divers; Raft Fowl; Bull-necks; Redheads; Tropick-birds; Pellican; Cormorant; Tutcocks; Swaddle-bills; Mew; Sheldrakes; Bald Faces; Water Witch (or Ware Coot). (Lawson, 141).
   "Eagles, ravens, crows, buzzards, geese, crane, ducks, grouse, swallows, blue herons, wild turkeys, hawks, woodpeckers, owls, osprey, partridges, cuckoos, and doves populated Cherokee settlement areas, shaping ecosystems by nesting and feeding, transporting foods, and fertilizing soil. Passenger pigeons (wo-yi) by the millions flew through forests in the late fall, bleaching the ground white with their dung.... Birds redistributed nuts, acorns, and seeds, culled fish, amphibians, and reptiles, and became food for omnivores. Those birds that preyed on insects protected forest and fruit trees by devouring crickets, weevils, beetles, borers, and larvae. Their continual feeding also limited insect destruction of garden and field crops. Raptors like screech owls (wa-huhu), hoot owls (u-guku) and hawks (tawodi) reduced crop predation by small mammals such as moles, mice, snakes, toads, rabbits, and squirrels." (Hill, 21)
    "Women made bird soup (u-ka-mu) and cooked their eggs (tsu-way-tsi), although Cherokees never ate 'birds of prey or birds of night' who consumed the blood of animals. As food preparers, women assumed a particular moral authority by maintaining dietary prohibitions. When traders brought them 'unlawful' food like hawks, they 'earnestly refused' to cook them 'for fear of contracting pollution'.
    "Whenever women prepared meat they 'put some of whatever they cooked on the fire for sacrifice'. They usually offered 'a little of the best' meat from deer or bear or buffalo, but birds necessitated a slightly different sacrifice. Women selected one from the assorted carcasses, 'plucked off the feathers, took out the entrails, and then put the whole bird on the fire'". (Adair). (Hill, 22)
     "...sometimes birds were put to use without their knowledge... They placed poles around the gardens and on the poles they hung gourd houses for purple martins. Purple martins not only consume large numbers of insects each day, but they are also aggressive towards crows and blackbirds, both of which are especially destructive of newly planted corn. Some evidence suggests that they... may also have encouraged the nesting of swifts and wrens, which also eat insect pests and chase away crows and blackbirds." Hudson, 298,299)
      "...for example.... birds that ate flesh -- such as eagles, crows, buzzards, swallows, and owls -- were abominations and could not ordinarily be used as human food. The same was true of animals that ate flesh... except for the bear.... (Hudson, 318)
    "Birds constituted another prized source of food and commodity to the early Cherokees. Many species were utilized.... at least 200 species of birds have been identified by Stupka in the Great Smoky Mountain region (Stupka, 1963)
    "Several other raptorial birds included: the turkey vulture or buzzard, black vulture, Cooper's Hawk; red-tailed hawk; broad-winged hawk; marsh hawk; sharp-skinned hawk; sparrow hawk; osprey; bad eagle, barred owl, horned own, and screech owl. Most of these large birds either fed or nested in the forested uplands, although it was not uncommon in the precontact period for many of the transient, but seasonal species, to move into the flood plains and valley bottomlands. ... In general, owls and hawks were not consumed due to mythological reasons. Owls, for instance, represented "disguised witches" to the Cherokees and their cry was a 'sound of evil omen'" (Goodwin, 73)
    "Mountain birds and water fowl of lesser size but of expressed dietary or religious value to precontact Cherokees included: raven, crow, tanager, white-fronted goose, great white heron or egret, fly-catcher; ruffed grouse, cardinal; yellow mockingbird or shrike; chickadee, tufted titmouse, whippoorwill, nuthatch, sparrows, and turtledove or southeastern mourning dove." (Goodwin, 73)
     "After corn and animals which provided meat and hides, birds were probably next in importance to early Cherokees. Wild turkeys nested among the trees, particularly in the river bottoms, in profuse numbers. They were the largest birds in the southeast, and the most numerous. Not only was turkey meat highly appreciated, but their feathers were indispensable for ornamental purposes. Some were woven into large feather cloaks. Some were used for headdresses. Small feathers were needed for arrows, and the spurs were used for arrowpoints and fishhooks. Even the bones provided whistles, scratchers, and other implements.
     "At some seasons the passenger pigeons filled the skies, and their nests were raided for the tender young squabs. The colorful feathers were desired for ornamental purposes.
      "The eagle was the most revered of all birds, and the sacred Bird Clan had it as its symbol. The killing of an eagle brought a problem to the entire town, for the proper priests and conjurors had to go into immediate action, saying the magic formulas, begging the Eagle spirit not to take revenge. Only after four days of preparation could the feathered carcas be brought into the village, and was carried around for all to admire by the greatest and most honored warriors." (quote, source not noted). (Goodwin, 72)
EAGLE:  "Cherokees considered the eagle (awa-hili) sacred, a great shaman, and a symbol of peace. They exchanged eagle feathers to signify friendship. Timberlake reported that eagle feathers were so important "they sometimes are given with wampum in their treaties, and none of their warlike ceremonies can be performed without them". In the fall or winter, designated warriors hunted eagles for the Eagle Tail Dance, which was performed to welcome visitors, celebrate victory, and recount exploits of war. The raptor's power was so formidable that eagle hunting was prohibited in spring and summer for fear of precipitating early frost. Unauthorized eagle hunting caused nightmares and illness, endangering the entire community." (Timberlake). (Hill, 23)
    "Among the many important birds found in Cherokee lands, none probably was deemed as sacred or as prominent in rituals as the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) especially in ceremonies pertaining to war. The difficulty in acquiring such a bird was unquestionably one reason for valuing the eagle so highly. Certainly a more common bird in the precontact period than today, the eagle remained chiefly in the ... high Blue Ridge and Unaka-Smoky Mountains, usually nesting on cliffs, rocky ledges, or in inaccessible trees.
 PASSENGER PIGEON:  The passenger pigeon, now extinct, was even more numerous than the turkey. Early observers of the migratory flights of these birds left many accounts of flocks which darkened the sky and which took several hours to pass overhead. Passenger pigeons roosted in trees in such numbers that limbs were broken off under their weight. They roosted only in certain areas, and were hunted only in winter, the hunters  going out at night with torches to blind them and long poles to knock them from their perches.
    "Second to the turkey in importance as a game bird was probably the passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius). This large bird was commonly taken from roosts located in the forested flood plains (Kentucky) on a seasonal basis, or when the pigeon flocked to the Tennessee valleys by the thousand during the winter months.
    "Even though the pigeon was easily killed at its roosting places, the(y) were careful not to overhunt the bird for fear of destroying the entire brood. They seldom killed the older birds and instead concentrated on the young squabs that were highly valued as food. Pigeon feathers were used for ornamental purposes" ... and the Big Pigeon and Little Pigeon Rivers, were named for them. (Goodwin, 72)
    "In the mean time, we went to shoot Pigeons, which were so numerous in these Parts, that you might see many Millions in a Flock; they sometimes split off the Limbs of stout Oaks, and other Trees, upon which they roost o'Nights. You might find several Towns... that have more than 100 Gallons of Pigeons Oil, or Fat; they using it with Pulse, or Bread, as we do Butter ..."  They " take a Light, and go among them in the Night, and bring away some thousands, killing them with long Poles, as they roost in the Trees. At this time of the Year, the Flocks, as they pass by, in great measure, obstruct the Light of the day." (Lawson, 56,57)
     "Like the passenger pigeon, waterfowl were not hunted everywhere... but only in restricted areas and only in certain times of the year. The Inds killed them in considerable numbers from the middle of October until the middle of April along the Mississippi flyway,  the route along which millions of waterfowl migrate each year. The methods used... to hunt waterfowl are not well understood. It is known that they killed far more species which fed in shallow water and on land than species which fed by diving beneath the water. ..." (Hudson, 280)
TURKEY: "Wild turkey (gv-na)was the largest and most common bird in  Cherokee settlement areas, providing food, ornamentation, tools, and clothing. Although turkeys ate fruit of virtually every deciduous tree, Adair claimed that "they live on the small red acorns and grow so fat in March, that they cannot fly farther than three or four hundred yards", thus facilitating their own capture. Their appetite for dogwood berries both reduced and dispersed communities of dogwood, whose hard dense wood provided Cherokees with tools and handles. Medical practitioners made ritual scratchers (kanuga) and medicine tubes with turkey bone. Women wove soft turkey breast feathers into elaborate blankets, cloaks, and short gowns that were "pleasant to wear and beautiful' as well as extremely warm. They strung turkey bone beads around their necks 'in such manner that the breast was frequently nearly covered with beads". (Longe - & Payne) (Hill, 22,23)
     "Several birds were important in the Southeastern hunting economy: the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris), and the passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius L), and several species of waterfowl. The wild turkey is a large bird, adult males weigh an average of 17 pounds and adult females weigh an average of 11 pounds. It was especially numerous in the aboriginal Southeast. It has been estimated that the aboriginal turkey population in the state of Georgia alone was in the neighborhood of six hundred thousand. Early historical accounts commonly report flocks containing several hundred turkeys.  (Hudson, 280)
    "The wild turkey ...  was the largest and by far the most widely distributed bird in the ... southeast. It was common to find the turkey at virtually all altitudes in Southern Appalachia, from the Black Mountains to the floodplains of eastern Tennessee... Turkeys normally congregated in flocks of from six to twelve, except during breeding season when they remained alone (Chapman, 248)
    "...turkeys were not only a highly valued food source, but the large feathers served as adornment for mantles, headdresses, and in the feathering of arrows, while the cock-spurs were used for arrowpoints. ...turkey bones were useful for whistles, scratchers, ornaments, and implements. (Goodwin, 71,72)
Dressing: Most early cooks in our area scaled and plucked the turkey leaving the skin on, but one said that he skinned them many times. Then the fuzz was removed by singeing in the fire, the feet cut off at the joints, the head cut off, and the entrails removed. The latter was done either by severing the backbone from the base and pulling the entrails out through the tail end, or by cutting up the middle from the legs to the breastbone and removing them. The gizzard, liver, and sometimes the heart were saved.
     Turkey Wing Fans: Cut off the wings, spread out the feathers and dry them in front of the fire. When stiff, they can be used to fan the fire.
WOODPECKER:  ..."the Cherokees believed that a certain type of woodpecker, the dalala, was terrifying to the enemy. Thus the woodpecker gorget might have been worn by priests or by warriors". Hudson, 386
  For a list of Birds and their habitats, see Index section.  
      Read the above. Also,  "A favorite method with the bird hunter during the summer season is to climb a gum tree, which is much frequented by the smaller birds on account of its berries, where, taking up a convenient position amid the branches with his noiseless blowgun and arrows, he deliberately shoots down one bird after another until his shafts are exhausted, then climbs down, draws out the arrows from the bodies of the dead birds, and climbs up again to repeat the operation." (Rights, 218)
     This was a favorite pastime of young boys, in any season.
THE EAGLE KILLER:  "After some preliminary preparation the eagle killer sets out alone for the
mountains, taking with him his gun or bow and arrows. Having reached the mountains, he goes
through a vigil of prayer and fasting, possibly lasting four days, after which he hunts until he
succeeds in killing a deer. Thus, placing the body in a convenient exposed situation upon one of
the highest cliffs, he conceals himself near by and begins to sing in a low undertone the songs to call
down the eagles from the sky. When the eagle alights upon the carcass, which will be almost
immediately in the singer understands his business, he shoots it, and then standing over the dead
bird, he addressed to it a prayer in which he begs it not to seek vengeance upon his tribe, because
it was not a Cherokee but a Spaniard (Askwa'ni) that has done the deed. The selection of such a
vicarious victim of revenge is evidence at once of the antiquity of the prayer in the present form
and of the enduring impression which the cruelties of the early Spanish adventurers made upon the
    "The prayer ended, he leaves the dead eagle where it fell and makes all haste to the settlement,
where the people are anxiously expecting his return. On meeting the first warriors he says simply,
"A snowbird has died" and passes on at once to his own quarters, his work being now finished.
The announcement is made in this form to insure against the vengeance of any eagles that might
overhear, the little snowbird being considered too insignificant a creature to be dreaded.
    "Having waited four days to allow time for the insect parasites to leave the body, the hunters
delegated for the purpose go out to bring in the feathers. On arriving at the place they strip the
body of the large tail and wing feathers, which they wrap in a fresh deerskin brought with them,
and then return to the settlement, leaving the body of the dead eagle upon the ground, together
with that of the slain deer, the latter being intended as a sacrifice to the eagle spirits. On reaching
the settlement, the feathers, still wrapped in the deerskin, are hunt up in a small, round hut built for
this special purpose near the edge of the dance ground, and known as the place "where the
feathers are kept" or feather house. Some settlements had two such feather houses, one at each
end of the dance ground. The Eagle dance was held on the night of the same day on which the
feathers were brought in, all the necessary arrangements having been made before hand. In the
meantime, as the feathers were supposed to be hungry after their journey, a dish of venison and
corn was set upon the ground before them and they were invited to eat. The body of the flaxbird
or scarlet tanager was also hunt up with the feathers for the same purpose. The food thus given to
the feathers was disposed of after the dance, as described in another place.
    "The eagle being regarded as a great ada'wehi, only the greatest warriors and those versed in t
he sacred ordinances would dare to wear the feathers or to carry them in the dance. Should any
person in the settlement dream of eagles or eagle feathers, he must arrange for an Eagle dance,
with the usual vigil and fasting, at the first opportunity; otherwise some one of his family would die.
Should the insect parasites which infest the feathers of the bird in life get upon a man they will
breed a skin disease which is sure to develop, even though it may be latent for years. It is for this
reason that the body of the eagle is allowed to remain four days upon the ground before being
brought into the settlement." Mooney, Myths, 282,283)

       "As I was informed there was to be a physic-dance at night, curiosity led me to the townhouse, to see the preparation. A vessel of their own make, that might contain twenty gallons (there being a great many to take the medicine) was set on the fire, round which stood several goards filled with river-water, which was poured into the pot; this done, there arose one of the beloved women, who, opening a deer-skin filled with various roots and herbs, took out a small handful of something like fine salt; part of which she threw on the headman's seat, and part into the fire close to the pot; she then took out the wing of a swan, and after flourishing it over the pot, stood fixed for near a minute, muttering something to herself;  then taking a shrub-like laurel (which I supposed was the physic) she threw it into the pot, and returned to her former seat. As no more ceremony seemed to be going forward, I took a walk till the Inds. assembled to take it. At my return I found the house quite full: they danced near an hour round the pot, till one of them, with a small goard that might hold about a gill, took some of the physic, and drank it, after which all the rest took in turn. One of their headmen presented me with some, and in a manner compelled me to drink, though I would have willingly declined. It was however much more palatable than I expected, having a strong taste of sassafras: the Ind. who presented it, told me it was taken to wash away their sins; so that this is a spiritual medicine, and might be ranked among their religious ceremonies. They are very solicitious about its success; the conjurer, for several mornings before it is drank, makes a dreadful, howling, .., and hallowing, from the top of the town-house, to frighten away apparitions and evil spirits." (Timberlake, 100,101,102)
    Footnote to 101: "The celebrated 'black drink" of the Cherokees..., a decoction of the leaves and tender tops and shoots of the cassine shrub of the holly family. The drink caused sweating which was supposed to purify, physically and morally. The caffeine in the plant produced stimulation and a very strong infusion produced a narcotic which was used by the conjurers to evoke ecstacies."
    "Black drink, a ritual beverage, was a necessary part of all important council meetings.... (they) were greatly concerned with purity, recognizing certain rules and prohibitions which, if broken, threatened the well-being of the individual and his people. Many of these rules were dietary; certain foods were forbidden. This is the reason why the black drink ceremony was performed before every important meeting of the council. Black drink purified men of pollution, served as a symbolic social cement, and it was an ultimate expression of hospitality....
    "In their own language (they) called the brew "white drink" because white symbolized purity, happiness, social harmony, and so on, but the Europeans called it "black drink" because of its color. It was made from the leaves of a variety of holly (Ilex vomitoria Ait.)... Black drink is essentially like mate', a beverage made from the leaves of Ilex paraguayensis and drunk in many parts of modern Latin America. The main active ingredient caffeine. To make black drink, the Inds. first dried the leaves and twigs and put them in an earthen container and parched them over a fire to a dark-brown color. This roasting made the caffeine more soluble; coffee beans are roasted for the same reason. They placed the roasted leaves and twigs in water and boiled it until it was a dark-brown liquid. The drink then was poured through a strainer and into vessels to cool. As soon as it could be poured over one's finger without scalding, it was ready to be consumed. Drinking it hot heightened its effect; caffeine is thirty times more soluble in boiling water than in water at room temperature.
    "Black drink is a tea whose bitter taste and caffeine content increase as it is made stronger. In addition to being a stimulant, the beverage also acts as a diuretic, causing increased perspiration. And (they) sometimes used it as an emetic. On these occasions they would drink it in large quantities, and in a quarter to half an hour they would vomit. Sometimes they would hold their arms across their chests and expell the contents of their stomachs six or eight times. The precise cause of this emetic effect is not known. All Ilex species contain ilicin and ilicic acid, both of which are turpentine-like compounds which produce an expectorant effect, causing increased bronchial secretion. The mere volume might have caused the vomiting -- even large amounts of ingested water can cause vomiting. Moreover, ...sometimes mixed other ingredients into the drink, and this may have caused the vomiting. In any case, the emetic effect was more the exception than the rule. The(y)  would often sit in council and drink black drink for hours at a time with no marked physical reactions.
    "The physiological effects of black drink are mainly those of massive doses of caffeine. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, exciting it at all levels. In fact, caffeine is the only true cortical stimulant known to modern medicine. It enables a person to have a more rapid and clearer flow of thought, makes him capable of more sustained intellectual effort, and sharpens his reaction time. It also increases his capacity for muscular work and lessens fatigue. Moreover, some evidence suggests that large doses of caffeine speed up blood clotting. The effects are pronounced with doses of 9.5 to 1.0 grams -- the equivalent of three to six cups of strong coffee. When consumed in large quantities, black drink could have delivered at least this much caffeine, and perhaps as much as 3.0 to 4.0 grams. These effects from large quantities of black drink could have been important and even decisive factors in activities such as the ball game or warfare. And repeated use of black drink, as far as we know, entailed no more risk than daily use of strong coffee.
    "But (they) drank black drink for ideological reasons as well as practical reasons. Meetings of the councils of chiefdoms were preceded both by drinking black drink and by smoking tobacco. The order in which the men partook of the black drink and tobacco followed a rigid prestige hierarchy. William Bartram observed a black drink ceremony at a Creek council meeting in a town house. Before the council meeting began, black drink was brewed in an open shed directly opposite the door of the town house and about twenty or thirty yards away. Next, bundles of dry cane were bright in and arranged in a counterclockwise spiral around the center pole of the town house. By the time this was done it was night, and all of the chiefs, warriors, and old men took their proper seats. Then the canes were ignited, and the fire circled the pillar like the sun, giving off a cheerful, gentle light. Next two men came in through the door, each with a very large conch shell full of black drink. They walked with slow, measured steps and sang in a low voice. They stopped then they were within six or eight paces of the miko (king) and members of the white clans sitting to his right, and they placed the conch shells on little tables. They then picked them up again and, bowing low, advanced toward the miko. The conch shell was then handed to the miko; the servant solemnly sang in sustained syllables, Ya-ho-la, while the miko held the shell to his lips. After the miko was finished drinking, everybody else in the town house drank. Soon tobacco stuffed in a pouch made from the skin of the miko's clan animal was brought out and laid with a pipe at the miko's feet. He filled the pipe and lit it, blowing smoke first toward the east and then toward the other three cardinal directions. Then the pipe was passed to the principal member of the white clans, then to the Great Warrior, and thence through the ranks of the warriors and back to the miko. In the meantime, all the others were taking black drink and smoking tobacco." (HUDSON, 227,228,229).
       There is evidence that the black drink for vomiting, was the button snakeroot. It was the best emetic. It was also sometimes used by the priests; throwing some button snakeroot into the fire, along with some ancient tobacco.

       "The blowgun was used to kill small game, such as birds and rabbits. This was a hollow reed of cane through which were projected small darts by the breath." (Gilbert, 317)
    "An important Cherokee weapon was the blowgun. It was about eight feet long and made from hollowed-out cane. Small, slender wooden darts, tufted with thistledown, wee blown with enough force to kill small game and birds. While several other southern... groups used blowguns, those of the Cherokee were unusually well made and accurate". (Lewis & Kneberg,  162)
    "...turkeys, geese, ducks of several kinds, partridges, pheasants, and an infinity of other birds, pursued only by the children, who, at eight or ten years old, are very expert at killing with a sarbacan, or hollow cane, through which they blow a small dart, whose weakness obliges them to shot at the eye of the larger sort of prey, which they seldom miss." (Timberlake, 71,72)
     Blowguns were made from carefully selected straight pieces of river cane, which used to be quite abundant in the old Cherokee country. Some were as high as 15 or 16 feet, and after being cut were hung from tree limbs, being weighted at the bottom by heavy stones to keep them straight as they dried out. They were then bored out with a smaller cane, well sharpened and seasoned in the fire, or a small cane with a small crystal attached. Some were disjointed, drilled through, then glued back together. Then the outside was smoothed and polished, and quite frequently painted with designs, or decorated with feathers.
    Blowguns were very important as an auxiliary weapon to the bow and arrow in food-gathering, and were very effective against small animals and birds, as they made no noise in discharging them which would scare the others away.
    "The Cherokee blowgun... has a considerably longer range, 40 feet being regarded as close target range; while an observer has recorded for it a shooting-match target range of 100 feet. The common killing range for small game is 40-60 feet. The Cherokee cane 9-10 feet in length and throws a dart of 21 inches length, having a piston of thistledown. The Cherokee stance is to hold the cane with both hands near the mouth, not with one hand extended forward as does (some other shooters). (Speck; The Cane Blowgun in ... Southeastern Ethnology"; American Anthropologist N. 9, vol. 40, 198-204)
      Some Cherokees, even today, are adept at using the blowgun, and in making them. They are usually made of a long, straight piece of river cane, used with a dart. The usage today is mostly confined to games of skill: contests, as it were. Some are still capable of pinning a six-inch square of paper at a distance of a hundred feet with a dart from the blowgun, and take great delight in doing so.
     "....the sections were cleared out by putting a slender rod of iron inside and shaking it up and down. When it was in use, the smaller end was thrown forward, the taper serving the purpose of a chokebore. Blowgun arrows were made of slivers of cane or of the 'buckbush', which is said to be very much like Scotch heather, and it was feathered with down from the bull thistle. The bull thistles, after they had been collected, at the proper time of year, were stuck together in large circular masses, or, as were placed in a double row between two slender strips of wood. When needed they were taken out, the seeds and dried flower ends removed,  and the down tied along the arrow shaft with the original outer ends still outward. The cane shaft was made square, and then wet in the mouth and heated over a candle flame, after which it was twisted. This twist prevented the animal into which it was shot from shaking it out. Blowguns were ornamented on the outside by wrapping a strip of cloth spirally about them and putting them over the fire long enough to char the exposed portion. When the cloth was removed the whole would be ornamented with black and white spirals.
     Blowgun darts were made from hardwoods such as locust, mulberry, or white oak. They were often from 12 to 22 inches long, wrapped with a thick and even plush of thistledown for four to five inches at the rear. The dried thistle blossoms were gathered at the right season and kept in wooden frames or boxes, as they were special and fragile. There are reports of other materials being used to "fill" the space between the wooden dart and the cane blowgun innards, such as fibers, feathers glued on, or sometimes fur such as rabbit. This was necessary to catch the blown breath which propelled the dart from the gun. A Cherokee boy began as early as 4 to 6 years of age to blow into a blowgun made for him (according to his height), and it took years to develop a "puff" strong enough to propel larger darts from longer blowguns.

      "Body paint was resorted to particularly in preparing for war and ball games, but was part of a man's make-up on all official or semi-official occasions. Red is the color mentioned most often, and red paint was quite uniformly obtained by heating ochrous earths." (Swanton, #137, 528)
    "The(y) draw great quantities of cinnabar, with which beaten to powder they colour their faces; this mineral is of a deeper purple than vermilion, and is the same which is in so much esteeme amongst physicians, being the first element of quicksilver." (Alvord, 158)
    "The women have their armes, breasts, thighes, shoulders, and faces, cunningly ymbroidered with divers workes, for pouncing or searing their skyns with a kind of instrument heated in the fier. They figure therein flowers and fruits of sundry lively kinds, as also snakes, serpents, eftes, &c, and this they doe by dropping uppon the scared flesh sundry coulers, which, rub'd into the stampe, will never be taken away agayne, because yt will not only be dryed into the flesh, but growe therein". (Strachey, 66)
      "Great attention was paid to body decoration and the skin was painted or tattooed with gun-powder pricked in the shape of various patterns. Ears were split to enormous size with silver pendants and rings, labrets were worn, and wampum collars of clamshell beads were strung about the neck, armlets and wristlets about the arm, and silver breastplates on the bosom. All of the head hair of the men was plucked out save for a small patch from which grew the scalplock, which latter was ornamented with wampum of shell and beads, feathers, and stained deer's hair." (Gilbert, 316-17)
      In 1797, LouisPhilippe of France wrote: "Cherokee clothing is made with European cloth and goods. The rich among them wear ample dressing gowns in bright prints or similar cloth. Some wear hats, but the majority keep the native haircut. They shave everything but the skull and the back of the head, and look as Capuchin monks would look if they let the hair grow inside their aureoles. The fringes of their hair are usually decorated with a few hanging tokens or braids in heir style, and banded by a piece of tin or red-dyed horsehide. Sometimes the hair itself is dyed red with vermillion, which is frightful and makes them look all bloody. On the whole, vermilion is very stylish among them, and is always applied where you would least expect to find it: now a thick dab under one eye and nowhere else, now one in front of the ear, now one at the roots of the hair. Some prink by twining wild turkey feathers, or other birds', in their hair, and attaching fobs to them, or little bits of glass, or red-dyed goose down. (LouisPhilippe, 95)
See our separate listing of TATTOOING  
      "The wood of the bow was dipped in bear's oil and then fire seasoned. Bear's gut was used for the string. The chief animals shot with the bow were bison, deer, turkey, opossum, squirrel, partridge, and pheasant". (Gilbert, 317)
      "Their bows are of several sorts of wood, dipped in bears oil, and seasoned before the fire, and a twisted bear's gut for the string" (Timberlake, 86)
    "...Mulberry... black mulberry and white mulberry... The Wood hereof is very durable, and where (they) cannot get Locust, they make use of this to make their Bows." (Lawson, 109)
    "They make perhaps the finest bows, and the smoothest, barbed arrows, of all mankind..." (Adair, 456-457)
    "The arms which the(y) carry are bows and arrows, and although it is true that they are skillful in the use of the other weapons which they have ... they do not (ordinarily) use any other arms except the bow and arrow, because for those who carry them they are the greatest embellishment and ornament ... For all these reasons, and because of the effectiveness of these arms which are superior to all others at both short and long range, in retreating or attacking, in fighting in battle or in the recreation of the chase, these carry them, and these arms are much used throughout the New World
    The bows are of the same height as he who carries them ... They make them of oak and of various hard and very heavy woods which they have. They are so hard to bend that no Spaniard, however much he might try, was able to pull the cord back so that his hand touched his face, but the Inds. through their long experience and skill drew back the cord with the greatest ease to a point behind the ear and made such terrible and wonderful shots as we shall see presently.
    "They make the cords of the bows from deerskin, taking a strip two finger-breadths in width from the hide, running from the tip of the tail to the head. After removing the hair they dampen and twist it tightly; one end they tie to the branch of a tree and from the other they hang a weight of four or five arrobas, and they leave it thus until it becomes about the thickness of the larger strings of a bass-viol. These cords are extremely strong. In order to shoot safely in such a manner that when the cord springs back it may not injure the left arm, they wear as a protection on the inner side a half-bracer, which covers them from the wrist to the part of the arm that is usually bled. It is made of thick feathers and attacked to the arm with a deerskin cord which they give seven or eight turns at the place where the cord springs back most strongly." (Garcilaso, 6-7; Robertson, 18-19)
     Other writers say that the bow was never made of oak, but of other woods. Some say Yew; Black Locust, Witch Hazel; Red Mulberry; and of course Bois D'Arc (osage orange: yellow wood). Others have said cedar, ironwood, pine, and dogwood.
       "There are few mentions of the wrist-guard being used, but it was almost always in use, to protect the shooter. Other wrist guards were made of bark, and a variety of tough animal skins. Also, there is very little mention of quivers, in which they carried their arrows, but they were fancifully made, artfully decorated, and embellished with beads and feathers. The bows were also sometimes painted and bedecked, with some beads, feathers, and seed pearls, as is obvious from the above remark that to those who carried them they were the greatest embellishment & ornament."

      "They bake their Bread either in Cakes before the Fire, or in Loaves on a warm Hearth, covering the Loaf first with Leaves, then with Warm Ashes, and afterwards with Coals over all." (Beverley, Bk 3, 14)
     "They have another sort of boiled bread, which is mixed with beans, or potatoes; they put on the soft corn till it begins to boil, and pound it sufficiently fine; -- their invention does not reach to the use of any kind of milk. When the flour is stirred, and dried by the heat of the sun or fire, they sift it with sieves of different sizes, curiously made with the coarser or finer cane-splinters. The thin cakes mixt with bear's oil, were formerly baked on thin broad stones placed over the fire, or on broad earthen bottoms fit for such a use: but now they use kettles. When they intend to bake great loaves, they made a strong blazing fire, with short dry split wood, on the hearth. When it is burnt down to coals, they carefully rake them off to one side, and sweep away the remaining ashes: then they put their well-kneeded broad loaf, first steeped in hot water, over the hearth, and an earthen bason above it, with the embers and coals a-top. This method of baking is as clean and efficacious as could possibly be done in any oven; when they take it off, they wash the loaf in warm water, and it soon becomes firm, and very white. It is likewise very wholesome, and well-tasted to any except the vitiated palate of an Epicure. (Adair, p 407-408)
    Speck's account of bread making among the Yuchi : "A kind of flour... is made by pounding up dried corn in the mortar. At intervals the contents of the mortar are scooped up and emptied into the sieve basket. The operator holds a large basket tray in her lap and over it shakes and sifts the pounded corn until all the grits and the finer particles have fallen through. According to the desired fineness or coarseness of the flour she then jounces this tray until she has the meal as she wants it, all the chaff having blown away. The meal, being then ready to be mixed into dough, is stirred up with water in one of the pottery vessels. In the meantime a large clean flat stone has been tilted slantwise before the embers of a fire. When the dough is right it is poured out onto this stone and allowed to bake.... Berries are thought to improve the flavor and are often mixed in with the dough." (Speck, 44)
    Parched corn ground into powder was extensively used because it would keep for a long time and was readily transported. There are three ways of preparing this: and one "It is 'smoked dried meal or meal dried in the fire and smoke, which, after being cooked, has the same taste as our small peas and is as sugary'" (Dumont, 1753, 32-34)
    "Our entertainment... was as good as the country could afford, consisting of roast, boiled, and fried meats of several kinds, and very good Ind. bread, baked in a very curious manner. After making a fire on the hearth-stone, about the size of a large dish, they sweep the embers off, laying a loaf smooth on it; this they cover with a sort of deep dish, and renew the fire upon the whole, under which the bread bakes to as great perfection as in any European oven." (Timberlake, 57)
    "They had many kinds of bread to bake", wrote Butrick, and "they had many ways of baking bread". Women shaped loaves in a 'large, shallow basket' by spreading dough across its base and covering it with long, broad leaves of the cucumber magnolia tree. 'Then the basket was turned bottom upwards on the hot clay or stone hearth, and taken off' leaving the dough to bake on the leaves. By shaking the dough in baskets 'they would make loaves as large as they pleased". (Payne 4:73) (Hill, 31,32)
     "After making a fire on the hearth-stone, about the size of a large dish, they sweep the embers off, laying a loaf smooth on it; this they cover with a sort of deep dish, and renew the fire upon the whole, under which the bread bakes to as great perfection as in any European oven." (Timberlake, p. 27)
    LOBLOLLY:  Bread.... made with Ind. Corn, and dry'd Peaches.
   TICKANOOLY - Bean Bread.
"The most common food was corn bread which was baked in ash-covered dishes on the hearth. Meats were brought in by the men, and the women prepared them by frying, roasting, and boiling. Everything was overdone, complains Timberlake. Various preparations of potatoes, pumpkins, hominy, boiled corn, beans, and peas were served up in small flat baskets of split cane." (Gilbert, 316) (or plates and bowls of pottery, of which making the Cherokee were very proficient).
    "When the(y)... made bread, they usually began by processing dry corn in the same way they did to make hominy. But instead of only cracking it in the mortar, they pounded it up into a fine meal, which they further refined by sifting it through a sifter, a loosely-woven basket made of cane. The fine meal that passed through the sifter was kept for making bread; the coarse meal which did not pass through was put into the mortar for more pounding or else kept out to be added to meat and vegetable dishes or to hominy soup.
    "The(y) had three different ways of making bread: frying, boiling, and baking. In each of these they began by mixing boiling hot water with fine hominy meal to form a batter. For fritters a thin batter was fried in hog bear grease in a flat-bottomed pot. For baked bread they made a thick batter and formed it into small loaves or into a flat, round pone. They placed the loaves in a flat-bottomed pot, which was covered with an inverted pot, which in turn was covered with hot coals, making in effect a small Dutch oven. A variant of this was pumpkin bread, made by adding cooked and mashed pumpkin pulp to the batter." (Hudson, 305)
    There was also a bread for travel.. a batter was formed into a doughnot shape, baked until they were thoroughly done, and then put in the sun until they had dried as hard was wood. They would then string them on a piece of cord and carry them to eat on their travels. They were so hard they had to be stewed before they were edible.
     "The Southern Ind. cooked several forms of boiled corn bread, each requiring a thick batter. They made one kind by shaping lumps of batter into rolls and wrapping them with corn shucks; these were dropped into boiling water and allowed to simmer for about an hour. They could be eaten freshly cooked, or they could be dried and kept for long periods of time. This was another of the foods they carried with them on their travels. Another way of making boiled bread was to form the batter into balls or flat cakes and drop them into boiling water to make a kind of dumpling.
     "To vary their corn breads they frequently added to the batter seeds of various kinds, particularly sunflower seeds, and also such things as nuts, berries, and wild sweet potatoes. The type of corn bread they considered their greatest delicacy was chestnut bread, which they made by adding chopped chestnuts or chinquapins to the batter. Their most nutritious corn bread, and another of their favorites, they made by adding boiled beans. As we have already seen, corn and beans together provide a reasonably good vegetable source of protein. One unusual condiment was made by placing bean hulls in a pot which was put over a fire until the hulls were reduced to ashes. When this ash was added to corn batter it turned it a greenish color and gave it a special flavor.
    "In addition to cracked hominy and hominy meal, the South Inds. had a different process for making something they called 'cold meal" (gawi'sida). They made this by shelling corn from the cob at the stage when the kernels were firm but not dry. It could also be made from dry corn by steeping the kernels in warm water overnight. They put the kernels of corn in a pot of ashes and parched the corn until it was brown, stirring it frequently to keep it from scorching. When it was brittle enough to be broken between the fingers, it was placed in a mortar and pounded into a fine meal. The final step was to put the meal on a fanner to remove the hulls. Cold meal would keep for a long time, and to make it keep even longer they would sometimes dry the meal further over a smoky fire. They ate it by simply adding it to twice its volume of cold water; in a few minutes the meal would swell up to form a thin gruel, which they drank. It could also be eaten dry. Cold meal was another of the foods they carried with them when they traveled. They stored and carried it in bags made of dressed animal skins. (Hudson, 305,306)
    "When (the persimmon) is well ripened the natives make bread of it, which keeps from one year to another, and the virtue of this bread, greater than that of fruit, is such that there is no diarrhea or dysentery which it does not arrest, but one ought to use it with prudence and only after being purged. In order to make this bread the natives scrape the fruit in very open sieves to separate the flesh from the skin and seeds. From this flesh, which is like thick porridge, and from the pulp they make loaves of bread 1 1/2 feet long, 1 foot broad, and of the thickness of the finger, which they put to dry in the oven on a grill or, indeed, in the sun. In this latter fashion the bread preserves more of its taste. It is one of the merchandises which they sell to the French." (DuPratz, vol. 2, 18,19)

      At the death of a beloved, there was general wailing and weeping. Some latter-day writers have said that the males did not weep: this was not so, for if a male Cherokee could not feel sorrow, and cry, he would have been thought to be "dead" himself.
     "...the wailing of the females was excessive, and their doleful lamentations repeatedly called the relative name of the deceased. This was sung rather than spoken, and in an exceedingly mournful tone of voice. The expressions of grief were greater or less according to the circumstances. Sometimes the mourners were entirely unconsolable and went weeping to the grave." (Gilbert, 347)
     At other places it is written that if a family did not have enough tears, they would pay professional "wailers" to wail for them, so as not to be thought unfeeling or uncaring.
     If a notable person, or a noble warrior fell, there would be a public oration by the leading "long talker" or orator, .... during high ceremonials. The main events of the life would be gone over, and the main theme would be that they who died are only gone to sleep with their forefathers.
     "In each town there was a man appointed to bury the dead. This man came to the house of the deceased and buried the corpse. The most ancient custom was to bury the corpse in the house directly beneath the place where the person died, except in the case of a distinguished chief, and in this case he was buried under the seat that he usually occupied in the council house. When the corpse was not buried in the house, the undertaker took the body and carried it himself to the place of interment, followed by the relatives. Sometimes the corpse was laid by the side of a huge rock, covered over, and then stones heaped on. Sometimes a grave was dug in the earth. Frequently the whole of the clothing of the deceased was buried with the corpse.
    "The burial completed, the funeral procession returned and the man who buried the corpse entered the house alone, took out the gourds and what furniture happened to be in the house when the person died and, carrying them away, either broke up, buried, or burned them. He then took out all the old fire ashes and wood from the house and made new fire with cedar boughs and goldenrod weed for future use. He then took the family (after they had taken an emetic) to a stream where all plunged seven times, alternately facing east and west. Then, putting on new clothes, they remained in a state of separation in a camp, being unclean for 4 days. A medicine was made for the family to drink and to sprinkle themselves with.
    "The family then returned to the house and directly the priest's right-hand man sent messengers to them with a piece of tobacco to enlighten their eyes and a strand of beads to comfort their hearts and requested them to take their seats in the council house that night. The family repaired there and all the town met them and took them by the hand as a token of affection. Then the mourners could return home while the others continued to dance. In case the deceased was a husband, his widow remained single for a long time and for 10 months let her hair grow loose without dressing or taking any particular care of it. Moreover, she did not wash or take any particular care of herself and clothes were thrown carelessly about her. Some mourned for a fixed period of 7 days.
    "A sacrifice was sometimes made and a divination made of the occurrence of new deaths from the popping of the meat. The chief priest of the town often comforted mourners and feasted at the house of mourning. The head man of the town sent out hunters who brought meat for the bereaved family. The priest who officiated at the mourning was paid in clothing for his services. (Gilbert, 347-348)
CRYING TIMES: There were times when family members would meet together in retreats during which they would fast and cover their heads, mourning deceased family members.
   "The Cherokee ... they buried their dead in the earth, and sometimes under stone piles." (Swanton, #137, 818)
CAIRNS: "Stone cairns were formerly very common along the trails throughout the Cherokee
country, but are now almost gone, having been demolished by treasure hunters after the
occupation of the  country by the whites. They were usually sepulchral monuments built of large
stones piled loosely together above the body to a height of sometimes 6 feet or more, with a
corresponding circumference. This method of interment was used only when there was a desire to
commemorate the death, and every passerby was accustomed to add a stone to the heap. The
custom is ancient and world-wide, and is still  kept up in Mexico and in many parts of Europe
and Asia. Early reference to it among the southern tribes occur in Lederer (1670), Travels, page
10, ed. 1891, and Lawson (1700, History of Carolina, pages 43 and 78, ed. 1860. The latter
mentions meeting one day 'seven heaps of stones, being he monuments of seven Inds. that were
slain in that place by the Sinnagers of Troquois (Iroquois). Our Ind. guide added a stone to each
heap". (Mooney, Myths, 491)
     In ancient times  "The course of preparation for the burial mound seemed to have been as follows: the surface of the ground was first carefully levelled, and packed over an area perhaps ten or fifteen feet square. This area was then covered with sheets of bark, on which, in the centre, the body of the dead was deposited, with a few articles of stone at its side, and a few small ornaments near the head. It was then covered over with another layer of bark, and the mound heaped above". (Cherokees in PreColumbian Times, 48, 49)

      Many things from the past have been revealed for a certainty by scientific excavations of ancient burial sites in this century.
     For instance, in one excavation in the Tennessee area:  ...another similar circular burial-pit was explored, in which, besides the separate sitting and horizontal skeletons, there was a kind of communal grave ..."the following articles were found buried with the skeletons of the last-mentioned pit alone: one stone axe; forty-three polished celts; nine vessels of clay, including four pots and two food cups, the handle of one representing an owl's head, and that of the other an eagle's head; thirty-two arrow-heads; twenty stone pipes, mostly uninjured; twelve discoidal stones; ten rubbing-stones; one broken soapstone vessel; six engraved shells... four shell gorgets; one sea shell (Busycon perversum) entire, and two or three broken ones; five very large copper beads; a lot of shell fragments, some of them engraved; a few rude shell pins made from the columellae of sea-univalves; shell beads, and a few small copper beads.". (5th Annual report, reported in Thomas, 26)
  "Throughout the Southeast, cane was the water's companion. Spreading across landscapes where women and men lived and worked, hunted and warred, gathered and traded, cane provided raw material for everything from house walls and hair ornaments, to game sticks and musical instruments. Toys, weapons, tools, and beds were made of cane. When crops failed and famine came, Cherokees made flour from cane. Before going to battle, warriors purified themselves with cane and root tea. Cane played a part in most Cherokee activities, whether ceremonial or utilitarian.
    "Baskets (talu-tsa) and mats (a-yehstv-ti) represent women's most frequent, complex, and significant use of rivercane. Cane mats covered house benches and beds, decorated interior walls, served as ceremonial rugs, and wrapped the bodies of the dead." (Hill, 39,40)
    "By 1790 TO 1800, the countryside was vastly different... Missing from the landscape was the plant so closely associated with women in one of their most fundamental responsibilities - rivercane. Livestock had eradicated 'vast thickets of cane' that had been scarcely penetrable' in the early part of the country. Europeans found rivercane an abundance and free source of forage that enabled them to maintain the animals on which they were so dependent for food and trade. "The spacious tracts of cane, " wrote Catesby in 1724 "are a great benefit particularly to Traders". By midcentury, the destruction of cane was well underway in Cherokee settlements, where traders kept "flocks of an hundred, and a hundred and fifty excellent horses" because the cane provided them "hearty food" year round. "Formerly" wrote Adair, "such places abounded with great brakes of winter-cane".
    Horses and cattle ravaged cane stands. They stripped the leaves and macerated the stalks, then killed them "by breaking the body of the plant while browsing on the tops of the stalks". Hogs caused far greater damage as they scoured the earth to gouge out nutritious roots. "Whenever the Hogs come" complained Byrd in the 1730's, "they destroy them in a Short time, by ploughing up their Roots, of which, unluckily, they are very fond"... Settlers began to clear cane from agricultural fields and set hogs loose in the stands for the express purpose of eliminating the native grass. ".... by the end of the eighteenth century, the destruction of the canebrakes became a mark of civilized settlement." (Hill, 90,91)
    "The canes or reeds of which I have spoken so often may be considered of two kinds. The one grows in moist places ... The others, which grow in dry lands, are neither as tall nor as large, but they are so hard that these people used split portions of these canes, ... with which to cut their meat...." (duPrantz, vol. w 58-59; quoted in Swanton, 1911, 58)  
      "The men also made dugout canoes by the use of fire and tools from large pine or poplar logs 40 feet long by 2 feet wide. The bottoms of these canoes were flat and the sides plain and alike, as were the ends." (Gilbert, 317)
     "Many objects of everyday use were carved from wood, including huge dugout canoes. These were made from poplar trees that were hollowed out by alternate burning and scraping. Although the canoes were thirty to forty feet long, they were not excessively heavy or clumsy. The width was about two feet and the depth about one foot, with the thickness of the wood varying from one to two inches." (Lewis & Kneberg, 161,162)
    "Their canoes are the next work of any consequence; they are generally made of a large pine or poplar, from thirty to forty feet long, and about two broad, with flat bottoms and sides, and both ends alike; the(y) hollow them now with the tools they get from the Europeans, but formerly did it by fire: they are capable of carrying about fifteen or twenty men, are very light, and can... so great is their skill in managing them, be forced up a very strong current, particularly the bark canoes..." (Timberlake, 84,85)
         "The dugout canoe... was fashioned from a single log of bald cypress, poplar, or pine...  made out of logs from trees felled by storms or, if none were available, from trees they took down by burning. They also used fire to hollow out the logs, controlling the burning by placing clay over the areas they did not want burned and by fanning the flames where they wanted the burning accelerated. At intervals they extinguished the fire and scraped out the charred wood with a shell or stone tool. The Southeastern dugout canoe had a flat bottom, straight sides, and it was frequently as long as 30 or 40 feet long. It was propelled by paddling or poling, depending on the nature of the water." (Swanton,  ITLMV, 66,67)
Note: One of these large canoes... was preserved, and was found by a Tennessee farmer. It may be seen at the McClung Museum at the Univ. of Tennessee.
     "...a canoe will outlast four boats, and seldom wants repair" (Lawson, 163)
    "The Cherokee canoe is hewn from a poplar log and is too heavy to be carried about like the bark canoe of the northern tribes. As a temporary expedient they sometimes used a bear or buffalo skin, tying the legs together at each end to fashion a rude boat. Upon this the baggage was loaded, while the owner swam behind, pushing it forward through the water." (Mooney, Myths, 496)
BIRCH BARK CANOES were another matter. "When in their Travels, they meet with any Waters, which are not fordable, they make Canoes of Birch Bark, by slipping it whole off the Tree,  in this manner. First, they gash the Bark quite round the Tree, at the length they would have the Canoe of, then slit down the length from end to end; when that is done, they with their Tomahawks easily open the Bark, and strip it whole off. Then they force it open with Sticks in the middle, slope the underside of the ends, and sow them up, which helps to keep the Belly open; or if the Birch Trees happen to be small, they sow the Bark of two together; the Seams they dawb with Clay or Mud, and then pass over in these Canoes by two, three, or more at a time, according as they are in bigness. By reason of the lightness of these Boats, they can easily carry them overland, if they foresee that they are like to meet with any more Waters, that may impede their March; of else they leave them at the Water-side, making no further account of them; except it be to repass the same Waters in their return. (Beverley, bk 3, 19)
    It is obvious from the above that dugout canoes were used as transportation for serious trips, but birch-bark canoes were used as ferries, across the rivers and streams.

      "Although the dead and severely wounded were invariably scalped, captives, if young warriors, were frequently adopted. Old seasoned veterans were put to death (although with great honor and respect). The native American has been widely credited with having perfected the art of torture to its utmost possibilities. Overwhelming evidence proves that he burned, flayed, pinched, cut, literally vivisected his captives; yet, making but a slight allowance for the development of his culture, he was less expert than the Spanish of 1492 or the English under Henry VIII. The former burned heretics after days of torture on he rack, and the latter boiled criminals in oil, letting them down feet foremost with a windlass. Revolting as it was, the cruelty of the Red Man was instrumental in bringing about the development of a strongly marked trait. It made him the world's most successful stoic. (He) did not inflict more punishment than he was able to bear." (Milling, 28)
     "The fate of captives ...varied immensely. Sometimes they were adopted and treated exactly as blood kinsmen, sometimes they were put in the precarious and uncertain position of a "slave", and sometimes they were tortured to death in a horrible manner. When captives were enslaved, it was not slavery in the economic sense as practiced by the Europeans. In a subsistence economy a slave cannot turn a profit for his master. It was rather slavery in a social sense. The captive, or "slave", belonged to the man who captured him in war. He lived in the warrior's home and thereby became another mouth to feed. He performed menial tasks, such as gathering firewood and processing deer skins, but his primary value to his 'master' seems to have been prestige -- the captive was a sort of living scalp. He was not usually bound or in any way restricted in his movement around the village or its environs. But escape was not a viable option, either because he was too deep inside enemy territory to hope to make it out without being recaptured, or else because his master had taken the precaution of maiming him in some way to keep him from being able to run fast enough to elude his pursuers. His position was forever uncertain. He could be given as a gift to another master. He could be sold -- or more accurately, bartered. Or for any of a number of reasons beyond his control he could be put to death, either by the swift, merciful blow of a war club or hatchet, or else by slow torture.. Women and children who were taken as captives were frequently adopted and led free and relatively normal lives. But male captives, particularly the older ones who had accumulated some war honors, were frequently tortured to death in the spirit of vengeance." (Hudson, 253,4,5)
RUNNING THE GAUNTLET: 'This custom, known to colonial writes as 'running the gauntlet'
was very common among the eastern tribes, and was intended not so much to punish the captive
as to test his courage and endurance, with a view to adoption if he proved worthy. It was
practiced only upon warriors, never upon women or children, and although the blows were severe
they were not intended to be fatal. The prisoner was usually unbound and made to run along a
cleared space in the center of the village toward a certain goal, and was safe for the time being if
he succeeded in reaching it." (Mooney, Myths, 490)

     Cherokees were master pottery makers, there being plenty of clay in the area where they lived. In fact, the location of fine, white clay became a fairly large industry, for it was shipped to England which started the first English porcelain manufacture.
    "Twelve small clay animal heads were found (in an excavation site called 'Warren Wilson') ... "there was one complete animal, possibly a bear effigy... while the others were heads only (each was broken at the base of the neck). (Dickens, 146)
    "Artifacts of fired clay consisted of discs, smoking pipes, animal head effigies, beads, and miniature pots. Clay discs were the most numerous item... In most cases, these were made from a potsherd that had been chipped to a roughly circular form and ground on the edges to produce a symmetrical disc. Rarely, the piece was fashioned from wet clay and fired. Sizes ranged from 1 to 5 cm in diameter and were from 4 to 9 mm thick. Such discs, probably used as gaming or counting pieces, have been found in a variety of late prehistoric contexts in the Southeast". (Dickens, 144)
    Clay smoking pipes were also found: see Pipes.

      On many of the days between the ceremonies there were formal council sessions. A white standard was raised, and the whole village population came into the council house. A handful of old "Beloved " men,  including the priest-king,  sat toward the center, and the rest of the men, old and young, seated themselves on rows of benches, each with his fellow matrilineal clansmen: the women of each clan sat apart from the men, toward the rear. There were formal speeches by the older men, and comments by younger men.
      In the matter of ceremonies and beliefs the Cherokees differed but little from the rest of the Southeast. Typical elements shared by them with the other Southeastern tribes were the green corn feast, the sacred ark, the new fire rite, religious regard for the sun, use of divining crystals, scarification, priesthood, animal spirit theory of disease, and certain medical practices.
SEE: "Feasts & Festivals" .

     The word "chief" is an English word, not even used by them for hundreds of years to indicate a ruler over a Native American tribe or Nation. From 1492 until around 1820, the Oukah's of the Cherokee was translated in the English language as "king", as was the "Micco" & "Mingo" of the Creeks and Chickasaws, etc. The heredity, also, was not in the European fashion as from father to son, until about that same time of the 1820's and 1830's at the time these Nations made their first Constitutional governments.
    "The chieftainship could be transmitted, like the clan, only in the female line. The son of a "chief" could never inherit his power and was not regarded as of royal blood nor even as next of kin to his father. Instead, the power went to the son of the chief's oldest sister (Haywood, 1923). This would point to the clan head as being the original chief political officials". Quoted: (Bulletin 133, page 340).
      In the Handbook of American Inds. (Part I, pp. 263-264), it states that the title "...may be generally defined as a political officer whose distinctive functions are to execute the ascertained will of a definite group of persons united by the possession of a common territory or range.. The title to the dignity belongs to the community, usually to its women, not to the chief, who usually owes his nomination to the suffrages of his female constituents.
     "In the clan lineal descent, inheritance of personal and common property, and the hereditary right to public office and trust are traced through the female line.. The married women of child bearing age... had the right to hold a council for the purpose of choosing candidates for chief and subchief of the clan, the chief matron... being the trustee of the titles, and the initial step in the deposition of a chief or subchief was taken by the woman's council...
     "The chiefs of the clan or gens has the right to hold a council but on occasions of great emergencies a grand council is held, composed of the chiefs, subchiefs, the matrons and headwarriors and leading men."
     "Women rarely rose the position of ruling chiefs in the central and western parts of the southeastern part of the United States, but many cases are recorded in and near the eastern Siouan Tribes, including the tidewater portion of Virginia."
    "You know they are divided into tribes or nations, each of which is governed by a ruler or a minor king, who is given his power by the Great Spirit or Supreme Being. Although these ... are despotic rulers, their authority is not resented because they know how to gain love and respect. They have the great satisfaction of knowing that their subjects consider them demigods, born to make them happy in this world. The chiefs consider themselves the fathers of their people and are prouder of this than is the ostentatious Great Mogul of his pompous titles. As a matter of fact, such great emperors of Asia are often subject to revolution in their vast states. They are not even sure of their lives; we have seen their subject kings rise up and kill them and their families.
    "The crime of high treason is unknown among the Inds. The chiefs go everwhere without fear. If anyone were rash enough to try to kill a chief, the parricide would be punished as a horrible monster, and his entire family would be exterminated without pity." (Bossu, Travels, 113,4)
    "It is perhaps even wrong to think of Cherokee headmen as first among equals, for they were first only while supported by public opinion or public inertia. When they spoke for a town, or a region, or in rare cases for the nation, they did so in the hope, not the certainty, that their words would be listened to and their pledges honored.
    "Cherokee headmen did not exert authority, they exercised influence based on the intangible ingredients such as their personalities, the success of prior prophecies, tales told by conjurers, and the auguries of those whom they sought to sway. For headmen to employ coercion, even coercion applied through established legal institutions or social structures manipulated in predictable ways, would have been a violation of Cherokee constitutional premises. By way of contrast, the argument could be made that much of a headman's influence was derived from his native ability to invent and use generis solutions and to move around, not through, opposition. Political power came through personal credit, not government office.... a contemporary European expressed the principle by saying that they could 'only persuade'. Somewhat later, a Cherokee informant put it another way. It was, he pointed out, by 'native politeness alone ... that the chiefs bind the hearts of their subjects'." (Reid, Hatchet, 5)

      "The mother had little difficulty in childbirth. She was generally assisted by the grandmother and mother, no men being allowed present except the priest. If the child fell on its breast it was a bad omen, if it fell on its head it was a good omen. If the omen was bad, the child was thrown into the creek and then fished out when the cloth over its head had become disengaged. The child was waved over the fire after birth or held before it, and a prayer was made to that element. Children were bathed at birth and every morning for 2 years. On the fourth or seventh day after birth, the child was bathed in the river by the priest, who prayed that it might have long life. The parents were excessively indulgent with their children, and the latter had great affection for their elders. They were named at the sixth or seventh day." (Gilbert, 340)
    Timberlake, about 1761,  "As soon as a child is born, which is generally without help, it is dipped into cold water and washed, which is repeated every morning for two years afterward, by which the children acquire such strength, that no ricketty or deformed are found amongst them. When the woman recovers, which is at latest three days, she carries it herself to the river to wash it; but though three days is the longest time of their illness, a great number of them are not so many hours; nay, I have known a woman delivered at the side of a river, wash her child, and come home with it in one hand, and a gourd full of water in the other." (Timberlake, 90)
    "Ind. women, by their field as well as by domestick imployment, acquire a healthy constitution, which contributes no doubt to their easy travail in childbearing, which is often alone in the woods; after two or three days have confirmed their recovery, they follow their usual affairs, as well without as within doors; the first thing they do after the birth of a child, is to dip, and wash it in the nearest spring of cold water, and then daub it all over with bear's oil; the father then prepares a singular kind of cradle, which consists of a flat board about two foot long, and one broad, to which they brace the child close, cutting a hole against the child's breech for its excrements to pass through; a leather strap is tied from one corner of the board to the other, whereby the mother flings her child on her back, with the child's back towards hers; at other times they hang them against the walls of their houses..." (Catesby, Vol. 2, p. xv)
    "When the newborn child is four days old, the mother brings it to the priest, who carries it in his arms to the river, and there, standing close to the water's edge and facing the rising sun, bends seven times toward the water, as though to plunge the child into it. He is careful, however, not to let the infant's body touch the cold water, as the sudden shock might be too much for it, but holds his breath the while he mentally recites a prayer for the health, long life, and future prosperity of the child. The prayer finisht, he hands the infant back to the mother, who then lightly rubs its face and breast with water dipt up from the stream. If for any reason the ceremony cannot be performed on the fourth day, it is postponed to the seventh, four and seven being the sacred numbers of the Cherokee".  (Mooney, River Cult, 2)
     "Olbrechts reports ... that as soon as a woman discovered she was pregnant she informed her husband and the news was quickly communicated to the whole settlement. She was subjected to many taboos, the most important of which was that she was taken to water to pray and bathe every new moon, for at least 3 months before delivery. A priest and her husband, mother, or some other near relative accompanied her, and the priest dipped some water out and placed it upon the crown of her head, her breast, and sometimes her face, and prognosticated the future fate of the child by conjuring with certain white and red beads. Anciently, a separate house was built for the woman during that period. The placenta was buried on the farther side of two ridges of mountains by the father or nearest relative. There is now no cradle, but when the child is 3 or 4 weeks old it is carried about astride of its mother's back. At the age of 4 or 5, boys come under the supervision of their fathers or elder brothers and learn to handle bows and arrows, while girls help their mothers and older sisters. They learn their own culture rapidly and play g ames in which the activities of the elders are imitated. A child may be raised to become a wizard, and such a career is particularly marked out for twins. (quoted in Swanton, 713)

      Children contributed to the work which had to be done by their families. They were an essential part of early Cherokee life, adored by everyone.
    "In its early years the principal care of the child fell naturally upon its mother, who never struck it, particularly if it was a male, but scratched it with a pin, a needle, or gar teeth to deter it from wrong doing and also to harden it. If scratching was resorted to as a punishment, the skin was scratched dry, otherwise only after it had been soaked in water. The girls remained under the tutelage of their mother and her clan sisters, but the boys were taken in hand by the oldest uncle of the clan or clan group, who maintained a general oversight of the education of all the young men. He admonished them, lectured them at the time of the busk or other gatherings, and at times resorted to flagellation, in which Bossu says that a carrying-strap was used, but canes were also employed. (Swanton, 137, 715)
     Babies were bathed every day with warm water from a pottery or gourd basin, then annointed with oil from bear fat or the fat passenger pigeon.
     It seems that the oldest aunt on the mother's side instructed the girls. The older women in the clan were often consulted, and their wisdom highly valued.
     Boys often slept on panther skins to acquire that animal's strength and courage. Sleeping on doe skins made the girls more graceful...Parents and and children slept on comfortable cane 'mattresses'.
     Boys of about eight were expected with the clever use of the blowgun to bring in quail and rabbit to add to the family larder. His life was competetive. There were contests of archery, running, wrestling, weight-lifting, chunkey, and ball play, with his 'uncle' insisting on both strength and courage.
     Children's efforts to get around the morning bath 'going to the water' were punished by the uncle with scratching of arms, backs, or legs with a snake's tooth, or the teeth of a gar fish.
     For other infractions, they were chastized with words. For instance, a boy who disgraced himself by cowardice would be praised by his uncle for his exemplary courage. Adair wrote: "I have known them to strike their delinquents with those sweetened darts (words), so good naturedly and skillfully, that they would sooner die by torture, than renew their shame by repeating the actions".
     Children grew up understanding about character by example and word. Childhood training was to help boys and girls to behave themselves, to respect their elders and learn from them, to know clan and tribal histories, and especially to attend to spiritual matters -- the most important agencies of all.
     Young boys learned the art of applying red, white, and black body paint for ceremonial purposes. Girls learned the arts of decorating themselves and others with feathers, and sometimes pretty pebbles (probably crystals). (quote source unknown)
     "From Haywood's account, it would appear that the father of a family could not punish his children since they were of a different clan from his" (Gilbert, 324). This is true. It was for the mother's eldest brother to be the first to correct or admonish a child; but actually that responsibility was shared with each and every other older male or female of the clan. In other words, a clans business was everybody's business, but there was a pecking order to be observed, if at all possible. Things should be done in the right way.
    "And tho' they never want Plenty of Milk, yet I never saw an Ind. Woman with very large Breasts; neither does the youngest Wife ever fail of proving so good a Nurse, as to bring her Child up free from the Rickets and Disasters that proceed from the Teeth, with many other Distempers which attack our Infants in England... They let their Children suck till they are well grown, unless they prove big with Child sooner. They always nurse their own Children themselves, unless Sickness or Death prevents. I once saw a Nurse hired to give Suck to an Ind. Woman's Child, which you have in my Journal.... As soon as the Child is born, they wash it in cold Water at the next Stream, and then bedawb it... After which, the Husband takes care to provide a Cradle, which is soon made, consisting of a Piece of flat Wood, which they hew with their Hatchets to the Likeness of a Board; it is about two Foot long, and a Foot broad; to this they brace and tie the Child down very close, having, near the middle, a Stick fasten'd about two Inches from the Board, which is for the Child's Breech to rest on, under which they put a Wad of Moss that receives the Child's Excrements, by which means they can shift the Moss, and keep all clean and sweet. ...These Cradles are apt to make the Body flat; yet they are the most portable things that can be invented; for there is a String which goes from one Corner of the Board to the other, whereby the Mother slings her Child on her Back; so the Infant's Back is towards hers, and its Face looks up towards the Sky. If it rains, she throws her leather or Woolen Match-Coat, over her Head, which covers the Child all over, and secures her and it from the Injuries of rainy Weather." (Lawson, 196,197)
    A Cherokee's age was determined by how many "winters" he/she had survived.
    "Men assumed other kinds of responsibilities for clan children. Elder brothers trained and educated their sisters' sons. "You know such and such boys in the town that are my near rellation," a priest explained patiently, "I am now alearning them all sorts of doctoring for when I die they'll be in my place". Clan specialization and customs moved through time and across generations, tying Cherokees of the present to those of the past and future. "When they are old and perhaps dead" the priest continued" "their relations are in their place". Their 'place' might be in the priesthood or war council, the domains of medicine or prophecy or leadership, or the intricacies of dance or song or even weaving or potting. A 'certain family' wrote Longe' always hold the priesthood, and no one else could minister in that affair". Every clan possessed its own distinct body of magic, formulas, dances, and symbols." (Hill, 30)
    "The birth of twins was regarded in a special light. They were thought to be especially likely to have unusual powers and were said often to become priests or witches. This was most likely to be true of the younger twin, they believed..
    "From the moment of birth the two sexes were treated differently. Male infants were wrapped in cougar skins while females were wrapped in deer or bison skins... An infant spent most of the first year of life bound to a cradle board. These cradle boards, made of light rectangular frames of wood or basketry, made it easier for the mother to carry her infant, and it helped protect the infant from the weather and from injury. A wad of soft moss absorbed the infant's excrement.
    "...the Inds. were indulgent parents. A child was allowed to nurse as long as he pleased, or until his mother became pregnant again. Although mothers were primarily responsible for their children during their first four or five years of life, they were not supposed to punish them physically, particularly their sons. Boys fell under the discipline of one of their mother's older brothers. Ordinarily, the disciplinarian was the oldest, most influential male in the mother's lineage. Girls, on the other hand, remained under the supervision of the women of their clan. If physical punishment had to be administered to a boy, it was usually done by lightly scratching his dry skin with a sharp, pointed instrument. This was called "dry-scratching". Dry-scratching was especially humiliating because it left scratches or light scars on the skin for several days or weeks so that all could see them and tease the child about them. The scratching was punishment, but it was also thought to "lighten" or lessen the child's blood, and it was believed that this made him healthier and less troublesome. ...The usual way of punishing less serious instances of misbehavior was by ridicule, a device which can be an especially powerful sanction in a small community.
     "Little girls learned how to play a woman's role by helping the older women with housework, tending the gardens, keeping the fire going, making pottery and basketry, and so on. Little boys learned how to hunt by doing it. They spent most of their day roaming through the woods and shooting at targets and small animals with their bows and arrows (or blowguns and darts)... later the boys learned to play chunkey and the ball game. Perhaps the boys' favorite sport was running foot races. If a man was to be a good warrior and a good hunter, he had to be able to run rapidly and for long distances." (Hudson, 323,324, from Swanton, ITLMV, 87,88)
     "Young boys from eight to twelve years old played the game (the ball game) among themselves, hoping for the day when they would be able to play in regular games. (Hudson, 411)
     Timberlake says "that as soon as a woman discovered she was pregnant she informed her husband and the news was quickly communicated to the whole settlement. She was subjected to many taboos, the most important of which was that she was taken to water to pray and bathe every new moon, for at least 3 months before the delivery. A priest and her husband, mother, or some other near relative accompanied her, and the priest dipped some water out and placed it upon the crown of her head, her breast, and sometimes her face, and prognosticated the future fate of the child by conjuring with certain white and red beads. Anciently, a separate house was built for the woman during that period. The placenta was buried on the far side of two ridges of mountains by the father or nearest relative. There is now no cradle, but when the child is 3 or 4 weeks old it is carried about astride of its mother's back. At the age of 4 or 5, boys come under the supervision of their fathers or mother's brother and learn to handle bows and arrows, while girls help their mothers and older sisters. They learn their own culture rapidly and play games in which the activities of their elders are imitated. A child may be raised to become a wizard and such a career is particularly marked for twins. Such a child is kept secluded during the first 24 days of its life... Meanwhile it is not allowed to taste its mother's milk but given instead the liquid portion of corn hominy. While such children are growing up they are often supposed to go away and talk with the "Little People", a race of dwarfs believed in by nearly all southern natives" (Timberlake, 90; Mooney, 116-130)
     There is a charming story recorded about the Spanish monk, San Miguel and his companions having spent the night under a tree near the settlement of the Timucua. "the following day, as soon as it was day many ... boys came to the sloop, and all, though they were very small, had bows and arrows proportioned to their size and stature, and all these began shooting into the top of the tree where we had slept, chattering merrily to one another, without our understanding them or understanding why they were shooting there, when we saw falling from the tree a little snake, its small head pierced by an arrow, and one of those boys came proudly and lifting on his arrow the pierced snake, showing it to us joyfully as the conqueror and more skilful than the rest" (Swanton, 373; Garcia, 193). We report it here, because the activities of boys in the Old South was much the same, and this could well have been Cherokee boys at their serious play.
    "As a special privilege a boy was sometimes admitted to the asi (hothouse) on such occasions (when the elder myth-keepers and priests met together at night to recite the traditions and discuss their secret knowledge) to tend the fire, and thus had the opportunity to listen to the stories and learn something of the secret rites....the fire intended to heat the room -- for nights are cold in the Cherokee mountains -- was built upon the ground in the center of the small house, which was not high enough to permit a standing position, while the occupants sat in a circle around it. In front of the fire was placed a large flat rock, and near it a pile of pine knots or splints. When the fire had burned down to a bed of coals, the boy lighted one or two of the pine knots and laid them upon the rock, where they blazed with a bright light until nearly consumed, when others were laid upon them, and so on until daybreak" (Mooney, Myths, 230)
     "For a girl child, even playing "house" with a friend was a learning experience. She learned mostly by helping the other females in the house: her mother, her aunt's, her grandmothers. From the time she could walk she was learning by helping, or playing by emulating the work she saw the others do.
     There was always corn to shuck; corn to crush into powder; corn to leach with lye for hominy, corn to boil for mush. There were animals and fish to cook in several ways. There were plants and herbs to learn about, both for cooking and for medicine. There was learning to work hides and leathers into clothing and moccasins, to learn how to prepare and preserve fruits and meats by drying, either over a fire or in the sun. One had to learn how to make thread and cords from plant fibers, or from animal sinews or hair. One had to learn how to make bread. Corn pone. Bean bread. Persimmon bread. Pumpkin bread. Peach Bread called "lobloly".
     While learning all this, day by day, listening to the stories that the women told: stories of how Cherokees came into being; all the myths and fables of the birds and animals, and even the insects; the medicinal lore, and how to take care of a baby, by taking care of the babies; how to keep a house clean, how to make the right fire for the right purpose; how to keep from offending the evil spirits always lurking about; what to expect from a clan member, either male or female, and what was expected of one, in return. As each day went on, it was a constant learning experience, passed down fromone generation to another.
    Then, when a little older, one had to learn to weave baskets and mats; to gather the right plants and tree-bark used to dye the cane; to find the right clay to make a pot; to work the clay to make a pot or vessel; to fire the pottery. One had to learn good grooming habits, to adorn the hair, to use the right paint, sparingly. One had to learn the dances, all the many, many dances, and the women's part in them. Life was an ever-changing experience of all the same things, over and over. And the best way to learn was to do.
     For a boy child, every day was a learning experience. One of his first gifts would be a blowgun, about as long as he was tall, along with some little tufted darts. This would be from one of his uncles (his mother's brothers) or perhaps from his father, who, although not of his clan, still had his responsibilities. While learning to use the blowgun, and to become proficient at it, it would be necessary to learn how to make a new one, and certainly to make new darts for himself, as they seemed to disintegrate or disappear rather rapidly.
    Then there was learning all about the birds and their habits; and the animals: their names, their habits, their characteristics. And then to learn of their spiritual counterparts. And it was necessary to learn the games that could be played for hours on end with the other boys. And to sit with the elders and learn the old stories that must be retold word for word, without deviation, lest one get severely scratched and humiliated. One had to learn what was 'taboo', and what was allowable.
    Then there were the trees to learn about, and the fruits, and the berries, and in the spring helping to prepare the fields with the menfolk, and to plant the fields with the womenfolk, and to tend the fields with the elder folks. There were nuts to gather, and nuts to crack in the stone nutcrackers. There was corn to be brought from the corn cribs, and dried fruit to be brought down from the rafters where they had been dried, which might bring a smile of thanks, or a pat on the head, from grandma.
    And in the teens, to learn to cook enough so that one could survive in the wilds, to work the animal hides and leather, and to make ones own clothing and shoes; to learn the rituals of "going to the water" and how not to offend the ever-present ghost-spirits; to make a canoe and a make-shift raft so that one could cross a river; to become specialist in a trade, or in war, or in oratory. To learn how to build a house by helping to build one for a female cousin who was getting married. To learn the use of paints and of tatooing the body; to learn to hunt, being taught by elder hunters, to skin and clean the carcass. To cook the carcass over makeshift fires in the woods.
    To learn how to fish, in several different ways, and to make the fishhooks and lines. To shoot the bow and arrows; to make the bows and arrows; to decorate the bows and arrows. One had to learn at least the rudiments of sign-language, and some words of the 'Mobilian trade language'. There was always something to do; something to learn; somebody new coming into the village with another story, or a new way to do things. And to learn how to play the ballgame. A young man must always become proficient at the ballgame, its meaning, its rituals. And to learn the dances .. oh, the many, many dances ... pantomime dramas played out with regular rigidity. There was always something to learn. There was always something to do.
    After the missionaries came things changed, at least for the few children who attended the missionary schools. In a letter written by Jeremiah Evarts in 1822: "Missionaries were especially shocked at the sexual behavior of Cherokee children. The intercourse between the young of both sexes was shamefully loose, when Brainerd opened in 1817. Boys or girls in their teens would strip and go in to bathe or play ball together naked. They would also use the most disgusting indecent language without the least sense of shame. But when better instructed, they became reserved and modest" (Missionaries, 139)
CRADLES: "...the husband takes care to provide a cradle, which is soon made, consisting of a piece of flat wood, which they hew with their hatchets to the thickness of a board; it is about two feet long, and a foot broad; to this they brace and tie the child down very close, having near the middle, a stick fastened about two inches from the board, which is for the child's breech to rest upon, under which they put a wad of moss that receives the child's excrements, by which means they can shift the moss and keep all clean and sweet...These cradles are apt to make the body flat; yet they are the most portable things that can be invented, for there is a string which goes from one corner of the board to the other, whereby the mother flings her child on her back; so the infant's back is towards hers, and its face looks up towards the sky. If it rains she throws her leather or woolen matchcoat over her head, which covers the child all over, and secures her and it from the injuries of rainy weather." (Lawson, 1860, 310; quoted in Swanton, 562)

      In 1820 the Cherokee national council abolished clans., as the nation was reorganized.
     "The clan is believed to have been derived along with their songs, dances, and magical formulas from the great mythical giant Old Stonecoat, who was slain long ago. The legend relates that this giant was burned at the stake and as his spirit ascended on high it sang forth the whole culture of the Cherokees. Included in the words uttered were the rules and regulations which govern the clan...." (source Unknown).
"Gregg mentions that the entire clan was responsible for the crime of one of its members and there were no exceptions. Satisfactory communication could almost always be obtained because the relatives themselves would bring the fugitive to justice in order to avoid the punishment falling on one of them. (Gregg in Thwaites, 1904-07, vol. 20, p. 311, quoted in Gilbert, 324).
     "Washburn (1869, p 206) states specifically that it was the function of the older brother to inflict clan revenge. The older brother together with the mother's brother exercised more authority over the family than did the father since the latter was of a different clan and was afraid of hurting his children for reason of the likelihood of blood revenge on the part of their clan." (Gilbert, 324-25)
      "The Cherokee have seven clans, viz: Ani'-wa'ya (Wolf); Ani'-Kawi' (Deer); Ani'-Tsi-skwa (Bird); Ani'-Wa'di (Paint); Ani'-Saha'ni; Ani'-Ga'tage'wi; Ani'-Gila'hi. The names of the last three cannot be translated with certainty. (James Mooney, 19th Annual Report, BAE, p. 212)
    "There are, and have always been... seven clans among the Cherokee. Their names are: Aniwahiya (Wolf); Anikawi (Deer); Anidjiskwa (Bird); Aniwodi (Red Paint); Anisahoni (Blue?); Anigotigewi (Wild Potatoes?); and Anigilohi (Twisters?) (Gilbert, 203)
   The clans at Big Cove, Eastern Cherokees, visited by Wm. Gilbert in the early 1900's, are listed as: Deer, Wolf, Blue, Bird, Twister, Paint & Potato. (p. 243)
     NOTE: "The wolf clan used to be called Anidzogohi when the bears were said to have belonged to this clan..." and: about "twisters", "according to another version, the name is derived from ugilohi "long hair", referring to the love of adornment and display of their elaborate coiffures..." (Gilbert, 204). These two notes refer to a lately-contrived controversy ongoing about the bear clan and long hair clan, and both are ridiculous. .
    "Every individual had closer relationships with four of the seven clans than with the other three, the four being: the mother's clan, of which the person was also a member; the father's clan; the paternal grandfather's (father's father's) clan; and the maternal grandfather's (mother's father's) clan. These last two were important because a person was expected to marry into one or the other. In any single town, all of the seven clans were represented; this prevailed throughout the nation and linked all of the Cherokee by kinship bonds." (Lewis & Kneberg, 164)
    "The Cherokee Nation" wrote Moravian missionaries, "is divided into tribes, but they are not called Tribes here, but Clans or Families. Clans embraced the entire population, weaving patterns of relationships and responsibilities into the fabric of kinship. Every individual belonged to a family that extended beyond households, through settlements, and across the nation.... Clan identity came from the mother 'without any respect to the father'...
    "...The Cherokee language actually identified clan position so precisely that anyone 'could tell you without hesitating what degree of relationship exists between himself and any other individual of the same clan'. Specific terms distinguished mothers, their parents and siblings, older and younger brothers, and sisters and their children. A special term identified maternal uncles (ak-du-tsi). Blood brothers were signified by the word (dani-taga) (standing so close as to form one). Each relationship prescribed certain kinds of behavior and varied responsibilities." (Hill, 27)
    "Reciprocal hospitality was a paramount clan responsibility. Cherokees have an 'advantage over us,' wrote Englishman William Fyffe to his brother "in their mutual love not only in the same family but throughout the Nation'. Although clan affiliations did not guarantee love, Fyffe was on the right track. Clan relations were extensive, expressive, and mutual. When Cherokees traveled to another settlement, 'they enquire for a house of their own tribe (clan)' wrote Adair, where 'they are kindly received, though they never saw the persons before'. Visitors to the homes of clan relatives 'eat, drink, and regale themselves with as much freedom as at their own tables'."  (Hill, 28)
       The clan was not an economic unit, it did not own property.
     "The clan was the most important social entity to which a person belonged. Membership in a clan was more important than membership in anything else. An alien had no rights, no legal security, unless he was adopted into a clan. For example, if a war party happened to capture an enemy and the captive was not adopted by a clan, then any sort of torture could be inflicted upon him. But if he were adopted into one of this captor's clans, then no one could touch him for fear of suffering vengeance from the adopting clan. The rights of clansmanship were so fundamental they were seldom if ever challenged." (Reid, Law of Blood)
      Once in a while a Cherokee (usually a male) would become so wrong-headed and incorrigible as to be labeled a "rogue". After many tries to make the person reform, if there was not a return to acceptable behavior, he (or she) could be put 'out' of the clan. After that shame, which left them vulnerable to any insult or adverse behavior without recourse, because they would have no claim affiliation and thus no relatives,  the 'rogue' usually left all villages and lived alone in the woods. Having been made a 'non-person' was the ultimate fear of an adult Cherokee, and was the ultimate consequence, just short of being condemned to immediate death. "Shunning" was the ultimate living insult, and sometimes the shunned person would commit suicide rather than live with such shame.
     "When a man is traveling in a distant village and needs shelter for the night he seeks one of his 'brothers' of his own clan. The ascertaining of mutual clan affiliations is the ordinary form of greeting between two persons when meeting for the first time. Thee are several ways of ascertaining a given man's clan without asking him. He may be found always associating with his own clansmen, and the affiliation may be known. Then again it is only necessary to observe his behavior toward these persons whose clan affiliations are already known to determine his clan. Hence, in general, it is quite easy after some slight acquaintance within a given village to know how to behave toward a number of persons who stand in given relationships to ego." (Bull. 133).
     "Annual clan councils occured at the time of the annual new corn ceremonies. At this meeting, which one was required to attend, the most distinguished member would review the history of the clan for the past year and then would give the names of the members who deserved to be commended for some deed bringing honor to the clan. And, those who had dishonored the clan, were mentioned by name, also...resulting in suspense and tension.... thus, the clan expectations and practices were powerful agencies in socializing the maturing young..."

      "Lawson, who knew the Ind. before he was completely impoverished and corrupted by the white man, refuted the all too prevalent idea that the Ind. lived in filth and squalor. Admitting that they were often troubled with fleas, especially near the places where they dressed their deerskins, he remarks, "I have never felt any ill, unsavory Smell in their Cabins, whereas, should we live in our houses as they do, we would be poisoned with our own Nastiness; which confirms these Inds to be, as they really are, some of the sweetest People in the world". (Lawson, 178,179)
    "From Lawson to Catlin, all the firsthand observers of the 18th and early 19th centuries make reference to the sweat-lodge, quite similar in effect to the Turkish bath. Naturally, their cabins were close and dark and screens were unknown. But there is evidence that the native in his personal
sanitation compared favorably to his contemporary white brother, who, until about 1830, regarded the bathtub as the plaything of Beelzebub. With the Cherokee,  cleanliness was not next to godliness, it was godliness." (Milling, 33,34)
      "The(y) also pulverize the Roots of a kind of Anchuse or yellow Alkanet, which they call Puccoon, and of a sort of wild Angelica, and mixing together with Bears Oyl, make a yellow Ointment, with which, after they have bath'd, they anoint themselves Capapee (Note: head to toe); this supplies the Skin, renders them nimble and active, and withal so closes up the Pores, that they lose but few of their Sprits by Perspiration....
     "They have also a further advantage of this Oyntment, for it keeps all Lice, Fleas, and other troublesome Vermine from coming near them..." (Beverley, Bk 3, 52)

    Clothing was manufactured by the women and consisted of skin loincloth, buckskin shirt, buffalo robes, textile robes with feather decorations, moccasins, and boots.
    "Garments made of feathers were both beautiful and practical -- practical because they were warm without being heavy and bulky like those made from skins. The feathers came from the breasts of wild turkeys and were about two or three inches long. They were sewed between narrow strips of bark, and the strips were then sewed together so that the feathers overlapped as on the body of the turkey. Skirts for women and mantles for both sexes were made in this manner. Feathers from brilliantly colored birds were worked into these garments as trimmings. Feathers of other kinds, particularly those from eagles and white cranes, were used in headdresses.
    "The patterns of clothing were simple, the women wearing short skirts and shoulder mantles, and the men, breech clouts and sleeveless shirts. Both sexes wore moccasins that were made like short boots and reached halfway up the leg. While they were on hunting trips in the forest and in cold weather, men wore leather leggings like loose trouser legs." (Lewis & Kneberg, 162,63)
    "They have now learned to sew, (1761), and the men as well as women, excepting shirts, make all their own cloaths; the women, likewise make very pretty belts, and collars of beads and wampum, also belts and garters of worsted." (Timberlake, 86)
    "Their Feather Match-Coats are very pretty, especially some of them, which are made extraordinary charming, containing several pretty Figures wrought in Feathers, making them seem like a fine Flower Silk-Shag; and when new and fresh, they become a Bed very well, instead of a Quilt. Some of another sort are made of Hare, Raccoon, Bever, or Squirrel-Skins, which are very warm. Others again are made of the green Part of the Skin of a Mallard's Head, which they sew perfectly well together, their Thread being either the Sinews of a Deer divided very small, or Silk-Grass. When these are finish'd, they look very finely, though they must needs be very troublesome to make." (Lawson, 200)
     Woodard reports that a Cherokee ruler such as the Oukah wore a gold-dyed buckskin shirt and leggins with matching feather headdress when he performed his "Oukah dance" every seventh year. She also says that a prominent Cherokee woman would wear a knee-length skirt woven from feathers and edged at the bottom with down plucked from the breast of a white swan, on ceremonial occasions.
  "Most of the garments ... were made of the skins of animals, though some were woven from threads of vegetable and animal origin, some were of feathers... Deer hide was a major basis for clothing of all kinds and deer sinew was utilized as thread throughout the entire Southeast.... Bison robes are noted particularly among the Caddo, the Cherokee, and the Natchez..". (Swanton, #137, 439)
    In 1797, LouisPhilippe wrote of his visit to the Cherokees: "Cherokee clothing is made with European cloth and goods. The rich among them wear ample dressing gowns in bright prints or similar cloth. Some wear hats, but the majority keep the native haircut.... Their clothing is so varied that an exact description is impossible (Note: it had changed considerably in the previous 50 years); Most wear a woolen blanket over the left shoulder and beneath the right, so as to leave the right arm entirely free. They all wear a shirt or tunic which is, I am told, washed fairly often. They bathe fairly often. Trousers, breeches, or underpants are unknown to them. They have only the little square of cloth, and the shirt or tunic is belted in and hides it altogether".
    "Some are turned out with notable elegance, and I saw one among many.... whose outfit consisted of silk fichus and a light green cape or length of cloth, which hung with classic elegance and charm." (LouisPhilippe, 95) Note: This was after most Cherokees had changed to the whiteman's convenience.
     The ancient Cherokee dress for men is what is known now in theatrical circles as the "Davy  Crockett" costume. From the coonskin cap, through the deerskin shirt and leggins, to the moccasins, it is the dress he borrowed from his neighboring Cherokees. For the Cherokees, their winter coonskin cap (with or without the tail hanging down the back) was their usual winter headwear (in the warmer weather they wore nothing on their heads). When they acquired cloth from the traders, however, the coonskin cap quickly gave way to a "turban", a colorful strip of cloth wound around their head.
     "The breechclout was the one article of dress worn constantly by all males other than infants and young children. It was the first to be put on and the last to be laid aside... Adair (1775, p. 8) gives the dimensions as ... about 5 1/2 feet long by 1 foot wide.
    One of the best descriptions of mens wear was Speck's description of Yuchi costume (which you will see, can be applied to the Cherokee): It is of slightly later time, after the white man came, and in the elder days the shirt would be of the finest deerskin: "A bright colored calico shirt was worn by the men next to the skin. Over this was a sleeved jacket reaching on young men, a little below the waist, on older men... below the knees. The shirt hung free before and behind, but was bound around the waist by a belt or woolen sash. The older men who wore the long coat-like garment had another sash with tassels danging at the sides outside of this. These two garments, it should be remembered, were nearly always of calico or cotton goods, while it sometimes happened that the long coat was of deerskin. Loin coverings were of two kinds; either a simple apron was suspended from a girdle next the skin before and behind, or a long narrow strip of stroud passed between the legs and was tucked underneath the girdle in front and in back, where the ends were allowed to fall as flaps. Leggings of stroud or deerskin reaching from ankle to hip were supported by thongs in the belt and bound to the leg by tasseled and beaded garter bands below the knee. Deerskin moccasins covered the feet. Turbans of cloth, often held in place by a metal headband in which feathers were set for ornaments, covered the head. The man's outfit was then complete when he had donned his bead-decorated side pouch, in which he kept pipe, tobacco and other personal necessities, with its broad highly embroidered bandolier. The other ornaments were metal breast pendants, earrings, finger rings, bracelets and armlets, beadwork neckbands and beadwork strips which were fastened in the hair..." (quoted in Swanton, #137, 465).
    Catesby says briefly: "Their ordinary Winter dress is a loose open waistcoat without sleeves, which is usually made of a Deer skin, wearing the hairy side inwards or outwards in proportion to the cold or warmth of the season; in the coldest weather they cloath themselves with the skins of Bears, Beavers, Rackoons, etc. besides warm and very pretty garments made of feathers. (Catesby, 1731-43; vol. 2. viii)
Leggins: 'In lieu of the drawers and trousers of European peoples, most of the(m).. wore at times garments sometimes called leggings or boots by the English... They were made in two pieces, one wrapped around each leg and brought up high enough to as to fastened to the belt by means of leather cords, while at the lower ends they were inserted under the upper edges of the moccasins. Like the latter, they were used less about home than during excursions to some distance and they were mainly intended to protect the wearer from bushes and underbrush of various kinds." (Swanton, #137, 462)
    "They wear leather buskins on their legs, which they tie below the knee" (Catesby, vol. 2 viii)
    "The men wear, for ornament, and the conveniences of hunting, thin deerskin boots, well smoaked, that reach so high up their thighs, as with their jackets to secure them from the brambles and braky thickets. They sew them about five inches from the edges, which are formed into tossels, to which they fasten fawns trotters, and small pieces of tinkling metal, or wild turkey-cock-spurs." (Adair, 7)
Note: These leg coverings  were borrowed later by the white western "cowboys", who wore them over their usual trousers, and called them "chaps" (pronounced shaps).
Shoes: "They wear shoes of buck's and sometimes bear's skin, which they tan in an hour or two, with the bark of trees boiled, wherein they put the leather whilst hot, and let it remain a little while, whereby it becomes so qualified as to endure water and dirt, without growing hard. These have no heels, and are made as fit for the feet as a glove is for the hand, and are very easy to travel in when one is a little used to them." (Lawson, 311)
    "Their shoes, when they wear any, are made of an entire piece of Buck-Skin; except when they sew a piece to the bottom, to thicken the soal. They are fasten'd on with running Strings, the Skin being drawn together like a Purse on the top of the Foot, and tyed round the Ankle. The Ind. name of this kind of Shoe is Moccasin" (Beverley, bk 3, 5)
    "The women wore a short skirt extended from the waist almost to the knees." (Swanton, #137, 469)
    "the women wearing "a deer skinne verye excellelye dressed, hanging downe from their navell unto the mydds of their thighes, which also covereth their hynder parts". (Hariot, 66)
    "The women's dress consists only in a broad softened skin, or several small skins sewed together, which they wrap & tye round their waist, reaching a little below their knees" (Adair, 6,7)
    "In cold weather, the Chickasaw women wrap themselves in the softened skins of buffalo calves, with the wintry shagged wool inward" (Adair, 8) We feel sure the Cherokee women were intelligent enough to do the same.
     The upper body was covered at most times by a skin cape into which two holes were cut for the arms to come through.
     Lately Cherokees have been told some tales which we have believed to be false, as we can find no verification for them. It seems that a few decades ago the phony pow-wow circuits needed something "authentic" to sell to the gullible tourists, so they thought up something for the women called a "tear dress", along with the story that after the trail of tears some Cherokee women did not have scissors, so they had to tear material into strips in order to sew them together and make a dress. About the same time they put Cherokee men into "ribbon" shirts. Both are about as authentic as these "dream catchers" thought up about the same time for the tourist trade.

     The chief color symbolism is as follows: East: red --success, triumph; North: blue -- defeat, trouble; West: black -- death; South: white -- peace, happiness.
     Early Cherokees used mostly red and white, and sometimes blue, on civil occasions, and black was the color of war and death. Vermillion paint was a very popular item of trade in the very early days. The King's (Oukah's) red was towards the purple hue.
    "White was emblematic of peace and happiness, red of power and success, blue of trouble and defeat, black of death."  (Mooney, River,13) "The South wind was white and brought peace; the North wind was blue and meant defeat; the West wind was black and brought death. The wind from the East was red. It brought power, and war". (Wilma Dykerman, The French Broad, 41)

        Fire and smoke signalling were not as much used as previously believed. In the forest on hunting trips, or at war, various whoops and birdcalls were used to communicate, like prearranged signals. There was very little written about this subject, but Adair did mention sign language:
    "The present American aborigines seem to be as skillful pantomini as ever were those of ancient Greece or Rome or the modern Turkish mutes, who describe the meanest things spoken by gestures, action, and the passions of the face. Two far-distant Ind. nations, who understand not a word of each other's language, will intelligibly converse together and contract engagements without an interpreter in such a surprising manner as is scarcely credible." (Adair, 79)
    "In their war-expeditions they have certain hieroglyphicks, whereby each party informs the other of the successes or losses they have met with; all which is so exactly performed by their Sylvan marks and characters, that they are never at a loss to understand one another" (Catesby, vol 2, xiii).
    Each group or Nation had their own insignia, of which their neighbors were well acquainted. That of the Natchez was the sun; that of the Houma was the red crawfish; the Bayogoula was the alligator; these marks were often left on wooden tablets, or on the sides of trees, particularly by a war party having finished their raid and leaving the territory. What the one  was for the Cherokee Nation we have yet to learn.
     There was also the "Mobilian" trade language, with which most hunters and traders were familiar, throughout the entire Southeast area. Little is known of it, today. .
    In the drawing of maps a great expertise was expressed. "They will draw maps very exactly of all the rivers, towns, mountains and roads, of what you shall enquire of them, which you may draw by their directions, and come to a small matter of latitude, reckoned by their day's journeys. These maps they will draw in the ashes of the fire, and sometimes upon a mat or piece of bark. I have put a pen and ink into a savage's hand, and he has drawn me the rivers, bays, and other parts of country, which afterwards I have found to agree with a great deal of nicety. But you must be very much in their favor, otherwise they will never make these discoveries to you..." (Lawson, 333)

      "the Conjurers are the Persons consulted in every Affair of Instance, and seem to have the Direction of every Thing, the Chief of them are that of Telliquo, that of Tapelchee, that of Hiwassie, and that of Noyohee." Journal of Sir Alexander Cuming.
     Cures & Treatments: "The doctors among the Cherokee suppose that cures are to be made in 7 nights of the different disorders which the human body is subject to. During these cures the doctors are remarkably strict to keep out of the house where the patient lies such persons as having handled a dead body, women, etc., for it is held among the Cherokees that these persons are impure until bathing in the water of the seventh night in the morning. Some changes have of late taken place -- instead of seven, four nights are now deemed sufficient". Charles Hicks, 1818.
     Rain Makers: "They have a similar plan of choosing one or two men to represent the clans in what is called making rain. In making rain, seven men or women are chosen to represent the clan, who keep a fast during the time the conjurer is about to obtain rain, and when the rain comes he sacrifices the tongue of a deer that is procured for that purpose. The conjurer himself observes a strict fast with frequent bathings during the time he is making rain. On such occasions the conjurer speaks a language different from the present language of the nation, and which few understand. They who design to follow the practices are taught by those who understand it.".. (Charles Hicks, 1818).

     "They boil and roast their meat extraordinary much, and eat abundance of broth..." (Lawson, 362)
    "The manner of their roasting, is by thrusting sticks through pieces of meat, sticking them around the fire, and often turning them." (Catesby, Vol. 2, p.x)
    "Cooking was done outside the dwellings over open fires and in roasting pits."
      UNDERGROUND OVENS: "This was a kettle-shaped pit in the ground, smaller at the top than at the bottom, and large enough to roast a bushel or two of food at a time. Heat was supplied by a layer of glowing charcoal and pre-heated stones in the bottom of the pit. The lid was a large slab of bark which was sealed over with earth, such... ovens were used principally for roasting foods in order to preserve them, rather than for ordinary cooking."  (Slumber, 41)
"A favorite method of cleaning fish the instant they are caught, is to draw out the intestines with a hook through the anus, without cutting the fish open. A cottonwood stick shaved of its outer bark is then inserted in the fish from tail to head. The whole is thickly covered with mud and put in the embers of a fire. When the mud cracks off the roast is done and ready to eat. The cottonwood stick gives a much-liked flavor to the fish" (Speck, 24) This was undoubtedly done on the larger fish, only.
    "It is very common with them to boil Fish as well as Flesh with their Homony". (Beverley, bk 3, 13)
    "The small red peas is very common with them, and they eat a great deal of that and other sorts boiled with their meat or eaten with bear's fat". (Lawson, 336)
    "It is common with some nations at great entertainments, to boil bear, deer, panther, or other animals, together in the same pot; they take out the bones, and serve up the meat by itself, then they stew the bones over again in the same liquor, adding thereto purslain and squashes, and thicken it with the tender grain of Maiz, this is a delicious soup." (Catesby, vol. 2, p.x)
    "The pigeons ... afford them some years great plenty of oil, which they preserve for winter use; this and sometimes bears fat they eat with bread, with it, they also supply the want of fat in wild turkeys, which in some winters become very lean by being deprived of their food, by the numerous flights of the migratory pigeons devouring the acorns, and other mast." (Catesby, p.x)
    The most important "sauce" or rather gravy, was made from bear fat.
    "The traders commonly make bacon of the bears in winter; but the(y) mostly flay off a thick tier of fat which lies over the flesh, and the latter they cut up into small pieces, and thrust on reeds, or suckers of sweet-tested hiccory or sassafras, which they barbecue over a low fire. The fat they fry into clear well-tested oil, mixing plenty of sassafras and wild cinnamon with it over the fire, which keeps sweet from one winter to another, in large earthen jars, covered in the ground. It is of a light digestion, and nutritive to hair. All who are acquainted with its qualities, prefer it to any oil, for any use whatsoever." Adair, 415)
    PRESERVATION OF FOODS: Corn was preserved in granaries, in the shucks, but some was dried, ground, and preserved. This was the "cold meal" taken on war expeditions or traveling for more peaceful purposes.
    Fruits were also dried and kept for winter use, including plums, persimmons, peaches, grapes, and many sorts of berries and nuts.
    On the winter hunts, "the wild fruits which are dried in the summer, over fires, on hurdles and in the sun, are now brought into the field; as are likewise the cakes and quiddonies of peaches, and that fruit and bilberries dried, of which they stew and make fruit bread and cakes." (Lawson, 337-8)
     "They plant a great many sorts of pulse (beans) part of which they eat green in the summer, keeping great quantities for their winter's store, which they carry along with them into the hunting quarters and eat them" (Lawson, 337)
    "When large hauls of fish were made, by using vegetable poison in streams... or more game was taken than was needed for immediate use, it is said that the surplus flesh was artificially dried over a slow smoky fire or in the sun, so that it could be laid away against the future. Crawfish,  were very much liked and quantities of them were also treated for preservation in the above manner.
    "Wild fruits and nuts in their proper seasons added variety to the comparatively well supplied larder... Berries were gathered and dried to be mixed with flour or eaten alone. Wild grapes, were abundant. The(y) are said to have preserved them for use out of season by drying them on frames over a bed of embers until they were like raisins, in condition to be stored away in baskets. (Speck, 45)
     In the summertime, when food might spoil easily, it was kept from becoming rancid and dangerous to eat by keeping it at a boil. This is one reason that outsiders sometimes thought that all Cherokee food was overcooked .. but the food they ate was never spoiled or unfit to consume. (Oukah, 2001)

      "There were three principal varieties of corn; the little corn of the nature of popcorn, which was first to mature; the flint or hominy corn, the kernels of which were hard and smooth and were of various colors -- white, yellow, red, and blue; and the flour or dent corn with corrugated kernels. Bread was made oftenest of the flour corn; it was the most valued and it seems to have been the time of its maturity which determined the occurrence of the green corn dance. " (Mooney, Bull 133, 296)
    "They delight much to feed on Roasting-ears; that is, the Ind. Corn, gathered green and milky, before it is grown to its full bigness, and roasted before the fire, in the Ear." (Beverley, 15)
    "The Ind. corn, or Maiz, proves the most useful Grain in the World; and had it not been for the Fruitfulness of this Species, it would have proved very difficult to have settled some of the Plantations in America. It is very nourishing, whether in Bread, sodden, or otherwise; And those poor Christian Servants in Virginia, Maryland, and the other northerly Plantations, that have been forced to live wholly upon it, do manifestly prove, that it is the most nourishing Grain, for a Man to subsist on, without any other Victuals. And this Assertion is made good by the Negro-Slaves, who, in many Places, eat nothing but this Ind. Corn and Salt. Pigs and Poultry fed with this Grain, eat the sweetest of all others. It refuses no Grounds, unless the barren Sands, and when planted in good Ground, will repay the Planter seven or eight hundred fold; besides the Stalks bruis'd and boil'd, make very pleasant Beer, being sweet like the Sugar-Cane." (Lawson, 1700, 81)
     "Corn, second only to wheat.... corn has no known wild ancestor. Its origin is shrouded in mystery, notwithstanding that the Inds. grew hundreds of varieties.... Special kinds were used for meal, for flour, for popping and for corn-on-the-cob. The kernels came in assorted colors: black, yellow, red, white and blue. Moreover, there were varieties adapted to deserts, jungles and lofty mountains". (quote from unknown source).
    "Every day, women prepared corn meal by combining sifted ashes and corn kernels in a pot of boiling water. After the skin loosened from the kernels, they scooped out the corn with a woven sieve and carried it to a nearby stream to rinse off the skin and ashes. Women poured the damp, skinned corn into a mortar (ka-no-na) which had been carefully shaped from a tree stump left standing near the house. They pulverized the corn with a large pounder (tes-taki nun-yu, a-ta-lu) carved from hickory. The pestle and mortar signaled the presence of women, and corn pounding drummed the rhythms of their daily work throughout the settlement. After pounding the damp kernels, women scooped them into winnowing baskets. They gently shook the winnowers until coarser food fragments fell to the bottom. Skimming off the chaff, they removed the lightest particles and then poured the remaining pieces back into the mortar to repound them into fine flour. With daily use, the sides of the winnower spread farther apart, accomodating the work-worn hands of its maker. The durability of the cane and the strength of the weave enabled women to continue using winnowing baskets until the corners gave way and the rims unraveled." (Hill, 50,51)
    Ears of corn were also dried and preserved for winter use: "They also reserve that corne late planted that will not ripe, by roasting it in hot ashes, the heat thereof drying it. In winter they esteeme it being boyled with beans for a rare dish..." (Smith, 95)
    There was also fine cornmeal boiled in water, spoken of: "Mush .. made of the meal, in the manner of hasty-pudding".
    There was also a beverage made of corn water. "Though ... the water is good ... yet the traders very seldom drink any of it at home; for the women beat in mortars their flinty corn, till all husks are taken off, which having well sifted and fanned, they boil in large earthen pots; then straining off the thinnest part into a pot, they mix it with cold water, till it is sufficiently liquid for drinking; and when cold, it is both pleasant and very nourishing; and is much liked even by the genteel strangers." (Adair, 416)
   A favorite method " of cooking corn meal was to wrap it in husks, which were afterwards boiled, a number at a time. Smith and Strachey mention this, and Adair tells us that chestnuts were added to the corn: (Swanton, #137, 354): "In July, when the chestnuts and corn are green and full grown, they half boil the former, and take off the rind; and having sliced the milky, swelled, long rows of the latter, the women pound it in a large wooden mortar, which is wide at the mouth, and gradually narrows to the bottom; then they knead both together, wrap them up in green corn-blades of various sizes, about an inch-thick, and boil them well, as they do every kind of seethed food." (Adair, 406)
    All the natives in the Old South area cooked somewhat alike, having on hand the same meats, vegetables, and spices. There were slight variations, of course, but Beverley, being an early visitor, records: "They bake their Bread either in Cakes before the Fire, or in Loaves on a warm Hearth, covering the Loaf first with Leaves, then with Warm Ashes, and afterwards with Coals over all." (Beverley, 14). He neglects to mention the bowl that was placed over the loaf, before the leaves and hot coals were piled on.
    After speaking of the three kinds of corn ... "They can be prepared in 42 styles, each of which has its special name. It is useless for me to enter here in detail all the different ways in which maize may be treated. It is sufficient to inform the reader that there is made of it bread, porridge, cold meal, ground corn, smoked-dried meal or meal dried in the fire and smoke, which when cooked has the same taste as our small peas and is as sugary. That is also made which is called gruel, that is to say that having beaten and pounded it for some time in a wooden mortar, along with a little water, the skin of envelope with which it is covered is removed. The grain thus beaten and left behind is used in making hominy, which is a kind of porridge cooked with oil or meat. It is a very good and nourishing aliment". (Dumont, Vol 1, 32,34)
    It has also been noted that Cherokees were very fond of sucking on the ends of cut corn stalks, which contain a sweet liquid sap. This was a special treat to the children.
    In September, 2000, a message about corn, and its importance, was put on a Cherokee chat board. The webmaster, John Cornsilk, replied: "..back in the early 40's, (this was 1940's),  things wuz purty ruff money wize, so we ate a lot of wild stuff, and used corn more ways than mentioned, made beds with the husks, smoked the silk, made a salve from the silk, fished with the worms that got into the ears, just under the silk!! cut and sold the stalks for fodder for cattle, and yes I remember my old man making what was called home brew, with the stalks chopped up for the sugar for fermentation, and mash made from the whole kernels for distillation of moonshine!! corn liker it wuz called!! Hogs got the cobbs the ones that weren't used in place of the old sears & roebuck catalogs in the outhouse-- kinda ruff but worked, had to grin an bare it!!"
      Corn Cribs: "They make themselves Cribs after a very curious Manner, wherein they secure their Corn from Vermin; which are more frequent in these warm Climates, than Countries more distant from the Sun. These pretty Fabricks are commonly supported with eight Feet or Posts, about seven Foot high from the Ground, well daub'd within and without upon Laths, with Loom or Clay, which makes them tight, and fit to keep out the smallest Insect, there being a small Door at the gable End, which is made of the same Composition, and to be remov'd at Pleasure, being no bigger, than that a slender Man may creep in at, cementing the Door up with the same Earth, when they take Corn out of the Crib..." (Lawson, 23)
    "Small storehouses made of logs and chinked with mud rose from the ground behind each house. A ladder of saplings led to a low door, the only opening in the storehouse. Like the homes shared by daughters and mothers, these corn cribs (unwada-li) belonged to the women. They climbed up to the storehouses daily to deposit or retrieve corn and beans. 'Their corn-houses' recorded DeBrahm, 'are raised up upon four posts, four and some five feet high from the Ground' with floors of 'round Poles, on which the Corn-worms cannot lodge, but fall through'. Predatory animals could not reach the stored foods, and the round poles, often stalks of rivercane, resisted fire, water, and insects". (Hill, 70)
    CORN CRIBS: "They makes themselves cribs after a very  curious manner, wherein they secure
their corn from vermin, which are more frequent in these warm climates than in countries more
distant from the sun. These pretty fabrics are commonly supported with eight feet of posts about
seven feet high from the ground, well daubed within and without upon laths, with loam or clay,
which makes them tight and fit to keep out the smallest insect, there being a small door at the
gable end, which is made of the same composition and to be removed at pleasure, being no bigger
than that a slender man may creep in at, cementing the door up with the same earth when they
take the corn out of the crib and are going from home, always finding their granaries in the same
posture they left them -- theft to each other being altogether unpracticed". (Quoted in Mooney,
Myths, 433)

     "The governance of the Cherokees, it must be borne in mind, was in the towns. There was no semblance of national government save in times of great emergencies when a single leader or the headmen of one town or region might assume the task of speaking for the nation. .. and for the Cherokees it meant little except a response to individual crises which dealt with the problems at hand and functioned only until the immediate danger had passed away.
    When utilizing their government of crisis, Cherokee headmen did not think in the manner of ...European leaders. They did not try to settle problems or resolve controversies, they tried to avoid them. In the legal, ethical, and governmental world of an eighteenth-century Cherokee the art of legislation was neither practiced nor understood. They had no need to enact laws, and what the Cherokees did not need, they did not pursue.
    "What the Cherokees did need was unity in their towns, and this they accomplished through town councils. The closest approach to a permanent government body, at any level of their society, the town council served the purpose of the Cherokees partly because the Cherokees did not require more. Again it was not a matter of legislation, it was a matter of consensus. Cherokee town government operated so closely to what we might described as anarchy, that decisions called for unanimous consent, leaving the council without the need to restrain dissident minorities. Every Cherokee had a voice in the council, and every Cherokee had a right to be heard. The necessity to fit everyone into the town's council house was one reason why Cherokee villages were never large, usually dividing once the adult population reached 500 persons. Another was the terrain, for in the southern mountains it was rare to find a level tract along a stream sufficient to plant crops for a larger population. One of the few such areas was the locale of the Overhill towns of Great Tellico and Chatuga, where the houses were intermingled but where each maintained separate council houses, not infrequently pursuing contrary foreign policies. By way of contract, the nearby Overhill towns of Chota and Tommissee kept their boundaries clearly marked, yet met together in one council." (Reid, 4)
    One of the functions of the King, his Right-hand Man, and the council of Beloved Men, was to divide the common fields by need of each clan, and to assign the time of tilling and planting, and later the hours of working in the fields. Each morning, in the growing season, each  town ruler or one of his men would blow a horn to summon the workers and give them their assignments for the day.
     "Village tasks (council) included relations with alien tribes, and trade and alliances with European colonies, a decision to move the village when land became exhausted, or to build or repair public buildings."
     "Council meetings were run democratically; villagers debated an issue until they reached concensus. This model was repeated throughout the Cherokee homeland, in which individual settlements governed themselves --"
     "The priest-chief (s/b 'king')  and his priestly and secular officials sat on special benches toward the center as did the seven-man inner council. Around the sides of the council house sat the rest of the population; each clan section sat together, probably with the beloved men and the young men of a clan on the forward benches, and their clanswomen and children toward the rear. All male villagers could speak to points under consideration.
     Rather than decide for war with a particular tribe or colony, the village general council might decide to send a party to negotiate. Such parties, usually numbering  15 or 20, were drawn from the age status of young man. Most negotiating parties went out soon after the New Year village council. These parties carried with them instructions from the council, and were usually able to maintain close communication with the body of elders during negotiations." (Priests & Warriors)

      From Bulletin 133, The Eastern Cherokees,Wm. Gilbert: "In the capital town of the nation there was a national council consisting of the uku, his town attendants, together with the white chiefs of the lesser towns and their attendants. This national council was convened by the newly elected uku before a Green Corn Feast, and on emergency occasions, through the raising of the uku's standard, which consisted of a long white pole with a bird carved or painted near the top and bearing a pennant at the latter point made of white cloth or deerskin, 4 to 5 feet in length, painted with red spots like stars. In cases of emergency, such as a sudden attack from without, the national council would select the officials to conduct the (a) war after divination of the extent of the emergency had been made from the movements of tobacco smoke."
     "Next to the white chief in importance were the seven prime counselors. These were the chief men of each of the seven clans in the metropolis and were white officials. Their consent and advice was necessary for most of the official acts of the uku.
     "In addition to the uku and his seven counselors there was a council of elders or old men, sometimes called "beloved men", who resided near the council house and who wielded considerable power among the younger people. These were men who had served long and bravely in the wars.. and who had retired to a well-earned position of rest and security.
     "The functions of the white chief and other white officials were rather varied. When an emergency of decision confronted a town the white chief blew his trumpet to assemble the counselors and people at his house. The trumpet used for the occasion was of special make and could be used by no person except the chief. When the assembly was completed, the white chief, his right-hand man, and the seven white clan counselors constituted the civil and religious tribunal of the town. This court decided on all inferior matters and attended to such religious matters as it was possible for the individual towns to decide. In very small villages where no such court existed the people called in the nearest town chief and his counselers to their assistance." (Gilbert, 133)
NOTE: Gilbert did his research at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, and he here uses the word "chief" as it had become corrupted by usage. Actually, in the time he is describing, the word "chief" was not in ordinary usage, the translation of the ruler "oukah", "uku", being always "king".
    "The national council is composed of chiefs from each clan, some sending more,  some less, regard being had to the population of each -- though the number is not very definitely fixed. Each clan has its separate portion of land, which it holds in common right -- the poorest men having the same right as the greatest" (Charles Hicks, in Raleigh Register, 1818).
NOTE: It should be noted that this was after the old Cherokee way of life had virtually disappeared .. there being few town councils throughout the nation, as most Cherokees had, by then, moved away from the towns and were living in separate houses already fashioned like the white people around them. This quote is incomplete, as it makes no mention of Pathkiller, whose signature in later documents (up to 1827) bore the notation "king" beside some of them... others being not identified. Note also that Hicks has used the word "chiefs", which was only then coming into common use because of the white man's terminology. In 1818 there were nobody officially known as "chiefs" in the Cherokee government. There would not be until the 1827 Constitution, which used the term "Principal Chief" for the first time.
    "What the Cherokees did need was unity in their towns, and this they accomplished through town councils. The closest approach to a permanent government body, at any level of their society, the town council served the purpose of the Cherokees partly because the Cherokees did not require more. Again it was not a matter of legislation, it was a matter of consensus. Cherokee town government operated so closely to what we might describe as anarchy, that decisions called for unanimous consent, leaving the council without the need to restrain dissident minorities. Every Cherokee had a voice in the council, and every Cherokee had a right to be heard. The necessity to fit everyone into the town's council house was one reason why Cherokee villages were never large, usually dividing once the adult population reached 500 persons. Another was the terrain, for in the southern mountains it was rare to find a level tract along a stream sufficient to plant crops for a large population." (Reid, Hatchet, 4)

COUNCIL HOUSE: see Town House

       Courts were nothing more or less than the town council in session. "In the courts of the towns public criminals were brought before the bar and, after their cases had been stated by the town chief's right-hand man, the accused defended themselves as best they could. The judgment of the court was then given and immediately executed. Public criminals were stoned, killed with some weapon, or taken to a high precipice with elbows and feet tied behind and then cast headlong to be dashed to pieces on the rocks below. For private offenses the law of retaliation was strictly observed." (Gilbert, 323)
    "... clan retaliation, which as we have seen was the custom by which one clan sought revenge for the murder of one of its members by killing the manslayer or one of his clansmen. Warfare differed from clan retaliation in that it occurred between independent people, and when a killing occurred between independent peoples, one death could lead to many. Another difference was that one of the main objects of warfare was to terrorize the enemy. In clan retaliation, on the other hand, one death revenged another, and the matter was settled, at least in principle Thus some 'wars' between Southeastern Inds. were prompted by events which we would have considered to have been accidents. Also, it sometimes happened that the wrong  group was blamed for a killing. The British never really understood the principle of retaliation, and this was a source of deep misunderstanding. If a British colonist killed a Cherokee, the Cherokees were likely to go to war against the British people, but if a Cherokee killed a British colonist, the British did not usually go to war against the Cherokees, but demanded instead that the Cherokees hand over the man who did the killing, a demand that was as frustrating as it was incomprehensible to the Cherokees."  (Hudson, 238,39)
     Treatment of prisoners captured in war was determined by whether or not the prisoner was "adopted" into a Cherokee clan. There are recorded cases of women and children, particularly, whose lives were spared by being adopted into a clan by a member of that clan, and of many grown men also, if they had behaved bravely, in an honorable fashion. Such persons were accorded full rights and protection of clan affiliation... those not so lucky were sometimes put to torture and death in vicious manners.
     "... Serious crimes, such as killing a person and adultery, were punished by the clans rather than by agents of the council. The crime of killing a person was punished in accordance with the law of retaliation...  Under this law, the most important legal principal, .. if a person was killed, it was the duty of his male blood relatives (his brothers, sisters' sons, and mother's brothers) to kill either the killer or some other member of the killer's lineage. As in the Old Testament, it was an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." This was applied with amazing consistency. "Even if one little boy happened 'accidentally' to wound another, the wounded boy would carefully await an opportunity to inflict a similar wound in retaliation. If he succeeded, then 'all was straight' and the matter was settled.
    " was this principle of retaliation which prevented a killing from causing a 'civil war' between two clans. Thus the function of the principle of retaliation was not to exact justice as we understand it, but to keep the peace. In order for the principle to work, the clan of the manslayer had to pull away from him and allow him or some other man in their clan to be killed by members of the clan of the dead person, and this death would go unavenged. One factor that led them to do this was their knowledge that any of them, particularly the close kin of the manslayer, could be killed in his place; hence they were not anxious to help the manslayer escape. At the same time, there are several documented instances of brothers and maternal uncles offering themselves to be killed in place of a kinsman. A man who escaped death in this way might be regarded as a coward for the rest of his life, but the liability for the original killing was erased with the death of his brother or maternal uncle. Moreover, the manslayer's realization that his brother or uncle might be killed in his place frequently led him to surrender himself and accept his fate. A man who went to death in this way was something of a martyr, dying with the knowledge that it was for the good of his kinsmen". (Hudson, 231)
     "... in some cases where the killing was clearly accidental, the chief or members of the council might intercede and seek forgiveness by the aggrieved clan for the manslayer. In some cases a manslayer was forgiven after he presented a captive or the scalp of an enemy to the aggrieved clan. But the aggrieved clan might or might not accept these as compensation. In some cases, if the close kin of the dead man agreed to it, the aggrieved clan would accept a payment of wealth in lieu of blood revenge." (Hudson, 232)
     All members of the town were required without exception to attend the Green Corn Ceremony. Those who did not do so were punished by a fine. People who did not participate in public works were similarly punished. Another rule was that all were supposed to plunge into the water the first thing in the morning to purify themselves. Any who failed to do so were threatened with being "dry scratched" with a piece of wood to which several slivers of bone or garfish teeth were attached. Though these scratches were not deep, they were somewhat painful. However, the punishment was not so much the pain as it was the humiliation of having the scratches for all to see." (Hudson, 232,3)

      "The cow was said to have been introduced some time after the horse, by Nancy Ward." (Gilbert, 360)
    "The cow is called wa'ka by the Cherokee and wa'ga by the Creeks,  indicating that their first knowledge of it came from the Spaniards. (Vaca). Nuttall states that it was first introduced amongst the Cherokee by the celebrated Nancy Ward (Travels, 130). It was not in such favor as the horse, being valuable chiefly for food, of which at that time there was an abundant supply from the wild game. A potent reason for its avoidance was the Cherokee belief that the eating of the flesh of a slow-moving animal breeds a corresponding sluggishness in the eater. The same argument applied even more strongly to the hog... Nevertheless, Bartram tells of a trader in the Cherokee country as early as 1775 who had a stock of cattle, and whose Cherokee wife had learned to make butter and cheese (Travels, 347) In 1796 Hawkins mentions meeting two Cherokee women driving ten very fat cattle to market in the white settlements (manuscript journal, 1796).
    Cows were not in possession of the "precontact" Cherokees, nor were their milk and butter.

MATS: "The Mats the Ind. Women make, are of Rushes, and about five Foot high, and two Fathom long, and sew'd double, that is, two together; whereby they become very commodious to lay under our Beds, or to sleep on in the Summer Season in the Day-time..
     ...Both Baskets and Mats are made of the split Reeds, which are only the outward shining Part of the Cane. Of these I have seen Mats, Baskets, and Dressing-Boxes, very artificially done. (Lawson, 195,196) Note: Today we would say "artfully" done, or "done with great artistry".
     "They used these mats for bedding, for carpeting, to cover the seats in the square ground, to cover the walls and roof of their houses, to wrap the bodies of their dead for burial, and undoubtedly for many other  purposes. (quoted in Hudson, 385)
     "Skins of animals, more particularly of the bear, bison, and deer, often performed the function of mats, but more elaborate mats were made of various vegetable materials, principally rushes and cane...." (Swanton, SE, 602,3)
PORCUPINE-QUILL WORK: "For this purpose they take off the quills of the porcupine which are white and black. They split them fine enough to use in embroidery. They dye a part of the white red, another part yellow, while a third part remains white. Ordinarily they embroider on black skin, and then they dye the black a reddish brown. But if they embroider on the tree bark the black always remains the same.
    "Their designs are rather similar to some of those which one finds in Gothic architecture. They are composed of straight lines which form right angles where they meet, which a common person would call the corner of a square. They also make designs of the same style on the mantles and coverings which they fashion out of mulberry bark". (duPratz, vol. 2. 100,184-5)
     "Household furnishings and utensils also came from forest resources. 'Their stools they cut out of poplar wood' Adair explained, and 'chests are made of clapboards'. They carved rhododendron branches into spoons and ladles used to serve and eat from pottery bowls. Women's domestic wares, Timberlake wrote, were 'proofs of their ingenuity,' particularly the 'excellent vessels' they made of red or white clay, their tanned deerskins, and their basketwork." (Hill, 70)

    "We are told that the Cherokee chiefs could inflict no punishment, but that a man who committed a crime in violation of a treaty might be delivered over to the enemy". (Swanton, 731)
NOTE: Individual crimes and misdemeanors were matters for the clans, and did not affect the Cherokee national government; however, when it was in violation of a treaty, it became national business, because it put all in jeopardy.
    It is recorded by many historians (who in their "white" thinking were understanding things in their way) that Cherokee rulers (Oukah-king) had no "coercive" power -- that is, they had no police or army to back up their commands or to carry out their orders. The fact that there were no police, or a standing army, is true, but there is plenty of evidence that the Cherokee rulers had plenty of power, should they choose to use it. So, let us examine the matter.
     It was not the business of the town ruler, or the national ruler, to force the compliance of behavior. Even when a serious crime was committed, it was the business of the persons' clan to inflict the punishment. This was serious business: the internal workings of each and every clan was the foundation of Cherokee life. Such matters were not the concern of the Cherokee civilian, religious rulers -- unless, UNLESS, the actions threatened to bring retaliation upon the whole town or nation.
     There were no police in ancient Cherokee society, because none were needed. There were no jails or prisons in early Cherokee life, because none were needed. If a person did wrong, bringing reproach on the clan, then the clan itself took action. It should be remembered that Cherokees had a sense of "right". When things were "wrong" or out of place, they hastened to make them right. A Cherokee from his own conscience could not tolerate being out of balance, and Cherokees collectively had the same conscience. One could not sleep easily if things were not in harmony.
Murder:  "Charles Hicks.. stated in 1818: "Murder committed by a person of one clan on one of another is always punished with death; but if both belong to the same clan, it frequently happens that the clan intercedes with the chief head of the nation, and obtains a pardon, which pardon is published in the nation council when convened." (Hicks, in Raleigh Register, 1818)
    NOTE: It should be noted here that in 1818 a Cherokee is using the word chief, which was now coming into more general use for the first time. But, note the wording: it was still not "the head CHIEF", but rather the chief HEAD (or to put it another way, the most prominent ruler) of the nation. The word was still an adjective, not a noun.  It would be 20 more years before the English word "chief" would be used for an official of the Cherokee Nation (and about the same for the other native nations in the Old South area). The word "chief" is not native American.

CROPS: See Index: Precontact Cherokee Habitat: Cultivated Crops:

     The crown "resembles a wig and is made of Possum's hair dyed Red or Yellow. Sir Alexander was very desirous to see one of them, and there being none at thay Town One was sent for to some other Town". Ludovic Grant's "A Relation of Facts, quoted in South Carolina Magazine of History, X, 54).
      It was also spoken of as a "skull cap". Remember, at that ancient time Cherokee men wore a "coonskin" cap in the winter time which fashion was "picked up" by the whites around them, and became part of the Cherokee dress that is called, in theatrical circles, as the "Davy Crockett" costume.
     "What was called a 'crown' was the head-covering of a Cherokee Oukah (priest-king) in the old days. It was just a piece of oval possum fur, dyed yellow, with an inner lining of the softest deerskin. Someone called it a "fright cap". It was worn only on the coronation day  of installing a new Oukah, and on very few other very special days. So revered was it, however, that only a few people were ever allowed to touch it, and it was traditional for the Oukah himself to make his own. When topped with a few yellow feathers, sometimes edged with the Oukah's red (a purplish red which could never be mistaken for the blood red of the war organization) it could be very impressive.

     (Installing) an Oukah: In Gilbert, Bulletin 133, p. 321: "The essential national officers in the white or peace organization consisted of the following:
1. The chief of the nation or "high priest", which is variously called 'uku', 'oukah', and other
          ceremonial titles. (Note: This should have read "king" of the Nation. The word English
          word "chief" was not officially used by Cherokees until their first Constitution of 1827).
2. The chief's right-hand man.
3. Seven prime counselors representing the seven clans.
4. The council of elders.
5. Chief speaker.
6. Messengers.
7. Under officers for particular ceremonies such as 7 cooks, 7 overseers for each festival, 7 firemakers for new fire, Jowah hymn singer, 7 cleansers, and the attendants at the Oukah dance.
     The above officials were those occurring in the principal town and served as officials for the whole tribe also. In each of the larger towns of the Nation the same series of officials were repeated with the exception of those listed under 7 since most of the ceremonies were held nationally. The officials in all of the towns outside of the capital were subject to the will of the high chief and his seven counselors and were often incorporated with them in a governing group when grave decisions confronted the nation.
     The office of white chief or uku was the highest in the nation. Although each town had a white chief of its own, the white chief of the capital town was regarded as the chief of the nation. His office was more generally hereditary than elective, being transmitted from a man to his oldest sister's son.
     "When an old uku died he was laid out in state for a period in order to remind his pupils and assistants of his instructions. His right-hand man then consulted with the council of seven clan head of the metropolis and together with them appointed a time for the selection of a successor. Messengers were at once dispatched to notify the town white chiefs throughout the nation to meet and inaugurate a new uku. This messenger carried strings of hemp braided into as many knots as there were nights previous to the meeting. Each town white chief on being notified sent his own messenger to the candidate of his choice requesting him to accept the appointment. Generally the candidate was a relative of the late uku and had been agreed upon in advance of the death of the latter. At the appointed time the white chiefs of the various towns assembled at the metropolis in front of the dwelling of the candidate. The latter was then inaugurated with elaborate ritual. The candidate must first undergo a 7-day fast.
     "Certain persons were selected to prepare a platform constructed from a strong and tall weed, together with an official white robe and a white staff or scepter. Sometimes deerskin painted yellow and a yellow cap ornamented with yellow painted feathers, was prepared. These having been made ready and put in the council house, a vast multitude went to the house of the candidate on the 7th day of the latter's fast. The platform was then raised high by means of four prop and the candidate, preceeded by one-half the company and followed by one-half, all singing as they went, was carried to the council house. They halted three times on the way. The people entered the council house and took their seats quietly. On reaching the council house the group bearing the candidate walked four times around it and then stopped at the door to let down the platform to within 3 feet of the ground. An appointed person then took the candidate on his back and carried him to the appointed white seat in the back of the council house, between two other white seats. This white seat was covered with white dressed deerskin, and the ground before the seat was spread with a matting of cane and then covered with a large buckskin dressed white.
     "The speaker then came before the assemblage and made a lengthy address at the end of which he directed the people to salute the new chief. The people then arose and all filed past the candidate repeating a formula to which he replies. Then all returned to their seats and sat in silence for the rest of the night. At daybreak the new uku made an address to the people in which he promised to exercise his authority according to the divine will and to bind the hearts of his subjects by kindness. All of the people pledged obedience to him. The right-hand-man handed the new uku an eagle-tail fan and some old tobacco as signal for him to commence smoking with the other white chiefs in token of solidarity and friendship. The calumet pipe was then passed from mouth to mouth to celebrate the cementing of relationships at the occasion. At noon the younger people withdrew. The new uku then arose and put his scepter over his right shoulder. Two men put their hands under his arms and supported him as he walked to the door and from there to his house where his official dress was taken off and the new ceremony ended.

DANCES: Liiving with the Eastern Cherokees about 1887, 1888, Wm.Gilbert tells of the era, and what it had become at that time. "The next... social feature is the dance... some... have fallen into disuse. The following are dances known: Ant, Ball, Bear, Beaver, Buffalo, Bugah, Chicken, Coat, Corn, Eagle, Friendship, Green Corn, Ground Hog, Horse, Knee Deep, Medicine, Partridge, Pheasant, Pigeon, Raccoon, Round, Snake, War, and "Woman Gathering Wood"...    "In most of the dances both men and women participate, but only men are allowed to lead and to do the singing for the dancers. A few dances are confined to one or the other sex.
    "Most dances are led by a singer who has a drum or gourd rattle in his hand and who may or may not participate in the motions of the dance. The rank and file of the dancers, who follow the leader in a single file, may accompany the singing of their leader, or they may finish out his initial phrases, or they may reply in antiphony. A woman with tortoise-shell rattles fastened to her legs generally follows immediately after the leader and keeps time for his singing by shaking the rattles on her legs in rhythmic sequence.
    "The musical instruments used in the dance consist of (1) a groundhog skin drum, (2) one or more gourd rattles on short sticks, and (3) several tortoise-shell rattles bound about the legs of the woman leader.
    "Various ornamental and characteristic features are introduced in the dances, such as pine boughs, sticks, eagle-feather wands, pipes, masks, and robes of various kinds" (in the olden days).
    "The dances are usually held at night. Certain dances are given early in the early part of the evening and others are relegated to the hours after midnight... The Friendship Dances may continue all night as may also the Ball dances. The general order of the evening dances is for a Bugah Dance to precede an Eagle Dance after which may come a Friendship Dance.
     "...Somewhat after midnight, at about 2 o'clock in the morning, there commences another series of dances known as tendale Nuda or 'different dances'. These are also called uskwiniye'da or 'every kind' from the word for a general store. These dances generally run in about the following order: Coat, Ground Hog, Corn, Knee Deep, Buffalo, Ant, Quail, Chicken, Snake, Raccoon, Bear, Horse, and finally, the Round Dance after full daylight has come.
    "Dances may be given in the daytime. The Green Corn Dance is given at any time during the day but is never ended until after dark. After a morning Round Dance... the new day may be started with another Eagle Dance or perhaps by a game of women's football.
    "Some dances should be given only at certain seasons. In the recent past if the Eagle, Bugah, or Snake Dance were given in the summer, snake bite or cold weather would be sure to follow. The proper time for these dances is the frosty season from November to March. It is thought that the disappearance of the old-time conjurers may have something to do with the fact that these dances can now be given with impunity in the summer..."
    "Although dances can, in the main, be held either out of doors or in the house, the majority are now held indoors...."
    "The number of song accompaniments to a given dance may range from 1 to 14 but the average is about 4. A song consists of an individual melody sung with a series of more or less meaningless words or syllables, consisting of terms for obsolete towns and places, unintelligible onomatopoetic phrases, and the like. In the Friendship Dances considerable scope may be given to the improvising of syllables and melodies and in the course of several hours as many as 40 or 50 songs may be sung. In the main the syllables and the accompanying melodies seem to be somewhat stereotyped except that vowel quality of the syllables seems to vary in the numerous repetitions. The average duration of a single dance with its 4 songs and their repetitions may be from a quarter to a half an hour.
    "A roughly alternate order of slow and fast melodies seems to be maintained, with the faster tempos seeming to predominate toward the end of the dance. The steps used in dancing do not vary perceptibly from dance to dance and consist of simple rhythmic walking steps in time with the drum or rattle. In fast time a sort of quick hopping motion develops. In the Bugah Dance any kind of a step may be allowed. Much dancing is done with the upper parts of the body, especially the arms, shoulder, and head.
    "All kinds of conventionalized and naturalistic motions accompany the dances. Except in the cases of the Green Corn Dance and the Ball Dance, most of the dances have lost all significance in connection with outside activities or occurrences. True, hunting methods and habits of various animals are simulated as well as the movements of sowing seed and tillage of the soil. But these motions are incidental and apparently lost in a maze of other less explicable movements. The basic motif of the dances as they are at present performed seems to be the social one of a good time and making acquaintances.
    "Clapping of the hands is a common feature of the Friendship Dances. This action expresses the joy and happiness being experienced by the participants. Bears are thought to clap their hands when pleased. The enjoyment of the dance was so great in the past that whenever some family had lost a member by death the rest of the neighbors would give a dance to make them forget their sorrow."
(Gilbert, 257,8,9)
    Timberlake, about 1762-5, writes: "The Inds. have a particular method of relieving the poor, which I shall rank among the most laudable of their religious ceremonies, most of the rest consisting purely in the vain ceremonies, and superstitious romances of their conjurors. When any of their people are hungry, as they term it, or in distress, orders are issued out by the headmen for a war-dance, at which all the fighting men and warriors assemble; but here, contrary to all their other dances, one only dances at a time, who, after hopping and capering for near a minute, with a tommahawke in his hand, gives a small whoop, at which signal the music stops till he relates the manner of taking his first scalp, and concludes his narration, by throwing on a large skin spread for that purpose, a string of wampum, piece of plate, wire, paint, lead, or any thing he can most conveniently spare; after which the music strikes up, and he proceeds in the same manner through all his warlike actions: then another takes his place, and the ceremony lasts till all the warriors and fighting men have related their exploits. The stock thus raised... is divided among the poor. The same ceremony is made use of to recompence any extraordinary merit. This is touching vanity in a tender part, and is an admirable method of making even imperfections conduce to the good of society." (Timberlake, 92,93)
    "In the Friendship Dances the young people get acquainted. There is a great amount of teasing and joking of relatives occurring at these dances in particular. The young men will scratch the young girls' hands with their fingernails, slap them or feint blows at them, poke at them, or otherwise tease these familiar relatives. For the older people the word "Friendship" attaching to these dances, signifies the renewal of the pleasures of their youthful experiences in love and social intercourse.
    "In the Eagle Dance and in the Friendship Dance the leader or principal performer can tell a story as he dances. He may perhaps recount his conquests over women or his acquiring of great wealth. He will never fail to get in some jibes at his joking relatives while he sings.
    "The gotogwaski, or 'caller' is the organizer of a dance occasion and it is he who calls off the names of those who are to lead each song step. At the end of a song he shouts out words of encouragement and applause. He always endeavors to pick the best and strongest singers as leaders. The leader starts to walk around in a circle singing his song and followed at first only by one or two old men. Other men join the circle and then the woman with rattles on her legs and finally a vast number of girls, boys, men, and women are circling around at a faster and faster rate. After the song ends the whole group makes a wild dash for the door and fresh air.
    "Since the dances of the Cherokees are of extreme importance in the social integration .. it will be in point to briefly mention the outstanding characteristics of the remembered dances, especially those whose social function seems more strikingly important than others.'
    "The Ant Dance (daksu dali) consisted of a snakelike procession in single file, the participants moving about like a colony of ants. Both men and women participate but the men do all of the singing and the singing leader dances with a gourd rattle in his hand. The leader sings about the ants and says that their grandmothers are flying.
    "The Ball Dance (dundje-la Nuni) is performed in two parts, one by the men and the other by the women. The men go to water both before and after a ball game. The men's dance consists of a procession of the players about the fire, racquet in hand, singing some four songs. The singing leader has a gourd rattle in his hand and dances at the head of the line. Simultaneously with the men's ball dance, or perhaps in its intermissions, the women give their dance. The details of this dance are very important and are worth considering at some length.
    "The male singer seats himself facing the town which the team is to play against and takes his drum in his hands while the seven women dancers line up in a row behind him. Then, as the drummer begins to sing, the women dance forward and backward. Only the first and last songs are danced, the others consist in merely singing to the accompaniment of the leader. After each song the drummer will give some derogatory remarks about his familiar clansmen in the opponent town, saying that their town is bound to lose in the coming game. Then the women may likewise make up jokes about their clans-persons in the opponent town. After one drummer is tired, another will take his place and joke his fellow clansmen of his own clan in the opponent town. The magical rite concludes with the whole group "going to water" for certain lavations and purifications. This joking of the opponent town has the apparent effect of magically weakening the opponent town and causing them to lose the coming game. This is one of the most striking correlations of magical potency with relatives of familiarity imbedded in the kinship system to be found. Fuller reference to the possible significance of this rite in connection with other magical establishments of familiarity will be made in the discussion on integration and extension of social principles to magic and myth.
    'The Bear Dance (yo na)is an important dance given after midnight. Men and women both take part in this dance, which requires the use of gourd and tortoise-shell rattles. The general course is a spiral motion by a group in single file about the fire or pot or whatever can be made to serve as the center of revolution. Various obscene familiarities are indulged in between relatives in this dance, especially between the men and the women. The words of the songs refer to the bear's habits.
    "The Beaver Dance (doya) is mimetic of the beaver hunt. Each dancer carries a small stick about 2 feet long, and this stick is flourished in various manners. The principal feature of this dance is an animal skin, meant to represent the beaver, which is pulled back and forth on a series of strings and which the dancers attempt to hit. Missing the skin affords immense amusement to the participants and spectators alike and this is consequently a favorite dance.
    "The Buffalo Dance is hardly remembered. Masks and skins were said to have been used in this dance, which was mimetic of the hunt of buffalo.
    "The Bugah Dance (Booger Dance) (tsunaguduli) is a masked dance of particular social significance. The name is of obscure origin but the actors in the dance are called Bogeys or sometimes Buggers. Considerable paraphernalia and preparation are necessary for this dance. From 6 to 12 masks made of gourd, wood, or pasteboard are collected beforehand in the neighborhood as well as 6 or 10 gourd rattles and a ground-hog skin drum. From all of the women present one man, the organizer, collects shawls, wraps, or sweaters to clothe the bogeys in.
    "Six men seat themselves at one side of the room, a drummer of leader with five assistant music makers holding gourd rattles. These persons are known as dininogiski 'callers', whose function it is to sing and call the bogeys. When the callers have completed their sixth song, the bogeys enter one by one, concealed by masks and various wrap-around materials, and hobbling in various comical positions and with odd motions. They wear the strangest make-ups and endeavor to do everything in a topsy-turvy manner.
    'There are seven of the bogeys and as the seventh song is played they dance in a circle about the room and endeavor to scare those children who are ungilisi or digiDuDu relatives to them. They also tease the grown-ups who are their familiar relatives. The relatives and spectators in the room enjoy this game of guessing which of their familiar relatives the teaser is.
    "At the end of the seventh song the bogeys seat themselves in a comical fashion and with clumsy gestures on a log at one side of the room. The interpreter or organizer, meanwhile, is asked by the head caller to put some questions to the bogeys. The first question is generally, 'What is your name', or 'Where do you come from?' The interpreter then goes up to the first bogey and repeats this question to him. To this the bogey gives a whispered reply and the name he gives himself is always either ludicrous or obscene. He gives as his place of origin some remote or fanciful locality. He may joke a familiar relative in a neighboring town by giving his name. After the initial questions are over, the first bogey gets up ludicrously and clowns in a dance all his own. Duyring the dance the music maker or chief caller calls the name of the bogey over and over again and the bogey goes through motions and gestures appropriate to the name which he has given himself. The steps of this solo dance are utterly unlike any other Cherokee dance and consist of a series of heavy hops in rhythmic time. When the first bogey is through, the whole thing is gone over again with the next one and so on down the line.
    "Following this the interpreter asks the bogeys to do a bear dance together. This is done and then the audience joins in with the bogeys. As the dance proceeds the bogeys tease their familiar relatives, especially the women, in obscene and ridiculous ways. After this dance the bogeys leave and go to some remote field where they remove their disguise and slip home without being recognized. After the bogeys are gone, the audience generally begins a friendship dance.
    "The Bugah Dance is one of the most extremely used occasions for the display of the joking and privileged familiarity relationships between relatives. The bogeys may even tease and joke each other if they are in the correct relationship. The crazy movements of the Bugah solo dance may imitate everything except the motions of white peoples' dances. The bogeys themselves may imitate white people, negroes, or joking relatives.
    "The next dance, the Chicken Dance, (sata'ga) has not been given for some time in Big Cove. The principal feature of this dance consisted of the woman resting one of her feet on the foot of her male partner in the dance, and hopping with the other foot. This dance was said to have been the cause of much jealousy and fights. The Chicken Dance is possibly mimetic of a bird habit.
    "The Coat Dance (gasule'na) is apparently of little significance, now. In the older days the men were said to have bought their brides with buckskin coats as payment and in this dance some motions are made of covering or 'claiming' a woman with the coat.
    "The Corn Dance (se'lu) is apparently mimetic of the actions of planting corn. The women were said to have done the planting and the men to have followed with the hoe to cover the seeds with earth. The term adan wisi 'they are going to plant corn' is possibly allied with the dance called 'Yontonwisas' by Mooney (1900, pp 365-367) and may be the Corn Dance.
    "In the Corn Dance the men cup their hands as if they were pouring corn grains into the aprons of the women and then the women reciprocate in giving the corn to the men. Various other arm movements take place between the sexes in this dance.
    "The Eagle Dance (tsugi'dali) is probably the most important and most revered of the Cherokee Dances. The eagles were said to have gathered together and teased each other just as men do in the Eagle Dance. The Eagle Dance used to be held in the fall or winter when the eagles were killed but now it is held at any time. In addition to the function as a celebration of the killing of an eagle, the Eagle Dance has several subordinate elements such as the Scalp Dance which celebrates victory in war (Mooney, p 496) and the Peace Pipe Dance which celebrates the conclusion of peace. The chief function of the Eagle Dance at the present time is the celebration of victory in the Ball Game.
    "In its present-day performance, all of the elements of the Eagle Dance are somewhat mixed together. The Scalp Dance is a solo dance in which the young man can dance and tell his story, vaunting his bravery before the women or other men. He derogates the deeds of his clan brothers and joking relatives, saying that they are cowards and of no value to the nation. When the derogated relative's chance comes, he in turn derogates the former singer.
    "The rather elaborate ceremonial involved in killing and propitiating the eagle which preceded the Eagle Dance has been described by Mooney. At present, dances can be given without killing an Eagle. There, are, in all probability, totemic values attaching to the Eagle.
    "The Friendship Dances (di'sti) are a mixed assemblage of a large number of dances whose primary significance is shared in common, namely the social intercourse which is necessary for the young people in order that they may find husbands and wives among potential relatives.
    "The familiarities of the Friendship Dances consist of such actions as the men placing their hats on the heads of their female partners, putting their coats around them, putting their arms around their shoulders and necks, and performing various overhand movements with them and others. These are the dances for getting acquainted and all  of the motions of the dance are designed, or appear to be designed, to break down shyness and reserve on the part of the young people. This reserve is broken through, however, strictly along the line of the familiarity relationship with specific relatives. It is impossible, or in general improbable, that a young man will tease or joke with a women of his father's clan, or even of his own clan. On the other hand if he finds a 'grandmother' (gilisi) or a 'grandfather' (giDuDu, ginisi) he can tease them to the extreme. It is most likely that he will tease the women rather than the men as privileged familiarities between men are reserved for other occasions. At the dance a man must find a wife and there is only one way to find a wife and that is to select her out of the group of women with whom he can carry on relations of familiarity.
    "The typical Friendship Dance begins with a few of the older men moving around in a circle about the room. The woman with the tortoise-shell rattles on her legs joins in the circle and then come the older women followed by the younger men and women. Round and round the circle goes, gradually picking up speed and volume as more join and none leave the magic ring of dancing humanity. Finally the crowd becomes too great for the one small room, the heat and sweat becomes too much, the dust too choking, and so with a final whoop all rush forth into the open air.
    "Aside from certain features, such as a stygian smell of old tobacco permeating the air and the constant spitting, the Friendship Dance is one of the most fascinating features of Cherokee life. This dance holds a gripping power as great as any opera in our own society, for its drama and music are the prime expression of the socially significant facts of Cherokee existence. In the renewal of their old-time mating memories the older people find their chief consolation as age advances. In the sex glamor of the occasion the young people find their chief recreation. In the general cheerfulness of the atmosphere generated those who mourn for deceased relatives may find forgetfulness.
    "The Green Corn Dance (agohundi) is an all-day dance which takes place in September after 'Roasting Ear's Time'. The name given to this dance refers to a town where, according to tradition, this dance was given especially well. This occasion has no direct connection with the Corn Dance, except that the latter celebrates the planting of the corn, while the Green Corn Dance celebrates the harvest.
    "The Green Corn Dance is really a composite of several other dances. First, there is an all-day dance by the men in which guns are fired at intervals of half an hour to make the noise considered essential to this dance. Secondly, there are three evening dances -- a Grandmother Dance by the men, a Meal Dance by the women, and a Trail-Making Dance by both sexes.
    "The all-day dance is the essential celebration of the completely successful harvest. The Grandmother and the Meal Dances are mimetic of the preparation of the corn meal by the women and grandmothers, and the Trail-Making Dance, as its name implies, mimics the activities of fixing up the trail for next year. After the dancing is over, a big feast is held in the evening, and everyone eats in great plenty of the fruits of the harvest.
    "Now follow three dances of no great social importance. The Groundhog Dance (ogonu) is not of any great importance now. The motions of the dance are highly conventionalized and not significant. The Horse Dance (sogwili) is imitative of the marching and prancing movements of the horse. The dancers move slowly back and forth in a row, occasionally giving a kick as a horse will do. The  Knee Deep Dance (dustu) is a short dance named after a little frog which appears  in March is the time of the Spring known as 'Knee-deep time'.
    "The Medicine Dance (egwa nuwati) appears to have virtually disappeared. It is of considerable significance, however, in connection with the familiarity relationship. This dance appears to have been held after the leaves had fallen into the streams in October. This mixture of the virtues of the leaves with the water caused the people to believe that the river was a gigantic medicine pot whose boiling was evinced in the eddying and foaming of the water. So this became "Great Medicine" time, the period in which life renewal and protection from all disease could be secured by bathing in the stream.
    "A mixing of actual medicine in pots occurred at this time also. While the pot boiled all night, the women and men used to dance to keep awake, and then in the morning they went to bathe in the stream for purification. The long hours of the night used to be passed in joking each other's 'grandfathers' (digiDuDu) and 'grandmothers' (digilsi). This joking became the main feature of the dance. The women were said to have taken the initiative in joking the men at this dance. If the men were shy, the women would catch them and force them to dance.
    "The Patridge or Quail Dance (k.gwe) is a dance somewhat resembling the Horse Dance and supposed to be initiative of the movements of the quail.
    "Similarly of little importance, the Pheasant Dance (tadisti) has completely vanished but it is remembered that the drumming of the pheasant was imitated during the course of the dance (Mooney, 290)
    "The Pigeon Dance (wayi) was an important dance in the past and numerous efforts are made to revive it from time to time. The actions seem to be mimetic of the stalking and capture of a flock of pigeons by a sparrowhawk. One strong man represents the hawk and he is painted red on the face, wears feathers, and is naked to the waist. He carries a buckskin in one hand and stands in a dark corner awaiting the line of dancers representing pigeons. As they pass him he swoops down and captures one with the buckskin. He then retires to his corner only to swoop down on another one and so on.
    "The Raccoon Dance (kuli) is also lapsing. It was mimetic of the capture of the raccoon in the tree where he has taken refuge. Some of the motions of the dance indicate joking of the women by the men as in the Bear Dance. The men pretend to rub the grease of the raccoon on the women, the grease being an adorning feature.
    "The Round Dance (ade'yohi) is a farewell dance which finishes an all-night series of different dances. It is said that this dance refers to the people having to go around the mountains in going home. The first half is a woman's dance but the men join in the second half.
     SCALP DANCE: "This dance, common to every tribe east of the Rocky mountains, was held to
celebrate the taking of fresh scalps from the enemy. The scalps, painted red on the fleshy side,
decorated and stretched in small hoops attached to the ends of poles, were carried in the dance
by the wives and sweethearts of the warriors, while in the pauses of the song each warrior in turn
recited his exploits in minute detail. Among the Cherokee it was customary for the warrior as he
stepped into the center of the circle to suggest to the drummer an improvised song which summed
up in one or two words his own part in the encounter. A new 'war name' was frequently assumed
after the dance... " (Mooney, Myths, 496)
   "The Snakelike Dance (inadiyusti) consists of spiralings by the line of dancers about the fire.
    "The War Dance (daNowehi)has not been given for a long time. It was said to have consisted of various military deployments backward and forward and about the fire, all imitative of the scouting and engagement of actual warfare. There was a magical significance attaching to this dance since it determined which warrior would come back safely of those who went to war.
    "The Woman Gathering Wood Dance (adohuna) was once regarded as preliminary to all the other dances. It is apparently mimetic of, or at least connected with, the women's gathering wood to feed the fire. The movements are mostly back and forth movements by a row of women, the men taking no part.
    "This list concludes the series of dances known in the village of Big Cove. In this area the old-time methods of dancing have been remembered and carried on the longest, by universal testimony. Nevertheless, a considerable interest in dancing and periodic indulgence in the characteristic Cherokee dances was found at Birdtown. Several additional dances are known in Birdtown  which seem to be lacking in Big Cove. These are: The Witch Dance (skili), in which the performers imitate goggles on their eyes with the use of their fingers; The Gagoyhi Dance (curled up, or twisted), whose evolutions resemble the Ant Dance; and the Parched Corn Dance (gawicida iteu), which was an additional part of the Green Corn Dance.
    William K. Powers, author of "Here Is Your Hobby Indian Dancing and Costumes": writes of the current "Powwow" scene: "Many dances are held in conjunction with rodeos and state fairs. ...But these dances are strictly for show. They give Inds. an opportunity to travel and meet dancers from other tribes, but they little resemble a true Ind. celebration.
    "Between performances, Inds. spend their leisure time visiting each other's campsites, trading, and swapping songs. Song swapping is a favorite pastime.
    "At night, when the shows are over and the spectators have left the grandstand, the Inds. gather in the empty stadium or fairgrounds and dance for their own amusement. Here the fancy "show" dancing gives way to the round dances, rabbit dances, forty-nines, the partner dances... Costumes are replaced with western-style clothing. Except for the strange patterns of dancing and the exotic sounds of the drum and singers, the dancers might be taking part in an old-fashioned square dance. These informal dances begin in the darkness of the night, and they hardly ever end before the sun comes up." (Powers, 13).
    "In the Southwest, a Navajo sings to the rhythm of his horse's hoofs as he rides along. At home, his wife sings a soft lullaby to her son. In the Pueblo villages nearby, a silversmith fashions age-old designs in silver as his hammer taps out the rhythm of the song he sings. ...In the north woods, a Chippewa sings as sacred song as he prays to Gitche Manito. In the olden days, a Sioux sang a death chant as he rode into battle"
    "The Ind. courts his woman with a love song, cures his sick with a medicine song, and names his children with an honor song. He never ceases to sing whether happy or sad, young or old, well or ailing. From birth to death, the Ind. sings.
    "Indians can sing without dancing, but they cannot dance until they hear an appropriate song. ...To the Ind. singing is as much a part of the dance as are the dancer's moccasins and bells. For every dance, there is an appropriate song. No dancer can move while the singers are idle. It is the voices of the men and women that makes the dancers want to dance. The dancers hear a good song, and their feet are forced to move. The singers actually control the dancers." (Powers, 17)
      "Their several dances were accompanied by music appropriate for the occasion. At the war dance a warlike tune was sung telling "how they will kill, roast, scalp, beat and make Captive, such and such numbers of them, and how many they have destroy'd before. At the peace dances the song related that the Bad Spirit made them go to war and that it should never do so again, but that their sons and daughters should intermarry with the former enemies and the two nations should love one another and become as one people. When the harvest had ended and before spring planting, there were the corn dances (the one to return thanks to the Good Spirit for the Fruits of the Earth, and other to beg the same blessings for the succeeding year". (Rights, 257)

 POWERS, WILLIAM K. "Here Is Your Hobby: Indian Dancing and Costumes". G.  P. Putnam's  Sons, NY  1966. This book tells you, with illustrations, about the basicdances, and dance steps. It is basic, but thorough. Goes into Posture; Head Movements; Shoulder and Torso Movements; Hands, and Style. The costumes are  straight out of Hollywood, but that's what they are wearing today on the "circuit". Yuk!

     When a death occurred a priest, appointed by the town, was called. All household furnishings were buried or destroyed, and the priest cleansed the house. After four days the "right hand man then sent a messenger to this family, with a piece of tobacco to enlighten their eyes, and a strand of beads to comfort their hearts and a request for them to take their seats in the council house that night... where all the town met them, and took them by the hand". (Payne MS III: 35 and IVB:272-273)
    "When a member of a family dies, it is believed that the spirit is loath to leave the scenes of life and go alone upon the long journey to the Darkening Land in the west. It therefore hovers about for a time, seeking to draw to it the souls of those it has most loved on earth, that it may have company in the spirit land. Thus it is that the friends of the lost one pine and are sorrowful and refuse to eat, because the shadow-soul is pulling at their heartstrings, and unless the aid of the priest is invoked their strength will steadily diminish, their souls will be drawn from them, and they too will die. To break the hold of the spirit and to wash away the memory of the bereavement, so that they may have quick recovery, is one of the greatest functions of the medicine-man." (Mooney, River Cult, 3)
WAITING FOR DEATH: "The Ind. usually meets inevitable fate with equanimity, and more than
once in our Ind wars an aged warrior of helpless woman, unable to escape, has sat down upon
the ground and, with blanket drawn over the head, calmly awaited the fatal bullet or hatchet
stroke". (Mooney, Myths, 495)
DEATH SONG: 'It seems to have been a chivalrous custom among the eastern tribes to give to
the condemned prisoner who requested it a chance to recite his war like deeds and to sing his
death song before proceeding to the final torture. He was allowed the widest latitude of boasting,
even at the expense of his captors and their tribe. The death song was a chant belonging to the
warrior himself or to the war society of which he was a member, the burden being farewell to life
and defiance to death." (Mooney, Myths, 491)

     For Cherokees, the sacred number was seven, and so it was for seven heavens and for seven directions. "Even their conception of the Universe was sevenfold, with seven heavens and seven directions -- north, south, east, west, above, below, and "here in the center" (Lewis & Kneberg, 175) Note: "here in the center" : right here, where we are!
    "Other supernatural beings were prominent in the religion and mythology of the Cherokee. There were spirits to symbolize the four directions to which special qualities were attributed. East was a red spirit
whose significance was power in war, North was a blue spirit signifying defeat. West was the black specter of death, and South, the white spirit of peace." (Lewis & Kneberg, 176)
    "The Cherokees attached much significance to the four cardinal directions, associating each of them with a series of social values. Actually, these seem to have been two sets of opposites. In one opposition, the east was the direction of the Sun, the color red, sacred fire, blood, and life and success. Its opposite, the west, was associated with the Moon, the souls of the dead, the color black, and death. In the other opposed pair, the north was associated with cold, the color blue (and purple) and trouble and defeat; while its opposite, the south, was associated with warmth, the color white, peace, and happiness. The Cherokees also gave a propitious value to brown, assigning it to the upward direction, and yellow, like blue, was associated with trouble, thought the direction to which it was assigned is not clear.
    A full complement of spiritual beings dwelt in the Upper World in each of the four quarters. Thus there was a Red Man, Red Bear, Red Sparrow Hawk, and so on in the east; a Black Man, Black Bear, Black Sparrow Hawk, and so on in the west." (Hudson, 132, from Swimmer Ms)

     'They are of a very gentle and amicable disposition to those they think their friends, but as implacable in their enmity, their revenge being only compleated in the entire destruction of their enemies. They were pretty hospitable to all white strangers, till the Europeans encouraged them to scalp; but the great reward offered has led them often since to commit as great barbarities on us, as they formerly only treated their most inveterate enemies with. They are very hardy, bearing heat, cold, hunger and thirst, in a surprising manner; and yet no people are given to more excess in eating and drinking, when it is conveniently in their power; the follies, nay mischief, they commit when inebriated, are entirely laid to the liquor; and no one will revenge an injury (murder excepted) received from one who is no more himself: they are not less addicted to gaming than drinking, and will even lose the shirt off their back, rather than give over play, when luck runs against them.
    "They are extremely proud, despising the lower class of Europeans; and in some athletick diversions I once was present at, they refused to match or hold conference with any but officers.
    "Here, however, the vulgar notion of the Inds uncommon activity was contradicted by three officers of the Virginia regiment, the slowest of which could outrun the swiftest of about 700 Inds. that were in the place; but had the race exceeded two or three hundred yards, the Inds. would then have acquired the advantage, by being able to keep the same pace a long time together; and running being likewise more general among them, a body of them would always greatly exceed an equal number of our troops.
    "They are particularly careful of the superannuated, but are not so till of a great age...
    "They have many of them a good uncultivated genius, are fond of speaking well, as that paves the way to power in their councils;... Their language is not unpleasant, but vastly aspirated, and the accents so many and various, you would often imagine them singing in their common discourse...
    "They seldom turn their eyes on the person they speak of, or address themselves to, and are always suspicious when people's eyes are fixed upon them. They speak so low, except in council, that they are often obliged to repeat what they are saying; yet should a person talk to any of them above their common pitch, they would immediately ask him, if he thought they were deaf." (Timberlake,  78-81)
    "...they are a very wary People, and are never hasty or impatient. They will endure a great many Misfortunes, Losses, and Disappointments without shewing themselves, in the least, vex'd or uneasy. When they go by Water, if there proves a Head-Wind, they never vex and fret as the Europeans do, and let what Misfortune come to them, as will or can happen, they never relent. Besides, there is one Vice very common every where, which I never found amongst them, which is Envying other Mens Happiness, because their Station is not equal to, or above, their Neighbours. Of this Sin I cannot say I ever saw an Example, though they are a People that set as great a Value upon themselves, as any sort of Men in the World; upon which Account they find something Valuable in themselves above Riches. Thus, he that is a good Warriour, is the proudest Creature living; and he that is an expert Hunter, is esteem'd by the People and himself; yet all these are natural Vertues and Gifts, and not Riches, which are as often in the Possession of a Fool as a Wise-man. Several of the Inds. are possess'd of a great many Skins, Wampum, Ammunition, and what other things are esteem'd Riches amongst them; yet such an Ind. is no more esteem'd amongst them, than any other ordinary Fellow, provided he has no personal Endowments, which are the Ornaments that must gain him an Esteem among them; for a great Dealer, amongst the Inds. is no otherwise respected and esteemed, than as a Man that strains his Wits, and fatigues himself, to furnish others with Necessaries of Life, that live much easier and enjoy more of the World, than he himself does with all his Pelf. If they are taken Captives, and expect a miserable Exit, they sing: if Death approach them in Sickness, they are not afraid of it; nor are ever heard to say, Grant me some time. They know by Instinct, and daily Example, that they must die; wherefore, they have that great and noble Gift to submit to every thing that happens, and value nothing that attacks them." (Lawson, 206,207)
    "The Inds. are very revengeful, and never forget an Injury done, till they have receiv'd Satisfaction. Yet they are the freest People from Heats and Passions (which possess the Europeans) of any I ever heard of. They never call any Man to account for what he did, when he was drunk; but say, it was the Drink that caused his Misbehavior, therefore he ought to be forgiven; They never frequent a Christian's House that is given to Passion, nor will they ever buy or sell with him, if they can get the same Commodities of any other Person; for they say, such Men are mad Wolves, and no more Men.
    "They know not what Jealousy is, because they never think their Wives are unconstant, unless they are Eye-witnesses thereof. They are generally very bashful, especially the young Maids, who when they come into a strange Cabin, where they are not acquainted, never ask for anything, though never so hungry or thirsty, but sit down, without speaking a Word (be it never so long) till some of the House asks them a Question, or falls into Discourse, with the Stranger. I never saw a Scold amongst them, and to their Children they are extraordinary tender and indulgent; neither did I ever see a Parent correct a Child, escepting one Woman, that was the King's Wife, and she (indeed) did possess a Temper that is not commonly found amongst them. They are free from all manner of Compliments, escept Shaking of Hands, and Scratching on the Shoulder, which two are the greatest Marks of Sincerity and Friendship, that can be shew'd one to another. They cannot express fare you well; but when they leave the House, will say, I go straightway, which is to intimate their Departure; and if the Man of the House has any Message to send by the going Man, he may acquaint him therewith." (Lawson, 210)
       "...harmony with nature could only be achieved by realizing the absolute necessity of functioning within the confines of their peculiar habitat. The Cherokees considered themselves to be only ONE of the many vital components that made up the highly complex world of living things. Additionally, the Cherokee mythological view of their environment dictated land use patterns and biotic associations. For instance, although the Cherokee ecosystem was immensely rich in flora and fauna, the Ind. did not adhere to cultural and economic values that permitted the haphazard exploitation of available resources.
    "Furthermore, precontact cultural beliefs and practices engendered a relatively positive relationship between all components of the environment. This is clearly illustrated in the use of ginseng (Panax quinquefolium), one of the most diverse and widely used of Cherokee wild plants. Cherokee tradition indicates that when gathering this valuable herb (most often used for medicinal purposes) the plant could not be pulled recklessly, or at random, from the ground. According to Mooney, the first three plants found were passed by and, after a preliminary prayer, it "is only the fourth plant that can be taken". (Mooney, 1891, 339)
    "The absence of a profit motive, and the de-emphasis on the accumulation of surplus material goods, suggests that degree of social well-being was measured less by the acquisition and possession of tangible items and more by the delicate balance achieved between culture and nature. Cherokee attitudes toward the environment were strongly influenced by religious beliefs and, thus, their utilization of nature's bounty reflected a reverence for the entire external world." (Goodwin, 147,148)
    "Precontact Cherokee personality traits, e.g., independence, generosity, courage, self-restraint, tended to temper many of the tribe's aggressive impulses (Holzinger, 1976: 229-35). Ceremonies added as an outlet for aggression, as did joking, and the belief in spirits helped bolster their self-esteem. During the postcontact period, however, the Cherokees began exhibiting a pronounced degree of suspicion, jealousy, hostility, and general emotional instability." (Holzinger, quoted in Goodwin, 149, footnote)
    "The Cherokees in their dispositions and manners are grave and steady; dignified and circumspect in their deportment; rather slow and reserved in conversation; yet frank, cheerful, and humane; tenacious of the liberties and natural rights of man; secret, deliberate and determined in their councils; honest, just and liberal, and ready always to sacrifice every pleasure and gratification, even their blood, and life itself, to defend their territory and maintain their rights...." (Bartram, 487)
   "A colonial militia captain, Raymond Demere, summed up the elusive nature of the headman's office when he explained to his superiors in 1757 why it was difficult to deal with the Cherokees, even while living in their midst. 'The Savages are an odd Kind of People; as there is no Law nor Subjection amongst them, they can't be compelled to do any Thing nor oblige them to embrace any Party except they please. The very lowest of them thinks himself as great and as high as any of the Rest, every one of them must be courted for their Friendship, with some Kind of a Feeling, and made  much of. So what is called great and leading Men amongst them, are commonly old and middle-aged People, who know how to give a Talk in Favour of whom they have a Fancy for, and that same may influence the Minds of the young Fellows for a Time, but every one is his own Master". (quoted, Reid, Law, 53)

     "There were five different sizes of divining stones used in ancient times. The largest was used in war divination; the next largest for feasts, purification, and divination concerning sickness; the next for hunting; the next for finding things lost or stolen; and the smallest for determining the time allotted for anyone to live. These curious stones were crystalline quartz and six-sided, coming to a point at one end like a diamond. They were called "lights" and were important to ritual." (Gilbert, 345)
     Plummets: "Plummets were commonly used to divine the location of a lost object or person. A plummet was a small lump of red ocher or some other earth held between the thumb and index finger of the right hand. The left hand was held, with fingers extended, in front of the right. A formula would be uttered, and in time the plummet would begin to swing, and the direction in which it swung most strongly would be the direction in which to search. They would then proceed in this direction for some distance, and if the thing or person was not found, another reading was taken with the plummet and they set out in another direction." (Hudson, 354,5)
     "The river was often used for diving into the future and for discovering the causes of illness. One method was to cut a stick of wood about two or three feet long. The diviner stood in the water, moistened one end of the stick in his mouth, then put the opposite end of the stick into the water for about half of its length and made a counterclockwise circle, about two feet in diameter, uttering a formula as he made each circle. Then he brought the stick to the center of the circle and let it rest there. Now he studied the water within the circle. If a crayfish or minnow darted into the circle it was an indication that a conjurer was at work. A bird flying overhead might mean that witchcraft was involved. If a leaf floated through the circle it meant that the person whose condition was being divined would die. The river was also used for divination when Cherokees went to water upon the occasion of a new moon. While all the members of a household stood gazing into the river, the priest recited a formula asking for long life. But if anything appeared in the water -- a leaf, a twig, a fish -- it might mean that illness or death lay in the future. Finally, in order to determine the outcome of an illness, the priest might cause his patient to vomit into the river. If the vomit sank, the patient would be doomed; if it floated on top of the water he would recover. (Olbrechts, CD, 549)
     "Like water, fire could also be used as a means of divintion. If a person were seriously ill, and hence likely to be attacked by witches, a person protecting him would try to determine if witches were in the vicinity by using tobacco and fire. He would go to the fireplace and rake all the smouldering coals together into a cone-shaped heap. Then he would sprinkle a little ancient tobacco on the heap of coals. Wherever a spark flared up it meant that there was a witch in that direction and at a distance indicated by the distance of the spark from the top of the cone. If the tobacco particles happened to cling together and fall on top of the heap of ashes, they would often flare up with a loud burst. This meant that the witch was actually inside the house. If so, the burst of tobacco of itself was believed to be enough to kill the witch.  (Olbrechts,  CD, 550-51)
     One of the more esoteric means of divination was to use two beades: a black bead held in the left hand signifying death, illness, or disaster, and a red or white bead held in the right hand signifying health, long life, and success. A priest held these beads between the thumbs and index fingers of his hands. The beads moved along the first two phalanges of the index fingers, and the relative strength of this motion gave a favorable or unfavorable reading. If the red or white head had the stronger motion, it was favorable, but if the black bead had the stronger motion, it was unfavorable. Exactly what caused the movement in the beads is unclear. (Hudson, 355,356, from Swimmer MS,304-5)
     The means of divination which the Cherokees regarded as most authoritative entailed the use of certain crystals, presumably quartz.

      Modern "drums come in various sizes and shapes depending on the tribes that use them. There are large dance drums that range from two to five feet in diameter. Smaller hand drums range from six to eighteen inches in diameter. These drums may have one head or two. Most dance drums are made from cow-goat-, or deerskin, stretched over wood frames. Drum frames, or shells, may be made from a cedar wash tub, hollowed log, metal oil drum, brass kettle, or commercial bass-drum frame...
    "Drumsticks also vary in length and shape. They should be made from a hard wood such as oak. Many singers nowadays carve their sticks from chair and table legs. The 'heads' are made from cotton wrapped with adhesive tape, or buckskin stuffed with cotton and sewn."
    RHYTHM: "Although the sound of the drum can easily make a dancer want to dance, the drum can never be used as a substitute for singing. The drum merely accents the rhythm of the song. Although it is not necessary to have music while learning... dancing, it is important to have singing or recorded music as part of your pow-wows or shows." (Powers, 19,20)
     "One-quarter time: This is the most popular drum rhythm, sometimes called the war-dance beat. It can be recognized by its steady, unaccented beat. Although it is most frequently heard in
the war-dance, it is also played for the hoop dance, and parts of the sneak-up dance.
    "The one-quarter beat may be played in three different tempos -- slow, medium, and fast. These tempos will be indicated at the beginning of each dance. When you learn the preliminary steps and body movements, practice them slowly first, gradually working up to the proper speed.
    "The slow one-quarter time... indicates that you play 120 beats of the drum per minute. Medium one-quarter times... indicates 180 beats per minute. And fast one quarter is 320 beats per minute.
    "Three-quarter time: The rhythm heard next most frequently is three-quarter time. Musicians will recognize this as waltz time. In the Ind. version of three-quarter time, however, the second beat is omitted. All that you hear is one-three, one-three. The one-beat is played louder than the three-beat, so three-quarter time beat can readily be identified by its characteristic loud-soft, loud-soft rhythm...
    "The three-quarter beat is also played in three distinct tempos. In the rabbit dance, the tempos is 136 beats per minute.... In the round dance, is is slightly faster... 160. And in the forty-nine, it is even faster: 200.
    "To learn how to play the three-quarter beat, simply count to yourself one-two-three, one-two-three. After you have mastered this, eliminate the two-beat on the drum, and count it to yourself: one-(two)-three, one-(two)-three.
    "Thunder-drumming: This is not really a rhythm, but a technique of drumming often used as an introduction to dances. It is heard in the sneak-up dance and buffalo dance. In thunder-drumming, the drum is played very rapidly and sounds much like thunder.
    "Of the rhythms discussed here, one variation occurs in the buffalo dance. This variation may be called half-time. It is really slow one-quarter time played at 60 beats per minute.
    "Accented beats. If you listen... you can hear accented beats occur irregularly in war-dance, round-dance, and rabbit-dance songs. These accented beats are played to keep the dancers in step. Also, if a singer is not beating the drum properly, another singer will hit the drum loudly to make the other aware that he is out of time.... The southern-plains tribes accent their drum beats three times during each song.... When dancers hear the accented beats, they dip very low, or they turn rapidly. This is called honoring the drum. The dancers in this movement express their happiness at hearing the good songs the singers are singing." (Powers, 19,20,21).

      "Some weavers make black dye from the bark of walnut roots.... The roots 'will dye a darker shade than any part of the walnut tree" a deep shade preferred for centuries by Cherokee weavers. Ultimately, however, taking the bark from the root kills the tree.... Since 'walnut trees causes the vegetables in the garden not to grow" farmers and gardeners on limited land may need to eliminate them. The benefit to weavers is temporary, however, since the number of walnut trees steadily declines.
    "Other weavers favor the lighter brown or even gray shades that come from different parts of the trees. "In the summertime" Goings says, "we use the leaves from the tree, and then in fall we can use the green nuts, crush them up".  After hulls turn brown, they can be stored for winter dyes.
    "The dyes used varied from season to season, settlement to settlement, weaver to weaver. Sumac, poke, angelica, and oak galls have all made their way into dye pots, along with flowers, berries, roots, and leaves of hundreds of unrecorded plants. Yellowroot (daloni-ge na-ste-tsi) was popular in the early part of the 20th century, but has generally lost favor.
    "Weavers may use soda, alum, or copper as a mordant. Some remember that their mothers added old iron froes, ax heads, or nails to walnut dye pots. All recognize that different kinds of containers affect the dye in various ways. "Bloodroot dyes different shades of orange depending on what kind of metal your pot is". While one believes 'aluminum pots don't dye too good' another relies on a pot of white enamel to get good color from bloodroot and 'an old pot that's got this old Teflon lining' for walnut.
    "Whatever containers or materials they select, weavers dye all the splits at one time because "you can dye splits one day and the next day dye again, and you never get the same color" ....Contemporary weavers will re-dye all the splits rather than combine splits dyed at different times. (Hill, 125, 126)
     "When colors were to be used, they dyed the requisite number of strips in advance. The bark of the black walnut was used when they wanted a black dye. A color between red and brown was furnished by boiling the roots of a plant called tale'wa, perhaps the celandine poppy (it has small yellow flowers and grows on sandy ridges). To get the most beautiful red dye, they boiled these roots in 'hair oil', a plant growing about yards and along fences ... made a still deeper red.
     "Sometimes when cane was scarce... they had recourse to the hackberry. Pieces of this of considerable size were pounded up, whereupon layers would strip off of it. After being immersed for a time in warm water, these could become pliant and work very well.
     "Black was made from the leaves of the dark sumac, which were boiled in water all day, after which the dye was allowed to cool and the cane placed in it and allowed to remain all night. Black was also made from the black walnut. There were two kinds of red, one obtained from the bark of the wild peach, and the other from the red oak. The outside bark of these trees having been removed, the inside bark was scraped off and put into some water along with the canes to be dyed, after which all was boiled for 2 to 3 hours, when the canes would be colored red...Yellow was made from the leaves and limbs of bushes called a'ci'la'na (yellow leaves) in a similar manner. The strips of cane were added just as boiling began and they were found to be colored when the time was over." (Swanton, 137, 606,7)
    "Vegetation for dyes include ripe berries of pokeweed (tsayatika) for pale red, oak galls (atagu) for rich red, angelica leaves (wane-kita) for green, bark and roots of sumac (kwalaga) for brown; and yellow root (daloni-ge- unaste-tsi) for yellow.... Any berry or nut or root that stained the fingers gathering them must have been potential dye.
    "From earliest memory, however, Cherokee weavers have chosen red, dark brown, and black hues for basketry. Black comes from hulls, roots, or bark of butternut or white walnut (ko-hi), brown from hulls, roots, leaves, or bark of black walnut (se-di), and red from roots of the bloodroot plant (gigage unaste-tsi). Material from black and white walnut trees can be gathered any time of year, then dried and stored for later use. Though all parts of the tree can be used, the roots supply the most intense colors. Bloodroot is an early spring bulb that thrives in the soil of deciduous forests. The fragile blossom that appears in early March is followed by deeply scalloped, blue-green leaves that grow through the summer. The orange-red dye comes from small rhizomes attached to multiple underground stems. The roots must be dug before the plant dies back in early autumn, for it leaves no sign of where it has grown. Weavers can dry and bury roots to store over fall and winter, but mold will cause rapid decay.
    "Each color requires a separate pot of simmering water, which may account for the limited number of colors on baskets. To speed the dyeing and set the color, weavers might add a mordant. Before commercial additives became widely available, mordants came from ashes, urine, or alum. Without mordants, splits take at least one full day to absorb brown or black walnut dyes. Red dye from bloodroot sets in a few hours. Weavers submerge the coils of splits into the simmering dye, weighing them down with rocks or heavy roots. Some cover the pots, and all check them periodically to replenish the water and stoke the fire. Dyeing requires a watchful eye and plenty of time."
    "When splits are a satisfactory color, the weaver removes the bundles, rinses them, and puts them aside to dry. Once the demanding process of preparation is complete, she can wait indefinitely to weave the splits. The capability to use splits weeks or months after preparation gives the basket- weaver greater control of her time. She can stop midway through a basket, attend to other responsibilities, and return to it later. When other tasks permit time for basketry, she dampens the splits to restore  their pliability and soften their razor-sharp edges." (Hill, 42,43).
    "People often mixed mordants with the dye to act or fix colors and keep them from fading. Vinegar and salt were used quite frequently as mordants when dying with plants. Copperas, a green sulfate of iron, and alum, a white mineral salt, were also successful mordants for dying cloth. Acetic acid was used as a mordant to color red and potassium bichromate to color yellow. Most of our contacts didn't use a mordant when dyeing with walnut hulls, however, as the brown produced by the hulls rarely faded.
    It is best to boil the roots, leaves, and stems to produce the dye, then strain it before adding the wool or cotton or whatever you are dyeing. When the cloth is boiled, it should be dyed a shade darker than the color you want, since the shade will lighten as the wool dries. The amount (strength) of dye used depends on how dark a shade you want.
    "Brown-Black". "Walnut hulls, roots, and bark were commonly used as a natural dye to produce shades of brown and black. The hulls were used for dye when the walnuts fell off the trees in the fall of the year. Darker shades of brown or even black were obtained by leaving the hulls, roots, or bark in the boiling water a longer period of time.
    "Another way to acquire a dark brown is to use both walnut hulls and roots together. Fill a ten-gallon pot half full of chopped walnut roots and add one gallon of walnut hulls. Add either one teacup of salt or vinegar as a mordant. Boil. Lift out roots and hulls and put in the thread. Boil wool in dye for at least an hour. Add more roots and hulls for a darker brown.
    "Use witch-hazel (tree) bark for black. Boil it and add material.
     "For light tan ot yellow color, boil broom sage (broomsedge) and add to material.
     "Poison oak: the acrid juice of this small shrub imparts a durable black without any addition. Water hoarhound, or gypsywort: the juice of this plant also gives a fixed black dye; Baneberries: the juice of the berries boiled with alum affords a fine black dye, or ink; Red Oak: the capsules and bark of the oak afford a good fixture for brown or black dyes. (Bull. 281)
BLUE: Common indigo; False indigo (Amorpha fruiticosa); Common Ash Tree; the inner bark is said to give a good blue color. (Bull. 281)
Orange-Yellow: "The outside of black hickory bark was made for yellows. Just go out and beat it off the trees. Boil it up and it makes beautiful yellows" For mordants, alum for one shade of yellow and potassium bichromate for another. "We put the bark in flour bags.  By putting the bark in a bag, the solution doesn't have to be strained before adding the material.    "You just have to boil the bark until you get the desired color.
    Yellow root can be boiled down to make a yellow and then it fades out to a soft green.
    "Get hickory bark when the sap is up so it will peel out better. Boil it down to make beautiful shades of yellow.
    Oak bark also makes a yellow. Boil it until you acquire a thick "ooze" and then add material.
Blue: "Use indigo root.    Use maple bark. The color is obtained mainly from the inside bark, but both inside and outside bark are used. Boil it in a kettle. Remove bark from the dye; add copperas to set the dye and let it boil about a day. This colors a blue.
    " oak was most famous for the fast and bright yellows."
    "Red oak produced yellows. Black Berry; Bearing Alder; the bark tinges a dull yellow; Barberry bush: the root gives a beautiful yellow. (Bull 281)
Red: Use madder. Grind the root up into powder and boil it with material. Colors from shades of rose pink to red are obtained from madder.
    Use pokeberries, one gallon of berries to a ten-gallon pot. Boil them and add your material. This colors from a red to a maroon. Blackberries, grapes, or any other berries will yield various other shades of red.
    Use red clay (one gallon of clay to a ten-gallon pot). Put clay in a cloth bag and let it boil. Remove clay and add material. Possibly use a cup of salt as a mordant. Clay colors a deep orangeish-red.
     "Crossworth madder (gallium soreale): imparts a red color; Cactus opuntia, Prickly pear, imparts a beautiful red color". (Bull 281)
Purple: Use pokeberry roots. Chop up the roots and boil them. Add material to get a deep purple color.
Green: Use green oak leaves. Boil leaves with material for one to one and one-half hours. Add salt as a mordant.
Alkanet (Alkanna tinctoria). The very large root yields a red dye.
Bloodroot: Contains red resin.
Butterfly weed: When powdered, the dried root yields a yellowish-brown color.
Cornflower (bachelor's button): Its petals contain blue coloring matter
Goldenrod: The root contains yellow juice.
Hollyhock: You can get deep purple-black coloring matter from the flower petals.
Larkspur: The juice of the petals mixed with alum mordant gives a nice blue dye.
Lupine: The flowers' heads yield a handsome green color when used with alum or chrome mordants.
Marsh Marigold: The juice of the petals contains yellow coloring matter.
Mullein: The blooms contain yellow coloring matter.
Safflower : Safflower flowers contain yellow and red coloring matter.
Saffron: Yellow coloring matter is in the stigma.
Sunflower: The oil obtained from pressing the seeds is a citron-yellow color.

      "The chemical constituents of the earth's crust entered into the Cherokee culture in various ways. Quartz crystals were used in divining the future, flint and chert were used in the manufacture of cutting tools and weapons, various river clays were used in pottery manufacture, red hematite powder from certain hillsides was made into pigment for face paint (connected here with one of the clans), white clays were also made and used for pigments, steatite was used for pipe carving and the heavier ferromagnesian minerals were chipped and ground into axes, celts, and hammers, slates into ceremonial pendants and gorgets, and so on for many others of the natural minerals...." (Gilbert, 183)
    "Copper was worked in the same manner as it had been thousands of years earlier... The nuggets of pure metal were beaten into thin sheets and, in the case of thick objects like axe blades, several layers of the sheets were hammered together until they formed a solid mass. The final shaping and finishing was done by grinding with an abrading stone. More elaborate than the axes were the ornaments cut from the thin sheets and decorated with embossed designs. The embossing process consisted of carving the design on a wooden die and then pressing the metal over the die until the design appeared in relief. Headdresses, breastplates and large plaques were decorated in this manner. Ear ornaments were carved wooden disks plated with copper. All of the elaborate copper objects appear to have been worn only by people or prominence." (Lewis & Kneberg, 107,108)
     "Objects of copper..... are preserved... a breastplate...  spools, elongated, tubular beads, triangular pendants, wooden, copper-coated ear plugs, bangles in a shape that could in some cases pass for conoidal arrow points, ...and.. a copper ax with a fragment of wooden handle..." (Rights, 273)
    "Steatite, often called soapstone, was available in the mountains. This soft stone was easily shaped into bowls with flint blades, and was also carved into various ornaments and 'medicine tubes'. The latter, biconical in shape, were instruments used by medicine men.... Other curious objects, usually carved from steatite, were small containers known as 'boatstones' because of their shape. These apparently were worn suspended from the neck, since they always have holes at both ends, as well as grooved keels at the bottom.... From thick green slate obtained in the mountains, tools and weapons as well as ornaments were made... celts... and axe blades... in a great range of sizes, from a few inches up to a foot in length. All of these blades were made by the pecking and grinding method, but only the bit was well ground." (Lewis & Kneberg, 45,46)
     "Soapstone was the preferred material.... The smallest vessels are the paint cups, and the smallest of these is less than an inch in height. One cup, a little larger than a tablespoon, has a short handle. The pint size or larger was popular. In the larger containers, generally two-knobbed vessels, the sizes increase until a capacity of several gallons is reached." (Rights, 275)
    "The mountains contain very rich mines of gold, silver, lead, and copper, as may be evinced by several accidentally found ..., and the lumps of valuable ore washed down by several of the streams, a bag of which sold in Virginia at a considerable price; and by the many salt springs, it is probable there are many mines of that likewise, as well as of other minerals...
    "They have many beautiful stones of different colours, many of which, I am apt to believe, are of great value; but their superstition has always prevented their disposing of them to the traders, who have made many attempts to that purpose; but as they use them in their conjuring ceremonies, they believe their parting with them, or bringing them from home, would prejudice their health or affairs." (Timberlake, 74)
    "Gold is found near the towns of the OverHill Cherokees. The Ducktown copper mines in the region are well known.
    "...Particularly amethyst, hiddenite, ruby and aquamarine, some of which have been mined in the nearby mountains in recent years..." (footnote: Timberlake, 73)
     CLAY: "Good Bricks and Tiles are made, and several sorts of useful Earths, as Bole, Fullers-earth, Oaker, and Tobacco-pipe-Clay, in great plenty; Earths for the Potters Trade, and fine Sand for the Glass-makers. In building with Bricks, we make our Lime of Oyster-Shells, tho' we have great Store of Lime-stone, towards the Heads of our Rivers, where are Stones of all sorts that are useful, besides vast Quantities of excellent Marble.. Iron-Stone we have plenty of, both in the Low-Lands and on the Hills; Lead and Copper has been found..." (Lawson, 88,89)
    "The Pitch-Pine, growing to a great Bigness, most commonly has but a short Leaf. Its Wood (being replete with abundance of Bituman) is so durable that it seems to suffer no Decay, tho' exposed to all Weathers, for many Ages: and is used in several Domestick and Plantation Uses. This Tree affords the four great Necessities: Pitch, Tar, Rozin, and Turpentine; which two last are extracted by tapping, and the Heat of the Sun, the other two by the Heat of the Fire." (Lawson, 104)
    " provided material for tools that enabled women and men to survive and transform the world. Women made certain kinds of rocks into knives, scrapers, awls, and drills to fashion clothing from skins, feathers, and bark. Women and men shaped stone into axes and hoes to cut trees for housing and clear fields for planting. Women used stone knives and scrapers to prepare rivercane and bark for weaving into baskets and mats. They selected certain rocks for household hearths and others for boiling stones. They gathered grinding and pounding stones to process foods or to crush hulls, bark, and roots for dye and medicine." (Hill, 6,7)
     MICA: pieces of mica have been found, which makes it evident that it was sometimes used.
     RED OCHRE: was an item of trade, and greatly desired. Found inland, it was widely traded for salt, dried fish, sea shells, and Ilex leaves with which to make the "black drink".
      In excavations, red ochre was one of the objects buried with the dead in about one third of the graves. It was used to paint on faces, and in certain acts of divination by the priests.
Soils:  "Geologically, the Southern Appalachian region consists principally of four underlying rock formations. The Valley region is underlain by limestones, shales, and sandstones; the Blue Ridge and northwest border of the mountain districts (northeast of the French Broad) consists chiefly of quartzites, sandstones, conglomerates and shale; the north mountain region southwest of the French Broad in the Smoky-Unaka chain contains conglomerates, sandstones, schists, and slates; and, the last groups comprise the largest in bulk and area; the gneiss group, e.g., granite, diorite, mica, hornblende, and some schists. The most common of the four groups, gneiss is found throughout Southern Appalachia, ranging from the high Smoky Mountains to the relatively low Blue Ridge spurs.
    "Since the parent material is the basis for soil type, Southern Appalachian edaphic conditions can be correlated to type and location of residual accumulations. Two broad soil categories represent the majority of soils found in this region: (1) Gray-Brown Podzols and (2) Red-Yellow Soils. Each soil group possesses a loamy character, although the podzolic group is more stony since it is derived from granite. Also, the podzols are generally leached soils, acidic in nature, and developed in cool, moist, temperate climates, such as the hilly terrain of the deciduous forest region.
    "The Red-Yellow group, with brownish-red to red silt and clay loams predominating in the Piedmont and Valley regions, derive their characteristics from limestone and are generally found in warmer climates under forest cover. The red soil is of medium fertility and thrives in deciduous forests, while the yellow is of low fertility and is found in coniferous forests. (Goodwin, 28)
    "In the Unaka-Smoky chain, sandstone and shale underlay both poor and rich soils, depending on relief. In the upper valleys of the Lower Tennessee River, soils (sandstone, quartzite, and conglomerate) are generally thin, sandy, and unfavorable to agriculture. In the valleys and hollows along the north slope of the same range, however, soils are light and sandy, but fertile, especially in the alluvial bottomlands where silts are of the finest texture and quality (US Dept. of Agriculture, 1902: quoted in Goodwin, 29)
Minerals:  "Minerals are also an outgrowth of the parent rock formations. Certain mineral elements were of considerable importance to Cherokee Inds. during their early occupation of the Southern Appalachian region, e.g., quartz crystals (including amethyst) occurred in the highlands where it was found in fragments after weathering agents broke the material from outcropping veins... Flint and chert (chalcedony) are crystalline varieties of siliceous limestone...
    "Other mineral used by the Cherokees included: hematite, found in the Chilhowee section of Tennessee and along the French Broad in North Carolina; steatite, a metamorphic rock more commonly called soapstone, which occurred in the Appalachian uplands; mica crystals, quarried in the Georgian highlands as well  as several other sections; river clay (red and white), which is an aggregate of minerals, and the most widespread of the mineral resources used... Residual clays predominate in the Piedmont and mountain zones while river bottom clay occurs along stream and river bottoms throughout the Southern Appalachian region. Also, salt was obtained from saline springs and licks, and the crystaline substance figures important in aboriginal barter as well as in postcontact commercial trade with Europeans.
    "Other mineral resources, such as gold, silver, lead, and copper abounded in the Cherokee lands, but it was not until after white contacts that these materials acquired considerable economic value. (Goodwin, 29)
     "Quartz crystals were used in divining the future, flint and chert were used in the manufacture of cutting tools and weapons, various river clays were used in pottery manufacture, red hematite powder from certain hillsides was made into pigment for face paint (connected here with one of the clans); white clays were also made and used for pigments, steatite was used for pipe carving and the heavier ferromagnesium minerals were chipped and ground into axes, celts, and hammers, slates into ceremonial pendants and gorgets, and so on for many others of the natural minerals of the hill country." (Gilbert, Bull 133)

     There was a respect, even reverence, for the elderly, particularly for elder men... for with wars, and sickness, it was the rare ones who lived to a ripe old age.  Having attained any kind of distinction at all, they became known as "Beloved Men", and sat on the council floor near the king whom they advised.
    "The old men, who can no longer go to war, are, nevertheless, still useful.... They harangue the people, who consider them oracles and heed them. Their advice is taken for everything, and the young people say that since their elders have lived longer, they should have more experience and knowledge. When I admired the happiness enjoyed by the old men, they explained that since they could no longer fight for the tribe, the least they could do was teach others to defend it. Upon returning from their military expeditions, the warriors never fail to throw part of the booty into the cabins of these elderly orators, who by their exhortations excite the younger men to deeds of courage. The prisoners of war are given as slaves to the oldest members... The old warriors, who can no longer go to war, harangue the fighters. An orator begins by hitting a post with his club and then mentions all the great deeds he has done in battle and tells of the number of scalps he has taken from the various tribes. The audience replies with shouts of "How! How!" which means, "True! True! The(y) hate lies; they say that anyone who lies is a braggart and is not a real man." (Bossu, Travels, 114)
    "Elders were expected to reconcile contrasting clan sentiments by pursuing cautiously the interests of their respective clans, avoiding direct conflict through judicious compromise and maneuverings, whenever possible, and allowing elders to drop out if that became unavoidable. Effectiveness among the elders would indeed appear to require 'good nature and clear reasoning, or colouring things' and would be facilitated by 'native politeness'." (Priests, 42)
     Much of the information about the feasts and festivals celebrated by Cherokees in ancient
times is taken from the hand-written manuscripts in the Payne (John Howard Payne) papers at the Newberry Library  museum in Chicago.
     According to Gilbert, in The Eastern Cherokees, Bulletin 133: "The white officials of the nation had, in addition to the numerous secular and private functions, the priestly function of acting as the regulators and chief performers in the periodic tribal ceremonies now to be described.
     "There were six greater festivals (other than the Green Corn Feasts). They were held at the council house in the capital town where the seven clans assembled at the behest of the uku and his seven prime counselors. In addition to these, the Oukah dance was given every 7 years in which the uku (here entitled Oukah) performed a sacred dance.
     1st Festival: The first new moon of spring. This was celebrated when the grass began to grow an had no special title. The present day Corn Dance, called 'adanwisi', or "they are going to plant" (Yontonwisas Dance of Mooney) may be descended from this rite of March.
    "Cherokees venerated seven kinds of trees, which they related to seven matrilineal clans in an annual cycle of ritual. The seven-day celebration for the First New Moon of Spring included fasting, going to water, distributing medicinal roots, consulting the Ulunsu-ti, hunting, dancing, sacrificing meat, and kindling a fresh  town house fire.
    To make sacred fire (so see) in the spring, clan representatives gathered wood from the eastern sides of seven trees, peeled off the outer bark, and placed the wood in a circle on the central altar of the town house. The woods included white oak, black oak, water oak, black jack, bass wood, chestnut, and white pine." (Hill, 12)
     Note: ...when the harvest had ended and before spring planting, there were the corn dances, "the one to return thanks to the Good Spirit for the Fruits of the Earth, the other to beg the same blessings for the succeeding year." Lawson observed a rather interesting feature of the ceremony: "And, to encourage the Young Men to labor stoutly, in Planting their Maiz and Pulse, they set a sort of an idol in the field, which is dressed up exactly like a (Cherokee), having all the (Cherokee) habits, besides abundance of Wampum, and their Money, made of shells, that hang about his Neck. The Image none of the young Men dare approach; for the Old Ones will not suffer them to come near him, but tell him that he is some famous Warrior, that died a great while ago, and now is come amongst them to see if they work well, which, if they do, he will go to the good Spirit and speak to Him and send them Plenty of Corn and make all the young Men expert hunters and mighty Warriors. All this While, the King and Old Men sit around the Image, and seemingly pay a profound Respect to the same. One great Help to these Inds. is carrying on these Cheats, and inducing the Youths to do what they please is the uninterrupted silence which is ever kept and observed, with all the Respect and Veneration imaginable." ( Quoted, 257)
      2nd Festival:  The Preliminary Green Corn Feast: This is entitled 'sah-lookstikneekeehatehateeh' in the Payne Manuscripts and is rendered 'selu tsunistigistli', or 'roasting ear's time' by present-day informants. It was held in August when the young corn first became fit to taste.
     "On the 7th day of the New Green Corn Feast, seven ears of corn were delivered to the Oukah. New fire was made by a firemaker on the altar from bark of seven selected trees. Leaves of old tobacco were sprinkled on the fire and omens were taken from this. The Oukah placed the seven ears in the fire also with the piece of deer's tongue and then prayed that the sacrifice might be acceptable. After this rite the Oukah and his seven counselors fasted for seven days and the populace then assembled for another general 1-day feast which completed the second festival.
     3rd Festival:  The Green Corn Feast: This is called 'tunguahkawhooghni' in the Payne Manuscripts and is rendered donagohuni by present-day informants. The ripe or mature Green Corn Feast succeeded the Preliminary Green Corn Feast of August in about 40 or 50 days in the middle or latter September when the corn had become hard or perfect and is still held today.
      "The third great feast was the Mature, or Ripe, Corn Feast, and was held in September 40 or 50 days after the preceding festival. The Oukah, who presided at this rite was given the special ceremonial title of Netagunghstah and was elevated on a platform held up by carriers and was dressed in a white robe with leggings, moccasins, otter skins on the legs, and a red cap on the head. Altogether this festival lasted 4 days and women were excluded from the sacred square during the dances...
     4th Festival: "The fourth great festival, or great new moon of Autumn, followed the new moon's appearance when the leaves began to yellow in the fall. The Cherokees fancied that the world was created at this time and they regulated their series of new moon feasts by it. There is some evidence, however, that the Cherokees originally began their year with the first new moon of spring. The counselors carefully counted the number of nights from the last new moon and, if it was cloudy weather, they resorted to the divining crystal to ascertain the time of appearance of the new moon for autumn. Seven nights previous to the event they sent out hunters to hunt, seven men to prepare seats, tables, and in general order the feast, and seven honorable women to get the provisions ready and to cook them. The end of the tongue of the first deer killed was carefully wrapped in old leaves and given to the presiding priest together with seven deerskins. The entire population met and each family brought seven or more ears of hard corn, dried pumpkins, and samples of every crop which were all given to the priest. The women gave the sacred religious dance and no one slept that night. The next day the populace assembled at the river and bathed seven times in the same manner as at the first feast of spring. The deer's tongue wrapped in leaves was consumed in the fire and omens were invoked with the sacred crystal. Then followed feasting. The event lasted only 1 day." (Gilbert, 330) this time the Oukah (called in this rite by the title of 'oolestooleeh" together with his assistants, proceeded to the treasure-store house and got seven articles for purification. Then he passed around the fire and sprinkled tobacco on it as he waved the wing of a white heron over it and waft the smoke in all directions as he prayed. He repeated this prayer four times and then placed the basket for purification  in the caldron where it was watched day and night. The Oolestooleeh prepared the sacrifice on the altar. First a deer's tongue and a piece of old tobacco were put on the fire. If the tongue popped, it means death for someone during the year. A bluish or slowly ascending smoke meant sickness. The Oukah then set the divining crystal on the deerskin and prayed... on the morning of the fifty day sacrifice was offered again, and then the Oukah took the purified articles from the caldron and put them away in a buckskin, exclaiming, "Now I return home". He then departed, followed by the other officials".
    4. The Great New Moon Feast: This is called 'nungtahtayquah' in the Payne Manuscripts and is rendered 'nuwati egwa', or 'big medicine' by present-day informants. This festival was held at the first new moon of autumn in October when the leaves had begun to fall into the waters of the rivers and impart their curative powers to the latter. This was identical with the medicine dance of later times.
5th: Propitiation Festival.  "Some 10 days after the ceremony just described came the Propitiation or Cementation Festival, which was the greatest of all the annual celebrations being listed. A day or two after the Great New Moon Festival the seven prime counselors withdrew to the nation heptagon to decide on the time for the Cementation Feast. Seven days before the event, after a solemn address by one of the counselors, a messenger was dispatched to call the people. Seven women (probably the wives of the seven counselors) were selected to lead the dance and seven musicians to aid them. One person was appointed from each clan to assist these and to fast for 7 days. Seven cleaners were appointed to clean out the national heptagon, seven men were sent out to hunt game, and seven to seek seven different articles for purification. A special fire maker was appointed to make holy new fire and six assistants were given him. A special attendant was appointed to dress and undress the Jowah hymn chanter while he performed his sacred ablutions and duties. If the old Jowah hymn singer had died, a new one was appointed for life.
    "All of these officials commenced a fast 7 days before the festival and the hunters went forth in quest of game as in the other feasts. The seekers after seven articles of purification returned with branches of cedar, white pine, hemlock, mistletoe, evergreen briar, heartleaf, and ginseng root. In later days other articles were purified such as mountain birchbark, mountain birch sprig, willow roots, swamp dogwood roots, and spruce pine. These were all fastened in a cane basket expressly fashioned for the purpose on the evening of the sixth day after notice of the festival had been sent out. These articles were then stored away in the treasure house west of the national heptagon along with the produce of the hunt.
    "On the evening of the sixth day after the notice, the people gathered at the national heptagon and the women performed a dance while four musicians sang in turn. All retired early that night to sleep, for the festival proper began the following day.
    "The first event was the making of new fires by the seven fire makers from seven different kinds of wood, namely blackjack, locust, post oak, sycamore, red bird, plum, and red oak. The seven cleansers began at the same time to exorcise the houses of the town. These cleansers had a prescribed costume of which the most noticeable feature was a scarf on the head decorated with a set of fur tassels from the white fur on the underside of a deer's tail.
    "The heptagon had been previously swept clean, old ashes removed, and the earth in the altar renewed so that the latter stood 1 foot high again. A bench of planks had been also constructed at the side of the altar to hold the white dipping gourds, and sacred white purifying caldron. The whitened bench was covered with dressed buckskin whitened with clay. Overhead a buckskin canopy protected from the weather. As soon as the new fire had been kindled by friction of two sticks, it was taken from the makers by the aspergers and kindled on the altar. Then the sacred caldron was placed there and an asperger walked around four times crying out as he took the gourds, filled them, and poured the water into the caldron. At this time the uku (called in this rite by the title of "oolestooleeh"), together with his assistants, proceeded to the treasure store house and got the seven articles for purification. Then he passed around the fire and sprinkled tobacco on it as he waved the wing of a white heron over it to waft the smoke in all directions as he prayed. He repeated this prayer four times and then placed the basket for purification in the caldron where it was watched day and night. The seven cleansers kept constantly renewing the fire on the altar because at the dawn of the first day every fire throughout the nation had been extinguished by the women and every fireplace cleansed of all ashes. The women then came to the national heptagon as soon as the new fire was made and supplied themselves with a portion of it for their hearts. No food was tasted that day until the new fire had been made and a portion of the fire meat cooked offered as sacrifice.
    "Seven attendants now appeared, each with a white wand of sycamore, which were handed to the seven exorcisers for their duties. The leader of the seven cleansers now went out and struck the caves of the roof of the storehouse with his rod and then sang a song. He then struck similarly all of the houses of the metropolis as did his followers. Then the meat from the hunters' stores was distributed for cooking.
    "An attendant called the Jowah hymn singer from his seat by name and invested him with his white robes, placing also in his hand a white gourd filled with pebbles (or a shell similarly prepared) and fastened on a stick. The singer rattled the gourd and sounded a few preliminary notes. He now began his song of seven verses, each repeated four times in seven different tunes. He then again rattled the gourd and retired for disrobing. The seven cleansers took the white gourds and dipped out water from the caldron and passed some to each head of a clan and on down until all had drunk and rubbed a little on their breasts. The Jowah hymn was then sung by the singer a second time. Following this came the previously noted bathing rite in the river by all the people, each person bathing seven times and alternately facing east and west. Some persons entered the water with old clothes on and let them float away while others changed clothes afterward.
    "The oolestooleeh prepared the sacrifice on the altar. First a deer's tongue and a piece of old tobacco were put on the fire. If the tongue popped, it meant death for someone during the year. A bluish or slowly ascending smoke meant sickness. The oolestooleeh then set the divining crystal on the deerskin and prayed. If health was to reign the crystal would be clear but if sickness was due a smokiness would appear along with the faces of those designated for it. Toward sunset the changer again gave the Jowah hymn. The great speaker called for cooked meat, bread from new corn, mush, hominy, potatoes, beans, and the like for a big feast. The officials, however, could not eat until dark. The Jowah singer ate once after dark ever 24 hours during the four days of the feast. He had to bathe seven times before eating and at daybreak. The evening of the first day there was a religious dance until midnight and some of the women kept an all-night vigil or danced until dawn.
    "The remaining 3 days of the festival were passed in much the same manner as the first. On the second day the Jowah hymn was not sung, and the officials alone fasted. The third and fourth days were about the same, except all of the events of the first day were repeated on the fourth. Fasting was a noticeable feature of this ceremony, the officials fasting 10 days in all and the people fasting on the first and fourth days of the festival, even infants fasting until noon. All-night vigils were maintained on the first and fourth nights, and at the end of the rites all put off old garments and put on clean ones. Every one on 2 different occasions plunged 7 times into the river, or 14 times in all. On the morning of the fifth day sacrifice was offered again, and then the oolestooleeh took the purified articles from the caldron and put them away in a buckskin, exclaiming "Now, I return home". He then departed, followed by the other officials.
    "The Propitiation Festival was the subject of local variations in later times, especially in the manner of lighting the new fire. The term "physic dance" was later given to the rite of purifying the house, "physic" meaning a conciliation of expiation. Diseases requiring a physic had been sent from above to punish some offense among the people. A circle was sometimes laid about the altar of seven different kinds of wood curiously laid and by seven strings of white beads, each of the latter representing one of the seven clans and each placed there by one of the clan members and pointed toward the wood. Originally, say the Cherokees, the seven clans were commanded to feed the fire with their flesh, but wood was later substituted for this. The fire maker then produced two pieces of dry bass wood and put goldenrod between them. Two others then took hold of the wood and spun it around to produce fire by friction.
    "The Propitiation Festival was instituted to cleanse all and to bind all together in a vow of eternal brotherhood. Passionate friendship was sworn between young men, and these vows were plighted in public by the solemn exchange of garment after garment until each was clad in the other's dress.
    "The ancient Propitiation Festival involved the swearing of friendships between men and between men and women of different clans. No sexual relation could be allowed between persons swearing such friendships. Between these friends, however, there was a sharing of everything. They would, perhaps, exchange garments and goods, giving each other one garment after another at the friendship dance. Young men and young women might be prevented by the marriage restrictions from marrying, but they could swear friendship at this rite. There could be no secrets that were not shared together by these friends." Gilbert, (332,333,334)
    "Butrick reported that during the Festival of Propitiation, the priest "took the wing of a perfectly white heron and waved it four times over the cauldron, so as to waft the steam in every direction and prayed again to himself". This part of the ceremony was to implore that the people be cleansed from all impurities of the preceding year (Payne MSS 1:6y2 and 4:203, NL) (Hill, Notes, 332)
5. The Cementation or Reconciliation Festival: This is called 'ahtawhhungnah' by Payne and is rendered 'adahuna', or 'woman gathering wood', by present informants after the dance of that name. This festival succeeded the preceding one after a lapse of 10 days at the end of October and was connected with the making of new fire.
    "Fires built for fall celebrations required different kinds of wood. The Festival of Propitiation and Purification (Ah-tawh-hung-nah) commemorated and renewed the relationship between earth dwellers and the creator. Perhaps the most solemn of the seven festivals, it included rituals to purify, heal, and cleanse the bodies and spirits of all. Before dawn on the seventh ritual day, firemakers ceremonially prepared a fresh town-house fire of black jack, locust, post oak, sycamore, red bud, plum, and red oak. The fire burned under an immense pot of water in which the priest submerged seven medicine plants "fastened into a cane basket, expressly fashioned for this purpose". The medicine spiritually purified Cherokees and defended them from illness and contagion. Medicinal plants included the legendary cedar and white pine, along with hemlock, mistletoe, evergreen brier, heartleaf, and ginseng." (Hill, 12,13)
6th Festival: "The last ceremony of the six annual ones was the Festival of the Exalting, or Bounding Bush, which occurred in the winter after the propitiation Ceremony...
     "The Cementation or Reconciliation Festival involved primarily the idea of the removal of all uncleanness and thereby also removed all possibility of disease.
   The Exalting or Bounding Bush Feast: This is called 'elahwahtah llaykee' in the Payne Manuscripts and is rendered 'aliwatadeyl' or 'pigeon dance' by present-day informants. This festival occurred in December and was of spruce or pine boughs.

In "Tribes that Slumber", Lewis & Kneberg write: "The sacredness of the number seven was constantly emphasized in Cherokee ceremonies. Six of these took place each year, but the seventh was celebrated only every seven years. They were held at the capital town of the nation where the paramount chief resided, and the local inhabitants welcomed into their homes the visitors who congregated from far and wide. In preparation, messengers were dispatched throughout the nation to announce the date in advance, and hunters from the capital town sent to the forests to seek meat for the feasts. The six annual ceremonies, which took place between March and November, will be described in the order of their occurrence.
1. FIRST NEW MOON OF SPRING: "When the grass began to grow and the trees send out their pale new leaves, the chief and his advisors met to plan for the festival in honor of the first new moon of spring. At this meeting, held early in March during the dark of the moon, seven elder women, honored leaders in their respective clans, performed the Friendship Dance. Then the chief, after conferring with his advisors, announced the date of the ceremony and ordered the messengers to notify the towns in the nation. During the following days, while some of the men went hunting, others repaired the altar in the temple and procured firewood from seven different species of trees.
    "On the day set by the chief, the visitors from all of the other towns assembled at the capital. When evening came and the moon's slender crescent appeared above the western horizon, the women opened the ceremony with the Friendship Dance. By the time the dance was finished, the moon had set, and the first day's activities were over.
    "Shortly after dawn the next morning, the entire population crowded into the temple. The chief, now acting as high priest, brought out the sacred crystal which was believed to have the power to foretell the future. Pure quartz crystals, used by Cherokee chiefs and priests on most important occasions, were considered peculiarly sacred, and at the same time dangerous --only persons trained from childhood could handle them without harmful effects. Because this festival initiated the planting season, the crystal's predictions were concerned with the success or failure of the crops. The people awaited these predictions, tense with emotion compounded of hope and anxiety.
    "After this part of the ritual, everyone left the temple and assembled on the river bank. There, they plunged into the water and, facing toward the east, completely submerged themselves seven times. Following this chilly purification, they changed into dry clothes to await the feast which would take place after sunset. Because no food had been eaten since the day before, it may be imagined that these hours seemed very long.
    "Just before sunset, everyone returned to the temple and the priest performed a ritual sacrifice by burning dried tobacco flowers and a deer's tongue into the sacred fire. The smoke from this sacrifice was believed to carry the prayers of the Cherokee to the sun. The feast followed this rite, and after the feast the night was spent in dancing.
    "Seven days later, the interim being a period for visiting and recreation, the people again met in the temple, this time for the ritual of relighting the sacred fire. The fire-maker, a person initiated into the mysteries of the tribal religion, extinguished the altar flames and, with the aid of his six assistants, prepared to rekindle it. For this, he used two pieces of dry basswood, one a rod and the other a flat slab having a cup-shaped depression. Placing some tinder composed of dried goldenrod blossoms in the depression, he rotated the rod rapidly back and forth between the palms of his hands until the friction produced fire. Once the tinder was ignited, the feeble flame was fed with the seven different kinds of wood. Previously, the fires in the homes had been extinguished and all of the old ashes removed from the hearths. After the sacred fire in the temple was once more burning strongly, the women were given glowing coals to relight their hearth fires. Even the visitors carried home burning embers to be used for the same purpose. (Lewis & Kneberg, 176,7,8,9,0)
2. GREEN CORN CEREMONY: "In August when the new corn crop was ripe enough to eat, the Green Corn Ceremony took place, eating of new corn being tabooed until after this event. Preliminary preparations were the same as for the first new moon of spring festival, except that along the route the messengers gathered seven ears of corn, each of these ears coming from a field of a different clan. When the messengers returned with the corn, the chief and his seven counselors fasted for the following six days. Meanwhile, the people assembled, and after an all night vigil, the ceremony began on the seventh day.
    "The sacred fire was extinguished and rekindled as before, and the chief prepared the sacrifice. In addition to the deer's tongue, he used kernels from each of seven ears of corn. First he dedicated the corn to Yowa and offered a prayer of thanksgiving. Then, placing the corn and the deer's tongue into the sacred fire, he sprinkled over them a powder made from tobacco.
    "In the meantime, food prepared from the new corn was brought to the temple where everyone was served -- that is, everyone except the chief and his seven counselors who for another seven days could only eat corn from the previous year's harvest." (Lewis & Kneberg, 180)
3. RIPE CORN CEREMONY: "Only one of all the ancient ceremonies of the Cherokee survived until the twentieth century. It was primarily a harvest festival to celebrate the final maturing of the corn crop. Since it lacked many of the religious features of the other ceremonies, conflict was less between it and doctrines of the Christian religion which the Cherokee began to adopt during the eighteenth century.
    "In late September the usual preparations for notifying the nation and providing food for the feasts having begun, the square ground was made ready. The ceremony was an outdoor affair lasting four days, during which feasting and dancing were the main activities. Arbors shaded by boughs were constructed around the square, and a leafy tree was set in the center. A special portable platform, upon which the right-hand man of the chief was to perform a dance, was also built. Each man then provided himself with a green bough to be carried during the men's dance.
    "The dance was performed during the daytime and, while it was taking place, women were excluded from the square. The dance started some distance beyond the square, each man carrying his green bough in his right hand. As they followed a leader in single file, the men entered the square and circled the tree in the center seven times, singing and leaping in the traditional steps of the dance. Meanwhile, on the platform held aloft on the shoulders of a group of men, the chief's right-hand man performed his dance. During each of the four days of the ceremony, the men carried out this ritual which was one of intense exertion and excitement. After sunset came the feast which was followed by social dances in the square, women also participating in these." (Lewis & Kneberg, 180,1)
4. GREAT NEW MOON CEREMONY: "When autumn leaves began to fall and the October new moon appeared in the sky, the new year ceremony took place. This was the season of the year in which the world was created, according to Cherokee tradition. The proper name for the ceremony was Nuwatiegwa, meaning 'big medicine', but it was also called the Great New Moon Ceremony.
    "In addition to the usual preparations, each family that attended brought produce from its own fields -- corn, beans, pumpkins, etc. Part of this was for the general feast and the rest for the chief to distribute among unfortunate families whose harvest had been insufficient.
    "On the night of the moon's appearance, the women performed a religious dance. Only infants were permitted to sleep, the rest of the people keeping vigil until just before dawn. Then everyone, infants included, assembled on the river bank and were arranged in one long line by the priest. At sunrise the priest signaled for all to wade in and submerge themselves and their children seven times. While this was taking place, the priest placed the sacred crystal on a stand near the river's edge. Then, emerging from the water, one at a time, the people gazed into the crystal. If their image reflected by the crystal appeared to be lying down, they believed that they would die before spring. If, on the other hand, they appeared to be standing erect, they would survive the coming winter.
    "Those who felt themselves doomed remained apart and fasted, while the others changed into dry clothes and returned to the temple. There the priest made the usual sacrifice of a deer's tongue, and a feast followed. Most of the night was devoted to a religious dance by the women, and none but infants slept.
    "Before nightfall, those who had been themselves lying down in the crystal were taken once more by the priest to the river bank where the crystal-gazing was repeated. If on the second try, some saw themselves standing erect, they repeated the seven submergings in the river and then considered themselves safe. The unfortunates, whose images on the second try were still reclining, had one more chance to escape their fate. But this was deferred until the next new moon, four weeks later.
    "This was a short ceremony lasting only two days and nights. It was followed after ten days by the fifth ceremony, the intervening time being devoted to preparations." (Lewis & Kneberg, 181,2,3)
5. RECONCILIATION OR 'FRIENDS MADE' CEREMONY: "Atohuna, meaning 'friends made' was the name of the fifth ceremony. The name referred to a relationship between two persons of either the same or opposite sex. This relationship was a bond of eternal friendship in which each person vowed to regard the other as himself as long as they both lived. The guiding theme of the ceremony was a universal vow of brotherly love, and entailed reconciliation between those who had quarreled during the previous year. Beyond its earthly significance, the ceremony symbolized the uniting of the people with Yowa, and a purification of their minds and bodies. Hence, of all the Cherokee ceremonies it was the most profoundly religious.
    "During the ten days that intervened between this and the Great New Moon Ceremony, seven hunters were sent after game, seven other men to procure seven kinds of evergreen plants, and seven more to clean and prepare the temple. In addition, seven women were designated to fast for seven days in company with the chief officials.
    "Just before dawn on the day of the ceremony, the sacred vessels and the seats for the officials were whitened with clay. White buckskins were spread over the seats and on the ground in front of them, white being symbolic of peace and purity.
    "At sunrise, the people assembled in the temple to witness the ritual rekindling of the sacred fire. Seven different kinds of wood -- blackjack oak, post oak, red oak, sycamore, locust, plum and redbud -- were used to feed the fire. Next, the high priest sprinkled powdered tobacco on the fire, and as the smoke rose, he wafted it in the four cardinal directions, using the wing of white heron as a fan. Then a whitened pottery vessel filled with water was placed on the fire, and a small cane basket containing the seven evergreen plants was dropped into it. This brew, composed of cedar, white pine, hemlock, mistletoe, greenbrier, heartleaf and ginseng, became the ritual medicine of purification that was used on several occasions during the five days of the festival.
    "The second event of the ceremony was performed by seven men furnished with white sycamore rods. Their function was to drive away evil spirits by chanting a sacred formula while they struck the eaves of all buildings with their rods. While they were carrying out this task, the priest who was to sing the great hymn to Yowa was dressed in white robes by his assistants. When the men with the sycamore rods returned, he went outside and began to sing, ascending onto the roof of the temple as he sang. The hymn had seven verses, each sung in a different melody and repeated four times. At the conclusion of the hymn, the priest descended and re-entered the temple.
    "Next, the seven men who had driven the evil spirits from the town dipped seven white gourds into the medicine which had been brewing on the sacred fire. Then, each handed a gourd full of medicine to the head man of his own clan who drank from it and handed it on. As it passed from person to person, each drank and rubbed some on his chest.  After all had partaken, the hymn to Yowa was repeated.
    "The usual ritual bathing and sacrifice followed. By this time it was sunset, and the Yowa hymn was sung again. A feast was then served, and during the evening the women joined in the Friendship Dance.
    "The rituals of the second and third days were the same; except that the Yowa hymn was not sung. The fourth day was a repetition of the first day, including the Yowa hymn. On the fifth and last day the medicine basket was withdrawn from the vessel and stored in a secret place. The ceremony was concluded when the officials and priests left, saying as they made their exit, 'Now I depart'. The people followed, holding in their hearts a deep sense of security and peace.
6. BOUNDING BUSH CEREMONY: "Few details are known concerning the sixth annual ceremony. It appears to have been a non-religious affair that featured dancing and feasting. In the main dance, men and women alternated in pairs. The two leaders, who were men, carried hoops having four spokes, to the ends of which white feathers were fastened. Other pairs in the center and at the end of the dancing column also carried hoops. All of the remaining couples carried white pine boughs in their right hands. The dance movement was circular, and in the center was a man with a small box. He danced around within the circle, singing as he did so, and as he passed by the dancers, each dropped a piece of tobacco into the box. This dance, which ended at midnight, was repeated on three successive nights.
    "On the fourth night, a feast preceded the dancing which did not begin until after midnight. This time, when the man with the box appeared, the people dropped pine needles in the box. At the conclusion of the dance near daylight, all of the dancers formed a circle around the altar fire. One by one, they advanced three times toward the fire, the third time tossing both tobacco and pine needles into the flames.
    "Symbolic sacrifice appears to have been the theme of this ceremony, but too few of its details have been preserved for its true meaning to be understood. It concluded the six great annual ceremonies, although at each new moon during the year there were minor local observances."
(Lewis & Kneberg, 184-185)
7. THE UKU DANCE: "Every seventh year, the chief of the Cherokee nation led his people in a thanksgiving ceremony of great rejoicing. It was called the Uku dance because the chief, whose title was Uku, was at this time reconsecrated in his office of high priest. Uku was one of several titles conferred upon him. During the 'friends made' ceremony, for example, his title meant 'one who renews heart and body'"
    "When the Uku dance occurred, it replaced the Great New Moon Ceremony. The customary seven days of preparation preceded it, and on the evening of the last day, the chief's seven counselors took charge and appointed individuals to perform special tasks. Among these were men to direct the feast and women to cook the food. The 'Honored Woman' was responsible for warming water with which two of the counselors were to bathe the chief. Another counselor was selected to disrobe him, and still another to dress him in a ceremonial costume. Three additional appointments included a musician to lead the singing, an attendant to fan the chief, and a third to build two elevated seats, one in the square ground and the other between the temple and the chief's home. These seats were tall, throne like platforms, whitened with clay and protected by canopies.
    "The ceremony proper began the next morning with the seven counselors going to the home of the chief where they met the 'Honored Woman' waiting with the warm water. After undressing and bathing the chief, they arrayed him in the new costume. His usual garments on ceremonial occasions wee white, including his moccasins and feather headdress. But for this event, his entire costume was dyed bright yellow.
    "Then the chief, carried on the back of one of the counselors, was brought to the throne that stood between his home and the temple. In this procession, several of the counselors preceded the chief, the musician walked at one side, the fanner at the other, and the rest followed. All except the one who carried the chief sang as they advanced. After a short rest, during which the chief was seated on the throne, they resumed their march to the square ground. Arriving there, he was placed upon the second throne where he would remain until the next day. During this long vigil, he and his officials kept perfect silence, while the rest of the people spent the night dancing in the temple.
    "Early the next morning, after the men of the tribe had assembled, the attendants lifted the chief from the throne and carried him to a previously marked circle in the center of the square. Not until then had his feet been allowed to touch the ground. Within the sacred circle he began the Uku dance. Moving slowly with great dignity he inclined his head to each spectator, who bowed to him in return. Outside the circle the officials followed in single file, imitating his steps. When the dance was finished he was again placed upon the white throne where, surrounded by his attendants, he remained until sunset. Meanwhile, the rest of the people enjoyed a feast. Late in the afternoon, food was brought to the chief and his counselors, after which he was carried back to his home and disrobed. With the exception of the ritual bathing, the same performance was repeated on the next three days.
    "After the Uku's dance on the fourth day, he was reinvested with his religious and civil powers by his right-hand man, and the ceremony was concluded.
    "Although the religious behavior of peoples of different cultures, such as the prehistoric Cherokee, often includes rituals and beliefs incomprehensible to the outsider, religion among all peoples is the outgrowth of human desire for an orderly and understandable universe. Of all cultural achievements, religion is the most highly symbolic and is as necessary to mankind as food, water and air." (Lewis & Kneberg, 185,6,7,8)

    "From Virginia to Louisiana garments and blankets were made by fastening feathers upon a kind of netting. Feather mantles were perhaps worn for ornament as much as for warmth." Swanton, #137, 454,5)
    "Their Feather Match-Coats are very pretty, especially some of them, which are made extraordinary charming, containing several pretty Figures wrought in Feathers, making them seem like a fine Flower Silk-Shag, and when new and fresh, they become a Bed very well, instead of a Quilt." (Lawson, 200)
    "The feather mantles are worked on a frame similar to that on which wig makers work hair. They lay out the feathers in the same manner and fasten them to old fish nets or old mulberry-bark mantles. They place them in the manner already outlined one over another and on both sides. For this purpose they make use of little turkey feathers. The women who can obtain feathers of the swan or ... duck make mantles of them for the women of the Honored class"  (DuPratz, Vol. 2, 191-2)
    "With the thread which they obtain from the bark of the bass tree they make for themselves a kind of mantle which they cover with the finest swan feathers fastened on this cloth one by one, a long piece of work in truth, but they account their pains and time as nothing when they want to satisfy themselves." (Dumont, vol. 1, 155)
     Adair wrote that a Chickasaw woman (and a Cherokee woman could do the same, and undoubtedly did): "make turkey feather blankets with the long feathers of the neck and breast of that large fowl -- they twist the inner end(s) of the feathers very fast into a strong double thread of hemp, or the inner bark of the mulberry tree, of the size and strength of coarse twine, as the fibres are sufficiently fine, and they work it in the manner of fine netting. As the feathers are long and glittering, this sort of blanket is not only very warm, but pleasing to the eye." (Adair, 423)
Feather Fans: "The men furthermore affect the fan ... of wild turkey tail feathers. The proper possession of this, however, is with the older men and chiefs who spend much of their time in leisure. They handle the fan very gracefully in emphasizing their gestures and in keeping insects away. During ceremonies to carry the fan is a sign of leadership. It is passed to a dancer as an invitation to lead the next dance. He, when he has completed his duty, returns it to the master of ceremonies who then bestows it upon someone else. The construction of the fan is very simple, the quills being merely strung together upon a string in several places near the base. (Speck, 52)
    "Ascribing spiritual power to feathers (tsu-lunu-hi), Cherokees plucked and preserved them for ceremonies and rituals. In certain ceremonies, special assistants fanned the priest with turkey feather wands. The priest presiding over the Green Corn Festival "rises up with a white wing in his hand and commands silence. (Longe). When a 'Beloved Woman' prepared medicine for the Chilhowee 'psysic dance' in the Overhills, she "took out the wing of a swan, and after flourishing it over the pot, stood fixed for near a minute" as she offered prayers. Feathers served as emblems of office and at the same time as intercessors poised midway between humans and their creator. Those individuals who carried feathers -- both women and men -- exerted authority and assumed responsibility. Each clan wore "feathers of different colors attached to their ears". Warriors and ballplayers tied their hair with dyed feathers from the eagle, raven, mountain hawk, sparrow hawk, long tail hawk, chicken hawk, or goose, hoping to become imbued with swiftness, keen vision and cunning. Particularly skilled scouts wore raven or owl skins, and outstanding warriors were honored with the name Raven (Ka-lu-na) the "second war title".  (Hill, 22)
    "Women wove soft turkey breast feathers into elaborate blankets, cloaks, and short gowns that were 'pleasant to wear and beautiful' as well as extremely warm." (Hill, 23)
    "...and beds were spread with a 'big old tick' filled with feathers plucked from ducks or chickens who roosted in trees and nested under cabin floors." (Hill, 267,8)
        Flight - Strong, stiff, flexible feathers found on the wings and tail.
        Contour - Large, fern-shaped feathers that hug the bird's outer body, giving it a rounded look.
        Down - Small, soft feathers hidden beneath the countour feathers as protection against
                hot and cold weather.
        Filoplume - Tiny, hair-like feathers found in clusters around the base of some contour feathers.
    Most songbirds have between 1,100 and 4,600 feathers. A bald eagle has only about 7,180 feathers, but a mallard duck has about 12,000. Some swans have more than 25,000 feathers, and penquins have 180 feathers per square inch.
    PARTS OF A FEATHER: "Although researchers do not know for certain how feathers evolved, they have studied the parts of a feather and how it grows. A single feather is made up of keratin. This dead skin tissue on a typical feather consists of a flat vane with a stiff, yet flexible, central shaft. The lower part of the shaft is called a quill.
    "Springing from the shaft are fine filaments, or threads, called barbs. Each barb, in turn, has its own central shaft, which holds even smaller barbs, called barbules. At close range, each one appears to be a feather within a feather.
    "A single barb in a crane feather has nearly 600 barbules on each side. This amounts to more than one million barbules in just one feather. The barbules of some feathers are divided even further into microscopic objects called barbicels, which end in tiny hooks. The hooks lock with the barbicels on either side to form a smooth, flat web that protects the bird from water and air.
    "A feather begins as a tiny knob, called a papilla. It forms beneath the bird's skin. Tightly rolled inside the papilla are the microscopic parts of the feather. The entire structure is set into a follicle, or small pocket in the skin. The papilla supplies the color and the necessary nourishment, or food, as the young, undeveloped feather grows.
    "After the feather is fully grown, the blood supply shuts off. From that point on, like human hair and nails, it has no feeling. If a feather is plucked or falls off, the papilla immediately begins to form a new feather in the same follicle." (O'Connor, 9,10,11)
    The same qualities of feathers that help birds fly come in handy when the feathers are trimmed and used on arrows to help them fly straight and true.

      Fire is given a variety of names in the sacred formulas, "ancient red", "ancient white", "grandmother", etc. The fire and the sun were sometimes considered the same, and were the most powerful forces in the universe.
    "Although the sun and the moon were considered supreme over the lower creation, the most active and efficient agent appointed by them to take care of mankind was supposed to be fire. When, therefore, any special favor was needed it was made known to fire, accompanied by an offering. Fire was the intermediate being nearest the sun. The same homage was extended to smoke, which was deemed fire's messenger, always in readiness to convey his petition on high. (Gilbert, 133)
     New fire was made by putting goldenrod into a small hole in a block of wood, and then a stick was whirled rapidly about in this until the goldenrod caught fire.
     "DuPratz says the fire-maker selected a small limb, dead but still adhering to the tree, and about as big as one of the fingers, removed it, and twirled it violently in a cavity in a second stick until a little smoke was seen coming out. Then, collecting  in the hole the dust which this rubbing has produced, he blows upon it gently until it takes fire, after which he adds to it some very dry moss and other inflammable materials." (quoted, Swanton, 57)
    "...not knowing the use of Steel and Flints, they got their Fire with Sticks, which by vehement Collision, or Rubbing together, take Fire. This Method they will sometimes practise now, when it has happen'd thro' rainy Weather, or some other Accident, that they have wet their Spunk, which is a sort of soft corky Substnce, generally of a Cinnamon Colour, and grows in the concave part of an Oak, Hiccory, and several other Woods, being dug out with an Ax, and always kept... instead of Tinder or Touchwood, both which it exceeds. You are to understand, that the two Sticks they use to strike Fire withal, are never of one sort of Wood, but always differ from each other." (Lawson, 212,213)
    "To make sacred fire (tsila-galun-kwe-ti-yu) in the spring, clan representatives gathered wood from the eastern sides of seven trees, peeled off the outer bark, and placed the wood in a circle on the central altar of the town house. The woods included white oak, black oak, water oak, black jack, bass wood, chestnut, and white pine. Once the fire ignited, women carried burning coals to start fresh fires in their homes. The town house fire "never goes out" wrote British trader Alexander Longe in 1725, it burned continuously in each town until it was ceremonially extinguished and rebuilt. Neither embers nor ash could be removed from the fire, nor pipes lit there. Cherokees offered supplications to the fire, whose smoke was "always in readiness to convey the petition on high". The source of heat, light, and smoke rising to the Upper World, wood for the town house fire carried singular significance.
    "Fire built for fall celebrations required different kinds of wood. The Festival of Propitiation and Purification (Ah-tawh-hung-nah) commemorated and renewed the relationship between earth dwellers and the creator. Perhaps the most solemn of the seven festivals, it included rituals to purify, heal, and cleanse the bodies and spirits of all. Before dawn on the seventh ritual day, firemakers ceremonially prepared a fresh town house fire of black jack, locust, post oak, sycamore, red-bud, plum, and red oak" The fire burned under an immense pot of water in which the priest submerged seven medicine plants "fastened into a cane basket, expressly fashioned for that purpose" (Hill, 12,13) (see Feasts & Festivals)
     The hunter prays to the fire, from which he obtains his omens.....
     Read: "The First Fire" in the Myths section.
    "...clearing of vegetation, for whatever reason, was probably most effectively done by the controlled use of fire. ... the fruits of many vines and trees grew better on 'margins of burned tracts than in deep forests'. "Maintaining a comparatively sparse underbrush allowed for blueberry heaths and other edible fruits, while simultaneously providing favorable conditions for hunting turkey, deer, etc. Animals were more prized than trees and, since they preferred shrubs and young seedlings, it was essential to eliminate thick forage in order to allow for browsing, and to afford young nutritious sprouts the proper room for growth." (Goodwin, 63,64: from various sources)
    Also,  they almost "certainly burned woods surrounding their villages in order to prevent uncontrolled chance fires. Woods had to be cleared for cultivation, and weeds were removed for similar purposes. These fires were, in most instances, controlled by utilizing the fire-ring technique, where circular fires were allowed to burn inward.
    ""...the benefits derived from fire management ... should include the following: (1) litter burned to ash; (2) wild fires reduced; (3) travel conditions improved; (4) visibility improved; (5) better forage conditions for game; (6) expelled insects, reptiles and undesirable wildlife; (7) increased berry supply; (8) exposed ground so that enemy footprints could be detected; and (9) a device for rounding up game, notably deer and rabbits. (Goodwin, 64, from various sources).
     Charles Hicks reported in 1818: "There is a custom, which still prevails, of making a new fire every year, generally in the month of March. The fire is made by drilling in a dried grape vine, which begins in the morning after an all night dance. Seven persons are appointed to perform this with the conjurer. After the fire is made, each family in the town comes and procures the new fire, putting out all the old fires in their houses".
    "Fire is made only by two stickes, rubbing them one against another; and this they may do in any place they come...Their fire they kindle presently by chafing a dry pointed sticke in a hole of a little peece of wood, that firing itself, will so fire mosse, leaves, or anie such like drie thing that will quickly burn...You are to understand that the two sticks they use are never of one sort of wood, but always different from one another...Whenever they make any Sacrifice to their God, they look upon it as a Profanation to make use of fire already kindled, but produce fresh Virgin Fire for that purpose, by rubbing 2 of these Sticks together that never has been used before on any occasion ....the firemaker takes a piece of hard wood and having cut an indentation, he then sharpens another piece, and placing that with the hold between his knees, he drills it briskly for several minutes until it begins to smoke... after the punk had caught fire, it was taken off, mixed with hay, and fanned until the whole burst into flames. Fire was transported from place to place by means of burning oak bark. (Swanton, 423,4)

      "Fish were caught in a variety of cleverly devised water traps and were also speared and caught with bait and hook. A most simple method of catching fish lay in scaring the fish into shallow ponds, from which they were dipped out in baskets." (Gilbert, 317)
    "The rivers and streams in the early days... abounded in fish such as perch, croakers, bass, pike, catfish, garfish, salmon, trout, and sturgeon. Many species of shellfish were also to be found." (Gilbert, 185)
    "...Hariot mentions the trout, ray, alewife, mullet, and plaice; Lawson speaks of all but the last two of these and adds the garfish, bluefish, rockfish or bass, and trout; ...the carp, sucker, catfish, ells, along with clams, oysters and mussels. Plus crabs, cockles, crawfish and lobsters.... Land and oceanic turtles and their eggs were used as food in nearly all sections where they occurred; ... (Mooney, Myths, 298)
    Lawson lists Salt-Water fish of the Carolinas, which we will not list here, as Cherokees lived inland, away from the ocean. Fresh-Water Fish are: Sturgeon, Pike, Trouts, Gudgeon, Pearch, English; Pearch, white; Pearch, brown (or Welch-men); Pearch, flat and mottled; Pearch, small and flat, with Red Spots; Carp; Roach; Dace; Loaches; Sucking-Fish; Cat-Fish; Grindals; Old-Wives; Fountain-Fish; White-Fish.  His list of  Fresh-Water Shell-Fish are: Craw-Fish; and Muscles. (Lawson 155,156)
Cooking Fish: fried in bear's oil.
    "Southeastern waterways teemed with fish, including bass, trout, mullet, perch, carp, gar, pike, eel, sturgeon, redhorse, drum, walleye, sculpin, lampreys, suckers, and catfish. They furnished food for Cherokees as well as animals like mink, otter, muskrat, bear, and raccoon, and numerous birds and reptiles. In the Holston River, Timberlake found "fish sporting in prodigious quantities, which we might have taken with ease." (Hill, 23)
    FROGS, TURTLES, ETC. "At water's edge, on forest floors, or in grassy fields, nesting and feeding areas abounded for reptiles and amphibians. Lizards, frogs, turtles, more than two dozen kinds of salamanders, and an equal number of snake species populated Cherokee settlement areas. Important in ecosystems as food and feeders.. they appeared in myths, songs, medicine formulas, dances, and often as giants in folktales. For sacred dances, beloved women wore leg rattles made from the shells of box turtle.... as the women danced, pebbles clattered rhythmically inside the shells..." (Hill, 24)
    "Principal fish of value to the Cherokees included: drumfish or croakers, gar, suckers, channel catfish, yellow bullhead catfish, black bass, sunfish, wall-eyed pike or perch, and brook trout. These fish were all important food sources, and the teeth and bones of some species served many purposes, such as, scales and teeth were utilized to point arrows, fin bones could be employed as abrasives or needles, etc.
    "In addition to freshwater fish, molluscan fauna figured prominently in the precontact Cherokee fish economy. Various species of shellfish were utilized for food, as well as for ornamental and clothing purposes. For instance, common shellfish included: mussels (of several kinds); large snails, small snails, and periwinkles. Crushed shells were commonly used as a tempering material for pottery, and shells of bivalves could be worked as knives or scrapers. (Goodwin, 74)

     "Fishing offered another means of securing food. Perhaps a great many fish were caught with spears, traps or nets, but the hook and line method were also used. fishhooks were made of bone in an ingenious and practical way. Deer toe bones were sawed in half lengthwide, then the central portion of each half was removed and the remainder easily shaped into a strong hook." (Lewis & Kneberg, 27)
    "In the 1700s, women and men fished cooperatively, usually in summer months and always with baskets. Men swam into icy waterways with woven handnets (dasu-du-di) to net fish. Women watching at the shore scooped the water with baskets to trap those that swarmed from the nets. Other times, men thrashed fish downstream into creels, from which "it is no difficult matter to take them with baskets". Cherokees living on narrow waterways dammed up streams, then scattered the surfaces with crushed buckeyes or walnut roots to stun the fish. As fish floated to the surface, women and children waded into the water with winnowing baskets to collect them. They "barbecue the largest", which traders like Adair appreciated "for they prove very wholesome food to us, who frequently use them". (Hill, 23,24)
    Weirs (dams): "The Inds. have the art of catching fish in long crails, made with canes and hickory splinters, tapering to a point. They lay these at a fall of water, where stones are placed in two sloping lines from each bank, till they meet together in the middle of the rapid stream, where the intangled fish are soon drowned. Above such a place, I have known them to fasten a wreath of long grape vines together, to reach across the river, with stones fastened at proper distance to rake the bottom; they will swim a mile with it whooping and plunging all the day, driving the fish before them into their large cane pots. With this draught, which is a very heavy one, they made a town feast, or feast of love, of which everyone partakes in the most social manner, and afterward they dance together. (Adair, 1775, 403). That is to say, they had a party!
   Timberlake saw such a weir in the Cherokee country: "Building two walls obliquely down the river from either shore, just as they are near joining, a passage is left to a deep well or reservoir; the Inds. then scaring the fish down the river, close to the mouth of the reservoir with a large bush, or bundle made on purpose, and it is no difficult matter to take them with baskets, when inclosed within so small a compass." (Timberlake, 69)
    Traps: Speck has the following Yuchi trap such as was used in connection with them: "These were quite large, being ordinarily about three feet or more in diameter and from six to ten feet in length. They were cylindrical in shape, with one end open and an indented funnel-shaped passageway leading to the interior. The warp splints of this indenture ended in sharp points left free. As these pointed inward they allowed the fish to pass readily in entering, but offered an obstruction to their exit. The other end of the trap was closed up, but the covering could be removed to remove the contents. Willow sticks composed the warp standards, while the wicker filling was of shaved hickory splints. The trap was weighted down in the water and chunks of meat were put in for bait. (Speck, 25)
      Nets: Smith also speaks of fish nets, and Strachey thus describes their manufacture: "They have netts for fishing, ..and these are made of barkes of certaine trees, deare, synewes, for a kynd of grasse, which they call pemmenaw, of which their women, between their hands and things, spin a thredd very even and redily, and this thredd serveth for many uses, as about their howsing, their mantells of feathers and their trowses, and they also with yt make lynes for angles. (Strachey, 75)
    Adair says: "There is a favourite method among them of fishing with hand-nets. The nets are about three feet deep, and of the same diameter and the opening, made of hemp, and knotted after the usual of our nets. On each side of the mouth, they tie very securely a strong elastic green cane, to which the ends are fastened. Prepared with these, the warriors a-breast, jump in at the end of a long pond, swimming under water, with their net stretched out with both hands, and the canes in a horizontal position. In this manner, they will continue, either till their breath is expended by the want of respiration, or till the net is so ponderous as to force them to exonerate it ashore, or in a basket, fixt in a proper place for tht purpose -- by removing one hand, the canes instantly spring together. I have been engaged half a day at a time, with the old friendly Chikkasah, and half drowned in the diversion -- when any of us was so unfortunate as to catch water-snakes in our sweep, and emptied them ashore, we had the ranting voice of our friendly posse comitatus, whooping against us, till another party was so unlucky as to meet with the like misfortune. During this exercise, the women are fishing ashore with coarse baskets, to catch the fish that escape our nets. (Adair, 432-484)
    Poison: "In the summer, when the water in small rivers and streams was low, they caught fish by poisoning them. The two favorite poisons were the buckeye (Aesculus L.) and the root of the plant "devil's shoestring (Tephrosia virginiana [L.] Pers.) The buckeyes were pounded up and placed in pools of water, when the poison took effect, fish would float to the top of the water with their bellies up. The Inds. pounded up devil's shoestring on posts resting on the bottom of the water, allowing the pieces to fall in. The active ingredient in devil's shoestring is the same as that in rotenone, an organic poison. The poison attacked the nervous system of the fish and did not spoil the meat in any way." (Hudson, 284)
    Spearing: "They have likewise a notable way to catche fishe in their Rivers, for whear as they lacke both yron, and steele, they fasten unto their Reeds or longe Rodds, the hollowe tayle of a certaine fishe like to a sea crabb in stede of a poynte, wherwith by nighte or day they sticke fishes, and take them opp into their boates. They also know how to use the prickles, and pricks of other fishes. (Hariot, 1893, 31)
    Lawson on Crawfish: "Their taking of Craw-fish is so pleasant, that I cannot pass it by without mention; When they have a mind to get these Shell-fish, they take a Piece of Venison, and half-barbakue or roast it; then they cut it into thin Slices, which Slices they stick through with Reeds about six Inches asunder, betwixt Piece and Piece; then the Reeds are made sharp at one end; and so they stick a great many of them down in the bottom of the Water (thus baited) in the small Brooks and Runs, which the Craw-fish frequent. Thus the Inds. sit by, and tend those baited Sticks, every now and then taking them up, to see how many are at the Bait; where they generally find abundance; so take them off, and put them in a Basket for the purpose, and stick the Reeds down again. By this method, they will, in a little time, catch several Bushels, which are as good as any I ever eat. (Lawson, 218)
    Bow & Arrow Fishing: "The Youth and Ind. Boys go in the Night, and one holding a Lightwood Torch, the other has a Bow and Arrows, and the Fire directing him to see the Fish, he shoots them with the Arrows; and thus they kill a great many of the smaller Fry, and sometimes pretty large ones. (Lawson, 218)
    "Fish were taken in large quantities by netting, grabbling, trapping, shooting, spearing, harpooning, book and line angling, and poisoning. (Adair, 402,403) The latter method, which made use of pounded horse chestnuts, is suggestive of South American influence. (Milling, 18)
    Incantation for CATCHING LARGE FISH, as spoken by "The Swimmer":
Listen! Now you settlements have drawn near to hearken. Where you have gathered in the
    foam you are moving about as one. You Blue Cat and the others. I have come to offer
    you freely the white food. Let the paths from every direction recognize each other. Our
    spittle shall be in agreement. Let them (your and my spittle) be together as we go about.
    They (the fish) have become a prey and there shall be no loneliness. Your spittle has
    become agreeable. I am called Swimmer. Yu!
    Spitting on the bait to attract big fish is evidently a very ancient custom. According to Swimmer's instructions, the fisherman must first chew a small piece of plant which catches insects and pit it upon the bait and also upon the hook. He will be able to pull out the fish at once, or if the fish are not about at the moment, they will come in a very short time. (Quoted, Rights, 219)

     There are plenty of reports of flags or banners being used by the natives of the Southeast. Some were taken along beside the transport of a very important person on his (her) litter, and others were raised on poles usually beside or in front of the town house.
    "On approaching the Cherokee town of Settico, Timberlake 'observed two stands of colors flying, one at the top, and the other at the door of the town-house; they were as large as a sheet, and white". He continues: 'Lest therefore I should take them for French, they took great care to inform me, that their custom was to hoist red colors as an emblem of war; but white, as a token of peace" (Timberlake, 62-63)
     Flags and standards were often used in the festivals.

      "The flora of the southern Appalachians belongs phytogeographically to three plant worlds. These are (1) the Appalachian Mountain district of deciduous forests. (w) the Piedmont vegetation, and (e) the Alleghanian-Ozark district. The general characteristics of the first area are: A predominance of hardwoods such as poplar, pine, spruce, balsam or fir, hemlock, buckeye, tulip-tree, chestnut, and birdseye maple along with many species of herbaceous plants and cryptograms. The second area is one largely of undergrowth and herbaceous species. The third area is marked by a great variety of broadleaves trees of some 700 species and a scarcity of evergreens.
    "Plants appear in the Cherokee culture in connection with food, shelter, clothing, and medicine. Compared with the animals in general, plants are friendly agents to man and fight in this way against their enemies, the animal world. They especially help man through their curative properties for the human diseases believed to result from the machinations of animals. According to Mooney some 800 species of plants were known and used by the Cherokees"
    "Most important of the cultivated food plants were maize and beans, to which were added at a later date potatoes, pumpkins, peas, squash, strawberries, tobacco, and gourds. Weeds from streams were burnt for lye, which was then used as a salt substitute and for soap making.
    "The typical medicinal plants are sassafras, cinnamon, wild horehound, seneca, snakeroot, St. Andrew's Cross, and wild plantain" (Gilbert, 184)
 SEE: the Chart on this subject.

      "...the eatables were produced, consisting chiefly of wild meat; such as venison, bear, and buffalo, tho' I cannot much commend their cookery, every thing being greatly overdone: there were likewise potatoes, pumpkins, homminy, boiled corn, beans, and pease, served up in small flat baskets, made of split canes, which were distributed amongst the croud; and water, which, except the spirituous liquor brought by the Europeans, is their only drink, was handed about in small goards." (Timberlake, 61)
    "They boil and roast their Meat extraordinary much, and  eat abundance of Broth." (Lawson, 231)
    "In 1761 Timberlake found that the Cherokee country was: 'yielding vast quantities of pease, beans, potatoes, cabbages, corn, pumpions, melons, and tobacco, not to mention a number of other vegetables imported from Europe, not so generally known amongst them... Before the arrival of the Europeans, the natives were not so well provided, maize, melons and tobacco, being the only things they bestow culture upon, and perhaps seldom on the latter. The meadows or savannahs produce excellent grass; being watered by abundance of fine rivers, and brooks well stored with fish, otters and beavers: ... Of the fruits there are some of an excellent flavor, particularly several sorts of grapes, which, with proper culture, would probably afford an excellent wine. There are likewise plums, cherries, and berries of several kinds, something different from those of Europe; but their peaches and pears grow only by culture; add to these several kinds of roots, and medicinal plants... There are likewise an incredible number of buffaloes, bears, deer, panthers, wolves, foxes, racoons, and opossums.. There are a vast number of lesser sort of game, such as rabbits, squirrels.. several sorts, and many other animals, besides turkey, geese, ducks of several kinds, partridges, pheasants, and an infinity of other birds.. The flesh of the rattle-snake is extremely good; being once obliged to eat one through want of provisions, I have eat several since thru' choice." (Timberlake, Williams ed 1927, 68-72)
     In "The Ultimate Cherokee Cookbook", Oukah tells that there was no refrigeration, and in the heat of summer the pots were kept boiling to keep the food from spoiling. In the winter, the cold weather could be used as a refrigerator to keep food from spoiling. And, Cherokees in the old days did not sit down at the same time everyday for a meal... they ate when the food was ready to eat, or when they were hungry. There was usually something prepared in the pot from morning until night.
    "Besides the cultivated plant foods and game, the Cherokee made great use of nuts, wild fruits, roots, mushrooms, fish, crayfish, frogs, birds' eggs, and even yellow jacket grubs and cicadas." (Lewis & Kneberg, 160)
     Romans (1775) says: "Their way of life is in general very abundant; they have much more of venison, bear, turkies; and small game in their country than their neighbors have, and they raise abundance of small cattle, hogs, turkeys, ducks and dunghill fowls (all of which are very good in their kind) and of these they spare not; the labor of the field is all done by the women; no savages are more proud of being counted hungers, fishermen, and warriors; were they to cultivate their plentiful country, they might raise amazing quantities of grain and pulse, as it is they have enough for their home consumption; they buy a good deal of rice, and they are the only savages that ever I saw that could bear to have some rum in store; yet they drink to excess as well as others; there are few towns in this nation where there is not some savage residing, who either trades of his own flock, or is employed as a factor. They have more variety in their diet than other savages; They make pancakes; they dry the tongues of their venison; they make a caustick salt out of a kind of moss that does not deliquiate on exposing to the air; this they dissolve in water and pound their dried venison till it looks like oakum and then eat it dipped in the above sauce; they eat much roasted and boiled venison, a great deal of milk and eggs; they  dry peaches and persimmons, chestnuts and the fruit of the 'blue palmetto' or 'needle palm'... they also prepare a cake of the pulp of the species of the passi flora, vulgarly called may apple; some kinds of acorns they also prepare into good bread; the common esculent Convolvuius (sweet potato), .and the sort found in the low woods, both called potatoes, are eat in abundance among them; they have plenty of the various species of Zea or maize, or the Phaseolus (beans) and  Dolichos (hyacinth beans), and of different kinds of Panicum; bears oyl, honey and hickory milk are the boast of the country; they have also many kinds of salt and fresh water turtle, and their eggs, and plenty of fish; we likewise find among them salted meats, corned venison in particular, which is very fine; they cultivate abundance of melons; in a word, they have naturally the greatest plenty imaginable; were they to cultivate the earth they would have too much. " (Romans, 1775, 93-94)
    "The wild vegetable products... Ground-nuts, wild sweet potatoes, several varieties of Smilax (kantak), Angelico roots, persimmons, plums, grapes, strawberries, mulberries, blackberries, some varieties of huckleberries, wild rice, the seed of a species of cane, chestnuts, walnuts, hickory nuts, acorns, particularly those of the live oak, and cinquapins... The Virginia wakerobin, floating arum... The prickleypear, crab apple, wild pea, tree huckleberry, goosberry, cherry, and serviceberry are mentioned...
    "Staple animal foods... were provided by the deer and the bear, the former being valued mainly for its flesh, the latter for its fat... Most important of the small animals were the rabbit and the squirrel..
    "... food also had to be preserved for use in the future and cooked to make it edible or more palatable. The favorite way of preserving food, whether meat or vegetable, was by drying it. They dried some of their fruits and vegetables in the heat of the sun. After squeezing persimmons into a pulp, they spread the pulp out in flat loaves about half an inch thick, when dried in the sun it made a sort of candy which would keep for weeks or even months, depending on how dry they made it. They also sundried wild plums, berries, and grapes. A quicker way to dry food was to put it on hurdles placed over a fire. A hurdle was simply a horizontal framework of woven saplings and canes resting on four posts. Some foods, such as wild fruits, pumpkins, fish, and meat were dried directly on the hurdles, but others, such as wild roots, corn, oysters, and probably beans were first boiled for a short time before being dried.
    "The Inds. cut buffalo and deer meat into moderately thin slabs, speared them on spits made of cane or saplings, and placed them over a fire, cooking them until they were quite dry. When removed from the spits, each piece of dried meat was left with a hole through which a cord could be strung, and the meat could thereby be easily stored or carried. Meat which was prepared this way would keep for at least four to six months without spoiling, and it sometimes kept for as long as one year.
    "They frequently build a smoky fire, often using green hickory wood, to give a smoked flavor and aroma to the meat dried over it. Oysters and fish were smoked in this fashion.... All of this dried food, both domesticated and wild, was kept in their food storehouses.
    "Bear meat, with its thick layers of fat, was treated differently. First, they separated the fat from the lean meat, cooking or drying the lean portion like any other met. The fat was cooked in earthen pots and an oil was extracted from it. They stored this oil in large earthen containers and in gourds. They used it as a condiment, a cooking oil, and even as a cosmetic. For use as a cosmetic, they mixed a red pigment into it and scented it with fragrant sassafras and wild cinnamon. They rubbed it into their hair and onto their bodies. Some stored bear oil in bags made from whole deerskins.
    "Nutmeats were extremely important... nuts could be cracked and eaten raw, they could be stored for a time in their shells, and they could also be dried and preserved for a longer period of time. In addition, black walnuts, hickory nuts, and acorns provided another source of oil. The Inds. were particularly fond of oil from hickory nuts, which they made by first pounding a quantity of the nuts into small pieces on nut stones -- stones with several small depressions for cracking a handful of nuts at a time. They then stirred the pieces, shell and all, into a pot of water. In time the shells sank to the bottom and the oil floated to the top as a milky emulsion to be skimmed off and preserved. One hundreds pounds of hickory nuts would produce about one gallon of oil. The Europeans called it "hickory milk'. The Inds. used it for cooking and seasoning. Hickory milk was said to impart a particularly delicious flavor to venison and to corn bread.
     "They thoroughly cooked all the meat they ate; they never ate it raw. They used two methods of cooking it: broiling and boiling. Small animals received a minimum of dressing before cooking. Sometimes they did not gut such animals as raccoon, opossum, rabbit, and squirrel; they simply skinned them and cooked them whole. They barbecued fish, small animals, and pieces of meat of larger animals by impaling them on one end of a sharpened stick; the other end of the stick was stuck in the ground with the stick inclined toward the fire. They turned the stick from time to time to cook the meat evenly. They impaled larger pieces of meat on spits, suspending them on two forked sticks and turning the spits as the meat cooked. The Cherokees often used spits made of sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum (L.) D.C): it imparted a pleasing flavor to the meat and was thought to repel witches.
    "They were fonder than we of soups and stews. After barbecuing fish, squirrel, or ground hog, they would make it into a stew, adding a little cracked hominy or hominy meal. They boiled meat and fish with vegetables to make a soup. Bear and deer meat, for example, was boiled along with squash and kernels cut from ears of green corn. They were especially fond of kidney beans boiled with meat and seasoned with bear oil. The milky pulp of green corn was sometimes added to boiled venison to make a kind of hash. The Inds. shredded or pounded dried meat before boiling it in soups, and they also ate dried meat after adding bear oil to it, much as we add mayonnaise to dry luncheon meat.
     There were noticeable taboos about food preparation... "For example, meat and vegetables could be cooked in the same pot, as could different kinds of four-footed animal meat, but they would not cook the flesh or birds and four-footed animals in the same pot." (Hudson, 300,1,2,3, with quotes from Ulmer and Beck, Cherokee  Cookery)
     Potatoes were introduced early and were so much esteemed that, according to one old informant, the Inds. in Georgia, before the Removal, 'lived on them'. Coffee came later, and the same informant remembered that the full-bloods still considered it poison, in spite of the efforts of the chief, Charles Hicks, to introduce it among them" (Mooney, Myths, 214)
    They cooked pumpkin and squash by boiling or broiling. They preserved pumpkin by cutting it into round slices which they peeled and dried. Pumpkin and squash seeds could of course be roasted and eaten.
     "The wild roots were collected and made into a meal or a powder. Swamp potatoes (Sagittaria L.), for example, were baked in a Dutch oven or in the ashes of a fire and then put in a mortar and pounded into a meal. They used this meal as they would hominy meal, relying on it especially during winter famines. They made "red coontie out of the large roots of Smilax. They first chopped the roots into pieces and pulverized them in a mortar. They put this in a pot filled with cold water, stirring vigorously. After it settled for a time, they dipped out the liquid, leaving in the bottom of the pot a residue which they dried into a reddish powder. When this starchy powder was added to boiling water it turned into a kind of jelly and was a favorite food for infants and old people. It was also mixed with hominy meal to make fried bread. (Hudson, 307, from Cherokee Cookery)
      ACORNS: "Next morning, we got our Breakfasts: roasted Acorns being one of the Dishes. The Inds. beat them into Meal, and thicken their Venison-Broth with them; and oftentimes make a palatable Soop. They are used instead of Bread, boiling them till the Oil swims on the top of the Water, which they preserve for use, eating the Acorns with Flesh-meat." (Lawson, 51)
    "Live-Oak.. the Acorns thereof are as sweet as Chesnuts, and the Inds. draw an Oil from them, as sweet as that from the Olive, tho' of an Amber-Colour. With these Nuts, or Acorns, some have counterfeited the Cocoa, whereof they have made Chocolate, not to be distinguish'd by a good Palate." (Lawson, 99,100)
     "Acorns were another interesting featureof the diet. In addition to extracting oil from acorns., the Ind.'s occasionally made the nut meats into a meal. Live oak acorns were best for this, but the several species of white oak were almost as good, and even the black and red oaks could be used if necessary. The primary problem in processing acorns was to extract the bitter-tasting acid from the nutmeats. Some acorns were edible after merely being parched, but others had to be boiled in water to remove the tannic acid. These were then pounded into a pulp which was dried into a meal and used in much the same way hominy meal was used."  (Hudson, 308)
    "...they did not eat raw vegetables. Slight exceptions to this may have been wild onions (Allium cernuum Roth), wild garlic (Allium canadense L.) and in the Appalachians wild leeks or "ramps" (Allium tricoccum Ait.). These were among the very few green vegetables available from late fall to early spring. (Hudson, 308)
     "Beverages:.. we may assume that many of the beverages made today are the same as those from earlier days by their ancestors... "The roots of sassafras, for example, have probably long been used to make a fragrant hot tea. The roots are best when dug early in spring, and the bark from the roots has the strongest flavor. The young leaves and young pith of sassafras are highly mucilaginous. The Choctaws dried them and ground them into a powder which they used to thicken soups, this being the forerunner of Southern gumbo. The Cherokees made a hot tea out of the dried leaves, twigs, and  young buds of spicebush (Lindera benzoin [L.] Blume). Another Cherokee drink is made of maypops (Passiflora incarnata L.) by boiling them in water until they become soft. The pulp is then squeezed out and put through a strainer. The Cherokees drink it while it is hot. Another beverage that is still made by Cherokees today was made from the ripe pods of honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos L.) which contain a kind of paste with a delicate sweet-sour flavor. The Inds. split the pods in half, soaked them in water which was not but not boiling, and strained it through a cloth. They drank it as both a hot and cold beverage. White and black Southerners used to make this honey locust drink and ferment it, making a kind of beer." (Hudson, 308,309)
     "They did not eat regular meals. They ate whenever they were hungry.... they ate food from pottery or gourd containers or from shallow wooden bowls carved out of gum, poplar, box elder, sycamore, or elm. They ate with large spoons made from gourds, wood, or bison horn, and they also ate with their fingers. (Hudson, 309)
 BEANS: "The South. Inds. had several ways of cooking beans. Their standard way was to boil them in water and season them, often with meat or bear oil. They made succotash by boiling together hominy and beans, sometimes adding some pumpkin to the pot. After they boiled their beans, they sometimes put them in a mortar and mashed them to a pulp which they formed into small loaves.
BEES & HONEY:  "Bees, if not native,... were introduced at so early a period that the Inds. have forgotten their foreign origin. The DeSoto narrative mentions finding of a pot of honey in an Ind. village in Georgia in 1540. The peach was cultivated in orchards a century before the Revolution, and one variety, known as early as 1700 as the Ind peach, the Inds. claimed as their own, asserting that they had had it before the whites came to America (Lawson, Carolina, 182, ed. 1860).
BREAD:  See that category.
GINSENG: "The roots of ginseng were boiled in water and made into a potion. This was primarily used for shortness of breath, to stop the flow of blood from a wound, and to keep ghosts away. "(Hudson, 340,341)
     "The Cherokee herbalist... when hunting ginseng... the herbalist addressed the mountain on which he stood as the "Great Man" assuring him that he was only going to take a small piece of his flesh. He then pulled up the plant, root and all, and dropped a red or white bead, whichever was appropriate, into the hole. Then he covered it up. (Hudson, 342)
HOMINY: "The staple food of the ...their staff of life, was hominy. Its manufacture requires several special implements, including a mortar and pestle. In historic times... a mortar was made from a section of a hickory, oak, or beech log some twelve to twenty inches in diameter and about two feet long. They rested this on one end, and in the other end they burned out a conical hole about eight inches deep. For a pestle they cut a section from a tree, preferably hickory, about six inches in diameter and five of six feet long. They trimmed this down to about two inches in diameter for about four-fifths of its length, leaving the remainder as a weight at the upper end of the pestle. The small end was used to pound the corn in the mortar, while the large, weighted end added force to the pounding. Wood-ash lye was also needed in making hominy. The Inds. made it by placing hardwood ashes in a container with a small hole in the bottom. They filled the container with the ashes and poured in a quantity of cold water. The yellow liquid which dripped out of the hole was lye.
    "This technique of processing corn with wood-ash lye has been found to reduce some of its essential amino acids, but it dramatically increases the amount of the amino acid lysine and also the amount of niacin. Thus this treatment of corn enhances its nutritional value selectively. For people whose diet depended heavily on corn, this technique probably reduced the incidence of pellegra.
    "Cracked hominy was one of the most important items in the... diet. The process of its manufacture began with the placing of a quantity of thoroughly dry kernels of corn into a vessel filled with cool water to which was added a cup of wood-ash lye. After soaking it overnight, the corn was drained and placed in a mortar and lightly pounded with a pestle to crack the grains and loosen the hulls. The cracked grain was then separated from the hulls in a fanner, a large flat basket with a shallow pocket on one side. The corn was placed, a little at a time, on the flat part of the fanner. When the fanner was agitated, the heavier pieces of hominy rolled into the pocket while the lighter husks remained on the flat part to be flipped away. The cracked hominy was then emptied from the pocket and the process repeated until all the hulls had been separated out.
    "From cracked hominy the Inds. made a kind of soup by putting it in a pot of water and cooking it about four hours, stirring frequently and adding enough water to keep the mixture thin. For flavor, they sometimes added a little wood-ash lye until the hominy began to turn yellow. When the hominy was done they poured it in a large earthen jar, taking out portions to eat when they wanted it. The Creeks called this dish sa*fki ("sofkee"), the Cherokees called in ganohe*ni, and the Choctaws called it tanfula. They often set jars of it in a moderately warm place and allowed it to sour or ferment slightly. They usually drank it cold... Cracked hominy was hospitality food. The Cherokees served it to visitors. Inside their houses the Choctaws kept a bowl of it with a spoon alongside and a visitor who failed to eat a little of it was considered impolite. (Hudson, 304,305)
HONEY LOCUST: Probably the main source of "sweet" was from the honey locust tree. "The sweet pulp from the pod of the honey locust tree (Gleditsia triacanthos L.) is edible, and the Inds. sometimes dried it, ground it up, and used it as a sweetener". (Hudson, 287)
PUMPKIN: Dry pumpkins as soon after the harvest as possible. The old-time drying method was to slice whole pumpkins into thin rings, peel the rings, remove the seeds and stringy pulp from the centers, and hang the rings from a broom handle or other stick propped between rafters in the ceiling or attic.
    "Native Americans showed the Pilgrims how to dry pumpkin and grind it into meal for year-round use. Corn bread made with pumpkin is still popular in some areas of New England. Any recipe will gain food value, flavor, and color if you substitute pumpkin meal for a small part of the flour - say 1/4 to 1/2 cup.
    To grind, use dried raw slices. In a Vitamix or other mixer they can become flour in less than a minute. Thin slices (sliced in a food processor) readily grind into flour; while thick slices tend to grind into a coarser meal. Either way, take care not to inhale the powder that billows up when you transfer the flour into an airtight container for storage.
    For pumpkin seed oil: Grind the seeds in a blender and set the meal aside until the oil rises to the top. If you want to use the oil in salad dressing, just pour it off. If you plan to use it in a skillet, strain it through a coffee filter to minimize burning. Use the remaining meal to thicken soups, stews, and sauces.
CASSINE YAPON: Bartram noted the Cassine yapon (Cassine vomitoria) near the Jore village in the Cherokee country under semicultivation: "Here I observed a little grove of the Cassine yapon, which was the only place where I had seen it grow in the Cherokee country; the Inds call it the beloved tree, and are very careful to keep it pruned and cultivated; they drink a very strong infusion of the leaves, buds and tender branches of this plant, which is so celebrated, indeed venerated by the Creeks and all the Southern maritime nations..." (Bartram, 1792, 291)
CHINA ROOT: (Brier Smilax): "From these roots while they be new or fresh beeing chopt into small pieces & stampt, is strained with water a juce that maketh bread, & also being boiled, a very good spoonemeate in maner of a gelly, and is much better in tast if it bee tempered with oyle." (Hariot, 25,26)
    "They dig up these roots, and while yet fresh and full of juice, chop them in pieces, and then mascerate them well in wooden mortars; this substance they put in vessels nearly filled with clean water, when, being well mixed with paddles, whilst the finer parts are yet floating in the liquid, they decant it off into other vessels, leaving the farninaceous substance at the bottom, which, being taken out and dried, is an impalpable powder or farina, of a reddish color. This, when mixed in boiling water, becomes a beautiful jelly, which, sweetened with honey or sugar, affords a most nourishing food for children or aged people; or when mixed with fine corn flour, and fried in fresh bears grease, makes excellent fritters." (Bartram, 49)
MAPLE SUGAR: "They are said to have tapped trees on a stream near Old Tellico and on Limestone Creek, while Hawkins witnessed the process at a point near the present Atlanta (Hawkins, 1916, 24)  Mooney informed Mr. Henshaw, it is true, that before they met Europeans, the Cherokee "extracted their only saccharine from the pod of the honey locust, using the powdered pods to sweeten parched corn and to make a sweet drink", but if so they must have adopted the custom of extraction from the sugar maple at an early period and there seems to be no reason why they could not have done this before white contact as well as after it " (Mooney, Myths, 285)
  PUMPKINS (POMPIONS): "For this purpose they are cut into the shapes of pears or other fruits and preserved thus with very little sugar, because they are naturally sweet. Those who are unacquainted with them are surprised to see entire fruits preserved without finding any seeds inside. The(y) are not only eaten preserved; they are also put into soups. Fritters (bignets) are made of them, they are fricasseed, they are cooked in the oven and under the embers, and in all ways they are good and pleasing." (duPratz, vol. 2, 11)
    "When the pompions are ripe, they cut them into long circling slices, which they barbecue, or dry with a slow heat" (Adair, 407)
SPICES: Lawson reports from Carolina, 1700-1702: Anise, Basil, Camomile, Caraway, Chives, Comfrey, Coriander, Cumin, Garlic, Horseradish; Houseleek, Licorice; Marjoram; Malt, Mint; Mustard, Pepper, Pot Herbs, Pot Marjoram, Rosemary, Sarsaparilla, and Shallots. (various pages).
    "Maize (Zea mays) was the most widely dispersed and commonly used crop... The Cherokee relied most heavily on three primary maize types: (1) "six weeks corn" - consisting of small kernels, that ripened in about two months and were often roasted: (2) "hominy corn" - a smooth, hard kernel, generally red, white, blue, yellow, or a combination: and, (3) "flour corn" - the most important type, with large, white kernels.... Corn provided the Cherokee with a rich source of  carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
    "Ripe corn was usually harvested in the late summer, early fall and stored in long cribs. Parched corn was used as a standard provision for long journeys -- especially since it was a nutritious foodstuff. Otherwise, the principal uses of corn included the processing of the kernels into various flours and cakes, e.g., succotash, samp, hominy, hoe-cake, and ash-cake. Soups (some semi-fermented) and stews (mixed with meats) were also prepared with corn. (Goodwin, 51,52)
    "Second in importance to maize ... was the bean (Phaseolus). At least eighty native species of this plant existed in North America during the prehistoric period, with evidence of multiple domestication and limited diffusion ... The Cherokee had access to several types of beans, although it is probable that varieties of (kidney bean) and (lima bean) predominated...
    "Beans were generally planted in the vacant rows alongside corn... a symbiotic relationship existed between the two crops as the beanstalk was sometimes used as a beanpole ... When examining the nutritional benefits of each crops... the protein in corn was zein, while the bean had alpha and beta globulins. The bean had a high lysine (amino acid) content compared to corn, and together the two crops had high nutritional value. (Goodwin, 52)
    "Several species from the genus Cucurbitacae (gourds) followed corn and the bean. All twenty-six varieties of squash were native to the New World... wild species, e.g., lagenaria gourds, grew in some southeastern locales, and certain squashes and gourds may have been the earliest domesticated plants in the New World.
    "Three major species of Cucurbitacae can be identified, including squash, gourd, and melons.
Of the many different squashes, the summer crookneck was one of the most common, and it could be stored for winter use if necessary. The winter variety took somewhat longer to grow, but it was considered more nutritious than the summer species. A third type of squash that the Cherokees considered highly important was the pumpkin. This large, round fruit provided them with valuable seeds that yielded a rich supply of fats and proteins. The pumpkin took even longer to mature than either the winter or summer squash, averaging close to 150 days before ripening. Each type of squash could be cut into thin sections and hung on racks to dry for storage and winter use. It might also be boiled, baked in ashes, used in breadmaking, or dried." (Goodwin, 53)
    "The gourd (lagenaria) probably found greater use than any other member of the Cucurbitacae family -- possibly constituting the most utilitarian of all plant foods. As an early domesticate, the bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) one of the shelled varieties of the species, had over twenty-six know uses, including water vessels, bows, lamps, baskets, masks (used in ceremonial dances) containers, bird nests, medicine cups, spatulas, and scrapers).
    "Last of the four major crops that received widespread use among the Cherokee was the sunflower -- a versatile, native North American food plant. (They) extracted an edible table oil from this plant by boiling the pulverized seeds and removing the oil from the surface of the water. The seed could be parched and mashed into flour and processed into bread or soups or it could be eaten raw, dried, or roasted. Lastly. the larger seeds might be saved for next year's planting. (Goodwin, 54)
    "A species of sunflower, Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) offered a hardy and prolific tuber, that was usually baked or boiled as a vegetable. (They) usually planted this tuber in the early spring and harvested it in autumn, winter, or when needed.
    "Soon after initial contacts with the Spanish in the sixteenth century, (they) adopted additional plant foods that could be cultivated with relative ease. An important member of the gourd family of Cucurbitacae was the watermelon (Citrullus vulgaris) that proved not only a tasty fruit, but also an oily, yet nutritious edible seed. The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) seems to have become an essential food to the Cherokee ..  Peas (Pisum sativum) were mentioned as a prominent crop... although they were known to have been introduced by the Spanish during earliest contacts. (Goodwin, 54,55)
SQUASH: "these being boiled whole when the Apple is young, and the Shell tender, and dished with Cream or Butter, relish very well with all sorts of Butcher's Meat, either fresh or salt. And wherewas the Pompion is never eaten till it be ripe, these are never eaten after they are ripe." (Beverley, 27)
Wild Plants: "The Cherokees often found it both practical and necessary to augment their diets with wild plant life. Uncultivated vegetal species abounded in Cherokee lands and provided the native with an array of foods, that, in most cases, thrived independent of man's activities. Specifically, when boiled, spinach-like plants such as the Amaranth (pigweed), Trillium grandiflorium, and Chenopodium album (goosefoot) furnished a highly nutritious vegetable foodstuff. Also, species of "Tuckahoe" (Pachyma cocos), consisting of a large fungus found in the roots of trees, after cooking, resembled potatoes in taste and could be eaten as a starchy vegetable or processed into a palatable breadstuff.
    There "were many varieties of the plant Smilax, including, Smilax bona-nox (stretchberry, Smilaxglauca, Smilax pseudo-China (ChinaBrier), Smilax rotundifolia, and Smilax herbacea (carrior flower) Most commonly used by the Cherokees were probably the Catbriers (e.g., Smilax glauca and Smilax rotundifolia). These nutrient-rich tuberous rootstocks, when crushed and mixed with sweetening agents, yielded very delicious and useful flour. Smilax pseudo-China, when chopped and soaked in water, offered a farinaceous residue that dried into a reddish powder - sweet, nourishing, and popular among the natives. All of the Smilax evergreens grew best in sandy (or clay), well-drained soils, and usually in wooded coves or thickets.
    "Other tuberous roots of value included: Arrowhead (Sagittaria engelmanniana and Sagittaria latifolia) -- shallow water plants; Nut Grass, found in wet, sandy soils, and False Spikenard -- associated with deciduous woodlands, and consisting of rootstocks that furnished a salubrious and sought-after food. Ground-nuts (Apios apios), a creeping vine with purple flowers, produced a starchy edible tuber at the stem base, as well as pea-like seeds; it thrived in moist, rich thickets and along streams. As a ready food, ground-nuts abounded throughout the southeast, and often served as a dietary mainstay.
    "Judicious utilization of plant life by the Cherokees is perhaps best exemplified by the Cat-tail. A highly diverse plant in structure and potential human use, the Cat-tail provided pollen as a flour, the bloom (spikes) as an "asparagus-like-vegetable, the root could be cooked as a vegetable, and the stalk was peeled and eaten like a cucumber. It was generally gathered throughout Cherokee country in the shallow waters of rivers, lakes, and ponds." (Goodwin, 56,57)

      In the really old days, (before the white man came and ruined everything" - Oukah) many Cherokee towns were fortified by ditches and/or palisades. The towns were always built by running water, anyway, so ditches filled with water (like European moats) were a deterrent to an enemy. The palisades were made of large posts set vertically into the earth. Other poles were attached to these horizontally, and a fence for defence was built. Sometimes these would be plastered over, at least on the inside, with straw and mud plaster.  "Built into the walls at regular intervals were defensive towers manned by sentinels, or in time of battle, by seven or eight archers. (Hudson, 79)
      There are old accounts of towns fortified by walls 12 to 18 feet high, some of them covering not only their houses, but the closest vegetable gardens as well. There are a few accounts that some towns had inside palisades, so that a single area at a time could be defended.
    There are also reports of smaller palisades (fences) being built around public and ceremonial buildings. It is thought that the purpose was to keep out children and dogs from defiling the sacred places.

        "The Southeastern Inds. enjoyed a variety of wild fruits and berries. The most important fruit was the persimmon (Diospyros virginiana L.) a small tree-borne fruit that is highly astringent until late fall and early winter, when it develops a delicious datelike flavor. Eating an underripe persimmon is an unforgettable experience; they should be gathered after they have fallen to the ground and are soft and pulpy. The Inds. gathered several varieties of wild grapes -- muscadines and scuppernongs -- which mainly grow in swamps and along the banks of rivers. They also ate wild cherries, pawpaws (Asimina triloba L.), tart crab apples (Malus coronaria [L.], Mill) and small, reddish-orange wild plums (Prunus L.). Where available they ate prickly pears (Opuntia Mill.) and maypops (Passiflora incarnata L.).
     "They picked and ate large quantities of berries during the summer months, including blackberries, gooseberries, raspberries, and small but sweet wild strawberries. From trees they picked huckleberries, tart black gum berries, mulberries, serviceberries, and palmetto berries. (Hudson, 285-286)
      "Of the fruits there are some of an excellent flavour, particularly several sorts of grapes, which, with proper culture, would probably afford an excellent wine. There are likewise plumbs, cherries, and berries of several kinds... but their peaches and pears grow only by culture... add to these several kinds of roots, and medicinal plants, particularly the plant so esteemed by the Chinese, and by them called gingsang..." (Timberlake, 70)
BERRIES: See topic: Berries
GRAPES:  "...many native species of the North American grape prevailed in the southeast. Most common of the wild grapes included varieties of the Muscadine (Bitis rotundifolia), sand grape (Vitis rupestris) and wild grape (Vitis reporia). "Cherokees" did not cultivate grapes, however, nor did they ferment the berry, until contacts with Europeans in the 18th century. An abundance of the wild species, plus a comparably small population, eliminated the necessity for nurturing large quantities of this cultivar. Grapes, as well as other succulent fruits, normally ripened during the later summer and early fall months, and usually grew below 2,500 feet along stream courses and in moist, siliceous soils". (Goodwin, 57,58)
    Some fruits were considered so important that they were given ceremonial status. Longe, in 1715, mentioned "The Feasts of the First Fruits" and the importance of "muskemilons", "pompkin", etc. Buttrick discussed the Anoyi, or strawberry moon, that began the Cherokee year and coincided with the vernal equinox. (Buttrick, 1884: 16). It was at this time that corn, beans, and potatoes were planted. Furthermore, the natural year was divided into seasons on the basis of crop maturity, e.g., March -- honey month; April -- strawberry month; May -- mulberry month, etc.
PEACHES: "Peaches (khwa-na) were prepared like persimmons, either 'pounded' and mixed with flour for 'great loaves' of bread, barbecued and dried for winter storage, or 'seethed' to flavor soups and drinks." (Hill, 81,82)
     An interesting observation was made of a southeastern house: among other foods "barbecued peaches, and peach bread, which peaches being made into a quiddony (a quiddony or quiddany was a thick fruit-syrup or jelly; originally and properly made from quinces) and so made up into loaves like barley cakes, these cut into thin slices, and dissolved in water, makes a very grateful acid, and extraordinary beneficial in fevers, as has often been tried, and aproved on, by our English practioners". (Lawson, 36,37)
PERSIMMONS: "In old fields, (ka-lage-si) up to 3,500 feet, persimmon (tsa-lu-li: pucker mouth) pioneered and provided sweet autumn fruit for Cherokees, songbirds, and foraging game like deer, bear, raccoon, rabbit, turkey, and possum. Women collected persimmons to dry and store or to seed, pound, and knead into cakes. From "pissimmons" according to James Adair: they made "very pleasant bread, barbicuing it in the woods". (Hill, 8)

      "The Inds. were enthusiastic sportsmen. They were also inveterate gamblers, sometimes staking all their possessions on the outcome of a game. And they were good  losers, for as Lawson observed, "The Loser is never dejected or melancholy at the loss, but laughs and seems no less contented than if he had won". (quoted in Rights, 256)
    At the ballgame, after the ball had passed inspection, the "players and spectators moved about holding up articles they wanted to wager on the outcome of the game. Sometimes the betting became so competitive that people would take off some of the clothing they were wearing in order to bet it." (Hudson, 418)
    "The Ind. was a passionate gambler and there was absolutely no limit to the risks which he was willing to take, even to the loss of liberty, if not of life. Says Lawson (History of Carolina, 287) 'They game very much and often strip one another of all they have in the world;and what is more, I have known several of them play themselves away, so that they have remained the winners' servants till their relations or themselves woulc pay the money to redeem them" (Quoted, Mooney, Myths, 465) Let us hope this was more true of the natives between the Cherokees and the east coast that Lawson was more familiar with, than the Cherokee custom.

BALLPLAY: "The little brother of war .. the companion of battle. During these months, April thru September, tensions were unrelieved. During these months there were the ballplays. The young men occasionally regrouped themselves, in a structure analogous to the war organization, to have inter-village ball plays. Teams had war priests to conjure for them and after games had to pass though purifying rites analogous to the rites on return from war." (Payne MS IVb:61-64)
     Ballplay was a violent activity; players were as likely to maim fellow teammates as members of the other team. Certain roles were... to drive the players on to greater efforts. It is probably no accident, that ancient priests (meaning the village priests who led ceremonies and councils) had nothing to do in ballplays; and that the players were ritually impure after the game." (PAYNE MS: IVB:61-64)
    "Closely allied to the calendric ceremonies just described was the rite of the ball play. This game was called the friend or companion of battle because all the energies of the combatants were called into play and was ranked next to war as a manly occupation. In each town of note a respectable man was selected to attend to the ball play. Anciently the priests had but little to do with the ball play as it was not directly connected with religion.
    "The young men of a village consulted their head man for the ball play and sent a challenge to a certain town or district by one or two messengers. The players were selected by the manager and by seven counselors. A man must be of good character to play. When a match had been arranged between two teams, an elderly man was selected to lead the ball dance and another man was selected to sing for the players, another to whoop, a musician to play for the seven woman dancers, and also a conjurer. Seven men were appointed  to wait on the conjurer and seven women to provide for the all-night dance on the seventh day of preparation.
    "An open place in the woods was found and a fire was lit there. The party assembled about dark and seated themselves some distance from the fire. The director of the dance called the players forward and whooped. This was a war whoop and was the signal for the dance to begin. Then the dancers paraded around the fire making the motions of playing the ball game, with their ball sticks. The musician led the dance with his gourd rattle. After circling the fire four times the dancers rested on the same note with which they had begun to dance and sat down for half an hour. After awhile a new dance began and then another intermission. After four dances they went to the water for ritual bathing.
    "The next morning they all again went to water at daybreak and during the day they watched each other to see that none of the taboos for ball players were violated. The taboos and rules of the ball game were as follows:

1. No player could go near his wife or any woman during the 7 days of the dances and training. Some scratched themselves in order the better to fit themselves for the play. They could not associate with women for 24 days after being scratched.
2. The players must eat no meat nor anything salty or hot. They must eat only corn bread and drink parched corn broth.
3. Their food much be received from boys who took it from women who had set it down some distance off. The seven men with the conjurer could eat only food prepared by the seven women.
4. The seven women officiating as cooks must not be pregnant nor afflicted with any uncleanness.
5. The seven men assistants to the conjurer might be married but their wives could not be pregnant nor of any account unclean.
6. If any player had a pregnant wife, he must keep behind the other players in the dancing and marching.
7. No woman must come to the place of dance of the ball players nor walk a path that the players had to walk during the 7 days of training.

         On the second day of training the players killed a squirrel, without shooting it, for the ball skin. A man selected from the Bird Clan took the skin, dressed it, stuffed it with deer's hair, and then placed it in the deerskin of the conjurer to stay until the play was over. On the seventh night the players danced seven times instead of four and the seven women danced the whole night a short distance away. Their musician accompanied his voice with the drum.
    "On the morning of the eighth day just at sunrise the whooper raised his whoop and the players, standing in a cluster with their faces toward the ball ground, responded four times with a cry. Then all plunged in the creek seven times and started toward the ball ground. The conjurer laid down the deerskin and the conjuring apparatus and the players laid down the articles which they had bet. The conjurer gave a certain root to the players to chew and rub on their bodies. He also gave red feathers to the players to wear in their hair. The leading player took the ball and kept it until the play commenced.
    "An influential player than spoke to the players urging action. They marched forward to meet their antagonists in the middle of the field. Four men were selected as marshalls to keep order and to see that no detail was overlooked. Two others were chosen as tallymen. Each talleyman had 12 sticks, one of which he stuck in the ground as the ball was carried through by his side. A score of 12 runs to a tree or other goal won the game. A circle was made in the ground to show the players how far to approach. As the opening speech was being made by one of the overseers he suddenly tossed the ball into the air and the game began. When one side had gained the victory the spectators extolled the players in every way possible. On the way home the players kept together in good order.
    "The ancient ball game can be seen to have been from this description quite similar if not identical with the game as it is played today. The same ritualistic elements which allied it to war existed at that time. The players were separated just as warriors were, from the ordinary life of the community, and had to be purified from all uncleanliness or contamination. The same rivalry between villages and the same conjuring magic characterized the game in the ancient period as characterizes it today. (Gilbert, 337-338)
    (Eastern Cherokee, about 1900). "The first and most important of all Cherokees sports is the ball game... The dantelidahi, or 'captain', organizes his team from the available young men of the town and may have as many as 20 players enrolled. In the actual playing only 12 are allowed to participate. There are appointed two "drivers" to separate the players in the scrimmages and keep the game going. As a rule each town has its team play three games a year. Summer is the ball game season.
    "The way of arranging a match is for the captain of one team to send out two messengers to a rival town challenging them to a game. The rival town appoints two men to receive the challenge and to accept it. Then the rival captains get busy and search for the best conjurer available in order that as strong a magical power as possible can be brought in to aid in winning. Extraordinary measures are sometimes resorted in to aid in winning. Extraordinary measures are sometimes resorted to in order to secure a good conjurer. The whole community may turn out to hoe the fields or perform work on the conjurer's fields in order to show their good will and regard for the conjurer's powers.
    "The conjurer prays and divines what the future has in store by a special technique. If he finds that the opponents are stronger than the home team, he takes measures to strengthen the latter. These measures consist of 'scratchings', prayers, going to the river and bathing at stated intervals, and the dance for the 4th night before the day of the game. The players must fast and abstain from their wives during the latter part of their period of training. The captain of the team 'calls' the leaders of the nightly ball dances. In the magical rites of strengthening, the conjurer especially looks after the ayeli anakstone i, or 'center knockers' for these are the men who jump in the center when the ball is first tossed up at the beginning of the game and this even is important in deciding which side first gets the ball.
    "Before the game bets are placed by players and spectators alike on the probable outcome. These bets, generally wearing apparel or more often (today) money, are thrown in a pile and two men, one from each side, are appointed to watch them. Sharp sticks are stuck into the ground to register the bets.
    "The game is played between two goals, generally trees. The touching of the opponents' goal with the ball in hand by a player of the other side constitutes a score of one. Twelve scores win the game. The ball, a small golf-ball-sized object, is tossed into the air by one of the drivers and is then batted back and forth with racquets until someone catches it in his hand and runs to the opposite goal. If two players start wrestling for the ball, a foul is declared and the ball is tossed up again for a fresh start. The manner of playing is extremely rough and injuries are frequent, especially since the players are dressed only in the equivalent of a pair of trunks. After the game, the players are ceremonially scratched and retire for supper, the bets being allotted out to the winners. Seven days after the game, the winners hold an Eagle or Victory Dance to celebrate. Great stress is laid on magical power as the sole determinant of the winning or losing of games. The games, in fact, resolve themselves into a rivalry of conjurers in opposing towns rather than into any rivalry of teams. Hence, the magical rites surrounding the game are extensive and esoteric." (Gilbert, 268-269)
    "It is now mid-afternoon and the next event is a ball game. Young men are the center of attention for the next few hours. This is the "brother of war" game, and only the most stalwart youths are taking part in it. Sides are chosen, with sixty players on each side. Their bodies are brilliantly painted, they are dressed in breech clouts and moccasins; attached to the back of the breech clouts are the tails of swift-footed animals. Each player carries two ball sticks shaped somewhat like small tennis rackets, made of hickory and strung with deerskin thongs. Both teams have medicine men hidden in the woods, making medicine as fast as they can. The small ball is made of deer hair covered with deer skin and sewed with deer sinews.
    "The field is nearly a quarter of a mile long with a goal at each end formed by two uprights and a crossbar. Now the game is about to begin. All the players rush out and throw down their rackets. These must be counted to make sure that each side has the same number. Then the men divide into five squads, with the opposing players facing each other along the two sides of the field. At the mid-point the ball is tossed up by an old man, and the contest is on. A player catches the ball with his rackets, and either runs with it or throws it. The objective is to hit either the goal posts or crossbar with the ball. After each goal, the ball is put back in play at the center of the field. An especially good player must be wary because his opponents will deliberately try to injure him and put him out of the game. When that happens, the other side must also discard a player, but it is certain not to be one of their best.
    "On the side lines are the scorekeepers, each having ten small sticks for tallies. Whenever a goal is made, a tally is stuck in the ground by the scorekeeper for that team. After ten goals, the sticks are withdrawn one at a time to score the subsequent points. The first side to score twenty points wins. Quantities of valuable objects are wagered on the outcome. Point after point is made and, finally, one team is victorious. Then the winning players run to their goal post and perform an exultant dance while the other team takes to its heels. The losing group is jeered at and especially derided by those who bet on them". (Lewis & Kneberg, 129,30,31)
BALL PLAY: "The ball game or racquet play consisted of a form of lacrosse and was played in a manner not different from that of later times. The only other important game was nettecawaw or "chunkey". This consisted in the darting of poles at rolling disks of stone, with the score depending on the distance of the spot where the pole hit from the center of the disk. The games were of social significance in that huge stakes were laid on them..." (Gilbert, 318)
    ""Accompanying each team is a "finder" whose duty is to locate the ball when grounded. He carries a keen birch switch, with which he locates its position, and, if there is too much clinching, which is sure to happen, the switch goes into action against bare brown shoulders or legs" (Milling, 378)
      James Mooney wrote about "The Cherokee Ball Play", American Anthropologist, o.s III (1890), 105ff; see also Twenty-Fourth Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology. Below is an exerpt from his writing:
     "The ball now used is an ordinary leather-covered ball, but in former days it was made of deer hair covered with deerskin. The ball sticks vary considerably among different tribes. The Cherokee player uses a pair, catching the ball between them and throwing it the same way. The stick is somewhat less than 3 feet in length, and its general appearance closely resembles a tennis racket, or a long wooden spoon, the bowl of which is a loose network of thongs of twisted squirrel skin or strings of hemp. The frame is made of a slender hickory stick, bent upon itself, and so trimmed and fashioned that the handle seems to be of one solid round piece, when, in fact, it is double.
    "In addition to the athletic training, which begins two or three weeks before the regular game, each player is put under a strict gaktunta or tabu, during the same period. He must not eat the flesh of a rabbit (of which they are generally very fond) because the rabbit is a timid animal, easily alarmed and liable to lose its wits when pursued by the hunter. Hence the player must abstain from it, lest he, too, should become disconcerted and lose courage in the game. He must also avoid meat of the frog ... because the frog's bones are brittle and easily broken, and a player who should partake of the animal would expect to be crippled in the first inning. For a similar reason he abstains from eating the young of any bird or animal, and from touching an infant... The tabu lasts for seven days preceding the game, but in most cases is enforced for twenty-eight days -- i.e. 4 x 7 -- 4 and 7 being sacred numbers. Above all, he must not touch a woman. If a woman even as much as touches a ball stick on the eve of a game, it is thereby rendered unfit for use.
     "When a player fears a particular contestant on the other wide, as is frequently the case, his own shaman (medicine man) performs a special incantation, intended to compass the defeat and even the disabling or death of his rival.
    "On the night preceding the game each party holds the ball-play dance in its own settlement. On the reservation the dance is always held on Friday night, so that the game may take place on Saturday afternoon, in order to give the players and spectators an opportunity to sleep off the effects on Sunday.
    "The dance  must be held close to the river, to enable the players to "go to the water" during the night, but the exact spot selected is always a matter of uncertainty up to the last moment, excepting with a chosen few. If this were not the case, a spy from the other settlement might endeavor to insure the defeat of the party by strewing along their trail a soup made of the hamstrings of rabbits, which would have the effect of rendering the players timorous and easily confused.
    The dance begins soon after dark on the night preceding the game, and lasts until daybreak, and from the time they eat supper before the dance until after the game, on the following afternoon, no food passes the lips of the players.
    "Each party holds a dance in its own settlement, the game taking place about midway between... Several fires were burning... Around the larger fires were the dancers, the men stripped as for the game, with their ball sticks in their hands and the firelight playing upon their naked bodies.
    "The ball-play dance is participated in by both sexes, but differs considerably from any other of the dances..., being a dual affair throughout. The dancers are the players of the morrow, with seven women, representing the seven Cherokee clans. The men dance in a circle around the fire, chanting responses to the sound of a rattle carried by another performer, who circles around on the outside, while the women stand in line a few feet away and dance to and fro, now advancing a few steps towards the men, then wheeling and dancing away from them, but all the while keeping time to the sound of the drum and chanting the refrain to the ball sounds made by the drummer, who is seated on the ground on the side farthest from the fire. The rattle is a gourd fitted with a handle and filled with small pebbles, while the drum resembles a small keg with a head of ground-hog leather. The drum is partly filled with water, the head being also moistened to improve the tone, and is beaten with a single stick. Men and women dance separately throughout, the music, the evolutions, and the songs being entirely distinct, but all combine to produce a harmonious whole. The women are relieved at intervals by others who take their places, but the men dance in the same narrow circle the whole night long.
    "At one side of the fire are set up two forked poles, supporting a third laid horizontally, upon which the ball sticks are crossed in pairs, until the dance begins. Small pieces from the wing of the bat are sometimes tied to these poles, and also to the rattle used in the dance, to insure success in the contest. The skins of several bats and swift-darting insectivorous birds were formerly wrapped up in a piece of deerskin, together with the cloth and beads used in the conjuring ceremonies later on, and hung from the frame during the dance. On finally dressing for the game at the ball ground, the players took the feathers from these skins to fasten in their hair or upon the ball stick, to insure swiftness and accuracy in their movements.
    "Sometimes also hairs from the whiskers of the bat are twisted into the netting of the ball sticks. The players are all stripped and painted, with feathers in their hair, just as they appear in the  game. When all is ready an attendant takes down the ball sticks from the frame, throwing them over his arm in the same fashion, and, walking around the circle, gives to each man his own. Then the rattler, taking his instrument in his hand, begins to trot around on the outside of the circle, uttering a sharp "Hi!" to which the players respond with a quick "Hi-hi!" while slowly moving around the circle with their ball sticks held tightly in front of their breasts. Then with a quicker movement, the song changes to "Ehu!" and the responses to "Hahi! Ehu! Ehu! Hahi!". Then, with a prolonged shake of the rattle, it changes again to "Ahiye!" the dancers responding with the same word "Ahiye!" but in a higher key; the movements become more lively and the chorus louder, till at a given signal with the rattle the players clap their ball sticks together, and, facing around, go through the motions of picking up and tossing an imaginary ball. Finally, with a grand rush, they dance up close to the women, and the first part of the performance ends with a loud, prolonged "Hu-u" from the whole crowd.
     Dance:  "In the meantime the women have taken positions in a line a few feet away, with their backs turned to the men, while in front of them the drummer is seated on the ground, but with his back turned toward them and the rest of the dancers. After a few preliminary taps on the drum, he begins a slow, measured beat, and strikes up one of the dance refrains, which the women take up in chorus. This is repeated a number of times until all are in harmony with the tune, when he begins to improvise, choosing words which will harmonize with the measure of the chorus, and at the same time be appropriate to the subject of the dance. As this requires a ready wit in addition to ability as a singer, the selection of a drummer is a matter of considerable importance, and that functionary is held in corresponding estimation. He sings of the game on the morrow, of the fine things to be won by the men of his party, of the joy with which they will be received by their friends on their return from the field, and of the disappointment and defeat of their rivals. Throughout it all the women keep up the same minor refrain, like an instrumental accompaniment to vocal music. As Cherokee songs are always in a minor key, they have a plaintive effect, even when the sentiment is cheerful or even boisterous, and are calculated to excite the mirth of one who understands their language. The impression is heightened by the appearance of the dancers themselves, for the women shuffle solemnly back and forth all night long without ever a smile upon their faces, while the occasional laughter of the men seems half subdued. The monotonous repetition, too, is intolerable to any one but an Ind. the same words, to the same tune, being sometimes sung over and over again for a half hour or more. Although the singer improvises as he proceeds, many of the expressions have now become stereotyped and are used at almost every ball dance.
    MYTH: "According to a Cherokee myth, the animals once challenged the birds to a great ball play. The wager was accepted, the preliminaries were arranged, and at last the contestants assembled at the appointed spot -- the animals on the ground, while the birds took position in the tree-tops to await the throwing of the ball. On the side of the animals were the bear, whose ponderous weight bore down all opposition; the deer, who excelled all others in running; and the terrapin, who was invulnerable to the stoutest blows. On the side of the birds were the eagle, the hawk, and the great Tlaniwa -- all noted for their swiftness and power of flight. While the latter were preening their feathers and watching every motion of their adversaries below, they noticed two small creatures, hardly larger than mice, climbing up the tree on which was perched the leader of the birds. Finally they reached the top and humbly asked to be allowed to join in the game. The captain looked at them a moment, and, seeing that they were four-footed, asked them why they did not go to the animals where they properly belonged. The little things explained that they had done so, but had been laughed at and rejected on account of their diminutive size. On hearing their story the bird captain was disposed to take pity on them, but there was one serious difficulty in the way -- how could they join the birds when they hd no wings? The eagle, the hawk, and the rest now crowded around, and after some discussion it was decided to try and make wings for the little fellows. But how to do it! All at once, by a happy inspiration, one bethought himself of the drum which was used in the dance. The head was made of ground-hog leather, and perhaps a corner could be cut off and utilized for wings. No sooner suggested than done. Two pieces of leather taken from the drumhead were cut into shape and attached to the legs of one of the small animals, and thus originated Tlameha, the bat. The ball was now tossed up, and the bat was told to catch it, and his expertness in dodging and circling about, keeping the ball constantly in motion and never allowing it to touch the ground, soon convinced the birds that they had gained a most valuable ally. They next turned their attention to the other little creature; and now beheld a worse difficulty! All their leather had been used in making wings for the bat, and there was no time to send for more. In this dilemma it was suggested that perhaps wings might be made by stretching out the skin of the animal itself. So two large birds seized him from opposite sides with their bills, and by tugging and pulling at his fur for several minutes succeeded in stretching the skin between the fore and hind feet until at last the thing was done and there was Tewa, the flying squirrel. Then the bird captain, to try him, threw up the ball, when the flying squirrel, with a graceful bound, sprang off the limb, catching it in his teeth, carried it through the air to another tree-top a hundred feet away.
    When all was ready, the game began, but at the very outset the flying squirrel caught the ball and carried it up a tree, and then threw it to the birds, who kept it in the air for sometime, when it dropped, but just before it reached the ground the bat seized it, and by his dodging and doubling kept it out of the way of even the swiftest of the animals until he finally threw it in at the goal, and thus won the victory for the birds. Because of their assistance on this occasion, the ball player invokes the aid of the bat and the flying squirrel and ties a small piece of the bat's wing to his ball stick or fastens it to the frame on which the sticks are hung during the dance. End of Myth.
   Back to Ball Play:  At a certain stage of the dance a man, especially selected for the purpose, leaves the group of spectators around the fire and retires a short distance into the darkness in the direction of the rival settlement. Then, standing with his face turned in the same direction, he raises his hand to his mouth and utters four yells, the last prolonged into a peculiar quaver. He is answered by the players with a chorus of yells -- or rather yelps, for the Ind. yell resembles nothing else so much as the bark of a puppy. Then he comes running back until he passes the circle of dancers, when he halts and shouts out a single word, which may be translated, "They are already beaten!" Another chorus of yells greets this announcement. The man is called talala, or woodpecker, on account of his peculiar yell, which is considered to resemble the sound made by a woodpecker tapping on a dead tree trunk. According to the orthodox Cherokee belief, this yell is heard by the rival players in the other settlement -- who, it will be remembered, are having a ball dance of their own at the same time -- and so terrifies them that they lose all heart for the game. The fact that both sides alike have a talala in no way interferes with the theory.
      "At frequent intervals during the night all the players, accompanied by the shaman and his assistant, leave the dance and go down to a retired spot on the river's bank, where they perform the mystic rite known as 'going to water' hereafter to be described. While the players are performing this ceremony, the women, with the drummer, continue the dance and chorus. The dance is kept up without intermission, and almost without change, until daybreak. At the final dance green pine tops are thrown upon the fire, so as to produce a thick smoke, which envelops the dancers. Some mystic properties are ascribed to this pine smoke, but what they are I have not yet learned, although the ceremony seems to be intended as an exorcism, the same thing being done at other dances when there has recently been a death in the settlement.
      At sunrise, the players, dressed now in their ordinary clothes, but carrying their ball sticks in their hands, start for the ball ground, accompanied by the shamans and their assistants. The place selected for the game, being always about midway between the two rival settlements, was in this case several miles above the dance ground and on the opposite side of the river. On the march each party makes four several halts, when each player again "goes to water" separately with the shaman. This occupies considerable time, so that it is usually afternoon before the two parties meet on the ball ground. While the shaman is busy with his mysteries in the laurel bushes down by the water's edge, the other players, sitting by the side of the trail, spend the time twisting extra strings for their ball sticks, adjusting their feather ornaments, and discussing the coming game. In former times the player during these halts was not allowed to sit upon a log, a stone, or anything but the ground itself; neither was it permissible to lean against anything except the back of another player, on penalty of defeat in the game, with the additional risk of being bitten by a rattlesnake.
    "On coming up from the water after the fourth halt, the principal shaman assembles the players around him and delivers an animated harangue, exhorting them to do their utmost in the coming contest, telling them that they will undoubtedly be victorious, as the omens are all favorable, picturing to their delighted vision the stakes to be won and the ovation awaiting them from their friends after the game, and finally assuring them in the mystic terms of the formulas that their adversaries will be driven through the four gaps into the gloomy shadows of the Darkening :Land, where they will perish forever from remembrance. The address, delivered in rapid, jerky tones like the speech of an auctioneer, has a very inspiriting effect upon the hearers and frequently interrupted by a burst of exultant yells from the players. At the end, with another chorus of yells, they again take up the march.
    "On arriving in sight of the ball ground, the talala again comes to the front and announces their approach with four loud yells, ending with a long quaver, as on the previous night of the dance. The players respond with another yell, and then turn off to a convenient sheltered place by the river, to make final preparations.
    "The shaman then marks off a small space upon the ground to represent the ball field, and, taking in his hand a small bundle of sharpened stakes about a foot in length, addresses each man in turn, telling him the position which he is to occupy in the field at the tossing up of the ball, after the first inning, and driving down a stake to represent each player until he has a diagram of the whole field spread out upon the ground.
     "The players then strip for the final scratching. This painful operation is performed by an assistant, in this case an old man named Standing Water. The instrument of torture is called a kanuga and resembles a short comb with seven teeth, seven being a sacred number with the Cherokees. The teeth are made of sharpened splinters from the leg bone of a turkey and are fixed in a frame made from the shaft of a turkey quill, in such a manner that by the slight pressure of the thumb they can be pushed out to a length of a small tack. Why the bone and feather of the turkey should be selected I have not yet learned, but there is undoubtedly a reason for the choice.
    "The players having stripped, the operator begins by seizing the arm of a player with one hand while holding the kanuga in the other, and plunges the teeth into the flesh at the shoulder, bringing the instrument down with a steady pressure to the elbow, leaving seven white lines which become red a moment later as the blood starts to the surface. He now plunges the kanuga in again at another place near the shoulder, and again brings it down to the elbow. Again and again the operation is repeated until the victim's arm is scratched in twenty-eight lines above the elbow. It will be noticed that twenty-eight is a combination of four and seven, the two sacred numbers of the Cherokee. The operator then makes the same number of scratches in the same manner on the arm below the elbow. Next the other arm is treated in the same way; then each leg, both above and below the knees, and finally an x is scratched across the breast of the sufferer, the upper ends are joined by another stroke from shoulder to shoulder, and a similar pattern is scratched upon his back. By this time the blood is trickling in little streams from nearly three hundred gashes. None of the scratches are deep, but they are unquestionably very painful, as all agree who have undergone the operation. Nevertheless the young men endure the ordeal willingly and almost cheerfully, regarding it as a necessary part of the ritual to secure success in the game. To cause blood to flow more freely, the young men sometimes scrape it off with chips as it oozes out. The shaman then gives to each player a small piece of root, to which he has imparted magic properties by the recital of certain secret formulas. The men chew these roots and spit out the juice over their limbs and bodies, rubbing it well into the scratches; then going down to the water, plunge in and wash off the blood, after when they come out and dress themselves for the game.
    "The modern Cherokee ball costume consists simply of a pair of short trunks, ornamented with various patterns in red and blue cloth, and a feather charm worn upon the head. Formerly the breechcloth alone was worn, as is still the case in some instances, and the strings with which it was tied were purposely made weak, so that if seized by an opponent in the scuffle the strings would break, leaving the owner to escape with the loss of his sole article of raiment. The ornament worn in the hair is made up of an eagle's feathers, to give keenness of sight; a deer tail, to give swiftness, and a snake's rattle, to render the wearer terrible to his adversaries. The player also marks his body in various patterns with paint or charcoal. The charcoal is taken from the dance fire, and whenever possible is procured by burning the wood of a tree which has been struck by lightning, such wood being regarded as peculiarly sacred and endowed with mysterious properties. According to one formula, the player makes a cross over his heart and a spot upon each shoulder, using pulverized charcoal procured from the shaman and made by burning together the wood of a honey-locust tree and a tree which had been struck by lightning, but not killed. The charcoal is pulverized and put, together with a red and black bead, into an empty cocoon from which one end has been cut off. This paint preparation makes the player swift like the lightning and invulnerable as the tree that defies the thunderbolt, and renders his flesh as hard and firm to the touch as the wood of the honey-locust. Just before dressing, the players rub their bodies with grease or the chewed bark of the slippery elm or the sassafras, until their skin is slippery as that of the proverbial eel.
    "Sometimes a player applies to the shaman to conjure a dangerous opponent, so that he may be unable to see the ball in its flight, or may dislocate a wrist or break a leg. The shaman draws upon the ground an armless figure of his rival with a hole where his heart should be. Into this hole he drops two black beads, covers them with earth and stamps upon them, and thus the dreaded rival is doomed, unless (and this is always the saving clause) his own shaman has taken precautions against such a result, or the one in whose behalf the charm is made has rendered the incantation unavailing by a violation of some one of the interminable rules of the gaktunta.
    "The players have dressed, are now ready to go to water for the last time, for which purpose the shaman selects a bend of the river where he can look toward the east while facing upstream. This ceremony of going to water is the most sacred and impressive of the whole Cherokee ritual, and must always be performed fasting, and in most cases also is preceded by an all-night vigil. It is used in connection with prayers to obtain a long life, to destroy an enemy, to win the love of a woman, to secure success in the hunt and the ball play, and for recovery from a dangerous illness, but is performed only as a final resort of when the occasion is one of special importance.
    "The men stand looking down upon the water, with their ball sticks clasped upon their breasts, while the shaman stands just behind them, and an assistant kneeling at his side spreads out upon the ground the cloth upon which are placed the sacred beads. These beads are of two colors, red and black, each kind resting upon a cloth of the same color, and corresponding in number to the number of players. The red beads represent the players for whom the shaman performs the ceremony, while the black beads stand for their opponents, red being symbolic of power and triumph, while black is emblematic of death and  misfortune. All being ready, the assistant hands to the shaman a red bead, which he takes between the thumb and finger of his right hand; and then a black bead, which he takes in the same manner in his left hand. Then, holding his hands outstretched, with his eyes intently fixed upon the beads, the shaman prays on behalf of his client to Yuwi Gunahita, the Long Man, the sacred name of the river. "O, Long Man, I come to the edge of your body. You are mighty and most powerful. You bear up great logs and toss them about where the foam is white. Nothing can resist you. Grant me such strength in the contest that my enemy may be of no weight in my hands -- that I may be able to toss him in the air or dash him to the earth". In a similar strain he prays to the Red Bat in the Sun Land to make him expert in dodging; to the Red Deer to make him fleet of foot; to the great Red Hawk to render him keen of sight; and to the Red Rattlesnake to render him terrible to all who oppose him.
    "Then, in the same low tone and broken accents in which all the formulas are recited, the shaman declares that his client (mentioning his name and clan) has now ascended to the first heaven. As he continues praying he declares that he has now reached the second heaven (and here he slightly raises his hands); soon he ascends to the third heaven, and the hands of the shaman are raised still higher; then, in the same way, he ascends to the fourth, the fifth, and the sixth heaven, and finally, as he raises his trembling hands aloft, he declares that the spirit of the man now has risen to the seventh heaven, where his feet and resting upon the Red Seats, from which they shall never be displaced.
    "Turning now to his client, the shaman, in a low voice, asks him the name of his most dreaded rival on the opposite side. The reply is given in a whisper, and the shaman, holding his hands outstretched as before, calls down the most withering curses upon the head of the doomed victim, mentioning him likewise by name and clan. He prays to the Black Fog to cover him so that he may be unable to see his way; to the Black Rattlesnake to envelop him in his slimy folds; and at last to the Black Spider to let down his black thread from above, wrap it around the soul of the victim and drag it from his body along the black trail to the Darkening Land in the west, there to bury it in the black coffin under the black clay, never to reappear. At the final imprecation he stoops and, making a hole in the soft earth with his finger (symbolic of stabbing the doomed man in the heart) drops the black bead into it and covers it from sight with a vicious stamp of his foot; then with a simultaneous movement each man dips his ball sticks into the water, and bringing them up, touches them to his lips; then, stooping again, he dips up the water in his hand and laves his head and breast.
    "The ceremony ended, the players form in line, headed by the shaman, and march in single file to the ball ground, where they find awaiting them a crowd of spectators -- men, women and children -- sometimes to the number of several hundred, for they always turn out to the ball play, no matter how great the distance, from old Big Witch, stooping under the weight of nearly a hundred years, down to babies slung along at their mothers' backs. The ball ground is a level field by the river side, surrounded by the high timber-covered mountains. At either end are the goals, each consisting of a pair of upright poles, between which the ball must be driven to make a run, the side which makes 12 home runs being declared the winner of the game and the stakes. The ball is furnished by the challengers, who sometimes try to select one so small that it will fall through the netting of the ball sticks of their adversaries; but as the others are on the lookout for this, the trick usually fails of its purpose. After the ball is once set in motion it must be picked up only with the ball sticks, although after having picked up the ball with the sticks the player frequently takes it in his hand, and throwing away the sticks, runs with it until intercepted by one of the other party, when he throws it, if he can, to one of his friends farther on. Should a player pick up the ball with his hands, as sometimes happens in the scramble, there at once arises all over the field a chorus of "Uwahi Guti! Uwayi Guti!" (With the hand! With the hand" -- equivalent to our own "Foul! foul! '' and that inning is declared a draw.
    "While our men are awaiting the arrival of the other party, their friends crowd around them, and the women throw across their outstretched ball sticks the pieces of calico, the small squares of sheeting used as shawls, and the bright red handkerchiefs so dear to the heart of the Cherokee, which they intend to stake upon the game. Knives, trinkets, and sometimes small coins, are also wagered. But these Cherokees today are poor indeed. Hardly a man among them owns a horse, and never again will a chief bet a thousand dollars upon his favorites, as was done in Georgia in 1834. Today, however, as then, they will risk all they have.
    "Now a series of yells announces the near approach of the men from (the other town) and in a few minutes they come filing out from the bushes, stripped, scratched, and decorated like the others, carrying their ball sticks in their hands, and headed by a shaman. The two parties come together in the center of the ground, and for a short time the scene resembles an auction, as men and women move about, holding up the articles they propose to wager on the game and bidding for stakes to be matched against them. The betting being ended, the opposing players are drawn up in two lines facing each other, each man with his ball sticks laid together upon the ground in front of him, with the heads pointed toward the man facing him. This is for the purpose of matching the players so as to get the same number on each side; and should it be found that a player has no antagonist to face him he must drop out of the game. Such a result frequently happens, as both parties strive to keep their arrangements secret up to the last moment. There is no fixed number, the common quota being from nine to twelve on a side.
    "During the whole time that the game is in progress the shaman, concealed in the bushes by the water side, is busy with his prayers and incantations for the success of his clients and the defeat of their rivals. Through his assistant, who acts as messenger, he is kept advised of the movements of the players by seven men, known as counselors, appointed to watch the game for that purpose. Every little incident is regarded as an omen, and the shaman governs himself accordingly.
    "An old man now advances with the ball, and standing at one end of the lines, delivers a final address to the players, telling them that Unelanuhi, the Apportioner -- the sun -- is looking down upon them, urging them to acquit themselves in the games as their fathers have done before them; but above all to keep their tempers, so that none may have it to say that they got angry or quarreled, and that after it is over each one may return in peace along the white trail to rest in his white house. White in these formulas is symbolic of peace and happiness and all good things. He concludes with a loud "Ha! Taldu-gwu!" (Now for the twelve!" and throws the ball into the air. Instantly twenty pairs of ball sticks clatter together in the air, as their owners spring to catch the ball in its descent. In the scramble it usually happens that the ball falls to the ground, when it is picked up by one more active than the rest. Frequently, however, a man will succeed in catching it between his ball sticks as it falls, and, disengaging himself from the rest, starts to run with it to the goal; but before he has gone a dozen yards they are upon him, and the whole crowd goes down  together, rolling and tumbling over each other in the dust, straining and tugging for possession of the ball, until one of the players manages to extricate himself from the struggling heap and starts off with the ball. At once the others spring to their feet, and, throwing away their ball sticks, rush to intercept him or prevent his capture, their black hair streaming out behind and their naked bodies glistening in the sun as they run. The scene is constantly changing. Now the players are all together at the lower end of the field, when suddenly, with a powerful throw, a player sends the ball high over the heads of the spectators and into the bushes beyond. Before there is time to realize it, here they come with a grand sweep and a burst of short, sharp Cherokee exclamations, charging right into the crowd, knocking men and women to right and left, and stumbling over dogs and babies in their frantic efforts to get at the ball.
    "It is a very exciting game, as well as a very rough one, and in its general features is a combination of baseball, football, and the old-fashioned shinny. Almost everything short of murder is allowable in the game, and both parties sometimes go into the contest with the deliberate purpose of crippling or otherwise disabling the best players on the opposing sides. Serious accidents are common. In the last game which I witnessed one man was seized around the waist by a powerful adversary, raised into the air, and hurled down upon the ground with such force as to break his collar-bone. His friends pulled him out to one side and the game went on. Sometimes two men lie struggling on the ground, clutching at each other's throats, long after the ball has been carried to the other end of the field, until the drivers, armed with long stout switches, come running up and belabor both over their bare shoulders until they are forced to break their hold. It is also the duty of these drivers to gather the ball sticks thrown away in the excitement and restore them to their owners at the beginning of the next inning.
    "When the ball has been carried through the goal, the players come back to the center and take position in accordance with the previous instructions of their shamans. The two captains stand facing each other, and the ball is then thrown up by the captain of the side which won the last inning. Then the struggle begins again; and so the game goes on until one party scores 12 runs and is declared the victor and the winner of the stakes.
    "As soon as the game is over, usually about sundown, the winning players immediately go to the water again with their shamans and perform another ceremony for the purpose of turning aside the revengeful incantations of their defeated rivals. They then dress, and the crowd of hungry players, who have eaten nothing since they started for the dance the night before, make a combined attack on the provisions which the women now produce from their shawls and baskets. It should be mentioned that, to assuage thirst during the game, the players are allowed to drink a sour preparation made from green grapes and wild crabapples.
    "Although the contestants on both sides are picked men and strive to win, straining every muscle to the utmost, the impression left upon my mind after witnessing a number of games is that the same number of athletic young white men would have infused more robust energy into the play,  -- that is, provided they could stand upon their feet after all the preliminary fasting, bleeding, and loss of sleep.
     "Before separating, the defeated party usually challenges the victors to a second contest, and in a few days preparations are actively under way for another game.
References: Adair; Gilbert.
      Ballgame described by Louis-Philippe, Prince of Orleans, in 1797: "After dinner we crossed the river again with two hogsheads of whiskey, the garrison's drum, and a crowd of Inds. one or two of whom spoke English. We bore the two hogsheads in triumph onto the battlefield where all was being readied for the ball game. The Inds. call it Hannatsoke', with a long o and a very distinct last syllable. Ordinarily the game is preceded by a challenge from one team to the other, then come the war cry, the scalping cry, ...and finally the death cry.
    "...Before beginning, all the players strip down to a belt with a little square of cloth before, red, yellow, etc. hemmed in another color, and the same behind; which is called a breechclout. These two squares of cloth are tied together below in such a way that while they do not appear fastened, no indecencies are possible. That is their combat uniform, and they never wear more in war. Each player is armed with two rackets, crude versions of our tennis rackets. But they are narrower than ours and concave; you will see why. There is less string than in ours, and it is fairly slack. There is only one ball for the whole game. Each team defends one goal line.
    "The ball is topped up at center, where the players always begin by leaping in en masse, whacking rackets together in a scramble for the ball. Usually it falls to the ground and there is another battle of rackets for possession. Finally the one who comes up with it holds it between his two rackets, carries it off or at least passes it toward the goal line; victory goes to the team that moves the ball across the goal line most often. So one team will try to gain possession to pass it if not over, then at least in the general direction of the goal line, and the other tries to capture it and bring it back the other way. As soon as the ball crosses a goal line the offensive team scores one and the ball is brought back to center for another toss. The first team to score 12 wins. The game sparks race after race and shows off the savages' agility. It is highly suspenseful as well, for I have seen the ball picked up almost at one goal line and played all the way back to the other. If the player who has snared the ball is slow in passing it, he stands a good chance of losing it, and no holds are barred in taking it away from him. They start by chasing him, and if they catch him before he has thrown it, that is his hard luck; they buffet one another mercilessly and produce horrible spills; some have seen men killed on the spot. What is most admirable is that neither during the game nor afterward is there ever the least argument. During play no one says a word; the chiefs and spectators keep score, and as soon as the game ends the losers disappear, the winners carry off the prizes, and in a moment the battlefield is deserted. (Louis-Philippe, 92,93,94)

OTHER GAMES: "The game of Cherokee football was a form of social opposition between the sexes. It was played by a team of from 10 to 15 women matched against 10 or 15 men. Usually the women were given one strong man on their side for additional assistance. Each team was organized by a manager. The small groups comprising these teams were drawn from the same neighborhood. One side would challenge the other and the challenger had the privilege of kicking off. As in the ball game, scoring consisted in getting the ball to the enemy goal by fair means or foul and 12 scores counted a game. The ball used was the size of a baseball and was made of buckskin or cloth. An interesting phase of this game was the betting. The men generally bet a deer and the women bet bread. If the men were beaten they had to hunt and prepare a deer for a feast. If the women were beaten they had to prepare bread for a feast. This was generally chestnut or walnut bread.
    "The Cherokee basket game is a 'parlor game' (Culin, 1907). It is used in the family circle to while away the long winter evenings. The dice are 6 beans cut in half, the one side showing the black husk and the other the white interior. Sometimes 6 pieces of wood or 6 grains of corn colored black on one side are used. The dice are shaken in a shallow basket (4 inches deep by a foot square) and if 1 bean of a given color comes up it counts 1, if none comes up it counts 2 for the player. From a pile of from 18 to 24 beans kept as counters the corresponding number according to the score are put in front of the player. As soon as the counters are exhausted in the main pile, it becomes a contest between the players' piles and generally dwindles down into a contest between two. After the center pile is exhausted, 2 or 3 beans are taken from each player and this generally eliminates the weaker players. Most of the time 2 or 3 beans of a color come up and the player cries, "konigit! (nothing)" and passes the basket to another. If he scores, however, he gets another trial. Two partners may play against 2 others in this game and the women play against the men. Betting in the game as in the football game consists in the men betting a deer, squirrel, or rabbit against the women's bread. Today money is bet.
    "A sport current until... "about 1900"... was the grapevine pulling contest. This consisted in a contest between four to six men on one side and several women with one strong man on the other. The stronger side had to pull their opponents over a predetermined course in order to win. As in other sports, the women would bet bread and the men some form of game. (Gilbert, 270)
    "In reference to children's sports, one trait to be noted is the absolute separation of girls' from boys' sports. The boys play at hunting and athletic contests, the girls play at housekeeping or the like.
    "Running through Cherokee sports in general, then, are the following elements: Opposition and separation of the sexes, opposition of towns and conjurer groups, betting of goods and money, and the influence of magic." (Gilbert, 270)
CHUNKEY: "...each town had a chunkey yard. The latter, a large square court scraped smooth and level, was used for the game called 'chunkey'. This was played with a large disk made from quartzite, granite, or other fine-grained stone. The disks, five to six inches in diameter and about two inches thick, had concave faces. Almost perfectly symmetrical and highly polished, they required a prodigious amount of labor to make. The game was played by two persons at a time, each carrying a pole eight to ten feet long. As one of the players rolled the disk down the center of the court, he and his opponent ran after it, attempting to throw their poles close to the spot where they estimated the disk would stop rolling. The nearest pole gained the player one point, or if actually touching, two points. The game, once described as 'running hard labor' provided an outlet ...for gambling, with players and spectators alike staking their possessions on the outcome." (Lewis & Kneberg, 120,21)
      "..the greater part resolved to amuse themselves at a game they call nettecawaw, which I can give no other description of, than that each player having a pole about ten feet long, with several marks or divisions, one of them bowls a round stone, with one flat side and the other convex, on which the players all dart their poles after it; and the nearest counts according to the vicinity of the bowl to the marks on his pole." (Timberlake, 99,100)
       "Chungke" is translated as "running hard labor". Adair wrote: "They have near their state house, a square piece of ground well cleaned, and fine sand is carefully strewed over it, when requisite, to promote a swifter motion to what they throw along the surface.
     "Only one, or two on a side, play at this ancient game. They have a stone about two fingers broad at the edge, and two spans around; each party has a pole of about eight feet long, smooth, and tapering at each end, the points flat. They set off a-breast of each other at six yards from the end of the play ground: then one of them hurls the stone on its edge, in as direct a line as he can, a considerable distance toward the middle of the other end of the square; when they have run a few yards, each darts his pole anointed with bear's oil, with a proper force, as near as he can guess in proportion to the motion of the stone, that the end may lie close to the stone -- when this is the case, the person counts two of the game, and in proportion to the nearness of the poles to the mark, one is counted, unless by measuring, both are found to be at equal distance from the stone. In this manner, the players will keep running most part of the day, at half speed, under the violent heat of the sun, staking their silver ornaments, their nose, finger, and ear rings; their breast, arm and wrist plates, and even all their wearing apparel, except that which barely covers their middle. All the American Inds. are much addicted to this game, which to us appears to be a task of stupid drudgery; it seems however to be of early origin, when their forefathers used diversions as simple as their manners. The hurling stones they use at present, were time immemorial rubbed smooth on the rocks and with prodigious labour; they are kept with the strictest religious care, from one generation to another, and are exempted from being buried with the dead. They belong to the town where they are used, and are carefully preserved."
    "...The most popular game was the game called chunkey. Always played by males... they used a wheel-shaped disc made of carefully polished stone.... The rims of the stones vary, some are flat, some rounded, and some are believed such that when the stone is rolled, it goes in an arc to one side. The game was usually played by two men at a time, with crowds of onlookers betting on the outcome. Each player had  a pole. One of them rolled the stone and just as it was about to stop rolling, they both cast their poles at it, the object being to hit as near the stone as possible when it came to a rest. After they cast their poles, they ran after them, perhaps empathizing with their flight in the way modern bowlers empathize with the course of their bowling balls.
     "The chunkey stones were owned by the towns, or ...Each town had a smooth chunkey yard, sometimes covered with packed sand, where the game was played. The Cherokees scored their games in terms of how close the stone was to various marks on the pole. ...they sometimes bet extravagantly on the game, even to the point of losing all that they possessed." (Hudson, 421,2,3)
     HIDDEN BALL OR MOCCASIN GAME: "In this game a small stone or a similar object was hidden under one of our pieces of cloth or items of clothing, such as moccasins. The object of the game was to guess which one of the object was under. The skill consisted in misleading the guesser by special chants, swaying from side to side, and other tricks to make him guess wrongly. They kept score with small tally sticks cut two or three inches long. The game was played widely in North America, and the Inds. were amazingly adept at using subtle means of suggestion to make their opponents guess wrongly. The player, in turn, made false moves toward the moccasins to see if he could induce his opponent to give away the true location of the object. The same was adopted by the whites who reduced the number of "moccasins" to three.  it became such a popular gambling game that laws were passed against it in some places. The whites generally called the game, "bullet". Later it was called "the shell game".
     DICE: "They have several other Plays and Games: as, with the Kernels or Stones of Persimmons, which are in effect the same as our Dice, because Winning or Losing depend on which side appear uppermost, and how they happen to fall together" (Lawson, 180)
     BEAN GAME: Another game of pure chance was played with half a dozen or so beans or seeds that had a light side and a darkened side, much as the two faces of a coin. The Cherokees, for example, played the game with six beans or fruit seeds. They put them in  a shallow basket, shook them, and tossed them up into the air. Scoring was on the basis of the number of light or dark sides facing up." (Hudson, 426)
     SPLIT REED GAME: (proper name not known): This game is "played with small split reeds, seven inches in length, fifty-one in number. A player would throw a handful of reeds to his opponent and quickly announce his guess as to the number thrown and the number remaining in his hand. A set of these reeds was valued at a dressed doe skin." (Rights, 256)
"Their chiefest Game is a sort of Arithmetick, which is managed by a Parcel of small split Reeds, the Thickness of a small Bent; these are made very nicely, so that they part, and are tractable in their Hands. They are fifty one in Number, their Length about seven Inches; when they play, they throw part of them to their Antagonist; the Art is, to discover, upon sight, how many you have, and what you throw to him that plays with you. Some are so expert at their Numbers, that they will tell ten times together, what they throw out of their Hands. Although the whole Play is carried on with the quickest Motion it's possible to use, yet some are so expert at this Game, as to win great... Estates by this Play. A good Sett of these Reeds, fit to play withal, are valued and sold for a dress'd Doe-Skin." (Lawson, 179,180)

     "The chief trends in political disintegration among the Cherokee can be listed as (1) a loss of the power of the ancient priestly ruling class and the substitution for it of a class of individual conjurers shorn of all political powers (2) The disappearance of the military complex and with this the whole set of social sanctions surrounding war, such as war dances, war titles, and the like. (3) The loss of the retaliatory sanction of blood revenge along with that of war and the substitution of organized legal sanctions of the law courts. (r) The decline in power of the native officials and the substitution of the power of the Ind. Bureau acting from Washington. (5) The increasing dependence as political wards of the American Federal Government and increasing regulation by a hierarchy of political, educational, and welfare officials of the Ind. Bureau.
    "In summary, then, the political changes in mode of integration have resulted in a group of people with the shadow of a government and with formal functions rather than real ones, and with a complete dependence on the will of the party in power at Washington." (Gilbert, 366-67)
     "There has been a leveling of social classes in Cherokee society and removal of the divisions between priests, war officials, and commoners." (Gilbert, 370)

     "The first mint returns of gold were made from North Carolina in 1793, and from South Carolina in 1829, although gold is certainly known to have been found in the latter state some years earlier. The earliest gold records for the other southern states are, approximately, Georgia (near Dahlonega, 1815-1820; Alabama, 1830; Tennessee (Coco Creek, Monroe county), 1831; Maryland (Montgomery county) 1849. Systematic tracing of gold belts southward from North Carolina began in 1829, and speedily resulted in the forcible eviction of the Cherokees from the gold-bearing region. Most of the precious metal was procured from placers or alluvial deposits by a simple process of digging and washing....... From 1804 to 1827 all the gold produced in the United States came from North Carolina, although the total amounted to but $110,000. The discovery of the rich deposits in California checked mining operations in the south, and the civil war brought about an almost complete suspension.." (Mooney, Myths, 220,221)
    It is interesting to note that the Cherokees did not produce gold, although surely some nuggets were continually found, year after year, decade after decade. And, after the big Dahlonega, Georgia, find, from which Cherokees were prohibited to mine, several Cherokees did, indeed, get their fair share. Dayunita (Wm. Shorey Coodey), John Ross's eldest nephew and heir, was spotted in the Georgia gold fields. By physical appearance he could pass for white, and he had several blacks with him, so no one would suspect that he was a prominent Cherokee. It is said that he took his gold to Philadelphia, which was then the banking capitol of North America, put it in the bank, and thereafter never wanted for anything during his life of service to the Cherokee people.
    "Gold had been discovered at Dahlonega in 1828, and among other humiliating restrictions, the Inds. were prevented by presidential order, transmitted through the military commander now stationed in their country, from conducting mining operations upon their own lands. They were even forbidden to hold councils or to elect their own officers" (Milling, 344)
     Speaking of the efforts to remove the Cherokees to the "west", "Pressure on those Cherokee remaining in the east was increased pressure by the discovery of gold near Dahlonega, Ga. The local authorities resorted to violence to bring about their removal, and they were abetted openly by the Federal Government." (Swanton, #137, 113)

      The good man, in the Cherokee ideal, neither expressed anger nor gave others occasion for expressing anger... "the basic principle of conservative values is harmony". The principles explain for Cherokees much of the phenomena of nature, it defines man's place in nature, and it establishes norms of proper conduct among men. This principle of harmony appears to direct those Cherokees today, cautiously and at virtually any cost, to avoid discord. The emphasis in its applications is negative -- thou shalt not create disharmony -- rather than positive. The conflict disallowed in Cherokee human relations is of one kind: it is conflict between two men or several, face-to-face, open and direct.
     The harmony ethic is maintained by the recommendation that a good Cherokee be a "quiet" man "avoiding disharmonious situations".
    "Good Cherokees in the 1700's,..., seem to have avoided direct conflict in three ways: first, by asserting their interests cautiously; second, by turning away from impending conflict; third, by withdrawing from men who openly clashed with their fellows." (Priests, 33)
     "A good man was a man who avoided conflict with his fellows. He asserted  his own rights cautiously; he avoided situations which might entail conflict; and he withdrew from men who were contentious or disrespectful. Harmony was essential. This social ethic frustrated and angered Europeans. When a European asked a Cherokee a question which might lead to open disagreement, the Cherokee would give an evasive answer or no answer at all. As a consequence, the European concluded that the Cherokee was either untruthful or stubborn. The Cherokee, on the other hand, saw his evasion or refusal to answer as a sanction against the European's behavior, and he concluded that the European was stupid because he did not realize that it was a sanction." (Hudson, 224,225)
    "The essential measure of a good man was the ability to maintain cautious, quiet relations, avoiding clashes of interest; men were expected to honor others who, by that measure, were good, and were expected to hope that they might approximate that goal, as an ultimate achievement in their later years". (Priests, 45)
    "The good man is an unusual and an honored man. A people may expect moral virtuosity in some class, or clan, or age-group, and within such groups, unevenly among the members. Some notion about moral virtuosity appears to be a human universal. In the Cherokee instance, it seems clear that young men (men younger than about 55) were simply not expected, as a body, to exhibit this quality in a dependably consistent manner. Hence, in the Cherokee case, the goal held up was a lifetime goal, to be achieved in whatever degree possible in one's later years. The record is reasonably clear that events in Cherokee life (for example the major ceremonies) demonstrated and emphasized that being a good elder -- and especially a priest -- was the highest possible achievement. Being effectively an elder, or becoming a priest, appears to have acquired some large measure of this moral virtuosity. The capacity for circumspect relations, honor, and influence -- these qualities of an elder were to be achieved in a lifetime. Among the old men, achievement was expected to vary; but leaders within that body were expected to come close to the ideal". (Priests, 44,45)
   "A colonial militia captain, Raymond Demere, summed up the elusive nature of the headman's office when he explained to his superiors in 1757 why it was difficult to deal with the Cherokees, even while living in their midst. 'The Savages are an odd Kind of People; as there is no Law nor Subjection amongst them, they can't be compelled to do any Thing nor oblige them to embrace any Party except they please. The very lowest of them thinks himself as great and as high as any of the Rest, every one of them must be courted for their Friendship, with some Kind of a Feeling, and made  much of. So what is called great and leading Men amongst them, are commonly old and middle-aged People, who know how to give a Talk in Favour of whom they have a Fancy for, and that same may influence the Minds of the young Fellows for a Time, but every one is his own Master". (quoted, Reid, Law, 53)
    It should be remembered that a Cherokee male was not considered a "man" (a fully grown and responsible man) until he was about 25 years of age. Ample time was allowed for him to learn, and experience, and grow -- and hopefully to settle down to be a responsible member of society.

      "Presently in came fine Men dress'd up with Feathers, their Faces being covered with Vizards made of Gourds... "...while the other rattled with a Gourd, that had Corn in it, to make a Noise withal: (Lawson, 44,45)
    "The Inds. tap it (Maple, Sugar-Tree) and make Gourds to receive the Liquor... when it best yields its Juice... of which.. they carry it home, and boil it to a just Consistence of Sugar, which grains of itself, and serves for the same Uses, as other Sugar does." (Lawson, 113)
    "The Planters put Gourds on standing Poles, on purpose for these Fowl (Martins) to build in, because they are a very Warlike Bird, and beat the Crows from the Plantations". (Lawson, 149)
     "A .. plant which was important in the agriculture of the Southeastern Inds. was the bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria), one of the oldest plants cultivated in North America, dating to before 1000 B.C. They cultivated it not for food, but for a truly remarkable variety of material uses. The bottle gourd grows to different sizes, ranging from a few inches to as much as fourteen inches in diameter. Its form varies from a small globular shape with a long neck to a large globular shape with a vestigial neck. Its most important property is that when cured it has a hard shell that is superior to pottery in that it is break resistant and very light. From the bottle gourd the Southeastern Inds. made water vessels, dippers, ladles, cups, bowls, bird houses, rattles, masks, and many other things. The large gourds made especially good water vessels. They were made simply by cutting a hole a few inches in diameter on one side of the gourd near the top. This was both the mouth of the vessel and the handle, for the Inds. could carry it by hooking their fingers into the hole. Water would soak very slowly through the gourd, but this was desirable, for as it evaporated it cooled the water inside. (Hudson, 294)
    "The gourd.... gives more than bottles and containers. It is also used for food, floats, musical instruments, medicine, artistic endeavors ... as well as many other ways." (Heiser, 71)
    One of the most important uses of gourds is for containers. The gourd makes an ideal receptacle for water. Some gourds come with an hour-glass figure, more or less, which made it easy to attach a rope for carrying them."
    "Early utensils such as plates, cups, dippers, and spoons were made from gourds in many places."
    "Gourds are used for food in many places in the world. "In Japan the gourd flesh is cut into strips and placed in the sun to dry, or dried in specially constructed buildings, to preserve it for future use. Dried gourd shavings or strips may be found in some stores in Japan under the name Kanpyo.
    "Gourds have also been used as floats for swimmers, somewhat in the fashion of the old water wings. Two gourds were tied together with a string or rope, which was placed under the arms, and the gourds would serve to support a person in the water. Korean women divers used gourds as supports between dives."
     Gourds were used for floats -- for rafts, and fishing nets.....
     Birdhouses were made from gourds, and hunt from the trees near the planted fields of corn. The martins, particularly, kept other birds away.....
     Masks... "their use persisted until fairly recently in the Booger Dance of the Cherokees. These masks had holes for the eyes and mouth and an elongate nose formed by the neck of the gourd.
    "Gourds are usually decorated after they are completely dry. The thin epidermis is usually removed if it has not already weathered off. To accomplish this the gourd is usually soaked in water, after which the outer skin is easily peeled or scraped off. Sometimes whole gourds are used, but more often the gourd is cut in half or the top cut off, depending on the the purpose it is to serve, and the seeds and dried pulp are removed and the inside smoothed. The outside of the gourd is then polished with some variety of rough herb. The gourd then may be decorated in this state -- its natural yellow-tan color, which is not unattractive -- or it may be stained various colors by the use of natural dyes.
    "The pattern or design is traced on the gourd with a pencil or sharp tool. It is then incised with a knife or chisel, a process sometimes known as pressure engraving, and may be left in this state. Among some gourd carvers the background around the patterns or figures is scraped away so that the figure is raised. Frequently, by means of a hot tool -- the gourd is scorched or burned (pyro-engraving). (Heiser, 162,3,4)
    "The black house martin is a favorite with the Cherokees who attract it by fastening hollow gourds to the tops of long poles set up near their houses so that the birds may build their nests in them. 'The planters put gourds on standing poles on purpose for these fowl to build in, because they are a very warlike bird and beat the crows from the plantations'. (Lawson, 218, quoted in Mooney, Myths, 455)
   Today, other uses made from gourds are flowers, lamps, Christmas tree ornaments, wreaths, dolls, hats, and all types of dishes. Also, musical instruments....   and rattles...
RATTLES: "sometimes more than a single gourd is used to make a rattle, or pieces of gourd may be threaded on a stick to make a rattling instrument. Although gourds are usually shaken, sometimes they are attached to a stick that is stamped on the ground or hit against the thighs.
      "Not everyone appreciated the music of the gourd rattle, as is evident from Capt. John Smith's account of the Inds. of Virginia. "Their chief instruments," he writes, "are rattles made of small gourds or pumpeons shells. Of these they have base, tenor, counter-tenor, mean, and treble. These mingled with their voices, sometimes twenty or thirty together, make such a terrible noise as would rather affright than delight any man". quoted in Heiser, 184)
    Interesting Note: A telephone 1000 years old was discovered in the ruins of a Peruvian palace? It consisted of two gourd necks, one end of each covered with hide and pulled taut to carry the human voice.

    "The King is the Ruler of the Nation, and has others under him, to assist him, as his War-Captains, and Counsellors, who are pick'd out and chosen from among the ancientest Men of the Nation he is King of. These meet him in all general Councils and Debates, concerning War, Peace, Trade, Hunting, and all the Adventures and Accidents of Human Affairs, which appear within their Verge; where all Affairs are discoursed of and argued pro and con, very deliberately (without making any manner of Parties or Divisions) for the Good of the Publick; for, as they meet there to treat, they discharge their Duty with all the Integrity imaginable, never looking towards their Own Interest, before the Publick Good. After every Man has given his Opinion, that which has most Voices, or, in Summing up, is found the most reasonable, that they make use of without any Jars and Wrangling, and put it in Execution, the first Opportunity that offers.
    "The Succession falls not to the King's son, but to his Sister's Son, which is a sure way to prevent Impostors in the Succession. Sometimes they poison the Heir to make way for another, which is not seldom done, when they do not approve of the Youth that is to succeed them. The King himself is commonly chief Doctor in that Cure." (Lawson, 204,205)
NOTE: The poisoning spoken of here has never been reported within the Cherokee Nation, although all other things Lawson reports applies to the Cherokee Nation. The writers and historians report that the heir is the sister's son, never realizing that the ruling king might have more than one sister. They should report, the heir is the eldest son of the ruler's eldest sister, just as he was the eldest son of an eldest sister. If the elder sister should not have a son, or if he should die before taking his office, then it would naturally go to the eldest son of the next-elder sister, etc. And, in the Cherokee Nation, there would never be a need to poison an heir apparent... he could be voted out. Although the above was true, nothing was absolute until the time of the new king's investure -- and if the women, in particular, thought that another candidate would make a better king, they could make him such. This is another reason that "being a good man" was a paramount consideration of all Cherokee males, and particularly the born princes (kettagustah) of the nation (that is, the sons of these eligible women) (OUKAH, in person, 2000)
     "The whole Cherrokee Nation is governed by seven Mother Towns, each of these Towns chuse a King to preside over them and their Dependants; he is elected out of certain Families, and they regard only the Descent by the Mother's Side.
     "The Towns which chuse Kings are Tannassie, Kettoowah, Ustenary, Telliquo, Estootowie, Keyowee, Noyohee; whereof four of the Kings are dead, and their Places are to be supply'd by new Elections.
     "The Kings now alive are the Kings of Tannassie in the Upper Settlements, the King of Ketooah in the Middle Settlements, and the King of Ustenary in the Lower Settlements.
     "There are several Towns that have Princes, such as Tamasso, one, Settecho one, Tassetchee one, Iwassee one, Telliquo two, Tannassie two, Cannostee one, Cowee one.
     "Besides these, every Town has a Head Warrior, who is in great Esteem among them..." (Early Travels in the Tennessee Country, Journal of Sir Alexander Cuming (1730).
    "The first British superintendent of Ind. affairs for the southern colonies, Edmond Atkin of South Carolina, contrasted the Lower Cherokees with the Overhills, also called "Upper Towns" when he wrote in 1755: 'The upper and lower Cherokees differ from each other, as much almost as two different Nations. The upper (among whom the Emperor resides) being much more warlike, better Governed, better affected to us, and as sober and well behaved as the others are debauched and Insolent .. They seldom take part in each others Wars, which is the case also with the upper and lower Creeks, with whom they are often at War .. that is, the Lower Cherokees with the Lower Creeks .. The middle Cherokees are much more like the upper, than the lower." (Reid, Hatchet, 3)
    "It might be asked whether we can even speak of "Cherokee government". There was a Chota government, a Keowee government, a Hywassee government, and up to 60 other governments.. Certainly there was no authority, no head of state, no lawmaking body with which other nations could deal. It is too strong a term to call the Cherokee nation a confederacy of towns. At best, it was a collection of towns populated by a common people. At worst -- in times of strife -- it was anarchy. Yet we cannot conclude that there was no national government. When the headmen of certain towns furnished a leadership that others would follow, the nation became a functioning reality, and this occurred as often as not.
      "Should we, therefore, define the Cherokee nation as a government of independent towns joined together by a shifting, changing leadership, which arose to meet individual crises, and which arranged and rearranged itself to meet the problems at hand? This definition leaves two remaining questions. What was it that united the nation, if not a coercive government? And how did the headmen rise to influence? The answer to the first question is the clans, and to the second, the will of the people." (Reid, Law, 33)
(Constitutional): Nobody but the present Oukah has ever noted that neither the Cherokee Constitution of 1827-28 and the new one in 1839 (written by his g-g-grandfather, Dayunita) mentions a "form" of government. Perhaps to the protests of the Whitepath followers' protests, or perhaps a deliberate choice, it has never been officially termed a "republic", a "democracy" or anything else. It is simply called a "government".
     "A republican government was set up copying in its main features the characteristics of the US Government... There were democratically elected representatives and the usual tripartite division into legislative, judicial, and executive arms. Eight districts were established with four represen- tatives to a district. The tribal legislature consisted of two houses, a national committee, and a national council. Four circuit judges were provided for and courts were held in each district annually, the judges being provided with a company of light horse who executed the laws. A ranger was provided in each district to care for stray property. Taxes were assessed to pay for tribal debts, road repairs, schoolhouses, and the like. Penalties were enacted for horse stealing and such things as the liquor traffic and slavery were regulated and restricted.
    At a council at Brooms Town in the fall of 1808, the Cherokees reorganized their government. A letter from Rev. Blackburn said: "...a few days ago, in general council, they adopted a Constitution, which embraces a single principle of government. The legislative and judicial powers are vested in a general council, and lesser ones subordinate...the laws are in the following style: "Be it enacted by the General Council of the Cherokee Nation...." (Woodward, 126) Note: this was the first change of government from the old ways that we have encountered. It was also the virtual end of the Cherokee "clans" and their functions.

      "From data furnished by Haywood, guns appear to have been first introduced among the Cherokee about the year 1700 or 1710, although he himself puts the date much earlier. (Mooney, Myths, 213)
      Later events would prove disastrous for the Cherokees because the use of their bows and arrows, and blowguns, fell into disuse. For instance, the armies of Virginia and North and South Carolina being sent into the Cherokee Nation to destroy their towns were successful because they met with little if any resistance. A few Cherokees hidden in the trees and hillsides of the passes through which these armies had to pass, could have silently picked them off one by one with a bow and arrow or a blowgun.

     "All of the head hair of the men was plucked out save for a small patch from which grew the scalplock, which latter was ornamented with wampum of shell and beads, feathers, and stained deer's hair". (Gilbert, 317)
    "They can color their hair black, though some times it is reddish, which they do with the seed of a flower that grows commonly in their plantations. I believe this would change the reddest hair into perfect black." (Lawson, 358)
    "There is one remarkable circumstance respecting the hair of the head... Besides the lankness, extraordinary natural length (on behalf of the women)... it is of a shining black or brown color, showing the same splendor and changeableness at different exposures to the light. The traders informed me that they preserved its perfect blackness and splendor by the use of the red farinaceous or fursy covering of the berries of the common sumac (Rhus glabra). Overnight they rub this red powder into their hair, as much as it will contain, tying it up close with a handkerchief till morning, when they carefully comb it out and dress their hair with clear bears' oil." (Bartram, 29,30)
     (Their color) ..."is of a tawny, which would not be so dark did they not dawb themselves with bear's oil, and a color like burnt cork. This is begun in their infancy and continued for a long time, which fills the pores and enables them better to endure the extremity of the weather. They are never bald on their heads, although never so old, which, I believe, proceeds from their heads being always uncovered, and the greasing their hair so often as they do, with bear's fat, which is a great nourisher of the hair, and causes it to grow very fast. Amongst the bear's oil, when they intend to be fine, they mix a certain red powder, that comes from a scarlet root which they get in the hilly country, near the foot of the great ridge of mountains, and it is no where else to be found. They have this scarlet root in great esteem, and sell it for a very great price one to another... With this and bear's grease they anoint their heads and temples, which is esteemed as ornamental, as sweet powder to our hair. Besides, this root has the virtue of killing lice, and suffers none to abide or breed in their heads. For want of this root, they sometimes use pecoon root, which is of a crimson color, but it is apt to die the hair of an ugly hue. (Lawson, 281)
    "Both sexes pluck all the hair off their bodies, with a kind of tweezers, made formerly of clam-shells -- holding this  ... razor between their forefinger and thumb, they deplume themselves, after the manner of the Jewish novitiate priests and proselytes". (Adair, 6)
    "The Cherokee women wear the hair of their head, which is so long that it generally reaches to the middle of their legs, and sometimes to the ground, club'd, and ornamented with ribbons of various colors; but, except their eye-brows, pluck it from all the other parts of the body..." (Timberlake, 75-77)
    "Every different nation when at war trim their hair after a different manner, through contempt of each other; thus we can distinguish an enemy in the woods, so far off as we can see him." (Adair, 8)
    "The hair of their head is shaved tho' many of the old people have it plucked out by the roots, except a patch on the hinder part of the head, about twice the bigness of a crown piece, which is ornamented with beads, feathers, wampum, stained deer's hair and such like baubles." (Timberlake, 75)
    "The men shave their head, leaving a narrow crest or comb, beginning at the crown of the head, where it is about two inches broad and about the same height; and stands frized upright; but this crest tending backwards, gradually widens, covering the hinder part of the head and back of the neck; the lank hair behind is ornamented with pendant silver quills, and then joined or articulated silver plates; and usually the middle fascicle of hair, being by far the longest, is wrapped in a large quill of silver, or at the joint of a small reed, curiously sculptured and painted, the hair contining through it terminates in a tail or tassel. (Bartram, 499)
     Girls learned early in life to groom their long hair with combs made of copper, cane, wood, or sometimes shell and was removed by shells and hot water...shells were used by both sexes as tweezers and razors. Use of flint razors was widespread. (quote, unknown)
     Until the middle to late 1700's, when Cherokee life was beginning to change due to the influence of the white settlers, Cherokee men shaved their heads, leaving only a small tuft towards the back, to which they sometimes applied decorations, such as beads and/or feathers. They never wore a head covering except in the coldest of weather, and then it was a coonskin cap, the same that was adopted by Daniel Boone and other early pioneers. Later, this was mostly replaced by a cloth turban, particularly among the older men. No Cherokee man was ever reported as having long hair, not even the purely homosexual or berdache.

   "In the Cherokee cosmology the world upon which ordinary people and animals lived was a great flat island suspended from the sky by four cords and floating on a sea of water. The earth was covered over by a vault, and above this there was the upper world. Beneath the earth and the waters was the other world.
    "Each of the worlds had distinctive symbolic properties. The sun and moon were of the upper world. The moon was thought to be female and was associated with rain. The sun was the principal deity ... In the upper world, things existed in a grander and more pure form than they did in this world. For example, animals in the upper world were much larger than animals existing in this world, and they existed prior to animals in this world. In contract, beings in the under world were ghosts of monsters, or creatures with inverted properties. The seasons in the under world were just the opposite of seasons in this world. Beings in the under world sometimes wore rattlesnakes about their necks and wrists, a grisly inversion of the custom of wearing necklaces and bracelets in this world.
    "Each of the worlds had things that were appropriate to it. Sacred fire was of the upper world, and water was of the under world, and they were opposed to each other. They could never be brought into contact with each other. Each of the worlds had the characteristic animals which were organized into families, clans, and towns in just the way that human beings were organized. One important being in the upper world was 'the great hawk', a giant bird of prey, who was believed to kill by dropping from the sky and striking his victim with his sharp breast. The principal animals of this world were the four-footed animals, among whom the deer was perhaps the most important. The deer was first among all the four-footed animals. The animals of the under world were snakes, lizards, fish, and also certain mammals, such as the beaver and the otter, who are of the water, and the panther, who goes about at night. Now virtually extinct, this panther was once widespread in the Southeast.
    "In addition to this division of the cosmos into three levels, the middle level, or this world, was divided into four quarters. Each quarter or direction had a series of values associated with it. For the Cherokees the east was the direction of the sun; it was associated with the color red, with sacred fire, with blood, and with power and success. The west was associated with the moon, souls of the dead, the color black, and death. North was associated with cold, the color blue (also purple), and with trouble and defeat. The south was associated with warmth, the color white, and with peace and happiness. The color white was one of the most important ritual colors of the Cherokees, denoting age, wisdom, and respect...."
    "... The Cherokee world was filled with spirits whose behavior was modeled after that of persons. Their theoretical idiom was a personalized idiom. They thought of animals as being divided up into the same kinds of kinship groups that prevailed in human society. The bear, the deer, and the other animals were believed to be grouped into 'tribes'. Thus, men and animals were not as sharply separated as we have them. They were very much parts of the same world. So the relationships among animals were patterned after human relationships, and by the same token, the main Cherokee kinship groups, the clans, were named after the animals..."
    "...the Cherokees realized ... that man can become too numerous, and that this is to the detriment of the natural world. They also realized that man is inconsiderate of nature, abusing it, and that nature is capable of striking back. Even when compared to the knowledge and theory accumulated in modern ecology, these are impressive realizations....
    "... we can see that the basic assumption of the Cherokees, was that in order to live, man must exploit nature, inflicting injury upon her, but that he should do so with great care and even with reverence. The Cherokees had to kill deer for food, but they were careful to utter the appropriate prayers, and to kill only for necessity, not for sport. It would seem that this assumption has a long-term superiority to our own assumption that man should conquer nature. It would sponsor a far more rational approach to dealing with nature than that so long advocated and practiced by present leaders in education, government, industry, and religion.
    "The shame of it all is that we could have learned from the Cherokees but did not. And we compounded the tragedy by defining the Cherokees as being themselves a part of nature, as 'savages', so that it was all right to brutally push them west of the Mississippi River, in much the way we bulldoze the earth for space to build a new shopping center."  (Cherokee Concept of Natural Balance; Ind. Historian, Vol. 3, No. 4, 51-54, 1970)
    Cherokee people did not sleep well when things were not right. Whatever was wrong must be put right. Nobody rested well until it was accomplished. This is truly evidenced when on several occasions an "Oukah" was displaced -- things were not right then, as he had been chosen to rule as a son of one of the high-ranking women, he had been trained to rule, and he had been confirmed into his post and position -- therefore, after he was disciplined, he was restored to his rightful place. But the same was true on the negative side: if a crime or murder had been committed, it must be avenged or atoned for. Until that time there was unrest, because it was unfinished business. "Making things right" was a serious and ongoing bit of business among the ancient Cherokee people.

       "...plant materials provided ... the bulk of curing substances.... With a plant milieu consisting of literally thousands of floristic specimens, of which the Cherokees knew and used at least 800 individual types, the native found that the environment acted as a medical dispensary as well as a food storehouse.
    "Plant lore was quite strong among the Cherokees, and the medicinal benefits of many plants were recognized throughout their vast lands. Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium), for instance, was one of the most popular herbs commonly used to cure a multitude of ailments, including headaches and apoplexy. Additionally, the Carolina Pinkroot (Spigellia marylandiea) was consumed to expel worms, or mixed with wild grapes to reduce a fever. Wood-fern (Dryhopteris spp.) when employed in a root decoction, could be drunk to produce vomiting (for purification purposes) or warmed in the mouth to relieve toothaches.
    "Other herbs of widespread use, included: wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) -- an annual or biennial plant with thick conic roots, used to sweat away disease spirits; Golden seal (Hyrastis anadensis) -- a yellow root, mixed with bear's grease and administered as a repeliant; liverwort (Hepatica) -- a plant with fibrous roots, used for coughs; cat-gut (Tephosia) -- a stringly root, used either as a cathartic or drunk for exhaustion; and boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) -- a perennial herb, used for curing coughs and colds.
    "...Purification of the body prior to ceremonial partaking was mandatory, and usually required the ingestion of plant emetics, such as the famous "black drink" (Ilex cassine).
    "One of the best examples of how much value the Cherokees attached to herbs involved the decoction known as Green Corn Medicine -- that was consumed by all those involved in the Green Corn Festival. The medicine consisted of: bearded wheat grass (Apropyron aninum); Adams's-Needle (Yucca filamentosa); spiny amaranth (Amaranthus spinosus); green amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus); wild lettuce (Latuca canadensis); jewelweed (Impatens bilfora); ragweed (Ambrosia trifida and Ambrosia elatior); wild comfrey (Cynoglossum virginianum); gourd (Cucurbita lagenaria; and volunteer corn (Zea mays). (Goodwin, 60,61)

HEREDITY: see Kinship

     "The bones, antlers and teeth of animals were the raw materials for tools and ornaments. Many of the bone tools were employed in leather working. The processing of hides and the fashioning of them into clothing, footwear, bedding, containers, straps and thongs formed a major industry, probably engaged in by women exclusively and almost continuously....
    "..The common... method of preparing hides was to stretch the skin on the ground and scrape it clean, removing the flesh with bone or antler scrapers, and the hair with flint blades. The usual tanning was merely a matter of smearing the hide with the fat, brains and liver of the animal and then soaking it in water overnight. Sometimes the skin was also smoked. Next, it was stretched on a pole framework to dry, and finally made pliable by working between the hands or sliding back and forth across a pole.
    "While flint knives were the cutting tools used in leather work, all of the assembling was done with bone awls and needles". (Lewis & Kneberg, 28,29)
    "Their Way of dressing their Skins is by soaking them in Water, so they get the Hair off, with an Instrument made of the Bone of a Deer's Foot; yet some use a sort of Iron Drawing-Knife, which they purchase of the English, and after the Hair is off, they dissolve Deers Brains (which beforehand are made in a Cake and baked in the Embers) in a Bowl of Water, so soak the Skins therein, till the Brains have suck'd up the Water; then they dry it gently and keep working it with an Oyster-Shell, or some such thing, to scrape withal, till it is dry; whereby it becomes soft and pliable. Yet these so dress'd will not endure wet, but become hard thereby; which to prevent, they either cure them in the Smoke, or tan them with Bark, as before observ'd; not but that young Ind. Corn, beaten to a Pulp, will effect the same as the Brains." (Lawson, 217)
    "The women cured animal skins and used them to make most of the clothing. The men skinned the animals they killed and dressed the skins in a preliminary way, but from this point on women were responsible for processing them. The ..first step was to remove all the remaining flesh from the skin and dry it in the sun. They they punched holes all around the skin and immersed it in water for two or three days. After this it was wrung dry and hung over an inclined log and all the hair was scraped off with a piece of flint set into the notched end of a stick, or else with a drawing knife made of hardwood or the leg bone of a deer. Hair was not removed from buffalo and bear skins. The skin was then soaked in a vessel of water to which pulverized deer brains had been added. After this the women   pounded the skin to soften it. Then it was stretched on a frame and dried. The next step was to dig a shallow pit and fill it with corncobs, dried animal dung, and rotten wood. A small dome of saplings was erected over this, and the skin was pegged down and stretched over it. The contents of the pit were burned to produce dense clouds of smoke. After having been smoked on one side, the skin was turned over and smoked on the other. The Natchez sewed skins together using sinew and an awl made from the leg of a heron. The skins were usually dyed yellow, red, blue, green, or black. When exposed to water the skins shrank but remained supple." (Hudson, 266,7)
For detailed instructions on Hides, Furs, Tanning, etc. go to:
or go to any search engine and enter the appropriate words, such as "leather tanning"

     (Ancient): "According to Haywood, historical reconstruction, two streams of culture and probably two races coalesced in the distant past to form the Cherokee (nation) as it was found by the whites. The earlier of these two groups built mounds, made idols, performed human sacrifices, built walled wells of brick, erected fortification, worshipped the lingam, revered the number seven, and lived under despotic princes. These people were from southern Asia and bore a culture affiliated with that of the ancient Hindus and Hebrews. Their domain was coincident with that of the earlier Natchez people who at that time ruled the major part of the Lower Mississippi and Gulf Coast area. Whether he thinks the Natchez of later times were a remnant of these particular people or not, Haywood does not make clear. Later, he postulates, there came a band of savages from the north, originally from northern Asia, democratic in organization and possessed of an efficient military organization. These people possessed themselves of the country of eastern Tennessee and gradually amalgamated with the aborigines to form the Cherokees as they are historically known." (Gilbert, 313)

      "Of a character somewhat similar to uncleanness was the sacredness which attached to certain places, persons, things, and events. A priest's house or door was sacred and any refugee from blood revenge might find safety there. The west half of the council house was holier than the rest and no woman was allowed therein. Also the space above the white seats were still more sacred, and none could sit there but the highest officials. Mountains were more sacred than low ground and Mount Ketunho the most of all. The mountains were probably more sacred because of the game which resided therein. Ground under the water was more sacred than open ground because the water was regarded as cleansing in its action. Places of refuge were sacred because no blood could be spilt there. Men were more sacred than women (possibly because of the numerous taboos on women...) Priests, again, were more sacred than other men and their garments and pipes and wives were holy also. This holiness was allied with the general aura of magical power which surrounded the priests. Holy fire was sacred and no torches could be lit from it, nor any cooking done with it. Holy fire could not be handled by a woman. The ark was likewise holy and no one but the priest or his right-hand man might carry it. Needless to say, no woman could touch it. The council house was more holy than other houses. December and January were the most holy months. The most holy of the ceremonies was the Green Fruits Feast and after that the New Moon Feast, or September.
    "The general character of Cherokee sacredness is definable as that quality which separates the object, person, or thing from the rest of daily affairs and requires handling in a special manner. Uncleanness likewise fits into this definition, with the added qualification that a certain amount of social dysphoria or malaise is involved in the latter which requires a treatment calculated to restore euphoria or well-being by dissolving the uncleanness." (Gilbert, 346-347)

      "It is well known... was exceptionally charitable to his fellow tribesmen, as well as hospitable to strangers. "If any one of them has suffered a Loss by Fire or otherwise, they order the grieved Person to make a Feast, and invite them all thereto, which, on the day appointed, they come to, and after every Man's mess of Victuals is dealt to him, one of their Speakers, or grave old Men, makes an Harrangue, and acquaints the Company that that Man's House has been burnt, wherein all his goods were destroyed; that he and his Family very narrowly escaped; that he is every Man's Friend in that Company; and that it is all their duties to help him, as he would do to any of them, had like Misfortune befallen them. After this Oration is over, every Man, according to his quality, throws him down upon the Ground some Present, which is commonly Beads, Roanoak, Peak, Skins or Furs, and which very often amounts to treble the amount he has suffered. The same assistance they give to any Man that wants to build a Cabin, or make a Canoe. They say it is our Duty thus to do; for there are several Works that one Man cannot effect... It often happens that a Woman is destitute of her Husband, and has a great many children to maintain; such a Person they always help, and make the young men plant, reap and do everything for her that she is not capable of doing for herself; yet they do not allow anyone to be idle; but to employ themselves in some Work or other". (Milling, 32,33).
    "The Southeastern Inds. had elaborate rules of hospitality which promoted travel among friendly towns. To be accused of being stingy with food was one of the worst things that could be said about a person. When a traveler arrived in a town, he greeted the first person he saw with: "I am come". To this the person simply replied: "You are: it is good." The traveler was offered tobacco, food, and refreshment and was taken to the square ground or town house to be greeted by the important men of the town. After these formalities they would talk, exchanging news. If the traveler found members of his clan in the town, he spent the night in one of their households; if not, he spent the night in the town house. The Inds. were as undemonstrative in saying goodbye as they were in saying hello. When a man was ready to depart, he rose and said: "I go". And his hosts simply replied: "You do." (Hudson, 314,315)

      "square houses of poles or logs often containing three rooms and built one or two stories high.. plastered inside and out with grass-tempered clay... and roofed with chestnut-tree bark or long broad shingles. Inside, the beds were boards covered with bear skins; there was an open fire, utensils, and little else. Near each house stood a sweathouse, used by the ill to purify themselves (Gilbert: 316).
    "The ancient houses were of split sticks laid in the mud, the ends being made fast by means of gutters in the side of the posts. The household fire was lighted in the middle of the building, and a hole was left in the roof above it for smoke to get out. On the side of the house were small holes 1 foot square for windows. There were beds on the side and the back ends of the house 3 feet high and covered with cane fastened together, or some other kind of mattress. There was a separate house for the females, who always retired when visitors arrived. A whole settlement ws made up of near relatives, and the family connections generally settled together. The head of a village always invited strangers in, and his wife their wives. (Gilbert, 341)
    "The Cherokees of this period resided in square houses of poles or logs often containing three rooms and built one or two stories high. These dwellings were plastered inside and out with grass-tempered clay and were roofed with chestnut-tree bark or long broad shingles. In the roof a smoke hole was left. Houses were constructed by the men. Within the ordinary dwelling there was little furniture aside from beds consisting of a few boards spread with bear skins." (Gilbert, 316)
    "A small sweathouse stood opposite the front door of each dwelling and within the sweathouse a fire was kept constantly burning. The use of the sweathouse for sweating was a means of purifying from disease". (Gilbert, 316)
    "A look into a Cherokee house of more antiquity is revealed in various excavations. From those in western North Carolina, it is written: "The typical building was of wattle-and-daub construction, with a roughly square or occasionally circular plan, bark-covered or thatched roof, and central clay fire basin." (Dickens, 14)
    "Houses at the Warren Wilson site were constructed of vertical posts that were set individually in the ground, except for the vestibule entrances where they were set close together in short trenches. The buildings were square or slightly rectangular in plan, with an average measurement along the outer walls of about 20 feet. The roofs were supported by four large posts set on the house floor at points equidistant from the outer walls. In some cases, there was evidence that posts had been arranged between the roof supports in an effort to divide the interior of the house into rooms." (Dickens, 33-34)
    "Each family had a house... A small, scooped-out fireplace occupied the center of the floor, and beside it was a large, flat hearthstone for baking corn bread. One end of the house was used for storage of food and other family possessions, and the other end for sleeping. The beds, arranged around the walls at that end, were made of saplings and woven splints. This type of house furnished the main living quarters, but each family also had a smaller, partly subterranean, winter house where the members slept during cold weather. The winter house was furnished with beds and had a fireplace where a fire was kept burning all day, and banked at night. The white traders, who called these "hot houses", borrowed the idea and built similar ones for their own comfort.
    "Hot houses were used by the medicine men for giving sweat baths, a standard method of treating certain diseases, as well as a purification ritual. Still another use for the hot houses was for secret meetings where certain priests, called 'Myth Keepers' recited and discussed the lore of the tribe, and instructed chosen young men in the secret knowledge of myth keepers. (Lewis & Kneberg, 158)
    "...their modern houses are tolerably well built. A number of thick posts is fixed in the ground, according to the plan and dimensions of the house, which rarely exceeds sixteen feet in breadth, on account of the roofing, but often extend to sixty or seventy in length, beside the little hot-house. Between each of these posts is placed a smaller one, and the whole wattled with twigs like a basket, which is then covered with clay very smooth, and sometimes white-washed. Instead of tiles, they cover them with narrow boards. Some of these houses are two story high, tolerably pretty and capacious; but most of them very inconvenient for want of chimneys, a small hole being all the vent assigned in many for the smoak to get out at." (Timberlake, 84)
    "...I have never felt any ill, unsavory Smell in their Cabins, whereas, should we live in our Houses, as they do, we should be poison'd with our own Nastiness; which confirms these Inds. to be, as they really are, some of the sweetest People in the World". (Lawson, 180)
    "The number of houses in each town ranged from as few as twelve to more than one hundred. Each residence included separate summer and winter houses made from local trees, saplings, bark, clay, cane, and grass. To build a house (the whole town" joined forces, according to Adair, often assisted by "the nearest of their tribe (clan) in neighboring towns". In one day, they could complete the construction of a house."  (Hill, 69)
    "Small storehouses made of logs and chinked with mud rose from the ground behind each house. A ladder of saplings led to a low door, the only opening in the storehouse. Like the homes shared by daughters and mothers, these corn cribs (unwada'li) belonged to the women. They climbed up to the storehouses daily to deposit or retrieve corn and beans. "Their corn-houses," recorded DeBrahm, "are raised up upon four posts, four and some five feet high from the Ground" with floors of "round Poles, on which the Corn-worms cannot lodge, but fall through"" Predatory animals could not reach the stored foods, and the round poles, often stalks of rivercane, resisted fire, water, and insects." (Hill, 70)
      At the turn of the century, 1799-1800, "Homes made with upright poles and central hearths stood near cabins of horizontal logs with fireplaces at one end and "chimneys fixed on the outside". At Hiwasse in 1799, Kulsathee's small dwelling was "built of hewn logs; is nearly floored, has a walled fireplace, and everything looks neat and clean". Between Hiwassee and the new town of Wachovee, Betsy Martin's house "of hewn logs, well chinked and covered on the inside with white clay" stood near a dwelling "built only of poles, not boarded, with nothing inside but fire and people".
    "At the eighteenth century turned into the nineteenth, housing styles varied from simple cabins to elaborate plantations, indicating increasing disparity in wealth. "The great majority" built log houses with wood "put up rough as they come from the forest" and roofed with wide strips of bark held down by poles. Others hewed logs for more spacious dwellings, and some faced the logs with "common boards" in the manner of prosperous whites. Along the new public roads that brought traffic and money through the Nation, affluent Cherokees (like James Vann) built "elegant houses of brick or painted board". By 1830, missionary Samuel Worcester reported that Cherokee housing ranged "from an elegant painted or brick mansion, down to a very mean log cabin". The homogeneity that once characterized residential structures disappeared. Housing became an expression of individuality rather than community". (Hill, 107, 108)
    Bartram noted: "The Cherokee construct their habitations on a different plan from the Creeks; that is; one oblong four-square building of one story high, the materials consisting of the trunks of trees, stripped of their bark, notched at the ends, fixed one upon another, and afterward plaistered well, both inside and out with clay well tempered with dry grass, and the whole covered or roofed with the bark of the chestnut tree or long, broad shingles. The building is, however, partitioned transversely, forming three apartments, which communicate with each other by inside doors; each house or habitation has besides a little conical house, covered with dirt, which is called the winter or hot house; this stands a few yards distant from the mansion-house, opposite the front door." (quoted in Woodard, 47)
    Adair (p. 361) states that the Inds. used either long-leaf pine, locust, or sassafras posts for their houses as they lasted for generations. He further explains (418,419) that the shingles were "sewed" on, i.e., wet buffalo rawhide was passed through holes bored in the wood, which contracted on drying. Chests and door panels were secured in the same manner."
     "Few Southeastern houses had more than one door... Adair described them as: "The(y)  always make their doors of poplar, because the timber is large, and very light when seasoned, as well as easy to be hewed; they cut the tree to a proper length, and split it with a maul and hard wooden wedges, when they have indented it a little, in convenient places, with their small hatchets. They often make a door of one plank in breadth, but, when it requires two planks, they fix two or three cross boards to the inner side, at a proper distance, and bore each of them... and sew them together with straps of a shaved and wet buffalo hide, which tightens as it dries, and it is almost as strong as if it were done with long nails, riveted in the usual manner. (Adair, 1775, 450)
HOT HOUSES: "For each family, a winter hot house (osi) stood opposite the summer house. Fewer trees, but of a larger size, went into the construction of these small, circular buildings. Builders first sank into the ground several "strong forked posts". Above the posts "they tie very securely large pieces of the heart of white oak" interwoven "from top to bottom".  Adair reported that inside the circle of posts, the builders formed a rectangle with four large pine trunks sunk "very deep in the ground" they laid on top of them "a number of heavy logs" to construct a conical roof. "Above this huge pile" they put "a number of long dry poles", weaving them tightly together with split saplings. They covered the entire roof with six or seven inches of "tough clay, well mixt with withered grass". The final insulation was thatch made of "the longest sort of dry grass, that their land produces".
    "Cane benches, which were "raised on four forks of timber of proper height" and tied with "fine white oak splinters" lined the interior walls. Mats "made of long cane splinters" covered the benches. For warmth, there were skins of "buffalos, panthers, bears, elks, and deer" which women had dressed until hey were "soft as velvet". ...
    "In the center of each hot house "some of the women make a large fire of dried wood, with which they chiefly provide themselves." The fire burned all day and night in winter. A long cane lay by each bench, and as the flames diminished, a single sweep on the cane pushed aside the ashes, and the fire blazed up again..... Children and elders spent cold winter days in the hot houses, and everyone gathered there at night. In the osi, elders told stories of the creation of the world, and morality tales of the animals; and in turn, children learned their tribal traditions". (Hill, 71,72)
    The times were achanging in the late 1700's. "Hot houses -- remained common. Hawkins found the "old people and many of the women and children" of Etowah sleeping in hot houses in the winter of 1796. He assumed the tradition persisted because people were "unprovided with blankets and winter cloathing". Hawkins may have been right. When Norton toured the Nation in 1809, he thought hot houses were "getting much out of use". In those same weeks, however, young Itagu-nuhi was spending long winter nights around a hot house fire learning the stories of creation. And when he was an old man called John Ax, he related some of them to anthropologist James Mooney." (Hill, 108)

     There is written evidence of pots and pans, spoons, bowls, and platters fashioned out of wood. "...the spoons which they eat with, do generally hold half a pint; and they laugh at the English for using small ones, which they must be forc'd to carry so often to their Mouths, that their arms are in danger of being tir'd, before their Belly". (Beverley, bk 3, 17)
     There were also spoons and dippers make of bison horn. It was said that the best spoons were made of box-elder, but sycamore, elm, or other woods were often employed, sometimes maple.
COMBS: Various examples of combs have been found in ancient burial sites, but little is written about them. They must have been widely used, however, and ever day, as Cherokees were very vain in their personal appearance, and spent a great deal of time on personal adornment. One description of the Choctaw comb, however, probably fits all throughout the Southeastern area: "They are very ingenious in making tools, utensils, and furniture; I have seen a narrow tooth comb made by one of these savages with a knife only out of the root of the (persimmon) that was as well finished as I ever saw one with all the necessary tools" (Romans, 83)
KNIVES: "The canes or reeds of which I have spoken so often may be considered of two kinds. The one grows in moist places ... The others, which grow in dry lands, are neither as tall nor as large, but they are so hard that these people used split portions of these canes ... with which to cut their meat..." DuPratz, vol. w, 58,59) The customary way of using a knife was to draw it forward towards the user, rather than whittling outwards, or a sawing motion.
SCRATCHERS: " instrument somewhat like a comb, which was made of a split reed, with fifteen teeth of rattlesnakes, set at much the same distance as in a large horn comb" (Lawson, 76)
STOOLS: One reporter was seated upon a wooden chair about two feet high, without back or arms, and all of one piece.
WOODEN MORTARS: Common throughout the entire Southeast area were the wooden mortars and pestles in which to grind corn. They were all made approximately in the same way. One description is: the mortar is "wide at the mouth, and gradually narrows to the bottom. The(y) always used mortars, instead of mills, ... they cautiously burned a large log, to a proper level and length, placed fire a-top, and wet mortar round it, in order to give the utensil a proper form; and when the fire was extinguished, or occasion required, they chopped the inside with their stone instruments, patiently continuing the slow process, till they finished the machine to the intended purpose". (Adair, 437)
     Another description says: "a pad of kneaded earth (which they placed) on the upper side, that which they wished to hollow. They put fire in the middle and blew it by means of a reed pipe, and if the fire consumed more rapidly on one side than on the other they immediatley placed some mud there. They continued this until the mortar was sufficiently wide and deep." DuPratz, vol. w, 177; quoted in Swanton, 1911,67)
    "The pestle that goes with this utensil is also of wood. Its length is usually about six feet. The lower end that goes into the cavity of the mortar and does the crushing is rounded off. The top of the pestle is left broad, to act as a weight and give force to its descent. Several forms of carving are to be observed in these clubbed pestle tops which are presumably ornamental" (Speck, 41)
WOODEN BOXES: There are also reports of wooden boxes having been made and used, mainly for storing very precious objects, and later documents such as signed treaties. Articles placed in them were safe, then, from vermin and moths (perhaps they were the first American cedar chests).  It is said they were very tight-fitting, and worked with admirable workmanship. Evidently none have survived.

      "In the case of young men  preparing to be hunters, the rites were somewhat different but are even less known. The boy went to certain priests at the beginning of the year in September or March and separated himself from women and other worldly affairs for 4 years while he was training. The use of the divining stone in hunting was taught to the pupils and also the sweatbath was taken by them. The melt of deer was sacrificed, and a ceremony was taught which was to accompany the opening and the closing of the hunting season. Houses were sometimes cleansed and new fire made in them at this time by hunters after a hunt. Sweating in the sweat house was followed by a cold plunge into the creek.  During hunting expeditions the hunter could have no intercourse with his wife or other women. Although the priest could accompany the chief hunters whom he had trained, he often authorized the latter to perform sacrifice in his stead. Magical decoctions of plants were also drunk in these ceremonies.: (Gilbert, 342)
    "Hunting forays... normally occurred for only two or three purposes -- either to procure a food source, for religious purposes, or to obtain material for clothing and economic necessity. Animal meats and skins were accumulated for winter use, while the trading of such items (for pure economic gain) was rare among the precontact Cherokees.
    "Hunting grounds often extended over great distances, sometimes taking the Cherokee hunter hundreds of miles from his home, although this did not necessarily imply that local game supplies had been depleted. Folklore had to be understood by hunters who were considered specialists and who could only succeed in killing their prey through patience, skill, and tremendous effort. Certain game were considered sacred and were hunted only under special circumstances, e.g., the wolf and rattlesnake. Hunting was a serious pursuit, not a sport, and the various techniques and means of acquiring an animal had to be thoroughly understood by all those involved.
    "The most common techniques used for capturing or killing game included stalking, driving, traps, and snares ... In the lower country, where smaller game abounded, the(y) often relied on the cane blowgun.... Birds, rabbits, squirrels, and animals possessing a fragile anatomical structure, necessitated that a less powerful weapon of destruction be utilized, otherwise the bodies, bones, and valuable skins might be damaged. Also, in heavily wooded areas, or where animals were difficult to hunt by other techniques, trapping was employed. Elaborate trapping devices were developed ... in order to catch many valued animals, especially the turkey, and often deer, rabbits, squirrels, and aquatic mammals such as the beaver and otter (see Mason, 1902, for a detailed discussion of trapping devices). Otherwise, the common bow and arrow, constructed of special deer-sinew cord attached to pliable wood comprised of either oak, ash, or hickory, was probably the most frequently used weapon of the hunt." (Goodwin, 78)
    Deer Hunting Technique: "He was the tallest Ind. I ever saw, being seven Foot high, and a very strait compleat Person, esteem'd on by the King for his great Art in Hunting, always carrying with him an artificial Head to hunt withal: They are made of the Head of a Buck, the back Part of the Horns being scraped and hollow, for Lightness of Carriage. The Skin is left to the setting on of the Shoulders, which is lin'd all round for small Hoops, and flat Sort of Laths, to hold it open for the Arm to go in. They have a Way to preserve the Eyes, as if living. The Hunter puts on a Match-coat made of Deer's Skin, with the Hair on, and a Piece of the white Part of a Deer's Skin, that brows on the Breast, which is fasten'd to the Neck-End of this stalking Head, so hangs down. In these Habiliments an Ind. will go as near a Deer as he pleases, the exact Motions and Behaviour of a Deer being so well conterfeited by 'em that several Times it hath been known for two Hunters to come up with a stalking Head together, unknown to each other..." (Lawson, 29)
    "These people use some strange tricks to kill deer. They take with them into the woods a dried head of the male of the species. They cover their backs with a deerskin and put an arm through the neck of the dried head, into which they have put little wooden hoops for their hands to grip. Then they get down on their knees, while holding the head in view, and imitate the deer's cry. The animals, fooled by the trick, come quite close to the hungers, who kill them easily." (Bossu, Travels, 146)
    Hunting Birds: A trick similar to the one described just above for deer, was also used in hunting turkeys. "Several of them put the skins of these birds on their shoulders and place on top of their heads a piece of scarlet cloth which flutters in the wind. The(y) attract the turkeys while others shoot them with their arrows rather than with rifles, which would scare off the birds. As long as there are any perched in the trees, the hunters shoot at them with a great deal of skill. The turkeys stay there waiting for those that have been killed to come back." (Bossu, Travels, 147)
    This formula is recited by the bird hunter in the morning while standing over the fire at his hunting camp before starting out for the day's hunt. On the way to the hunting ground he shoots away at random a short blowgun arrow and carries along the remaining six of regulation size.
Listen! O Ancient White, where you dwell in peace I have come to rest. Now let your spirit
    arise. Let it (the game brought down) be buried in your stomach, and may your appetite
    never be satisfied. The red hickories have tied themselves together. The clotted blood is
    your recompense...
O Ancient White, put me in the successful hunting trail. Hang the mangled things about
    me. Let me come along the successful trail with them doubled up (under my belt).
    It (the road) is clothed with mangled things. me.
O Ancient White, O Kanati, support me continually, that I may never become blue. Listen!
     "This prayer is addressed to the "Ancient White" (fire), the spirit most frequently invoked by the hunter. The "clotted blood" refers to the blood-stained leaves upon which the fallen game has lain. The hunter gathers these up and casts them into the fire, in order to draw omens for the morrow from the manner in which they burn, "Let it be buried in your stomach" refers also to the offering made to the fire. By the "red hickories" are meant the strings of hickory bark which the bird hunter twists about his waist for a belt. The dead birds are carried by inserting their heads under this belt. "The mangled things"  are the wounded birds. (Quoted, Rights, 218)
Now go back and read the incantation again. It will mean a lot more the second time.
    "A favorite method with the bird hunter during the summer season is to climb a gum tree, which is much frequented by the smaller birds on account of its berries, where, taking up a convenient position amid the branches with his noiseless blowgun and arrows, he deliberately shoots down one bird after another until his shafts are exhausted; then climbs down, draws out the arrows from the bodies of the dead birds, and climbs up again to repeat the operation." (Rights, 218)

    "The rattlesnake is regarded as a supernatural being whose favor must be propitiated, and great pains are taken not to offend him. Whenever the ailment is of a serious character, the shaman always endeavors to throw contempt upon the intruder and convince it of his own superior power by asserting the sickness to be the work of some inferior being. Here the ailment caused by the rattlesnake, the most dreaded of the animal spirits, is ascribed to the frog, one of the least importance.
      Dunuwa, dunuwa, dunuwa, dunuwa, dunuwa, dunuwa, dunuwa
         Sge! Ha-Walasigwu tsunhuntaniga
      Dayuha, dayuha, dayuha, dayuha, dayuha, dayuha, dayuha
         Sge! Ha-Walasigwu tsunluntaniga

Dunuwa is an old verb, meaning "it has penetrated" probably referring to the fangs of the snake.
     Translation of the second and fourth lines:
Listen! Ha! It is only a common frog which has passed by and put it (the intruder) into you.
Listen! Ha! It is only an Usugi which has passed by and put it into you.
(Prescription) - Now this at the beginning is a song. One should say it twice and also say the second line twice. Rub tobacco juice on the bite for some time, or if there be no tobacco, just rub on saliva once. In rubbing it on, one must go around four times. Go around toward the left and blow four times in a circle. This is because in lying down the snake always coils to the right and this is just the same as uncoiling it. (Rights, 216,217)

"Listen! In the sunland you repose, O Red Spider. Quickly you have brought and laid down the red path. O great adawehi, quickly you have brought down the red threads from above. The intruder in the tooth has spoken and it is only a worm. The tormentor has wrapped itself around the root of the tooth. Quickly you have dropped down the red threads, for it is just what you eat. Now it is for you to pick it up. The relief has been caused to come. Yu!" etc. etc.
    The disease spirit is called "the intruder" and "the tormentor" and is declared to be a mere worm, which has wrapped itself around the base of the tooth. This is the regular toothache theory. The shaman prays first to the Red Spider, and then in turn to the Blue Spider in the north, the Black Spider in the west, and the White Spider above, to let down the threads and take up the intruder, which is just what the spider eats.

Listen! O Ancient White, where you dwell in peace. I have come to rest. Now let your spirit arise. Let it (the game shot and killed) be buried in your stomach, and may your appetite never be satisfied. The red hickories have tied themselves together. The clotted blood is your recompense...
O Ancient White, put me in the successful hunting trail. Hang the mangled things upon me. Let me come along the successful trail with them doubled up (under my belt). It (the road) is clothed with mangled things.
O Ancient White, O Kanati, support me continually, that I may never become blue. Listen!
     This formula is recited by the bird hunter in the morning while standing over the fire at his hunting camp before starting out for the day's hunt. On the way to the hunting ground he shoots away at random a short blowgun arrow and carries along the remaining six of regulation size.
    The prayer is addressed to the "Ancient White" (Fire), the spirit most frequently invoked by the hunter. The "clotted blood" refers to the blood-stained leaves upon which the fallen game has lain. The hunter gathers these up and casts them into the fire, in order to draw omens for the morrow from the manner in which they burn. "Let it be buried in your stomach" refers also to the offering made to the fire. By the "red hickories" are meant the strings of hickory bark which the bird hunter twists about his waist for a belt. The dead birds are carried by inserting their heads under this belt. "The mangled things" are the wounded birds.

This incantation, like many others, was given by "The Swimmer", Eastern Cherokee, about 1888.
     Listen! Now you settlements have drawn  near to hearken. Where you have gathered in the foam you are moving about as one. You Blue Cat and the others. I have come to offer you freely the white food. Let the paths from every direction recognize each other. Our spittle shall be in agreement. Let them (your spittle and my spittle) be together as we go about. They (the fish) have become a prey and there shall be no loneliness. Your spittle has become agreeable. I am called Swimmer. Yu!"
     "Spitting on the bait to attract big fish is evidently a very ancient custom. According to Swimmer's instructions, the fisherman must first chew a small piece of a plant which catches insects and spit it upon the bait and also upon the hook. He will be able to pull out the fish at once, or if the fish are not about at the moment, they will come in a very short time." (Rights, 219)

     Ku! Listen! In Alahiyi you repose, O Terrible Woman, O you have drawn near to hearken. There in Elahiyi you are at rest, O White Woman. No one is ever lonely with you. You are most beautiful. Instantly and at once you have rendered me a white man. No one is ever lonely when with me. Now you have made the path white for me. It shall never be dreary. Now you have put me into it. It shall never become blue. You have brought down to me from above the white road.. I am very handsome. You have put me into the white house. I shall be in it as it moves about and no one with me shall ever be lonely. Verily, I shall never become blue....
     And now there in Elahiyi you have rendered the woman blue. Now you have made the path blue for her. Let her be completely veiled in loneliness. Put her into the blue road. And now bring her down. Place her standing upon the earth where her feet are now and wherever she may go. Let loneliness leave its mark upon her. Let her be marked out for loneliness where she stands.
     Ha! I belong to the (....____) clan, that one alone which was allotted for you. No one is ever lonely with me. I am handsome. Let her put her soul into the very center of my soul, never to turn away. Grant that in the midst of men she shall never think of them. I belong to the one clan alone which was allotted for you when the seven clans were established.
     When (other) men live it is lonely. They are very loathsome. The common polecat has made him so like himself that they are fit only for his company. They have become mere refuse. They are very loathsome. The common opossum has made them so like himself that they are fit only to be with him. They are very loathsome. Even the crow has made them so like himself that they are fit only for his company. They are very loathsome. The miserable rain-crow has made them so like himself that they are fit only to be with him.
     The seven clans all alike made one feel very lonely in their company. They are not even good looking. They go about clothed with mere refuse. They even go about covered with ordure. But I - I was ordained to be a white man. I stand with my face toward the Sun Land. No one is ever lonely with me. I am very handsome. I shall certainly never become blue. I am covered by the everlasting white house wherever I go. No one is ever lonely with me. Your soul has come into the very center of my soul, never to turn away. I ( take your soul. Sge!
     Be careful of the colors listed here. The "white" does not mean that he has become like a white, European man, but has the Cherokee meaning of "white".... and  the "blue" is the opposite: it does not have the Cherokee meaning of  the color blue, but means that he shall never become depressed or apprehensive.
     Rights records In a somewhat similar strain there were formulas designed to fix affections. Here is a fragment from such a charm:
     Listen! "Ha! Now the souls have met, never to part," you have said, O Ancient One above. O Black Spider, you have been brought down from on high. You have let down your web -- Her soul you have wrapped up in your web... May you hold her soul in your web so that it shall never get through the meshes.

 "Cherokees had several formulas which a person could use to create a feeling of good will among a group of people in which he was going to be present. In some cases a man used a formula which was specifically meant to overcome the ill will that a particular member of a group held for him. If a person in the group was known to hold a bitter grudge, then it would become necessary to "remake" some tobacco and smoke it in his presence. The following is a particularly powerful formula.
     Now! Nearby here the Great Red Uktena now wends his way.
    Now! Now the glare of the Purple Lightning will dazzle the Red Uktena.
    Also this Ancient Tobacco will be as much of a thorough-going Wizard.
    Now! The Seven Reversers looking at me will be dazzled by the Great Red Uktena.
      In this formula a conjurer infuses the Red Uktena into the tobacco to bedazzle any Cherokee who was working against him or who held enmity toward him.
"Run Toward the Nightland", Kilpatrick & Kilpatrick, 149-153)

    "In affairs of the heart the Cherokees used formulas, often strikingly beautiful ones abounding in bird symbolism. Used by both sexes, many of the formulas were meant to attract members of the opposite sex. Just as one could remake tobacco, one could invoke the red cardinal, red hummingbird, and red Tlanuwa and remake oneself, surrounding oneself with a spiritual aura which was irresistible to members of the opposite sex. The following formula was recited by a man who wished to gain a particular woman's attention at a dance. He recited it while bathing in a stream.
     Listen! O, now instantly, you have drawn near to hearken, O Ageyaguya (the moon). You have come to put your red spittle upon my body. My name is ___________. My clan is ___________.
The blue had affected me. You have come and clothed me with a red dress. She is of the _______ clan. She has become blue. You have directed her paths straight to where I have my feet, and I shall feel exultant. Listen!
     "The formula refers to the moon because the moon was believed to have a great effect on women, and the color red attracted women irresistibly. The allusion to the moon's spittle, the essence of its being, refers to the fact that in some of the formulas a person would actually spit on his hands and rub the saliva over his face and other parts of his body. The color blue represents a type of loneliness that made one susceptible to the opposite sex.
    The Cherokees also had formulas which guarded against alienation of affection. A man might be worried about his young wife who could be attracted by other men. At night, after she had fallen asleep, the man would sing the following song in a low voice:
      Listen! O, now you have drawn near to hearken.
         ---Your spittle, I take it, I eat it. (first night)
         ---Your body, I take it, I eat it. (second night)
         ---Your flesh, I take it, I eat it. (third night)
         ---Your heart, I take it, I eat it. (fourth night)
    Listen! O, now you have drawn near to hearken, O, Ancient One. This woman's soul has come to rest at the edge of your body. You are never to let go your hold upon it. It is ordained that you shall do just as you are requested to do. Let her never think upon any other place. His soul has faded within him. He is bound by black threads.
     On four successive nights, the man would moisten his fingers with spittle and rub it on his wife's breast while singing this formula. The second line of the formula was repeated four times. The last two sentences are curses on any would-be seducer. Cherokee priests claimed that if a man performed this ritual, he need never fear for his wife.
     To deal with still another affair of the heart, the Cherokees had a formula which a jealous suitor could use to separate two lovers or even husband and wife. A man either smoked tobacco or threw it in the fire before reciting the following formula:
     Yu! Oh high you repose, O Blue Hawk, there at the far distant lake. The blue tobacco has come to be your recompense. Now you have arisen at once and come down. You have alighted midway between them where they two are standing. You have spoiled their souls immediately. They have at once become separated.
    I am a white man; I stand at the sunrise. The good sperm shall never allow any feeling of loneliness. The white woman is of the ________ clan; she is called ___________. We shall instantly turn her soul over. We shall turn it over as we go toward the Sun Land. I am a white man.
My name is __________________. My clan is ____________. Here where I stand her soul has attached itself to mine. Let her eyes in their sockets be forever watching for me. There is no loneliness where I am."
"Sacred Formulas", Mooney, (381-382)
     The Blue Hawk is invoked because it brings trouble with it, separating the lovers and spoiling their souls for each other. The man uttering the formula says that he is a "white man" meaning that he is happy, attractive, fortunate, and never lonely.

    "The conjury feared most ... was that which was done in the spirit of vengeance. They believed that a priest could cause a person to fall ill by magically intruding small objects, such as bits of cloth, flint, or charcoal, into his body. The Cherokee word for a priest who did this was dida:hnese:sg(i), literally a "putter-in and drawer-out of them". When Cherokees felt small rheumatic pains or stitches in their sides, they would suspect that they were being attacked by conjury. If they subsequently fell ill they would go to a priest who would make small incisions over the affected part of the body with a piece of briar, a sliver of flint, or a rattlesnake tooth. Then he would suck the object out.
    Or a person seeking vengeance could go to a priest and hire him to perform conjury that would cause his enemy to go made. Here is a particularly chilling formula to induce madness.
     Your Pathways are Black; you have become wood, not a human  being!
    Dog excrement will cling nastily to you.
    You will be living intermittently, "Woof!" You will be saying along toward the Nightland.
    Your Black Viscera will be lying all about. You will be all alone.
    You will be like the Brown Dog in heat. You are changed;  you have just become old.
              This is your clan _______________.
    In the very middle of the Prairie, changed, you will be carrying dog stools. "Woof!"
              you will be saying.
    "Your Pathway lies towards the Nightland!
      In this formula the victim is turned into a wooden thing with no feeling. In his madness he will behave like a dog, befouled with excrement, making the sounds of a dog - Woof!.
     "In addition to intruding objects into his victim's body a priest was believed to be able to cause his victim to fall ill or even to die by "changing his saliva", i.e., by causing it to change into lizards or plants inside his body. Mooney collected a formula from Swimmer which was believed to accomplish this. The priest first followed his victim around until he chanced to spit on the ground. Then he collected a little of the victim's spittle on the end of a stick and placed it inside a hollow joint of wild parsnip, a poisonous plant. Into this same hollow joint he placed seven earthworms beaten into a paste and several splinters from a tree which had been struck by lightning, thus thoroughly confounding and mixing things of the Upper World and Under World. The priest then took this tube into the forest to a tree which had been struck by lightning. At the base of the tree he dug a hole, placing a large yellow stone slab in the bottom. He placed the tube in the hold along with seven yellow pebbles. Then he filled the hold with earth, built a fire over it, and recited the following formula.
      Listen! Now I have come to step over your soul. You are of the __________ clan. Your name is ___________. My name is _________________. I am of the  _____________ clan. Your spittle I have put at rest under the earth. Your soul I have put at rest under the earth. I have come to cover you over with the black rock. I have come to cover you over with the black cloth. I have come to cover you with the black slabs, never to reappear. Toward the black coffin of the upland in the Darkening Land your paths shall stretch out. So shall it be for you. The clay of the upland has come to cover you. Instantly the black clay has lodged there where it is at rest at the black houses in the Darkening Land. With the black coffin and the black slabs I have come to cover you. Now your soul has faded away. It has become blue. When darkness comes your spirit shall grow less and dwindle away, never to reappear. Listen!
      Throughout this entire procedure, the priest and his client had to observe a strict fast. The statement that the victim's soul was blue means that he should begin to feel ill and experience troubles. The repeated uses of black signify death. If this ceremony were properly carried out, the victim was supposed to begin to feel the effects at once, and if he did not employ counter magic his soul was supposed to shrivel up and death would come within seven days. The priest and his client observed the man closely. If nothing happened to him they would assume that he had used counter magic, and perhaps that he had even succeeded in turning the curse back upon them -- a serious matter." (Hudson, 361,362).

     "...the difference between a priest and a witch. The priest used conjury to attack people in accordance with legal and moral concepts, while the witch attacked people involuntarily and uncontrollably. The priest wa moral, the witch was amoral. Because witches were believed to steal years of life away from their victims and add them to their own, it followed that witches were likely to be very old.
    The Cherokees believed that witches could read a person's thoughts, and that they could cause evil to happen by merely thinking it. They were believed to have the ability to transform themselves into other shapes, particularly into the guise of a purplish ball of fire, a wolf, a raven, a cat, or an owl. The Cherokees had several euphemisms for witches -- including "owl", "raven-mocker' and "night-walker", the latter referring to the witch's abnormal propensity for moving about at night, either flying throught he air or burrowing beneath the earth. As a way of keeping witches from stealing the soul of a person who was ill, a priest would blow a circle of smoke from remade ancient tobacco all around the house and recite the following formula.
    Now! No one is to climb over me!
    His soul itself over there will be broken as the Sun rises, this Thinker of me;
         in the very middle of the light of the setting Sun he will be broken,
         this Thinker of me!
    I will have emerged from the Seven Clans,
    Then I have just come to strike you with Small Arrows,
         with Small Arrows I have just come to strike you!
    Then I have just come to strike you with Lightning!
    Then I have just come to strike you with Thunder!
    Then with Clay your soul will be broken!
"Run Toward the Nightland", Kilpatrick & Kilpatrick, 158-159)
Fire and lightning, the principal means of achieving purity, were especially powerful against witches.

    "...they lived out their lives in small, intense, social worlds, where disordered relationships could cause grave difficulties. And getting at the root of such troubled relationships could be a murky business indeed. Seen in this light, it is altogether likely that the means of divination used by the priests might have actually helped to free their minds from thinking in the accustomed channels, thus helping them come up with unusual solutions to what was troubling their patients. This is suggested in a remarkable formula:
    May I have Your attention now? Thunder, I obey You, and You love me for it.
    You feed upon my soul.
    All night long I am filled with Your Spirit, which is life itself.
    No evil can come to me.
    Make my consciousness weightless and free, like the movements of that agile insect,
               the Water Strider.
    Well! You know I have a duty to perform; to find out something.
    You know me: for I am ________________ of the _________________ clan.
 "Run Toward the Nightland", Kilpatrick and Kilpatrick, (119-120)

    The clan extends the range of kinship almost to every one in the community. Every male in the father's clan is a 'father' and every female is a 'father's sister'. Likewise every member of ego's clan is a 'brother' or 'sister' and any child of a 'brother' is a 'child' to ego. Every member of ego's father's father's clan or mother's father's clan is a 'grandfather' or 'grandmother'. Any person whose father is of ego's father's clan is a 'brother'." (Gilbert, 237)
    "The principal kinship terms of the Cherokee are the following: giDaDa (father; giloki (aunt); giDzi (mother); giDudji (uncle); agwetsi (child); ungiwina (nephew); ungwatu (niece); u Natsi (wife's parents); djiDzo i (husband's parents) agi Nudji (daughter's husband); agiDzo i (son's wife); agila Na (uncle's wife); giDuDiya (aunt's husband); ginisi (male paternal grandparent, male grandchild; gilisi (female grandparent, female or male grandchild); giDuDu (mother's father); ungiDa (sister, brother); unginutsi (younger brother; unginili (older brother); ungilu i (sister) and agwelaksi (relatives-in-law)" (Gilbert, 224) There are many more terms listed in Gilbert, 224,5,6.
The kinship behavior is best analyzed as a series of relationships between pairs of relatives.
The father-son relationship (giDaDa-agwetsi) - The father jokes in an indirect fashion with his son but does nothing of the kind with his daughter. The father does not regard it as his duty to discipline the son since the latter is of the mother's clan and not his. The father, therefore, leaves to a considerable degree the upbringing of the son to the latter's mother's brother. Yet the father is very important in the boy's life. He aids and assists his son in obtaining skill in the crafts of life. Beyond that he always maintains a reserve and distant aloofness toward the son, as befits a person to be respected.
    "For the son, the father is a skayegusta, which means a "road boss", "a chief", or "a person well dressed". The father is the representative of a clan or group of persons of the highest quality. The father must always be upheld in arguments with other persons, and it is impossible for a son to derogate or belittle his father in the slightest degree.
    "...the child does not differentiate in his behavior toward his real father and the numerous clan 'fathers' with whom he is brought into relation. Toward all the attitude he must maintain is one of respect and exaltation." (Gilbert, 249-250)
The mother-daughter relationship (giDzi-agwetsi) - The somewhat stiff and formalized relationships existing between father and son prevail also between mother and daughter. The mother attempts to instruct the daughter in the arts of life, but the bonds of sympathy between the two are apparently not many. Most of the daughter's affection goes to the mother's mother, with whom relations of familiarity are maintained. (Gilbert, 250)
The father-daughter relationship (giDaDa-agwetsi) - Little could be ascertained as to the importance of this relationship. The father plays with his daughter when she is little but he maintains an aloof attitude later. The daughter in turn learns to respect and uphold her father and his clan. (Gilbert, 250)
The mother-son relationship (giDzi-agwetsi) - The mother is very important in the life of the son. It is she who first introduces him to the age-old lore of the tribe and starts him out in life. The mother must be respected and upheld by the son. Between the mother and son there can take place the same indirect joking as that which takes place between father and son, namely joking about a third party. (Gilbert, 250)
The husband-wife relationship (agi(x)yehi-agwadali e) - The relationship of husband and wife is held close by bonds of familiarity privileges. Various accessory epithets are used between the pair, the husband being referred to as 'my supporter' or 'he who lives with me', while the wife is called 'the old woman', 'my cooker', etc.
    "The sexual division of labor is somewhat marked, the woman doing the domestic work of cooking and laundering while the husband cultivates the fields or cuts wood for the fire. There are many cooperative labors such as hoeing and harvesting, in which the sexes join. In some fields of work the division of labor is very marked indeed; only the women make pottery, only the men carve wooden effigies or stone pipes. Certain games such as the ball game and bow and arrow games are reserved for the men exclusively. On the other hand certain dances are exclusively feminine. (Gilbert, 250)
The older brother-younger brother relationship (unkinili-unkinutsi) - The relations between brothers are very close. There is a great amount of familiarity and privileged joking between them and brothers take a special pleasure in teaching each other before another's children. The children must always defend their fathers in cases like this.
    "The older brother has the express function of protecting the younger brother and avenging any wrong done to him.
    "Brothers act as the moral censors of each other's behavior. ..."In the use of coarse and quite obscene joking between brothers, a tendency toward homosexual relationships characteristic of the Southeastern area is to be seen. " (Gilbert, 251)
The brother-sister relationship (ungiDa-ungiDa) - The brother generally takes a protective attitude toward his sister. ...Brothers cannot joke on sexual topics with their sisters. She can be joked in a mild fashion only.
    "The sexual division of labor separates brother and sister at an early age. The types of recreation and play of male and female children also differ immensely. Notwithstanding, if neither brother nor sister marries they may live together all of their lives in the parents' homestead. The solidarity of brothers and sisters is immense..." (Gilbert, 252)
The sister-sister relationship (ungilu i-ungilu i) - The older sister is not distinguished from the younger insofar as terminology is concerned as the brothers are distinguished. There is a greater amount of sister solidarity and identification with each other as sociological equivalents.
    "...the older sister acts to instruct her younger sibling of the same sex in many of the duties of the household and she also acts somewhat as a protector." (Gilbert, 252)
The Father's sister-brother's child relationship (giloki-agwetsi) - The paternal aunt is always accounted a person to whom the highest respect must be paid. She is just like a father. She protects and looks after her brother's offspring whenever necessary. She accounts her brother's children just as important as her own children. It is her function to name her brother's children, quite frequently. She will pick out a name such as her father's or her mother's for the child." (Gilbert, 252)
The mother's brother-sister's child relationship (gidu.dji-ungiwina, or gidu.dji-ungwatu) - The mother's brother is, next to the father, the person regarded with the highest respect of all ego's male relatives. It is the mother's brother who acts to regulate the conduct of the growing boy and he teaches his sister's son much  in the way of hunting lore and magical formulas. He also jokes with his sister's son in an indirect fashion about third parties just as the boy's father does. When his nephew or niece is sick, it is the mother's brother who attends to them. The nephew or niece will be able to tell the mother's brother to do something and he will generally do it." (Gilbert, 252-3)
The father-s father-son's child relationship (ginisi-ginisi) - The father's father can play with and tease his grandchild but the grandchild is not supposed to reciprocate. It is thought best for the grandchild to accept the indignities involved in the teasing because the paternal grandfather is a person of respect. Toward anyone else in the father's father's clan, however, it is quite the proper thing to exhibit behavior of the utmost familiarity. (Gilbert, 253)
The mother's father-daughter's child relationship (giDuDu-gilisi) -The mother's father can tease and joke with his daughter's child to his heart's content and the child is likewise free to ease and joke with the mother's father to any degree. It is in his grandfather's clan maternal or paternal that the boy finds the greatest amount of freedom and familiarity. (Gilbert, 253)
The grandmother-grandchild relationship (gilisi-gilisi or gilisi-ginisi) - The great freedom prevailing between the mother's father and his daughter's children also exists between the grandmother both paternal and maternal, and their grandchildren. Joking is carried on all of the time and a great amount of familiarity is always present. The grandmother is the person who is remembered as having borne her grandchild on her back and as the playmate of the grandchild. Yet some grandmothers are feared and an ugly old woman or grandmother is said to be a witch and the children are greatly afraid of her. (Gilbert, 253)
    Starting with "Ego", a male, we find that "Ego's closest relatives in a matrilineal descent system are his mother and her sisters and brothers, mother's mother, and the children of these female relatives, including, of course, Ego's own brothers and sisters. One outstanding feature of a matrilineal kinship system is that the children of Ego's male relatives are not his 'blood' relatives, and this also holds for a male Ego's own children. The children of Ego's female relatives, however, are his blood relatives. Another startling feature is that Ego's father is not a blood relative, nor are his father's people. This does not mean that Ego's children, his father, and his father's people are unimportant to him -- they are. But it does mean that they are not kinsmen in the sense that his brothers and sisters, or his mother, or his mother's brother are.
     "Another peculiarity of the matrilineal kinship system is that a particularly close relationship exists between a woman and her brother; in some ways she is closer to her brother than she is to her husband. This relationship with her brother carries over to her children, in matrilineal societies a boy respects his mother's brother in much the way a boy in other kinds of societies respects his father. He looks to his mother's brother to teach him much of what he needs to know as a man, and when he is sick he looks to his mother's brother to comfort him. The other side of the relationship is that the mother's brother has authority over his sister's children and is responsible for disciplining them. Although this seems odd at first, it is not at all odd when we realize that the mother's brother is the boy's closest senior male blood relative. (Hudson, 186,187)
     What is a woman has no brothers? Her mother probably had brothers, and her mother had brothers, all of whom were spoken of in the same terms ... all the males on the mother's side of all living generations were considered 'mother's brothers'. .. and one senior and more respected than the others, perhaps, would be given the main responsibility for disciplining and looking after the general welfare of all the boys he called "sister's son". (Hudson, 187)

      Cherokees spoke a language that was closely related to the Iroquois to their north. At one ancient time it is thought that they were one people, the Iroquois faction staying in the north while the main body returned southward into the richest area in the world for flora and fauna.
    "The Cherokee language, which is related to Iroquois, is so dissimilar from Iroquois that linguists believe that the two peoples have been separated for a very long time. The fact, however, that basic similarities do exist is evidence that both languages descended from a common tongue. From this is may be assumed that the Cherokee and the Iroquois were once a single people who separated from each other in the distant past." (Lewis & Kneberg, 156)
    "Three different dialects were spoken: the one used in the Lower settlements is now extinct; the one used in the Middle settlements is still spoken on the Qualla Reservation in the Smoky Mountains; and the one used in the Valley and Overhill settlements is spoken... in Oklahoma. The differences in the dialects were mainly in pronunciation, rather than in vocabulary." (Lewis & Kneberg, 157)
     "In keeping with the topographically dissected nature of the country of the Cherokees, several dialectic variations occurred: (1) The Elati, now extinct, was once spoken in the Lower Settlements (2) the Kituhwa was spoken in the Middle Settlements; and (3) the Atali was spoken in the Valley and Overhill Settlements." (Gilbert, 199)
     Today, the Graham County (Eastern) Cherokees still use the Atali, and the Qualla Boundary Cherokees the Kituhwa dialect.
     "As is usually the case of a large (people) occupying an extensive territory, the language is spoken in several dialects...
    "The Eastern dialect, formerly often called the Lower Cherokee dialect, was originally spoken in all the towns upon the waters of the Keowee and Tugaloo, head-streams of Savannah river, in South Carolina and the adjacent portion of Georgia. Its chief peculiarity is a rolling r, which takes the place of the l of the other dialects. In this dialect the (name) is Tsa'ragi', which the English settlers of Carolina corrupted to Cherokee, while the Spaniards, advancing from the south, became better familiar with the other form, which they wrote as Chalaque.
    "The Middle dialect, which might properly be designated the Kituhwa dialect, was originally spoken in the towns on the Tuckasegee and the headwaters of the Little Tennessee, in the very heart of the Cherokee country, and is still spoken by the great majority of those now living on the Qualla reservation. In some of the phonetic forms it agrees with the Eastern dialect, but resembles the Western in having the l sound.
     "The Western dialect was spoken in most of the towns of east Tennessee and upper Georgia and upon Hiwassee and Cheowa rivers in North Carolina. It is the softest and most musical of all the dialects of this musical language, having a frequent liquid l and eliding many of the harsher consonants found in the other forms. It is also the literary dialect, and is spoken by most of those now constituting the Cherokee Nation in the West. " (Mooney, Myths, 16,17)
     "...the story of the best known Cherokee ..., Sequoyah. Sequoyah's real name was George Gist. He was the son of Nathaniel Gist from Virginia and a Cherokee woman, (said to be the) sister of the principal chief. He was born about the middle of the eighteenth century in one of the Overhill towns. As a young men he was an accomplished silversmith and became quite famous for his work.
    "By the end of the eighteenth century, some of the Cherokee, especially the offspring of mixed marriages, had learned to read and write. Sequoyah, although he never learned to read or write English, was fascinated by the idea that a person could make marks on paper and communicate his exact ideas to another person miles away. He was convinced that this could be done with the Cherokee language, and, in spite of being thought a fool by his friends and family, he dedicated himself to the task.
    "His first step was an attempt to devise signs for complete sentences, but he soon gave that up. Next, he tried to make signs for words, and again found that his idea was impractical. Finally, he hit upon the idea of breaking words into syllables, and discovered that eighty-six signs were sufficient to render all of the sound combinations in the Cherokee language. Apparently, he had access to some German printed characters, possibly through Moravian missionaries who established a mission among the Cherokee in 1801. Later, he copied letters out of a Bible which he saw during a visit at the home of his brother-in-law. With a few basic symbols which he modified by turning them in different directions and by adding various strokes and curlicues, plus other symbols which he invented, he created the Cherokee alphabet, or more properly, syllabary.
    "After he demonstrated in 1821 to the leading men of the nation that his invention was practical, Sequoyah soon became one of the most honored men in the nation. Within a few months after the acceptance of his alphabet, almost the entire Cherokee nation became literate." (Lewis & Kneberg, 169,170)
    "Says Gallatin, "It wanted but one step more, and to have also given a distinct character to each consonant, to reduce the whole number to sixteen, and to have had an alphabet similar to ours. In practice, however, and as applied to his own language, the superiority of Guess's alphabet is manifest, and has been fully proved by experience. You must indeed learn and remember eighty-five characters instead of twenty-five (sic). But this once accomplished, the education of the pupil is completed; he can read and he is perfect in his orthography without making it the subject of a distinct study. The boy learns in a few weeks that which occupies two years of the time of ours" (Mooney, Myths, 219)
    "Says Phillips: 'In my own observation Ind. children will take one or two, at times several, years to master the English printed and written language, but in a few days can read and write in Cherokee. They do the latter, in fact, as soon as they learn to shape letters. As soon as they master the alphabet they have got rid of all the perplexing questions in orthography that puzzle the brains of our children. It is not too much to say that a child will learn in a month, by the same effort, as thoroughly in the language of Sequoyah, that which in ours consumes the time of our children for at least two years." (Mooney, Myths, 219,220)
    "Although in theory the written Cherokee word has one letter for each syllable, the rule does not always hold good in practice, owing to the frequent elision of vowel sounds. Thus the word for 'soul' is written with four letters as a-da-nun-ta, but pronounced in three syllables, adanta. In the same way tsi-lun-i-yu-sti (like tobacco, the cardinal flower) is pronounced tsilihusti. There are also, as in other languages, a number of minute sound variations not indicated in the written word, so that it is necessary to have heard the language spoken in order to read with correct pronunciation. The old Upper dialect is the standard to which the alphabet has been adapted. There is no provision for the r of the Lower or the sh of the Middle dialect, each speaker usually making his own dialectic change in the reading. The letters of a word are not connected, and there is no difference between the written and the printed character". (Mooney, Myths, 220)
    "Language encoded clan relationships and responsibilities. Baffled missionaries complained that "all close relationships are identified with one noun, as for example father, step-father, father's brother, mother's brother, and more than one degree of close relationship are all  called Father" Equally frustrating was that "all the female relatives are called Mother and similarly the relatives of the grand-parents are all called grand-father and grand-mother" (McLoughlin: Cherokees and Missionaries). It appeared to despairing missionaries that children could not identify their biological parents. The Cherokee language actually identified clan position so precisely that anyone "could tell you without hesitating what degree of relationship exists between himself and any other individual of the same clan".  Specific terms distinguished mothers, their parents and siblings, older and younger brothers, and sisters and their children. A special term identified maternal uncles (ak-du-tsi) Blood brothers were signified by the term  dani-taga "standing so close as to form one". Each relationship prescribed certain kinds of behavior and varied responsibilities:"  (Hill, 27)
      The Rev. Daniel S. Butrick moved from the compound at Brainerd soon after arrival, and took up residence with a fullblood family in order to be able to learn the Cherokee language. "He developed a totally different view of the language from that of the Moravians. Far from its being 'word poor', Butrick declared in 1819 'this language exceeds all my former expectations in richness and beautiy. I think there would be but little difficulty in translating the New Testament into it. Six years later, after c ompleting the translation of the New Testament, he wrote, "In my respects this language is far superior to ours.' He was convinced that all theological concepts 'of every kind and degree may be communicated to this people in their own language with as much clearness and accuracy as in ours" (McLoughlin, Missionaries, 136,7)
      In the mid 1960's, Anna Gritts Kilpatrick (descendant of Sequoyah and considered at that time to be the greatest authority in the world on the Cherokee language), said in an interview in a Dallas, TX  newspaper that the Cherokee language was almost impossible to learn unless one grew up speaking it (which she had). It is a living language, based on verbs instead of nouns and pronouns as in the English language. A person can take a verb and add to it a prefix and/or suffix to create a new word which expresses their own desired connotation. She said that there were more than one million, six hundred thousand ways, in the Cherokee language, for a mother to tell her child to "go wash your hands". We take it from those words that those people, in this day and time, who subscribe to a "Cherokee language class" are kidding themselves.
     Once, in the late 1700's and early 1800's, the Cherokee king and council advised the people to learn the English language "so that you will know what your enemy is doing and saying". In later times the many Cherokees forgot that good advice, much to their disadvantage.
    "This trade jargon, based upon Choctaw, but borrowing also from all the neighboring dialects and even from the more northern Algonquian languages, was spoken and understood among all the tribes of the Gulf States, probably as far west as Matagorda bay and northward along both banks of the Mississippi to the Algonquian frontier about the entrance of the Ohio. It was called Mobilienne by the French, from Mobile, the great trading center of the Gulf region. Along the Mississippi it was sometimes known also as the Chickasaw trade language, the Chickasaw being a dialect of the Choctaw language proper. Jeffreys, in 1761, compares this jargon in its uses to the lingua franca of the Levant, and it was evidently by the aid of this intertribal medium that De Soto's interpreter from Tampa Bay could converse with all the tribes they met until they reached the Mississippi.....
    "The Mobilian trade jargon was not unique of its kind. In America, as in other parts of the world, the common necessities of intercommunication have resulted in the formation of several such mongrel dialects, prevailing sometimes over whole areas....
    "In addition to these we have also the noted "sign language", a gesture system used and perfectly understood as a fluent means of communication among all the hunting tribes of the plains from Saskatchewan to the Rio Grande." (Mooney, Myths, 187,8)
     SIGN LANGUAGE: "The English soon learned that there were various signs which were convey meanings. For example, to indicate peaceful intentions, the(y) would lay down their arms. Distrust, and anger were apparent if the(y) fixed an arrow to the bow and held it in readiness, or if they shook their tomahawks and clubs over their heads, or if they made bold speech. Solemn promises wee bound or oaths taken by pointing to the sun and clapping the right hand upon the heart. Several signs of friendship and welcome were used, such as, spreading mats for the visitors to sit upon, distributing tobacco, offering a pipe to smoke, embracing, exchanging of parts of clothing, presentation of gifts, striking head and breast and then those of visitor to indicate brotherhood, and shouting one or more times when a short way off as a greeting, and also when leave-taking. Pantomime and signs easily suggested hunger, sleep, fatigue, joy, anger, etc. Imitation of the walk, body motions, and manner of animals, at which the(y) were notably adept, conveyed the information to the visitor almost as well as it could have been done by word." (quoted in Powhattan, 68)

      Before the white man came, litters were much more in use than in later times, and with the adoption of the horse, litters became obsolete.
     DeSoto entered the province of Coosa... 'Here his party was met by the principal chief, who was carried on a litter in great state, accompanied by several hundred warriors. ..." and the "Lady of Cofitachequi" came to them "from the town in a carrying chair in which certain principal Inds. carried her to the river."
        Litters were also used to lay a corpse on, or to carry a dead body....
      With the introduction of horses, litters became obsolete except for a few ceremonial occasions. There are therefore very few descriptions of them. One, speaking of the Great Sun of the Natchez, describes a litter used to bring that holy person to a ceremony: "This litter is composed of four red bars crossing each other at the four corners of the seat, which has a depth of about 1 1/2 feet. The entire seat is garnished inside with common deerskins, plain, because unseen. Those which hang outside are painted with designs according to the taste and of different colors. They conceal the seat so well that the substance of which it is composed cannot be seen... It is covered outside and in with leaves of the tulip laurel. The outside border is garnished with three strings of flowers. That which extends outside is red. It is accompanied on each side with a string of white flowers...Those who prepare this conveyance are the first and the oldest warriors of the nation." (duPratz, vol 2 363-381; Swanton, 114)
     It becomes obvious, then, that the litters could be rather plain, or as elaborate as wanted or needed for a special ceremony.
     The litters were placed on the shoulders of the strongest warriors in the nation, usually four to each side, and if the journey is very long several groups of eight are along to relieve the carriers, one by one, without stopping the forward movement.

      "Besides the political and judicial functions, the white chiefs were also the solemnizers and presiding agents in marriage. The parents of a couple to be married consulted the chief and asked him to divine the fortunes of the proposed union. This the latter did through observing the movements of two beads caused by involuntary twitchings of his hand while he held the beads in it. If the beads ultimately moved together the marriage would be a success, but if they moved apart separation was bound to be the outcome of the union. In the event of unfavorable omens the match was called off and new partners were sought by the parties concerned. The prospective wife of the town white chief had to be passed on by the seven counselors as to her unblemished character." (Gilbert, Bull 133).
    ".. an individual could not marry a person who belonged to the same lineage or clan, even though they might be distant cousins by our standards. And conversely it meant that people who were close kin by our standards could marry. For example, if a man married two women of different clans, the children of these women would belong to the clans of their mothers, and the members of one could marry members of the other." (Hudson, 193)
     "It has appeared that the present-day social culture... if utterly unlike that recorded for any other tribe (sic: s/b nation) of the Southeast, and for that matter, of North America. Only in far-off Australia, among certain tribes of the Northeast (the Ungarinyin), do we find anything remotely resembling this type of preferential mating allied with kinship attitudes extended to whole clans. (Gilbert, 371). He is referring to the fact that children born into a clan were preferred to marry into another named clan, that clan sometimes having been the clan of their grandmother or g-grandmother.
    "Features of the ancient Cherokee marriage regulations have been mentioned by several authors. All describe polygyny as common, yet stress the importance of female relatives in the man's selection of a mate. According to Nuttall, when a young man contemplated marriage he declared his desire through a female relative who conferred with the mother of the woman. If the mother disapproved she referred the case to her brother or oldest son to say so. If the mother's consent was obtained, the young man was admitted to the woman's bed (Nuttall in Thwaites, 1904-07,  vol. 13, pp 188-189)
    "The marriage preliminaries were settled by the mother and one of her brothers on each side, according to Washburn (1869, p206ff). Generally there existed a previous attachment between the parties but very often the bride and groom were not consulted at all. The whole town convened. The groom feasted with his male comrades in a lodge a little way from the council house. The bride and her companions feasted a little way from the council house on the opposite side. The old men took the higher seats on one side of the council house and the old women took the higher seats on the opposite side. Then came the married men below the old men and the married women below the old women. At a signal the groom was escorted to one end of the open space in the center and the bride likewise at the opposite end. The groom received from his mother a leg of venison and a blanket and the bride received from her mother an ear of corn and a blanket. Then the couple met in the center and the groom presented his venison and the bride her corn and the blankets were united. Thus the ceremony symbolized the respective functions of the man and the woman in the Cherokee household. They then walked alone and silently to their cabin. Divorce was called "dividing of the blankets".
    "According to Butrick, the consent of the parents was absolutely necessary to obtain a girl in marriage. The priest also must be called upon to divine the future course of the marriage and, if the omens were bad, the marriage was forbidden. If a marriage was approved, the bridegroom and the bride's brother exchanged clothes and possessions. A kind of engagement also existed whereby, after a girl's first separation and with her parent's consent, a young man brought her venison and presents and if she was unfaithful she was considered an adulteress. Adultery  alone could break a marriage and the priest was often called in by anxious husbands to divine if their wives had been unfaithful or not.
    "All authors concur in describing the laws against marriage within the clan as of the strictest degree possible. Anciently the death penalty was the inevitable result, and this was inflicted by the offended clan itself. In the early nineteenth century, whipping was substituted for the death penalty, and somewhat later formal penalties were abolished altogether. (Lanman, 1849, p 93 ff; Haywood, 1823; Gregg in Thwaites, 1904-7, vol. 30) Adultery was also punished severely, either by death or disgrace if a woman were the offender. Adultery, if proved against a wife, would cause her to lose all her possessions and be turned out of the house. In any other case of a separation the possessions were divided equally, and the children went with and were provided for by the mother". (Gilbert, 339,349)
    "Norton noted that Creeks beat adulterers senseless and cut off their ears, but "the Cherokees have no such punishment for adultery". Husbands scarcely took notice of their wives' infidelity, he claimed in 1809, though they might seek another wife. So doing, of course, was also consistent with polygyny.
    "Marriage partners continued to separate with such ease and frequency that Moravian missionaries like the Gambolds began to refer to Cherokee women by their family names. "Many an Indian woman," they wrote in 1810, "because of the frequent changing of husbands, would get together a really long catalogue of names". One complication of such alliances was that "the same name could easily be common to a whole string of women". The Gambolds chose to go along with "the customs of the country", calling women by their original names". (Hill, 96,97)
    "...a midcentury woman (1750) was likely to find that husband "treats his wife as an equal". In Fyffe's view, no woman "pretended to lord it over the Husband who is absolute in his own family". Tacit acknowledgement of the husband's authority, he claimed, prevented 'civil wars'. Following his 1775 visit, Bartram declared that he "never saw nor heard of an instance of an Indian beating his wife". In return, wives were "discrete, modest, loving, faithful, and affectionate to their husbands". Great distance separates Longe's 1725 assertion that irate wives might "beat their husbands to that height that they kill them outright" and Bartrams's judgment a half century later that "husbands refrained from abusing their wives." (Hill, 97)
NOTE: This is a classic case of European outsiders seeing what they saw, or learning what little they learned, from their own viewpoint (European), or their own limited experience.
     It would seem from these outsiders that a Cherokee woman could cuckold her husband without penalty, but we have read several places where in one instance a Cherokee woman had become infamous for her infidelities, after which members of her husbands clan captured her, carried her to the woods where they tied her between four trees, and each took their turn with her. The idea being, if that is what she wanted they would give her a lot of it.
     It must have worked, for after that it is recorded that she changed her ways .. whereas before she may have bragged about being so popular, afterwards it was a matter of  disgrace which she must cover up and never tell how she had been so shamed, or by whom.
    "Both husband and wife were free to separate at any time -- additional evidence, should we need it, that marriage was not a binding contract. We may suspect that a Cherokee man divorced his wife by leaving her house, and that a Cherokee woman divorced her husband by putting him out or by taking another man in his place. There was no need for a formal declaration, certainly no need for a hearing; the clan structure settled problems which otherwise might arise. The children went with the mother and her brothers assumed the task of protection, a task they were performing anyway, as well as the duty of support. Property was not jointly owned, and so there were no squabbles on that score. Indeed, clan law not only made divorce a simple matter but the ease of divorce helped to simplify clan law. Since a wife could freely leave her husband, Cherokee jurisprudence never had to develop customs defining the rights of brothers to protect their sisters from marital cruelty and abuse, a cause of tension and conflict which troubled (native) nations with more stringent restraints on divorce." (quoted, Reid, Law, 117)
     Marriage depended only upon the consent of both parties...the couples merely separate when they are no longer happy together, claiming that marriage is a matter of love and mutual assistance. Jean-Bernard Bossu wrote: "I have seen very happy marriages among these people; divorce and polygamy, authorized by (their) law, are not common...Ind. women generally work hard, since they are warned from childhood that if they are lazy or clumsy, they will have worthless husbands."
     Among Cherokees there was little polygamy, and almost always by two sisters who agreed to share a common husband.
     The first white man that is known to have married into the Cherokee nation was Cornelius Dougherty, an Irish trader from Virginia, who married a fullblood Cherokee woman in 1690.

      The masks for the Booger dance "were grotesque. Most of them were carved of wood and dyed various colors using vegetable dyes. Masks of white men often had moustaches and bushy eyebrows made of opossum fur. Another type of white man mask -- perhaps that of a mean man -- was made of a large wasp or hornet nest that had been hollowed out from inside. Still another white man mask -- representing a sex maniac -- was made from a gourd. In the center, where the nose should have been, there was a pendulous length of gourd with opossum hair about its base, representing a phallus and public hair." (Hudson, 406)

      "The early writer, Adair, noticed the skill with which the Cherokees treated various diseases, all of them with considerable success except smallpox. Magical formulas were used to protect the patient from the harmful influences of evil spirits. Timberlake, quoted by Olbrechts, mentions the protective prayers which were sung by the Cherokee "Ostenaco" when setting forth on a journey to England. Magical songs were also used to obtain revenge on the enemy, for when a Cherokee captive was burned at the stake he would recite a song of his achievements and boast that his friends and relatives would soon arrive to avenge his death. (Gilbert, 318)
    "The white doctor works upon a disordered organism. The Cherokee doctor works to drive out a ghost or a devil. According to the Cherokee myth, disease was invented by the animals in revenge for the injuries inflicted upon them by the human race. The larger animals saw themselves killed and eaten by man, while the smaller animals, reptiles, and insects were trampled upon and wantonly tortured until it seemed that their only hope of safety lay in devising some way to check the increase of mankind.
    "The bears held the first council, but were unable to fix upon any plan of procedure, and dispersed without accomplishing anything. Consequently the (Cherokee) hunter never asks pardon of the bear when he kills one. Next the deer assembled, and after much discussion invented rheumatism, but decreed at the same time that if the hunter, driven by necessity to kill a deer, should ask its pardon according to a certain formula, he should not be injured. Since then every hunter who has been initiated into the mysteries asks pardon of the slain deer. When this is neglected through ignorance or carelessness, the "Little Deer", the chief of the deer clan, who can never die or be wounded, tracks the hunter to his home by the blood-drops on the ground, and puts the rheumatism spirit into him. Sometimes the hunter, on starting to return to his home, builds the fire in the trail behind him to prevent pursuit by the Little Deer.
    "Later on, councils were held by the other animals, birds, fishes, reptiles, and insects, each one inventing some new disease to inflict upon humanity, down even to the grubworm, who became so elated at the bright prospect in view that in his joy he sprang into the air, but fell over backward, and had to wriggle off on his back, as the grubwormm does to this day. When the plants, who were friendly to the human race, heard what they had done by the animals, they held a council, and each plant agreed to furnish a remedy for some corresponding disease whenever man should call upon it for help.
    "While the great majority of diseases are thus caused by revengeful animal spirits, some are also caused by ghosts, witches, or violations of ceremonial regulations. When a child dies, his mother sometimes grieves after it and dreams of it night after night. This is because the spirit of the child is trying to take her away to itself in the Darkening Land of the west. To prevent this, the ghost must be driven away by the medicine man, who prescribes a course of treatment for the mother, ending with a ceremonial bathing at daybreak in the running stream. Sometimes an enemy shoots an invisible splinter into the body of a man, so that the victim lingers hopelessly, ignorant of the cause of the trouble, and at last dies unless relieved by the medicine man, who places his lips to the skin and sucks out the splinter or pebble, after repeating a formulistic prayer and ceremony.
    "This is the cause frequently assigned for consumption, known among the Cherokees as the 'dry cough'. Again, a witch may 'change the food' in a man's stomach and cause it to sprout within him, or take the form of a frog or lizard. Certain prohibitions also cannot be disregarded with impunity. Thus, walnut wood must not be put into the fire, because its inner bark is yellow, and if any of its ashes should go to make the lye used to season their corn gruel, the result of those partaking would be a yellow discharge or eruption. It is also held that what the evil man does lives after him, and sickness may result from treading upon the haunted spot where an animal has been slain years before". (Mooney, Medicine, 45,46)
    Mooney goes on to write: "Every doctor is a priest, and every application is a religious act accompanied by prayer. In these prayers the doctor first endeavors to show his contempt for the disease spirit by belittling it as much as possible, so as to convey the impression that he is not afraid of it. Thus if the disease animal be a dangerous rattlesnake he may declare that it is only a rabbit. He then goes on to threaten it with the "red switches", and calls in, say, the Red Hawk from the Sun Land (the east) to drive it out of the man's body, and on toward the Darkening Land in the west 'so that it may never turn round to look back'." (Mooney, Medicine, 49)
    Sassafras: The Bark of the Root of the Sassafras-Tree... is much used by them. They generally torrefy it in the Embers, so strip off the Bark from the Root, beating it to a Consistence fit to spread, so lay it on the griev'd Part; which both cleanses a fowl Ulcer; and after Scarrification, being apply'd to a Contusion, or Swelling, draws forth the Pain, and reduces the Part to its pristine State of Health, as I have often seen effected..." (Lawson, 230)
    WOUNDS: "Cypress... upon Incision, they yield a sweet-smelling Grain, tho' not in great Quantities; and the Nuts which these Trees bear plentifully, yield a most odoriferous Balsam, that infallably cures all new and green Wounds, which the Inhabitants are well acquainted withal." (Lawson, 103)
    "Women also exploited walnut's medicinal qualities, peeling out the inner bark of trees and roots to pound and boil for cathartics." (Hill, 10)
    "Cherokees believed that 'every tree, Shrub and Herb, down even to the Grasses and Mosses, agreed to furnish a cure for some one of the diseases" (Mooney, Myths).
    "To avert or cure illness, Cherokees needed to become familiar with all plants, recognize their properties, and understand their healing potential. They had to discern from the spirit of the plant the medicine it provided. Supernatural powers assisted them...
    Specialists in each generation disclosed the secret words of formulas to novices, initiating them in proper use of trees and plants. Whether they made sacred drink from the 'beloved Yaupon, poultices from buckeye and dogwood, or tea from sassafras, sweetgum, white oak, or the powerful and cherished ginseng (a-tali-guli: it climbs the mountain), Cherokees knew each plant offered something special. Each was gathered with ritual. Both women and men, selected as children to be trained by clan relatives, became medical practitioners. Most specialized in particular kinds of problems, utilizing certain skills and knowledge. Some became experts in the mysteries of love, others in finding lost objects, and many became healers. ....Their 'great knowledge of specific virtues in simples," Adair acknowledged, was 'instigated by nature and quickened by experience." (Hill, 13)
    "Purifying woods for medicine included 'cedar, white pine, hemlock, mistletoe, evergreen brier, heart leaf, and ginseng" (Hill, 93).
    "Rattlesnake grease makes an excellent ointment for rheumatic pains. It penetrates the joints up to the bones". (Bossu, Travels, 200)
SCRATCHING: 'This is a preliminary rite of the ballplay and other ceremonies...  As performed in connection with the ballplay, it is a painful operation, being inflicted upon the naked skin with a seven-toothed comb of turkey bone, the scratches being drawn in parallel lines upon the breast, back, arms and legs, until the sufferer is bleeding from head to foot. In medical practice, in order that the external application may take hold more effectually, the scratching is done with a rattlesnake's tooth, a brier, a flint... The practice seems to have been general among the southern tribes, and was sometimes used as a punishment for certain delinquents. According to Adair the doctor bled patients by scratching them with the teeth of garfish after the skin had been first well softened by the application of warm water, while any unauthorized person who dared to intrude upon the sacred square during ceremonial performances would be dry-scratched with snakes' teeth, fixed in the middle of a split reed, or piece of wood, without the privilege of warm water to supple the stiffened skin" (quoted in Mooney, Myths, 476)

     Speaking of the eastern Siouan Inds, Lederer says: "Three ways they supply their want of letters: first by counters, secondly by emblems or hieroglyphicks, thirdly by tradition delivered in long tales from father to son, which being children they are made to learn by rote. For counters, they use either pebbles, or short scantlings of straw or reeds. Where a battle has been fought, or a colony seated, they raise a small pyramid of these stones, consisting of the number slain or transplanted ... An account of time, and other things, they keep on a string or leather thong tied in knots of several colours." (Alvord, 142,143, quoted in Swanton, #137, 610)
    Lawson contributes the following: "(In connection with his funeral oration a speaker) diverts the people with some of their traditions, as when there was a violent hot summer, or very hard winter; when any notable distempers raged amongst them; when they were at war with such and such nations; how victorious they were; and what were the names of their war-captains. To prove the times more exactly, he produces the records of the country, which are a parcel of reeds of different lengths, with several distinct marks, known to none but themselves, by which they seem to guess very exactly at accidents that happened many years ago; nay, two or three ages or more. The reason I have to believe what they tell me on this account, is because I have been at the meetings of several Ind. Nations, and they agreed, in relating the same circumstances as to time, very exactly; as for example, they say there was so hard a winter in Carolina 105 years ago, that the great sound was frozen over, and the wild geese came into the woods to eat acorns, and that they were so tame, (I suppose through want) that they killed abundance in the woods by knocking them on the head with sticks). (Lawson, 295; quoted in Swanton, #137, 611).
    The use of bundles of small sticks to mark the passage of time or keep appointments was generally practiced throughout the Southwest. "They count certain remarkable things, by knots of various colors and make ... or by notched square sticks, which are likewise distributed among the head warriors, and other chieftains of different towns, in order to number the winters, etc -- the moons also -- their sleeps -- and the days when they travel; and especially certain secret intended acts of hostility. Under such a circumstance, if one day elapses, each of them loosens a knot, or cuts off a notch, or else makes one, according to previous agreement; which those who are in the trading way among them, call broken days. Thus they proceed day by day, till the whole time is expired, which was marked out, or agreed upon; and they know with certainty, the exact time of any of the aforesaid periods, when they are to execute their secret purposes, be they ever so various." (Adair, 79)
    An encounter with the Creeks is recorded: "Since my arrival among the Creeks the old chiefs had often spoken to me of their ancestors, and they had shown me the belts (banderoles), or varieties of chaplets, which contained their histories. These chaplets were their archives; they are of little seeds like those which are called Cayenne pearls; they are of different colors and strung in rows; and it is on their arrangement and their pattern that their meaning depends. As only the principal events are preserved on these belts and without any details, it sometimes happens that a single chaplet contains the history of twenty to twenty-five years. These pearls are placed in such a manner as to preserve the various periods exactly; and each year is easily distinguished by those who know the arrangement. (Milfort, 47-48). The Cherokee "wampum belts" were much the same, although we have never run across such a description of the Cherokee belts.
    "During the ball games, scores were kept by setting up sticks in the ground and then removing them, the number of points in the game being twice as many as the number of sticks." (Swanton, #137, 612)
     There are reports of a system of counting on the ground... such as mercantile transactions. It is referred to as "scoring on the ground", in which they made a single short line for each unit, and a cross to mark off the tens.
    "The fingers were used in counting as is true the world around, and throughout the Southeast the decimal system was in vogue. Measures of length were provided by the parts of the human body; long distances were measured in 'sleeps'." (Swanton, #137, 612)

      "The principal occupations of the men were hunting, the ball game, politics, war, and the ceremonies connected with the entire round of social life. They manufactured the tools and paraphernalia used in these endeavors, and they constructed all buildings, both domestic and public, and cleared the land used for building and cultivation. When buildings were erected, the men generally erected them in spring and fall, always preferring to avoid hot weather. When a large structure such as a town house was to be built, the men got together and traced out its exact dimensions, assigning specific jobs to specific individuals. Then, when the day came to build it, all the work was done in a single day with each man performing precisely the job assigned to him. Men did the heavy work in clearing the large fields for cultivation, and they sometimes helped the women tend them.
     "Those that are not extraordinary hunters, make bowls, dishes, and spoons, of gum-wood or the tulip-tree...others made white clay tobacco pipes, or carved from stone..."
     Men and Boys: Cleared the fields, felled the trees, cut and brought in firewood. They also carried in fresh water, a never-ending job.
     Men repaired and made tools and weapons. A man might be good at sewing, and in fact, a task of many southeastern man was to repair and make new moccasins.
     Men staged the various ceremonies. They were carpenters and builders, making the homes, corncribs, structures on the public square, and the great canoes.
     Men also made drums, calumets, sticks for ballplay, bows, arrows, axes, and war clubs.
     Father Jacques Gravier, a French Jesuit, observed in the division of labor in some southeastern nations. He wrote: "The men do here what peasants do in France; they cultivate and dig the earth, plant and harvest the crops, cut the wood and bring it to the cabin, dress the deer and buffalo hides, when they have any....the women do only indoor work, make earthen pots, and make clothes."
     Some of the older men farmed. Others fished, hunted, acted as traders, and took part in war. A few males at an early age were dedicated by their parents to the study of medicine; and a few might eventually fill the role of physician-priest required in native medicine.
     "The Southeastern Inds. had very little choice about what they wanted to be in life. Basically, they could either be a man or a woman. The man's role was unusually demanding, and to be admired one had to possess great strength, agility, endurance, tolerance for pain, and courage. Perhaps for this reason some men became transvestites. They chose to play the woman's role rather than the man's. So it was that the French were shocked to find a few Timucuan men dressing as women and doing the things that women did. The same was true of Natchez transvestites, who cultivated fields and carried burdens along with women. Without supplying any details, the French observed this custom among the Natchez made it plain that Natchez transvestites also played the woman's role in sexual intercourse." (Hudson, 269)
       Social standing of men were boys; young warriors, proven warriors, honored warriors,  elected War Leaders, Orators, "Beloved Men" (elders surviving from the previously mentioned  ranks), and Princes and Kings. The Kings (Oukah's) were chosen from the princes who were sons of a high-ranking mother, but if not highborn, any Cherokee male could make his own place, and raise his esteem and status, by becoming a noted warrior, hunter, priest, or orator. Orators were very much appreciated.


     "Their Money is of different sorts, but all made of Shells, which are found on the Coast of Carolina, which are very large and hard, so that they are very difficult to cut.... the general and current Species.. is that which we call Peak and Roanoak; but Peak more especially. This is that which at New-York they call Wampum; and have used it as current Money amongst the Inhabitants for a great many Years. This is what many Writers call Porcelan, and is made in New-York in great Quantities, and with us in some measure. Five Cubits of this purchase a dress'd Doe-Skin, and seven or eight purchase a dress'd Buck-Skin.... it is made out of a vast great Shell, of which the Country affords Plenty; where it is ground smaller than the small End of a Tobacco-Pipe, or a large Wheat-Straw. Four or five of these make an Inch, and every one is to be drill'd through, and made as smooth as Glass, and so strung, as Beads are, and a Cubit of the.. Measure contains as much in Length, as will reach from the Elbow to the End of the little Finger. They never stand to question, whether it is a tall Man, or a short one, that measures it; but if this Wampum Peak be black or purple, as some Part of that Shell is, then it is twice the value." (Lawson, 203,204)
     How is the wampum made? "This the Inds. grind on Stones and other things, till they make it current, but the Drilling is the most difficult to the English-men, which the Inds manage with a Nail stuck in a Cane or Reed. This they roll it continually on their Thighs, so in time they drill a Hole quite through it, which is a very tedious Work; but especially in making their Roanoak, four of which will scarce make one Length of Wampum. The Inds. are a People that never value their time, so that they can afford to make them, and never need to fear the English will take the Trade out of their Hands. This is the Money with which you may buy Skins, Furs, Slaves, or anything the Inds. have; it being the Mammon (as our Money is to us) that entices and persuades them to do any thing, and part with everything they possess, except their Children for Slaves." (Lawson, 203,204)
    "From ... various incidental notices of roanoke in the early literature, it seems evident that the term was of general application. There is, however, one marked point of distinction between wampum and roanoke; in beads of the first type the length exceeded the diameter while the opposite was true of roanoke. (Swanton, #137, 484)
    "Before we supplied them ... with our European beads, they had great quantities of wampum; (the Buccinum of the ancients) made out of conch-shell, by rubbing them on hard stones, and so they form them according to their liking. With these they bought and sold at a stated current rate, without the least variation for circumstances either of time or place; and now they will hear nothing patiently of loss or gain; or allow us to heighten the price of our goods, be our reasons ever so strong, or though the exigencies and changes of time may require it. Formerly four deer-skins was the price of a large conch-shell bead, about the length and thickness of a man's fore-finger; which they fixed to the crown of their head, as an high ornament -- so greatly they prized them". (Adair, 170)
    "Evidently beads made from shells had attained local use as currency before white contact in three centers: as wampumpeak, or sewan, about Manhattan Island and along Long Island Sound as far as Narragansett Bay; as roanoak in the environs of Chesapeake Bay and the sounds of North Carolina, and inland from the Gulf. In time wampum displaced the others, but native wampum was almost immediatley displaced by wampum of European manufacture. (Swanton, #137, 484)
    The seed beads which the conjurors used in rituals were called "adela" in the familiar form. This was then extended to the wampum beads which were used as values in trade and commerce, and finally the word "adela" was extended into any coin or paper of value, becoming in common use the Cherokee word for "money".

       "the moon is regarded as a strongly protecting older brother or sometimes as a maternal grandfather.... (Gilbert, 237)
    "The moon deity controlled Cherokee religious rituals, its crescent or new moon phase establishing the dates for ceremonies. The Cherokee believed that the world was created in the autumn season when the fruits were ripe. Hence their year began when the new moon of October appeared." (Lewis & Kneberg, 176)
     "The Cherokees believe that the Moon was the Sun's brother, with the clear implication that an incestuous relationship existed between them... the moon was sometimes associated with rain and with menstruation, and with fertility generally, but it was not as important a deity as the Sun. When an eclipse of the Moon occurred, the Inds. believed that it was being swallowed by a giant frog in the Upper World. They would all run out of their houses yelling and making noise to frighten away the frog. It goes without saying that they always succeeded, thereby saving the moon from destruction." Hudson, 126)
     "The Cherokees addressed both the Sun (sacred fire) and the Moon as "our grandparent".... the kinship system ... was more than just a means of ordering social relationships among kinsmen. It was a conceptual model which shaped their thinking about relationships in other realms. By addressing the Sun and Moon as "our grandparent", the Cherokees meant that the Sun and Moon stood in a relationship of respect and affection, as their remote ancestors. Their metaphorical use of "elder brother", "younger brother", "mother", and so on also implied relationships modeled on kin relationships in their social world." (Hudson, 126,127)
     "The Cherokees lived in a world that included several categories of spiritual beings. The great spirits of the Upper World -- the Sun, the Moon, the Great Thunder, and others -- rarely intervened in everyday matters... (Hudson, 169)

      A supply of moss on hand was almost indispensable to everyday life. It was used in many ways to absorb waters and wastes; "the Husband takes care to provide a Cradle, which is soon made, consisting of a Piece of flat Wood, which they hew with their Hatchets to the Likeness of a Board; it is about two Foot long, and a Foot broad; to this they brace and tie the Child down very close, having, near the middle, a Stick fasten'd about two Inches from the Board, which is for the Child's Breech to rest on, under which they put a Wad of Moss, that receives the Child's Excrements, by which means they can shift the Moss, and keep all clean and sweet".
    Speaking of women, "All of them, when ripe, have a small String around the Waste, to which another is tied and comes between their Legs, where always is a Wad of Moss against the Os Pubis; but never any Hair is there to be found..." (Lawson, 197)
    "...or sometimes the Moss that grows on the Trees, and is a Yard or two long, and never rots:...
    "or sometimes to tie the poles together..." (Lawson 182)

       "the whole Cherokee Nation is governed by seven Mother Towns, each of these Towns chuse a King to preside over them and their Dependants; he is elected out of certain families, and they regard only the Descent by the Mother's Side.
     "The Towns which chuse Kings, are Tannassie, Kettooah, Ustenatly, Telliquo, Estootowie, Keyowee, Noyohee; whereof four of the Kings are dead, and their Places are to be supply'd by new Elections.
     "The Kings now alive, are the Kings of Tannassie in the Upper Settlements, the King of Ketooah in the Middle Settlements, and the King of Ustenary in the Lower Settlements.
     There are several Towns that have Princes, such as Tamasso one, Settecho one, Tassetchee one, Iwassee one, Telliquo two, Tannassie two, Cannostee one, Cowee one.
     "Besides these, every Town has a Head Warrior, who is in great Esteem among them..."
Journal of Sir Alexander Cuming (1730), quoted in Early Travels in the Tennessee Country.

     "We have reason to believe that the religious system of the mound builders, like that of the Aztecs, exercised among them a great, if not a controlling influence. Their government may have been, for aught we know, a government of the priesthood --- one in which the priestly and civil functions were jointly exercised, and one sufficiently powerful to have secured in the Mississippi Valley, as it did in Mexico, the erection of many of those vasdt monuments which for ages will continue to challenge the wonder of men". (Squier & Davis: Ancient Monuments)
     "The practice of building mounds originated with the Anintsi & was kept up by the Ani-Kituhwagi. They were built as sites for town houses and some were low, while others were high as small trees. In building the mound, a fire was first kindled on the level surface. Around the fire was placed a circle of stones, outside of which were deposited the bodies of seven prominent men, one from each gens, these bodies being exhumed for the purpose from previous interments." (Professor Cyrus Thomas: "The Cherokees in Pre-Columbian Times", 44)
     The Etowah mounds near Cartersville, Georgia are mentioned in the 5th Annual Report, BAE, also in Jones, "History of the Southern Inds."
     By the time the white man reached the Cherokee, the mounds were no longer in use, and barely remembered.

      "The basic unit of Southeastern music was the song.
     "The length of the songs is variable. Some are only ten seconds long, and even the longer ones last only a few minutes. A great many consist of short sections which are repeated and combined in various ways. Characteristically, the Cherokees combine these phrases in fours and sevens, the typical song consisting of seven phrases repeated four times. For the most part the songs are sung using five-note and four-note scales. When the five-note scale is used in Cherokee music, only the four higher notes are extensively used in the song, while the lowest note is used almost exclusively to mark the end of a phrase or section." (Herndon,  342)
     "Many of the Southeastern melodies have a throbbing or undulating movement which gradually descends. They are sung with a moderate amount of vocal tension. In their songs the Southeastern Inds. are unusual... in  that they often begin and end with shouts or yells, and some of the songs employ antiphonal and responsorial techniques, in which a group of singers repeats phrases sung by the group leader. Both of these devices, it should be noted, are characteristic of Negro music..... (Hudson, 403)
      "Before the ball game, there was songs and dances... "In their songs the men called on various spiritual beings to strengthen them for the coming contest. They called upon one to give them endurance; another to make them quick-witted, another to make them quick and elusive; and another to make them swift runners. In contrast, the purpose of the women's songs was to take power away from the opponents. They called for victory, promising the players that tomorrow they would be able to sleep with their wives. But when they referred to their opponents in song, it was to the effect that the opponents' conjurer had miscarried a turtle, the opposing players had touched a pregnant woman in public, the opposing players had slept with their wives and weakened themselves, and so on".  (Hudson, 413)

       "The dance figures were always circular in motion, usually counterclockwise. They were accompanied by drums, flutes, rattles, and singing. Gourd rattles were carried in the hand by men, while turtle-shell rattles filled with small pebbles were worn.. on ..lower legs." (Lewis & Kneberg, 166)
       Traditional, were the gourd or turtle rattles, the drums, and the flageolet (flute).
      "...the favorite musical instrument was made by stretching a wet deerskin over a small earthen pot, sometimes partially filling the pot with water, which was used periodically to remoisten the drumhead. Later in the historic period... they made drums from hollow sections of black or tupelo gum trees, measuring about 30 inches long and 15 inches in diameter. The drumhead was attached by many hoops in such a way that it could easily be tightened.
     Rattles were commonly made of dried gourds into which a few beans, grains or corn, or pebbles had been placed, and which were affixed to wooden handles. In some cases these rattles were deliberately made in different sizes so that their sounds would be different. To the ends of these rattles the Cherokees sometimes fastened rattlesnake rattlers or hawk feathers. Another kind of rattle was made of terrapin shells filled with pebbles and attached to heavy leather straps. The women wore these tied around their lower legs in some of the dances. In some places the women used leg rattles made of deer hooves affixed to large numbers to 'stockings' they wore on their legs, so that when they danced they made a rattling sound.
     The flageolet, was not nearly as important as the drum and the rattle. A simple wind instrument made of a length of cane or deer tibia, the flageolet was used not as an accompaniment to singing and dancing as were the drum and rattle, but rather as a kind of musical embellishment. The early European explorers were often welcomed into villages by men who came out to meet them playing flageolets. When chiefs went in procession, some of the men who went along played flageolets. In recent times... made flageolets out of cane, about one foot in length, and with two fingerholes, and reportedly, conjurers played them before and during ball games in order to help their side win. "(Hudson, 402)
   In addition to the flageolet, warriors sometimes carried small whistles which they blew as they attacked their enemies.
    "Their Drums are made of a Skin, stretched over an Earthen Pot half full of water." (Beverley, 55).
    "They have a kynd of cane on which they pipe as on a recorder, and are like the Greeke pipes, which they called bombyces, being hardly to be sounded without great strayning of the breath, upon which they observe certain rude times." (Strachey, 79)
    Some flutes were described as: "made of a joint of reed or the tibia of the deer's leg; on this instrument they perform badly, and at best it is rather a hideous melancholy discord, than harmony. It is only young fellows who amuse themselves on this howling instrument." (Bartram, 503)
    "Whistles and flutes or flageolets are in use among nearly all tribes for ceremonial and amusement purposes. The whistle, usually made from an eagle bone, was worn suspended from the neck. The flute or flageolet was commonly made from cedar wood." (Mooney, Myths, 455)

       "Certain other beings are related to the Cherokees in the manner of human beings although their exact relationship status is vague. Such beings are the man of the Whirlwind, the Rainmaker (agandiski), the Cloud people, who often come to visit humans; the Red Man of Lightning; the Thunder Man; the Snow Man; the Hot and Cold Weather Men; the Rainbow Man; Hail Man; Frost Man; Waterfall Man; and the Long Man of the River." (Gilbert, 300)
    "An adaweh i was a human or spiritual being with great power. Only the very greatest priests and spiritual beings were regarded as being adaweh i.
      "Another Cherokee category of spiritual beings, the Little People, were often encountered. ...They were invisible except when they wanted to be seen. They were physically well formed, but like European leprechauns and fairies they were no higher than a man's knee, and their hair grew long, Like Trolls, reaching almost to the ground. They lived not in town houses, but in rock shelters and caves in the mountain side, in laurel thickets, in broom sage, and out in the open... they were fond of drumming and dancing, and they would help children who were lost in the woods. But they were mischievous, playing tricks on people which sometimes caused great harm. One had to deal with the Little People with some care. They did not like to be disturbed, and anyone who did so might suffer a psychological or physical illness. The Little People could cause a person to become temporarily bewildered, or even to become insane. For this reason, when the Inds. heard the Little People outside their houses at night, they would not go out and try to see them. Moreover, if anyone did see them, he could not tell anybody, because to do so would bring death. When a hunter found something in the woods, like a knife, that perhaps belonged to the Little People, before he could pick it up he had to say, "Little People, I want to take this."
     "The Little People had to be treated carefully, and the same was true for all of the other spiritual beings. If these spiritual beings were slighted or treated disrespectfully, they would become resentful, and the offender would be stricken with disease. This was especially true when dealing with ghosts. The Southeastern Inds. believed that each individual had a soul that lived on as a ghost after death. Ghosts were believed to have the ability to materialize so that some individuals could see them though others could not. When a person died, all the people in the village shouted and made noise in an attempt to frighten the ghost up to the western sky. If a ghost were allowed to stay around, it could cause people to fall ill or even die. Sometimes a ghost would become lonely and come back from the West to haunt his relatives, causing them to fall ill. The Inds. would not eat food that had been left out overnight for fear that ghosts had touched it. And the ghost of a man whose murder had not been avenged was thought to haunt the eaves of his house until his murderer or his murderer's relatives had shed equal blood.
     "Rivers also figured prominently in the Cherokee spirit world. The river was called "Long Man" or "Long  Snake". The head of the Long Snake was thought to be in the mountains and his tail in the lowlands. The river was associated with the moon, and on every new moon, including those in winter, the Cherokees used to go to the bank of the river where a priest officiated and everybody plunged in. This was to ensure long life, ...Usually this ritual took place at a bend of the river where they could face upstream toward the rising sun. Just as Fire could be offended, so could the river."(Hudson, 171,2-3)

      "Many animals had specific symbolic values... Birds were especially important, and this importance is reflected in the many bird motifs... Most important of all were the falcons, and probably the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) in particular, the swiftest of all the birds, who flies high and drives down at its prey with partly folded wings at an estimated speed of 180 miles her hour. Unlike the hawk, which kills by grasping and impaling its prey with its talons, the keen-eyed falcon dives down on its unsuspecting prey and strikes so powerful a blow with its feet or talons that the prey is often killed outright, much as an enemy would fall beneath the blow of a warrior's war club. ... This falcon also served as the model of the Tlanuwa, the monstrious bird of prey in Cherokee oral traditions, who was said to swoop down and kill its victims with its sharp breast.
    The Cherokees saw nothing inconsistent in the fact that the bald eagle (Haliaetus leucocephalus lencocephalus L.) the near relative of the falcon, symbolized peace, the perfect order of the Upper World. Perhaps they thought of the bald eagle, who flies serenely above all other creatures, as the white-haired grandparent of the falcons. Their word for the red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis borealis Gemlin) literally means "love-sick", because to the Cherokees his call is a lonely sounding whistle. Perhaps because the kingfisher is able to fly down to the water and reach beneath it to pluck up a fish, Cherokee priests or conjurers would invoke it to pluck out objects which had been magically intruded into their patients' bodies, making them ill. While for us the turkey buzzard symbolizes death, for the Cherokees it symbolized healing, because the turkey buzzard is able to expose itself to dead things with impunity. The long-eared owl whom the Cherokees call tski*li, was an ill omen, a witch, a repulsive being. The red-bellied woodpecker, whom the Cherokees call dalala, was a swift and cunning bird who symbolized war, perhaps because his red head looks as if it had been scalped. The pileated or ivory-billed woodpecker depicted in ..many ..motifs may have had a similar meaning. The turkey, whose black hair-like neck feathers resemble a human scalp, was also associated with men and with warfare. One of the war whoops of the Southeastern Inds. was an imitation of a turkey gobble.
    There were giant frogs and giant lizards among the many monsters, but the most horrible of all was the monster called Uktena, a creature combining features of all three categories of normal animals. It had the scaly body of a large serpent, as big around as a tree trunk, with rings or spots of color along its entire body, but it had deer horns on its head, and it had wings like a bird. On its forehead it had a bright diamond-shaped crest that gave off blinding flashes of light. (Hudson, 131,132)
      The Cherokees of old were very superstitious people. Almost everything had a supernatural meaning or cause. It permeated every aspect of life.
     "Various protective powers, spirits, and substances were involved in disease and other misfortunes. Although the sun and the moon were considered supreme over the lower creation, the most active and efficient agent appointed by them to take care of mankind was supposed to be fire..."
    "The sun and moon were regarded as the creators of the world. The sun was generally considered the more powerful and was supposed to give efficacy for curing to roots and herbs. If the sun did not cure the ailment, the suppliant turned to the moon was the power controlling the disease. There were many prayers for welfare made to the sun and moon since they were such powerful protectors.
    "In the center of the sky at the zenith was the abode of the Great Spirit. He was supposed to have created certain lines or points on earth in the four directions and to have stationed at these points beings of different colors. In the north was a blue man, in the east a red man, in the south a white man, and in the west a black man. These beings are vice regents for the Great Spirit and supplications are directed to them in regular succession. There were other sky beings, such as the morning star, who was a wicked conjurer, and the eight brothers or Pleiades.
     "There was a belief in the transmigration of souls and in haunted places. When anyone died, the spirits hovered around and must be fed. Knockings occurred in various places due to witches. For these tobacco smoke was a great remedy. Several classes of spirits dwelt in the earth.
1. The nanehi dwelt under water, in the ground, rocks, and the mountains and could be seen only at night. They were characterized by eyes on the ends of horns.
2. Another class with larger bodies have eyes extending up and down and live in the mountains.
3. Still another group, the ukase, throw rocks and clubs at people at night but never hit them.
4. Utselunuhi are transformation spirits or ghosts of the dead who hover over the scenes of their earthly life before taking their departure." (Gilbert, 345)

      James Mooney, associated with the Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institute, WashDC, spent time with the Cherokees in North Carolina during the years 1887-1888. There were still a few Cherokees alive then who remembered some of the old ways, some of the old myths and stories that were a part of a Cherokees' daily life. Unfortunately, he encountered (and became part of) the genocide, referring to ancient Cherokee kings (before the Cherokee Constitution of 1827) as "chiefs", and referring, over and over, to the Cherokee "tribe" instead of "nation".  Outside of the deplorable terminology, he has preserved, in the English language, as much factual information about ancient Cherokee life and culture as any other historian.
     "The formulas, or sacred charms, covered a wide range. Probably half of them pertained to medicine. When the unemotional character of the Ind. is considered, the number of love charms is surprising. In addition, hunting, fishing, war, self-protection, defeat of enemies, witchcraft, crops, council, ball play, and numerous other subjects were mentioned." (Rights, 211)
    "During his residence among the Carolina Cherokee, Mr. Mooney succeeded in collecting a large number of myths and legends... The Eastern Band held closely to the traditions of their people. Secluded in the mountains, they were not exposed to the influences of the outside world, as were their brothers in the West. The collected material falls into the divisions of sacred myths, animal stories, local legends, and historical traditions. The sacred myths were entrusted to the priestly class. Other stories and legends were common property of the numerous storytellers. Three-fourths of the stories collected by Mr. Mooney came from an aged medicine man named Ayunini, or "The Swimmer".
      Cherokees were very superstitious people, and their mythical stories reflect that fact, and involve such "important social relationships such as jokester, trickery, revenge, love, and family relationships.
    "The jokester-trickster element consists of practical jokes played on each other by the animal actors of the mythical drama. The rabbit is the type of trickster of the Southeastern woodlands and in the Cherokee myths he tricks the otter, 'possum, turkeys, wolf, flint, and the deer. He is in turn tricked by the terrapin and the deer. Other animals also play tricks. The wolves, in particular, are very gullible and are tricked not only by the rabbit but also by the terrapin and the ground hog. The terrapin is also gullible for he is tricked by the turkey and the partridge."
     For particular stories; go to "The Eastern Cherokees", Wm. H. Gilbert; BAE publishing; Bulletin 133, and to Mooney, "Myths of the Cherokee". 19th Annual Report, Bureau of American Ethnology, 1900.

    Long ago there was a Cherokee clan called the Ani-Tsaguhi, and in one family of this clan was a boy who used to leave home and be gone all day in the mountains. After a while he went oftener and stayed longer, until at last he would not eat in the house at all, but started off at daybreak and did not come back until night. His parents scolded, but that did no good, and the boy still went every day until they noticed that long brown hair was beginning to grow out all over his body. Then they wondered and asked him why it was that he wanted to be so much in the woods that he would not even eat at home. Said the boy, "I find plenty to eat there, and it is better than the corn and beans we have in the settlements, and pretty soon I am going into the woods to stay all the time". His parents were worried and begged him not to leave them, but he said, "It is better there than here, and you see I am beginning to be different already, so that I can not live here any longer. If you will come with me, there is plenty for all of us and you will never have to work for it; but if you want to come you must first fast seven days".
     The father and mother talked it over and then told the headmen of the clan. They held a council about the matter and after everything had been said they decided: "Here we must work hard and have not always enough. There he says there is always plenty without work. We will go with him". So they fasted seven days, and on the seventh morning all the Ani-Tsaguhi left the settlement and started for the mountains as the boy led the way.
    When the people of the other towns heard of it they were very sorry and sent their headmen to persuade the Ani-Tsaguhi to stay home and not go into the woods to live. The messengers found them already on the way, and were surprised to notice that their bodies were beginning to be covered with hair like that of animals, because for seven days they had not taken human food and their nature was changing. The Ani-Tsaguhi would not come back, but said, "We are going where there is always plenty to eat. Hereafter we shall be called yanu (bears), and when you yourselves are hungry come into the woods and call us and we shall come to give you our own flesh. You need not be afraid to kill us, for we shall live always". Then they taught the messengers the songs with which to call them, and the bear hunters have these songs still. Then they had finished the songs the Ani-Tsaguhi started on again and the messengers turned back to the settlements, but after going a little way they looked back and saw a drove of bears going into the woods.
     NOTE: It is for these reasons that a Cherokee did not have to offer apologies, or make ritual offerings, for killing a bear, as they did for other animals. .

     In the old days quadrupeds, birds, fishes, and insects could all talk, and they and the human race lived together in peace and friendship. But as time went on the people increased so rapidly that their settlements spread over the whole earth and the poor animals found themselves beginning to be cramped for room. This was bad enough, but to add to their misfortunes man invented bows, knives, blowguns, spears, and hooks, and began to slaughter the larger animals, birds, and fishes for the sake of their flesh or their skins, while the smaller creatures, such as the frogs and worms, were crushed and trodden upon without mercy, out of pure carelessness or contempt. In this state of affairs the animals resolved to consult upon measures for their common safety.
    The bears were the first to meet in council in their town house in Kuwahi, the "Mulberry Place" (one of the high peaks of the Smoky Mountains, on the Tennessee line, near Clingman's Dome), and the old White Bear chief presided. After each in turn had made complaint against the way in which man killed their friends, devoured their flesh, and used their skins for his own adornment, it was unanimously decided to begin war at once against the human race. Some one asked what weapons man used to accomplish their destruction. "Bows and arrows, of course", cried all the bears in chorus. "And what are they made of?" was the next question. "The bow of wood and the string of our own entrails," replied one of the bears. It was then proposed that they make a bow and some arrows and see if they could not turn man's weapons against himself. So one bear got a nice piece of locust wood and another sacrificed himself for the good of the rest in order to furnish a piece of his entrails for the string. But when everything was ready and the first bear stepped up to make the trial it was found that in letting the arrow fly after drawing back the bow, his long claws caught the string and spoiled the shot. This was annoying, but another suggested that he could overcome the difficulty by cutting his claws, which was accordingly done, and on a second trial it was found that the arrow went straight to the mark. But here the chief, the old White Bear, interposed and said that it was necessary that they should have long claws in order to climb trees. "One of us has already died to furnish the bow, and if we now cut off our claws we shall all have to starve together. It is better to trust to the teeth and claws which nature gave us, for it is evident that man's weapons were not intended for us".
    No one could suggest any better plan, so the old chief dismissed the council and the bears dispersed to their forest haunts without having concerted any means for preventing the increase of the human race. Had the result of the council been otherwise, we should now be at war with the bears, but as it is, the hunter does not even ask the bear's pardon when he kills one.
    The deer next held a council under their chief, the Little Deer, and after some deliberation resolved to inflict rheumatism upon every hunter who should kill one of their number, unless he took care to ask their pardon for the offense. They sent notice of their decision to the nearest settlement of Inds and told them at the same time how to make propitiation when necessity forced them to kill one of the deer tribe. Now, whenever the hunter brings down a deer, the Little Deer, who is swift as the wind and cannot be wounded, runs quickly up to the spot and bending over the blood stains asks the spirit of the deer if it has heard the prayer of the hunter for pardon. If the reply be "Yes" all is well and Little Deer goes on his way; but if the reply be in the negative he follows on the trail of the hunter, guided by the drops of blood on the ground, until he arrives at the cabin in the settlement, when the Little Deer enters invisibly and strikes the neglectful hunter with rheumatism, so that he is rendered on the instant a helpless cripple. No hunter who has regard for his health ever fails to ask pardon of the deer for killing it, although some who have not learned the proper formula may attempt to turn aside the Little Deer from his pursuit by building a fire behind them in the trail.
    Next came the fishes and reptiles, who had their own grievances against humanity. They held a joint council and determined to make their victims dream of snakes twining about them in slimy folds and blowing their fetid breath in their faces, or to make them dream of eating raw or decaying fish, so that they would lose appetite, sicken, and die. Thus it is that snake and fish dreams are accounted for.
    Finally the birds, insects, and smaller animals came together for a like purpose, and the grubworm presided over the deliberations. It was decided that each in turn should express his opinion and then vote on the question as to whether or not man should be deemed guilty. Seven votes were to be sufficient to condemn him. One after another denounced man's cruelty and injustice toward the other animals and voted in favor of his death. The Frog spoke first and said: "We must do something to check the increase or the race of people will become so numerous that we shall be crowded from off the earth. See how man has kicked me about because I'm ugly, as he says, until my back is covered with sores", and here he showed the spots on his skin. Next came the Bird, who condemned man because "he burns my feet off", alluding to the way in which the hunter barbecues birds by impaling them on a stick set over the fire, so that their feathers and tender feet are singed and burned. Others followed in the same train. The Ground Squirrel alone ventured to say a word in behalf of man, who seldom hurt him because he was so small; but this so enraged the others that they fell upon the Ground Squirrel and tore him with their teeth and claws, and the stripes remain on his back to this day.
    The assembly began to devise and name various diseases, one after another, and had not their invention finally failed them not one of the human race would have been able to survive. The Grubworm in his place of honor hailed each new malady with delight, until at last they had reached the end of the list, when someone suggested that it be arranged so that ailments peculiar to woman would sometimes prove fatal. On this he rose up in his place and cried: "Watan! Thanks! I'm glad some of them will die, for they are getting so thick that they tread on me". He fairly shook with joy at the thought, so that he fell over backward and could not get on his feet again, but had to wriggle off on his back, as the Grubworm has done ever since.
     When the plants, who were friendly to man, heard what had been done by the animals, they determined to defeat their evil designs. Each tree, shrub, and herb, down even to the grasses and mosses, agreed to furnish a remedy for some one of the diseases named, and each said: "I shall appear to help man when he calls upon me in his need". Thus did medicine originate, and the plants, each one of which has its use if we only knew it, furnish the antidote to counteract the evil wrought by the revengeful animals. When the doctor is in doubt what treatment to apply for the relief of a patient, the spirit of the plant suggests to him the proper remedy."
    In the beginning there was no fire, and the world was cold, until the Thunders(Ani-Hyuntik- walaski) who lived up in Galunlati, sent their lightning and put fire into the bottom of a hollow sycamore tree which grew on an island. The animals knew it was there, because they could see the smoke rising out at the top, but they could not get to it on account of the water, so they held a council to decide what to do. This was a long time ago.
    Every animal that could fly or swim was anxious to go after the fire. The Raven offered, and because he was so large and strong they thought he could surely do the work, so he was sent first. He flew high and far across the water and alighted on the sycamore tree, but while he was wondering what to do next, the heat had scorched all his feathers black, and he was frightened and came back without the fire. The little Screech-owl (Wahuhu) volunteered to go, and reached the place safely, but while he was looking down into the hollow tree a blast of hot air came up and nearly burned out his eyes. He managed to fly home as best he could, but it was a long time before he could see well, and his eyes are red to this day. Then the Hooting Owl (Uguku) and the Horned Owl (Tskuli) went, but by the time they got to the hollow tree the fire was burning so fiercely that the smoke nearly blinded them, and the ashes carried up by the wind made white rings about their eyes. They had to come home again without the fire, but with all their rubbing they were never able to get rid of the white rings.
    Now no more of the birds would venture, and so the little Uksuhi snake, the black racer, said he would go through the water and bring back some fire. He swam across the island and crawled through the grass to the tree, and went in by a small hole at the bottom. The heat and smoke were too much for him, too, and after dodging about blindly over the hot ashes until he was almost on fire himself he managed by good luck to get out again at the same hole, but his body had been scorched black, and he has ever since had the habit of darting and doubling on his track as if trying to escape from close quarters. He came back, and got the great blacksnake, Gulegi, "The Climber" offered to go for fire. He swam over to the island and climbed up the tree on the outside, as the blacksnake always does, but when he put his head down into the hole the smoke choked him so that he fell into the burning stump, and before he could climb out again he was as black as the Uksuhi.
    Now they held another council, for still there was no fire, and the world was cold, but birds, snakes, and four-footed animals, all had some excuse for not going, because they were all afraid to venture near the burning sycamore, until at last Kananeski Amaiyehi (the Water Spider) said she would go. This is not the water spider that looks like a mosquito, but the other one, with black downy hair and red stripes on her body. She can run on top of the water or dive to the bottom, so there would be no trouble to get over to the island, but the question was, How could she bring back the fire? "I'll manage that" said the Water Spider; so she spun a thread from her body and wove it into a tusti bowl, which she fastened on her back. Then she crossed over to the island and through the grass to where the fire was still burning. She put one little coal of fire into her bowl, and came back with it, and ever since we have had fire, and the Water Spider still keeps her tusti bowl.

NIKWASI:  "The Spirit Defenders of Nikwasi".
    Long ago a powerful unknown tribe invaded the Cherokee country, killing people and destroying settlements wherever they went. No leader could stand against them, and in a little while they had wasted all the lower settlements and advanced into the mountains. The warriors of the old town of Nikwasi, on the head of the Little Tennessee, gathered their wives and children into the townhouse and kept scouts constantly on the lookout for the presence of danger.
     One morning just before daybreak the spies saw the enemy approaching and at once gave the alarm. The Nikwasi men seized their arms and rushed out to meet the attack, but after a long, hard fight they found themselves overpowered and began to retreat, when suddenly a stranger stood among them and shouted to the War Leader  to call off his men and he himself would drive back the enemy. From the dress and language of the stranger the Nikwasi people thought him a chief who had come with reinforcements from the Overhill settlements in Tennessee. They fell back along the trail, and as they came near the townhouse they saw a great company of warriors coming out from the side of the mound as through an open doorway. Then they knew that their friends were .. the Immortals, although no one had ever heard before that they lived under Nikwasi mound.
    The Immortals poured out by hundreds, armed and painted for the fight, and the most curious thing about it all was that they became invisible as soon as they were fairly outside of the settlement, so that although the enemy saw the glancing arrow or the rushing tomahawk, and felt the stroke, he could not see who sent it. Before such invisible foes the invaders soon had to retreat, going first south along the ridge to where it joins the main ridge which separates the French Broad from the Tuckasegee, and then turning with it to the northeast. As they retreated they tried to shield themselves behind rocks and trees, but the Immortals arrows went around the rocks and killed them from the other side, and they could find no hiding place. All along the ridge they fell, until when they reached the head of Tuckasegee not more than half a dozen were left alive, and in despair they sat down and cried out for mercy.
     Ever since then the Cherokee have called the place Dayulsunyi, "Where they cried". Then the Immortals War Leader  told them they had deserved their punishment for attacking a peaceful people, and he spared their lives and told them to go home and take the news to their people. This was the custom, always to spare a few to carry back the news of defeat. They went home toward the north and the Immortals went back to the mound.
     And they are still there, because in the Civil War when a strong party of Federal troops came to surprise a handful of Confederates posted there, they saw so many soldiers guarding the town that they were afraid and went away without making an attack." (Hudson, 171)

    The Possum used to have a long bushy tail, and was so proud of it that the combed it out every morning and sang about it at the dance, until the Rabbit, who had had no tail since the Bear pulled it out, became very jealous and made up his mind to play the Possum a trick.
    There was to be a great council and a dance at which all the animals were to be present. It was the Rabbit's business to send out the news, so as he was passing the Possum's place he stopped to ask him if he intended to be there. The Possum said he would come if he could have a special seat, "because I have such a handsome tail that I ought to sit where everybody can see me". The Rabbit promised to attend to it and to send some one besides to comb and dress the Possum's tail for the dance; so the Possum was very, very pleased and agreed to come.
     Then the Rabbit went over to the Cricket, who is such an expert hair-cutter that the people call him the Barber, and told him to go next morning and dress the Possum's tail for the dance that night. He told the Cricket just what to do and then went on about some other mischief.
    In the morning the Cricket went to the Possum's house and said he had come to get him ready for the dance. So the Possum stretched himself out and shut his eyes while the Cricket combed out his tail and wrapped a red string around it to keep it smooth and straight until night. But all this time, as he would wind the string around, he was clipping off the hair close to the roots, and the Possum never knew it.
    When it was night the Possum went to the townhouse where the dance was to be and found the best seat ready for him, just as the Rabbit had promised. When his turn came in the dance he loosened the string from his tail and stepped into the middle of the floor. The drummers began to drum and the Possum began to sing, "See my beautiful tail". Everybody shouted and he danced around the circle and sang again, "See what a fine color it has". They shouted again and he danced around another time, singing "See how it sweeps the ground". The animals shouted more loudly than ever, and the Possum was delighted. He danced around the circle of animals and they were all laughing at him. Then he looked down at his beautiful tail and saw that there was not a hair left upon it, but that it was as bare as the tail of a lizard. He was so much astonished and ashamed that he could not say a word, but rolled over helpless on the ground and grinned, as the Possum does to this day when taken by surprise.

    The Rabbit was so boastful that he would claim to do whatever he saw anyone else do, and so tricky that he could usually make the other animals believe it all. Once he pretended that he could swim in the water and eat fish just as the Otter did, and when the others told him to prove it he fixed up a plan so that the Otter himself was deceived.
    Soon afterward they met again and the Otter said, "I eat ducks sometimes". Said the Rabbit, "Well, I eat ducks, too". The Otter challenged him to try it; so they went up along the river until they saw several ducks in the water and managed to get near without being seen. The Rabbit told the Otter to go first. The Otter never hesitated, but dived from the bank and swam under water until he reached the ducks, when he pulled one down without being noticed by the others, and came back in the same way.
    While the Otter had been under the water the Rabbit had peeled some bark from a sapling and made himself a noose. "Now," he said, "Just watch me", and he dived in and swam a little way under the water until he was nearly choking and had to come up to the top to breathe. He went under again and came up again a little nearer to the ducks. He took another breath and dived under, and this time he came up among the ducks and threw the noose over the head of one and caught it. The duck struggled hard and finally spread its wings and flew from the water with the Rabbit hanging on to the noose.
    It flew on and on until at last the Rabbit could not hold on any longer, but had to let go and drop. As it happened, he fell into a tall hollow sycamore stump without any hole at the bottom to get out from, and there he stayed until he was so hungry that he had to eat his own fur, as the rabbit does ever since when he is starving. After several days, when he was very weak with hunger, he heard children playing outside around the trees. He began to sing:
    Cut a door and look at me;
    I'm the prettiest thing you ever did see.
The children ran home and told their father, and came and began to cut a hole in the tree. As he chopped away the Rabbit inside kept singing, "Cut it larger, so you can see me better; I'm so pretty". They made the hole larger, and then the Rabbit told them to stand back so that they could take a good look at him as he came out. They stood away back, and the Rabbit watched his chance and jumped out and got away.

    The Rabbit and the Possum each wanted a wife, but no one would marry either of them. They talked over the matter and the Rabbit said, "We can't get wives here; let's go to the next settlement. I'm the messenger for the council, and I'll tell the people that I bring an order that everybody must take a mate at once, and then we'll be sure to get our wives."
    The Possum thought this was a fine plan, so they started off together to the next town. As the Rabbit traveled faster, he got there first and waited outside until the people noticed him and took him into the townhouse. When the chief came to ask his business, the Rabbit said he brought an important order from the council that everybody must get married without delay. So the chief called the people together and told them the message from the council. Every animal took a mate at once, and the Rabbit got a wife.
    The Possum traveled so slowly that he got there after all the animals had mated, leaving him still without a wife. The Rabbit pretended to be sorry for him and said, "Never mind, I'll carry the message to the people in the next settlement and you hurry on as fast as you can,  and this time you will get your wife."
    So he went on to the next town, and the Possum followed close after him. But when the Rabbit got to the townhouse he sent out the word that, as there had been peace so long that everybody was getting lazy, the council had ordered that there must be a war at once and that they must begin right in the townhouse. So they all began fighting, but the Rabbit made four great leaps and got away just as the Possum came in. Everybody jumped on the Possum, who had not thought of bringing his weapons on a wedding trip, and so he could not defend himself. They nearly beaten the life out of him when he had a good idea. He fell over and pretended to be dead until he saw a good chance to jump up and get away. The Possum never got a wife, but he remembers the lesson, and ever since, when he is in a close corner, he just lays down,  pretends to be dead, and fools everyone. . That's where we got the expression, "Playing Possum!"

     Of all the Cherokee wizard or witches the most dreaded is the Raven Mocker ... the one that robs the dying man of life. They are of either sex and there is no sure way to know one, though they usually look withered and old, because they have added so many lives to their own.
    At night, when someone is sick or dying in the settlement, the Raven Mocker goes to the place to take the life. He flies through the air in fiery shape, with arms outstretched like wings, and sparks trailing behind, and a rushing sound like the voice of a strong wind. Every little while as he flies he makes the cry like the cry of a raven when it 'dives' in the air -- not like the common raven cry -- and those who hear it are afraid, because they know that some man's life will soon go out. When the Raven Mocker comes to the house he finds others of his kind waiting there, and unless there is a doctor on guard who knows how to drive them away they go inside, all invisible, and frighten and torment the sick man until they kill him. Sometimes to do this they even lift him from the bed and throw him on the floor, but his friends who are with him think he is only struggling for breath.
    After the witches kill him they take out his heart and eat it, and so add to their own lives as many days or years as they have taken from his. No one in the room can see them, and there is no scar where they take out the heart, but yet there is no heart left in the body. Only one who has the right medicine can recognize a Raven Mocker, and if such a man stays in the room with the sick person these witches are afraid to come in, and retreat as soon as they see him, because when one of them is recognized in his right shape he must die within seven days.
    The other witches are jealous of the Raven Mockers and afraid to come into the same house with one. Once a man who had the witch medicine was watching by a sick man and saw these other witches outside trying to get in. All at once they heard a Raven Mocker cry overhead and the others scattered like a flock of pigeons when the hawk sweeps down. When at last a Raven Mocker dies these other witches sometimes taken revenge by digging up the body and abusing it.
    The following is told as a true story:
    A young man had been out on a hunting trip and was on his way home when night came on while he was still a long distance from the settlement. He knew of a house not far off the trail where an old man and his wife lived, so he turned in that direction to look for a place to sleep until morning. When he got to the house there was nobody in it. He looked into the as (A small, heavily insulated house, used in cold weather) and found no one there either. He thought maybe they had gone after water, and so stretched himself out in the farther corner to sleep. Very soon he heard a raven cry outside, and in a little while afterwards the old man came into the as and sat down by the fire without noticing the young man, who kept still in the dark corner. Soon there was another raven cry outside, and the old man said to himself, "Now my wife is coming", and sure enough in a little while the old woman came in and sat down by her husband. Then the young men knew they were Raven Mockers and he was frightened and kept very quiet.
    Said the old man to his wife, "Well, what luck did you have?" "None," said the old woman, "there were too many doctors watching. What luck did you have?" "I got what I went for," said the old man, "there is no reason to fail, but you never have luck. Take this and cook it and let's have something to eat". She fixed the fire and then the young man smelled meat roasting and thought it smelled sweeter than any meat he had ever tasted. He peeped out from one eye, and it looked like a man's heart roasting on a stick.
    Suddenly the old woman said to her husband, "Who is over in the corner?" "Nobody," said the old man. "Yes, there is," said the old woman. "I hear him snoring", and she stirred the fire until it blazed up and lighted up the whole place, and there was the young man lying in the corner. He kept quiet and pretended to be asleep. The old man made a noise at the fire to wake him, but still he pretended to sleep. Then he old man came over and shook him, and he sat up and rubbed his eyes as if he had been asleep all the time.
    Now it was near daylight and the old woman was out in the other house getting breakfast ready, but the hunter could hear her crying to herself. "Why is your wife crying?" he asked the old man. "Oh, she has lost some of her friends lately and feels lonesome," said her husband, but the young man knew that she was crying because he had heard them talking.
    When they came out to breakfast the old man put a bowl of corn mush before him and said, "This is all we have -- we have had no meat for a long time". After breakfast the young man started on again, but when he had gone a little way the old man ran after him with a fine piece of beadwork and gave it to him, saying, "Take this, and don't tell anybody what you heard last night, because my wife and I are always quarreling that way". The young man took the piece, but when he came to the first creek he threw it into the water and then went on to the settlement. There he told the whole story, and a party of warriors started back with him to kill the Raven Mockers. When they reached the place it was seven days after the first night. They found the old man and his wife lying dead in the house, so they set fire to it and burned it and the witches together".

    Long, long ago -- in ancient time -- there dwelt in the mountains a terrible ogress, a woman monster, whose food was human livers. She could take on any shape or appearance to suit her purpose, but in her right form she looked very much like an old woman, excepting that her whole body was covered with a skin as hard as a rock that no weapon could wound or penetrate, and that on her right hand she had a long, stony forefinger of bone, like an awl or spearhead, with which she stabbed everyone to whom she could get near enough. On account of this fact she was called "Spearfinger", and on account of her stony skin she was sometimes called "Stone-dress". There was another stone-clothed monster that killed people, but that is a different story.
    Spearfinger had such powers over stone that she could easily lift and carry immense rocks, and could cement them together by merely striking one against another. To get over the rough country more easily she undertook to build a great rock bridge through the air from -- the "Tree rock" on Hiwassee, over to ... Whiteside mountain on the Blue Ridge, and had it well started from the top of the "Tree rock" when the lightning struck it and scattered the fragments along the whole ridge, where the pieces can still be seen by those who go there. She used to range all over the mountains about the heads of the streams and in the dark passes of Nantahala, always hungry and looking for victims. Her favorite haunt  on the Tennessee side was about the gap on the trail where Chilhowee mountain comes down to the river.
    Sometimes an old woman would approach along the trail where the children were picking strawberries or playing near the village, and would say to them coaxingly, "Come, my grandchildren, come to your granny and let granny dress your hair". When some little girl ran up and laid her head on the old woman's lap to be petted and combed the old witch would gently run her fingers through the child's hair until it went to sleep, when she would stab the little one through the heart or back of the neck with the long awl finger, which she had kept hidden under her robe. Then she would take out the liver and eat it.
    She would enter a house by taking the appearance of one of the family who happened to have gone out for a short time, and would watch her chance to stab someone with her long finger and take out his liver. She could stab him without being noticed, and often the victim did not even know it himself at the time -- for it left no wound and caused no pain -- but went on about his affairs, until all at once he felt weak and began gradually to pine away, and was always sure to die, because Spearfinger had taken his liver.
    When the Cherokee went out in the fall, according to their custom, to burn the leaves off from the mountains in order to get the chestnuts on the ground, they were never safe, for the old witch was always on the lookout, and as soon as she saw the smoke rise she knew there were people there and sneaked up to try to surprise one alone. So as well as they could they tried to keep together, and were very cautious of allowing any stranger to approach the camp. But if one went down to the spring for a drink they never knew but it might be the liver eater that came back and sat with them.
    Sometimes she took her proper form, and once or twice, when far out from the settlements, a solitary hunter had seen an old woman, with a queer-looking hand, going through the woods singing  low to herself:
                                          Uwela natsiku' Su sa' sai
                                           Liver, I eat it. Su sa' sai.
     It was rather a pretty song, but it chilled his blood, for he knew it was the liver eater, and he hurried away, silently before she might see him.
    At last a great council was held to devise some means to get rid of Spearfinger before she should destroy everybody. The people came from all around, and after much talk it was decided that the best way would be to trap her in a pitfall where all the warriors could attack her at once. So they dug a deep pitfall across the trail and covered it over with earth and grass as if the ground had never been disturbed. Then they kindled a large fire of brush near the trail and hid themselves in the laurels, because they knew she would come as soon as she saw the smoke.
    Sure enough they soon saw an old woman coming along the trail. She looked like an old woman whom they knew well in the village, and although several of the wiser men wanted to shoot at her, the others interfered, because they did not want to hurt one of their own people. The old woman came slowly along the trail, with one hand under her blanket, until she stepped upon the pitfall and tumbled through the brush top into the deep hole below. Then, at once, she showed her true nature, and instead of the feeble old woman there was the terrible Spearfinger with her stony skin, and her sharp awl finger reaching out in every direction for some one to stab.
    The hunters rushed out from the thicket and surrounded the pit, but shoot as true and as often as they could, their arrows struck the stony mail of the witch only to be broken and fall useless at her feet, while she taunted them and tried to climb out of the pit to get at them. They kept out of her way, but were only wasting their arrows when a small bird -- the titmouse, perched on a tree overhead, and began to sing, "un, un, un". They thought it was saying unahu' (heart) meaning that they should aim at the heart of the stone witch. They directed their arrows where the heart should be, but the arrows only glanced off with the flint heads broken.
    Then they caught the titmouse and cut off its tongue, so that ever since its tongue is short and everybody knows it is a liar. When the hungers let it go it flew straight up into the sky until it was out of sight and never came back. The titmouse that we know now is only an image of the other.
    They kept up the fight without result until another bird, little chickadee, flew down from a tree and alighted upon the witch's right hand. The warriors took this as a sign that they must aim there, and they were right, for her heart was on the inside of her hand, which she kept doubled into a fist, this same awl hand with which she had stabbed so many people. Now she was frightened in earnest, and began to rush furiously at them with her long awl finger and to jump about in the pit to dodge the arrows, until at last a lucky arrow struck just where the awl joined her wrist and she fell down dead.
    Ever since then the chickadee is known as a truth teller, and when a man is away on a journey, if this bird comes and perches near the house and chirps its song, his friends know he will soon be safe home."

    When the first man was created and a mate was given to him, they lived together very happily for a time, but then began to quarrel, until at last the woman left her husband and started off toward Nundagunyi, the Sunland, in the east. The man followed alone and grieving, but the woman kept on steadily ahead and never looked behind, until Unelanunhi, (The great Apportioner, the Sun) took pity on him and asked him if he was still  angry with his wife. He said he was not, and Unelanunhi then asked him if he would like to have her back again, to which he eagerly answered yes.
    So Unelanunhi caused a patch of the finest ripe huckleberries to spring up along the path in front of the woman, but she passed by without paying any attention to them. Farther on he put a clump of blackberries, but these also she refused to notice. Other fruits, one, two, and three, and then some trees covered with beautiful red service berries, were placed beside the path to tempt her, but she still went on until suddenly she saw in front a patch of large ripe strawberries, the first ever known. She stopped to gather a few to eat, and as she picked them she chanced to turn her face to the west, and at once the memory of her husband came back to her and she found herself unable to go on. She sat down, but the longer she waited the stronger became her desire for her husband, and at last she gathered a bunch of the finest berries and started back along the path to give them to him. He met her kindly and they went home happily together.

    The Rabbit was a great runner, and everybody knew it. No one thought the Terrapin anything but a slow traveler, but he was a great warrior and very boastful, and the two were always disputing about their speed. At last they agreed to decide the matter by a race. They fixed the day and the starting place and arranged to run across four mountain ridges, and the one who came in first at the end was to be the winner.
    The Rabbit felt so sure of it that he said to the Terrapin, "You know you can't run fast. You can never win the race, so I'll give you the first ridge and then you'll have only three to cross while I go over four".
    The Terrapin said that would be all right, but that night when he went home to his family he sent for his Terrapin friends and told them he wanted their help. He said he knew he could not outrun the  Rabbit, but he wanted to stop the Rabbit's boasting. He explained his plan to his friends and they agreed to help him.
    "When the day came all the animals were there to see the race. The Rabbit was with them, but the Terrapin was gone ahead toward the first ridge, as they had arranged, and they could hardly see him on account of the long grass. The word was given and the Rabbit started off with long jumps up the mountain, expecting to win the race before the Terrapin could get down the other side. But before he got up the mountain he saw the Terrapin go over the ridge ahead of him. He ran on, and when he reached the top he looked all around, but could not see the Terrapin on account of the long grass. He kept on down the mountain and began to climb the second ridge, but when he looked up again there was the Terrapin just going over the top. Now he was surprised and made his longest jumps to catch up, but when he got to the top there was the Terrapin away in front going over the third ridge. The Rabbit was getting tired now and nearly out of breath, but the kept on down the mountain and up the other ridge until he got to the top just in time to see the Terrapin cross the fourth ridge and thus win the race.
    The Rabbit could not make another jump, but fell over on the ground crying mi, mi, mi, mi, as the Rabbit does ever since when he is too tired to run any more. The race was given to the Terrapin and all the animals wondered how he could win against the Rabbit, but he kept still and never told.
    It was easy enough, however, because all the Terrapin's friends looked just alike, and he had simply posted one near the top of each ridge to wait until the Rabbit came in sight and then climb over and hide in the long grass. When the  Rabbit came on he could not find the Terrapin and so thought the Terrapin was ahead, and if he had met one of the other terrapins he would have thought it was the same one because they all looked so much alike. The real Terrapin had posted himself on the fourth ridge, so as to come in at the end of the race and be ready to answer questions if the animals suspected anything.

    "    The Cherokees lived between two worlds that were neither wholly friendly nor wholly hostile toward them. But the Upper World and the Under World were opposed to each other. This is why the Tlanuwa and the Uktena were mortal enemies. The Cherokee often found himself in the middle of this cosmic conflict, and could sometimes play one side off against the other.
    The Nest of the Tlanuwa. On the north bank of the Little Tennessee River, in a bend below the mouth of Citico Creek to Blount County, Tennessee, is a high cliff hanging over the water, and about halfway up the face of the rock is a cave with two openings. The rock projects outward above the cave, so that the mouth can not be seen from above, and it seems impossible to reach the cave either from above or below. There are white streaks in the rock from the cave down to the water. The Cherokee call it ... "the place of the Tlanuwa", or great mythic hawk.
    In the old time, away back soon after the creation, a pair of Tlanuwas had their nest in this cave. The streaks in the rock were made by the droppings from the nest. They were immense birds, larger than any that live now, and very strong and savage. They were forever flying up and down the river, and used to come into the settlements and carry off dogs and even young children playing near the houses. No one could reach the next to kill them, and when the people tried to shoot them the arrows only glanced off and were seized and carried away in the talons of the Tlanuwas.
    At last the people went to a great medicine man, who promised to help them. Some were afraid that if he failed to kill the Tlanuwas they could take revenge on the people, but the medicine man said he could fix that. He made a long rope of linn bark, just as the Cherokee still do, with loops in it for his feet, and had the people let him down from the top of the cliff at a time when he knew that the old birds were away. When he came opposite the mouth of the cave he still could not reach it, because the rock above hung over, so he swung himself backward and forward several times until the tope swung near enough for him to pull himself into the cave with a hooked stick that he carried, which he managed to fasten in some bushes growing at the entrance. In the next he found four young ones, and on the floor of the cave were the bones of all sorts of animals that had  been carried there by the hawks. He pulled the young ones out of the next and threw them over the cliff into the deep water below, where a great uktena serpent that lived there finished them. Just then he saw the old ones coming, and had barely time to climb up again to the top of the rock before they reached the next.
    When they found the nest empty they were furious, and circled around and round in the air until they saw the snake put up its head from the water. Then they darted straight downward, and while one seized the snake in his talons and flew far up in the sky with it, his mate struck at it and bit off piece after piece until nothing was left. They were so high up that when the pieces fell they made holes in the rock, which are still to be seen there, at the place which we call "Where the Tlanuwa-cut it up" opposite the mouth of Citico. Then the two Tlanuwas circled up and up until they went out of sight, and they have never been seen since." (Hudson, 136,7,8,9). (Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, 315,16)

     In the beginning of the world, when people and animals were all the same, there was only one tobacco plant, to which they all came for their tobacco until the Dagulsku geese stole it and carried it far away to the south. The people were suffering without it, and there was one old woman who grew so thin and weak that everybody said she would soon die unless she could get tobacco to keep her alive.
    Different animals offered to go for it, one after another, the larger ones first and then the smaller ones, but the Dagulku saw and killed every one before he could get to the plant. After the others the little Mole tried to reach it by going under the ground, but the Dagulku saw his track and killed him as he came out.
    At last the Hummingbird offered, but the others said he was entirely too small and might as well stay at home. He begged them to let him try, so they showed him a plant in a field and told him to let them see how he would go about it. The next moment he was gone and they saw him sitting on the plant, and then in a moment he was back again, but no one had seen him going or coming, because he was so swift. "This is the way I'll do," said the Hummingbird, so they let him try.
    He flew off to the east, and when he came in sight of the tobacco the Dagulku were watching all about it, but they could not see him because he was so small and flew so swiftly. He darted down on the plant -- tsa! -- and snatched off the top with the leaves and seeds, and was off again before the Dagulku knew what had happened. Before he got home with the tobacco the old woman had fainted and they thought she was dead, but he blew the smoke into her nostrils, and with a cry of "Tsalu! (Tobacco!) she opened her eyes and was alive again.

    Long ago -- in ancient time -- when the Sun became angry at the people on earth and sent a sickness to destroy them, the Little Men changed a man into a monster snake, which they called Uktena, "The Keen-eyed", and sent him to kill her. He failed to do the work, and the Rattlesnake had to be sent instead, which made the Uktena so jealous and angry that the people were afraid of him and had him taken up to the Upper World, to stay with the other dangerous things. He left others behind him, though, nearly as large and dangerous as himself and they hide now in deep pools in the river and about lonely passes in the high mountains, the places which the Cherokee call "Where the Uktena stays".
    Those who know say that the Uktena is a great snake, as large around as a tree trunk, with horns on its head, and a bright, blazing crest like a diamond upon its forehead, and scales glittering like sparks of fire. It has rings or spots of color along its whole length, and can not be wounded except by shooting in the seventh spot from the head, because under this spot are its heart and its life. The blazing diamond is called Ulunsuti, "Transparent", and he who can win it may become the greatest wonder worker in the world, but it is worth a man's life to attempt it, for whoever is seen by the Uktena is so dazed by the bright light that he runs toward the snake instead of trying to escape. Even to see the Uktena asleep is death, not to the hunter himself, but to his family.
    Of all the daring warriors who have started out in search of the Ulunsuti only.... (Ground-hog's Mother, a great magician) ever came back successful. The Eastern Cherokee still keep the one which he brought. It is like a large transparent crystal, nearly the shape of a cartridge bullet, with a blood-red streak running through the center from top to bottom. The owner keeps it wrapped in a whole deerskin, inside an earthen jar hidden away in a secret cave in the mountains. Every seven days he feeds it with the blood of small game, rubbing the blood all over the crystal as soon as the animal has been killed. Twice a year it must have the blood of a deer or some other large animal. Should he forget to feed it at the proper time it would come out from its cave at night in a shape of fire and fly through the air to slake its thirst with the lifeblood of the conjurer or some one of his people. He may save himself from this danger by telling it, when he puts it away, that he will not need it again for a long time. It will then go quietly to sleep and feel no hunger until it is again brought out to be consulted. Then it must be fed again with blood before it is used.
    No white  man must ever see it and no person but the owner will venture near it for fear of sudden death. Even the conjurer who keeps it is afraid of it, and changes its hiding place every once in a while so that it can not learn the way out. When he dies it will be buried with him. Otherwise it will come out of its cave, like a blazing star, to search for his grave, night after night for seven years, when, if still not able to find him, it will go back to sleep forever where he has placed it.
    Whoever owns the Ulunsuti is sure of success in hunting, love, rain-making, and every other business, but its great use is in life prophecy. When it is consulted for this purpose the future is seen mirrored in the clear crystal as a tree is reflected in the quiet stream below, and the conjurer knows whether the sick man will recover, whether the warrior will return from battle, or whether the youth will live to be old.

     This story may be of ancient origin, but it has obviously been altered after the teachings of the preachers and missionaries came among them. This becomes obvious when all the world was water, and different birds were sent out to alight or come back again....
    The earth is a great island floating in a sea of water, and suspended at each of the four cardinal points by a cord hanging down from the sky vault, which is of solid rock. When the world grows old and worn out, the people will die and the cords will break and let the earth sink down into the ocean, and all will be water again.
     When all was water, the animals were above in Galunlati, beyond the arch; but it was very much crowded, and they were wanting more room. They wondered what was below the water, and at last Dayunisi, "Beaver's Grandchild" the little Water-beetle, offered to go and see if it could learn. It darted in every direction over the surface of the water, but could find no firm place to rest. Then it dived to the bottom and came up with some very soft mud, which began to grow and spread on every side until it became the island which we call the earth. It was afterward fastened to the sky with four cords, but no one remembers who did this.
    At first the earth was flat and very soft and wet. The animals were anxious to get down, and sent out different birds to see if it was yet dry, but they found no place to alight and came back again to Galunlati. At last it seemed to be time, and they sent out the Buzzard and told him to go and make ready for them. This was the Great Buzzard, the father of all the buzzards we see now. He flew all over the earth, low down near the ground, and it was still soft. When he reached the Cherokee country, he was very tired, and his wings began to flap and strike the ground, and wherever they struck the earth there was a valley, and where they turned up again there was a mountain. When the animals above saw this, they were afraid that the whole world would be mountains, so they called him back, but the Cherokee country remains full of mountains to this day.
    When the earth was dry and the animals came down, it was still dark, so they got the sun and set it in a track to go every day across the island from east to west, just overhead. It was too hot this way, and Tsiskagili, the Red Crawfish, had his shell scorched a bright red, so that his meat was spoiled; and the Cherokee do not eat it. The conjurers put the sun another hand-breadth higher in the air, but it was still too hot. They raised it another time, and another, until it was seven hand-breadths high and just under the sky arch. Then it was right, and they left it so. This is why the conjurers call the highest place Gulkwagine Digalunlatiyun, "the seventh height", because it is seven hand-breadths above the earth. Every day the sun goes along under this arch, returning at night on the upper side to the starting place.
    There is another world under this, and it is like ours in everything -- animals, plants, and people -- save that the seasons are different. The streams that come down from the mountains are the trails by which we reach this underworld, and the springs at their heads are the doorways by which we enter it, but to do this one must fast and go to water and have one of the underground people for a guide. We know that the seasons in the underworld are different from ours, because the water in the springs is always warmer in winter and cooler in summer than the outer air.
    When the animals and plants were first made -- we do not know by whom -- they were told to watch and keep awake for seven nights, just as young men now fast and keep awake when they pray to their medicine. They tried to do this, and nearly all were awake through the first night, but the next night several dropped off to sleep, and the third night, others were asleep, and then others, until, on the seventh night, of all the animals only the owl, the panther, and one or two more were still awake. To these were given the power to see and to go about in the dark, and to make prey of the birds and animals which must sleep at night. Of the trees only the cedar, the pine, the spruce, the holly, and the laurel were awake to the end, and to them it was given to be always green and to be greatest for medicine, but to the others it was said: "Because you have not endured to the end you shall lose your hair every winter".
Mooney, James: "Myths of the Cherokee", 19th Annual Report, Bureau of American Ethnology,  Wash,DC. 1900.
Mooney, James: "The Swimmer Manuscript: Cherokee Sacred Formulas and Medicinal
          Prescriptions". Revised, completed, and edited by Franz M. Olbrechts. Bulletin No. 99,   BAE, WashDC, 1932.
These have been reprinted together into one book, "Myths of the Cherokee and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees", Charles & Randy Elder Booksellers, Publisher; 2115 Ellston Place, Nashville, Tenn. 37203

      "All the Inds. give a Name to their Children, which is not the same as the Father or Mother, but what they fancy. This Name they keep, (if Boys) till they arrive to the Age of a Warrior, which is sixteen or seventeen Years; then they take a Name to themselves, sometimes, Eagle, Panther, Allegator, or some such wild Creature; esteeming nothing on Earth worthy to give them a Name, but these Wild-Fowl, and Beasts. Some again take the Name of a Fish, which they keep as long as they live." (Lawson, 204).
        "Both men, women, and children have their several names; at first according to the severall humour of their parents; and for the men children, at first, when they are young, their mothers give them a name, calling them by some affectionate title, or, perhapps observing their promising inclination give it accordingly ... When they become able to travel into the woods, and to goe forth a hunting, fowling, and fishing with their fathers, the fathers give him another name as he finds him apt and of spirit to prove toward and valiant, or otherwise changing the mother's which yet in the family is not so soone forgotten; and if soe be yt be by agility, strength, or any extraordinary straine of witt he performes any remarkeable or valorous exploite in open act of armes, or by stratagem, especyally in the time of extreamity in the warrs for the publique and common state, upon the enemie, the king, taking notice of the same, doth then not only in open view and solemnely reward him with some present of copper, or chaine of perle, and bedes, but doth then likewise (and which they take for the most emynent and supreme favour) give him a name answearable to the attempt, not much different herein from the ancyent warlike encouragement and order of the Romans to a well deserving and gallant young spirit." (Strachey, 111)
    Directly pertaining to the Cherokee: "There common names are given them by their parents; but this they can either change, or take another when they think proper; so that some of them have near half a dozen, which the English generally increase, by giving an English one, from some circumstance in their lives or disposition, as the Little Carpenter to Attakullakulla, from his excelling in building houses; Judd's Friend, or corruptly the Judge, to Ostenaco, for saving a man of that name from the fury of his countrymen; or sometimes a translation of his Cherokee name, as pigeon to Woey that being the signification of the word." (Timberlake, 95)
    Strangely, there is little written about the sacred character of a name, and the fact that "real names" were closely guarded. For an enemy to "think or say evil" towards one, it would be necessary for him/her to know the name and the clan, in order to "zero" in on the intended victim. Among the Cherokee, sometimes real, descriptive names were closely guarded, and well-known "nicknames" were in general usage.

     Adair reported that at the fall of the leaf the Inds. gather hickory-nuts, "which they pound with a round stone, upon a stone, thick and hollowed for the purpose". Quite a number of precisely such stones as here mentioned 'thick and hollowed' at the ends, were found in the mounds of Caldwell Co. NC. All who examined them ascribed them, without hesitancy, to the use mentioned by Adair". (reported in Thomas, 28)
    ACORNS: "Acorns (ku-le) sustained bear, deer, squirrels, raccoon, turkeys, ducks, woodpeckers, and blue jays.... Relatively high in carbohydrates and low in protein and fat, acorns satisfied the same nutritional needs as corn. ..Cherokees women strained baskets of acorns with water to leech out the tannin, boiled them to extract oil, and ground them for flour when corn was scarce". (Hill, 118)
    "Once a reliable source of nuts, a fertile white oak tree may produce as many as 10,000 acorns in a good year. More than 180 kinds of birds and mammals rely on acorn mast, including humans, deer, bear, wild turkey, quail, squirrels, mice, chipmunks, raccoon, blue jays, and red-headed woodpeckers. ...women gathered, dried, hulled, and pounded acorns (ku-le) for bread flour or oil". (Hill, 11)
        CHESTNUTS: "At one time, the American chestnut dominated the Blue Ridge and Ridge and Valley provinces. Growing at elevations up to 4,000 feet, chestnut trees comprised from one-quarter to one-half of some forest communities. Immense trees reached heights of more than 120 feet, with circumferences greater than 7 feet. Autumn carpets of fallen chestnuts blackened the earth and attracted bear, deer, raccoon, squirrels, wild turkeys, and mice. Foragers grew so fat from the nuts they could scarcely escape hunters. In the 1700s, women traded chestnuts (ti-li) by the bushel basket to white settlers and relied on the nuts and chestnut bread (gadu-ti-li) as winter staples". (Hill, 10)
    HICKORY NUTS: "Extremely high in fat and crude protein, hickory nuts (so-hi) comprised a major part of Cherokee diet. From September (Dulu stinee: Nut Month) through December (U-ski-ya: Snow Month) women carried baskets to the woods to "father a number of hiccory-nuts." After pounding them in mortars, they sifted the nuts in baskets to separate meat s from hulls. When they were fine enough" wrote Adair, the nutmeats were mixed "with cold water in a clay bason" for nourishing "hiccory milk), a beverage Bartram considered "as sweet and rich as fresh cream". Hickory trees produced food for Cherokees as well as numerous species of animals and birds" (Hill, 10)
    "Sweet, edible walnuts (se-di) also contributed to all Southern Appalachian diet. Women collected walnuts, placed them on nutting stones in baskets, then hammered them with stones to extract meat, oil, and milk. Their 'most excellent kind of food' was a combination of corn grits and "the meat of hickory or black walnuts". ...Women also exploited walnut's medicinal qualities, peeling out the inner bark of trees and roots to pound, and boil, for cathartics.  And from earliest memory, they taught their daughters to dig walnut roots, strip off the outer bark, and crush the stems in huge pots of boiling water to make dye that stained baskets a rich dark brown or black". (Hill, 10)
    "Trees furnished the precontact Cherokees with another source of edible plant life, specifically nuts and seeds. Predominant among the hardwoods that abounded in the alluvial terraces of eastern Tennessee, .. included ... white oak, southern red oak, swamp chestnut oak; willow oak. Oaks of lesser importance were: scarlet oak, blackjack oak, chestnut oak, southern red oak, shumard oak, and black oak. Other widely distributed, valuable nut-bearing trees ... were several species of hickory, chestnut, and walnut.
    "Nuts and seeds served many and varied uses... For instance, once acorns had been pounded and had the tannic acid removed, they provided a nourishing flour for breadstuffs. Chinquapins, like many other nuts, could be processed for use as bread, vegetable, or soup. Walnuts.. and hickory nuts ... besides acting as a useful breadstuff, could be boiled down into a syrup or sugar, or pounded and mixed with water to form a type of milk beverage. Each of these nuts also produced a valuable oil that was used in a variety of ways, such as food or ointment.
    "Many nuts and seeds, such as the chestnut, served as a dietary staple and, thus, storage was a definite ... safeguard against times of economic hardship. Consequently, nuts, seeds, fruits, tubers, and vegetables were pulverized by mortar before storing the meal usually in the ground and possibly near the fireplace. The most valuable of the nuts and seeds were probably chestnuts, walnuts, hickory nuts, chinquapins, and the oak acorn." (Goodwin, 58,59: gathered from many sources)
    "At the fall of the leaf, they gather a number of hiccory-nuts, which they pound with a round stone, upon a stone, thick and hollowed for the purpose. When they are beat fine enough, they mix them with cold water, in a clay bason, where the shells subside. The other part is an oily, tough, thick, white substance, called by the traders hiccory milk, and by the Inds. the flesh, or fat of hiccory-nuts, with which they eat their bread. A hearty stranger would be apt to dip into the sediments as I did, the first time the vegetable thick milk was set before me" (Adair, 408)
    "...hiccory milk, it is as sweet and rich as fresh cream, and is an ingredient in most of their cookery, especially homminy and corn cakes. (Bartram, 57)
See the chart titled Seeds & Nuts.

        The oils and fats used by Cherokees in the old days were of animal origin, or vegetable origin.
Animal Fats: The principal and almost the entire source for these fats was the black bear (Ursus Americanus) which was found throughout the whole Southern region. The nature of this animal caused him to put on a large amount of fat during the summer and fall in order that he might go into winter quarters with a sufficient supply to last him until warm weather appeared. Consequently, taken at the proper season, the bears produced large quantities of oil and fat, as well as exceptionally good meat for food. Other wild animals furnished similar material, but it is certain that bears were the principal source of animal fats.
Vegetable Fats: These were almost exclusively from native trees, such as the black walnut (Juglans nigra) and the hickory nut (Hickoria alba) known now in some localities as 'mocker nut'. Also the shell-bark hickory nuts (Juglans exultata) were sometimes used. The live oak (Quercus Virginiana) yields acorns which are considered of great importance, and were much resorted to." (Battle, 173,4)
    Almost all the fats were produced by rendering. "This is separation by means of boiling in water or steaming, which melts out the oils or fatty materials. These, being lighter than water, rise to the surface, and can be dipped off or allowed to flow to suitable vessels for cooling and for further purification". (Battle, 175)
Rendering of Nuts: "The nuts must be cracked and the kernels or meats must somehow be extracted from the shells. ... This was done by means of a stone called a 'hammer-stone'. In many cases the hammer-stones are of granular quartz somehow easily disintegrated, chosen for the reason that the rough surface would not slip from the nut when pounding it. It is more likely .. that the labor of the children of the towns was used to crack the nuts. The large flat stones called 'nut stones' contained small cavities which were formed by hammering out with another more pointed stone ... The hammer-stone was not difficult to secure, because stones of the required shape can easily be found in beds of streams, already rounded, and in many cases pointed by the water's action. The nut stones oftentimes have more than one cavity, in some cases as many as five. In this way five nuts can be cracked almost as quickly as one or two.
    "To separate the oil from the cracked nuts ... they boiled the cracked portions in water without separating the meats from the shells, in a suitable pot which had also been made by the women. This caused the separation of the oil, and owing to its lower specific gravity and insolubility in water it rose rapidly to the top and was skimmed off and stored in pots of suitable size provided with covers." (Battle, 175,6)
     "Walnuts and hickory nuts were diligently collected, cracked and boiled in vessels, when the oil, which rose to the surface, was skimmed off, and carefully preserved in covered earthenware jars. This oil was highly esteemed in the preparation of their corn cakes" (Jones, 44)
Oil as Food: This use if of more importance than all the others. Hickory nut especially were ground, and the oil boiled out of them, which made what they called 'hickory milk". It was said to be delicious and kind to the stomach. Bears oil was used in frying of corn cakes and other ways, such as smeared on bread like we use butter, today. Bears oil also became one of the first items of trade or commerce, along with salt.
Oil in Paints: "In ceremonies and for personal adornment, as well as for some of their utensils and implements, the(y) used paints to satisfy their desire for display. The base of all paint is a ground mineral or ore, mixed with some liquid material to cause it to be retained upon the surface on which it is applied. This process was known to the natives, and they used water, oil, or grease. .. The colors were red, black, vermilion, brown, yellow, and white. Most of these colors were obtained locally, from iron ores or various clays, or else were secured by trade... After the colors were ground, oil was mixed in and ground again." (Battle, 179). The paint was then applied by "brushes" made from the hairs of various animals.
Oil for Health: "The(y) used bear fat and other oils to rub the body in order to make the skin supple and healthy. That they used oil internally is not stated, but they without doubt knew its value, on account of the large use it had as a food. ... Oglethorpe shortly after the settlement of Savannah, speaking of the Inds. food there, declares that they, as the ancient Germans did, annoint with oil and expose themselves to the sun, which occasions their skins to be brown of color. The men paint themselves of various colors, red, blue, yellow and black." (Battle, 181)
Oil for Hair Dressing: "This was also practiced, and bear fat was used largely for the purpose.
Oil for Polishing: "... we may be sure that the ornaments and implements bearing a polish which has remained to this day were polished by the use of oil or grease, after the shape of the ornament or implement was secured by rough grinding with other stones. An additional rubbing after oiling would give the desired polish. In the many examples of finely polished hammer stones, ceremonial axes, gorgets, and other articles which we have at the present time, we can be reasonably sure they were polished in this manner. The natives also give to their bows the closest attention.. they were frequently annointed with bears grease to render them flexible and keep them from cracking and breaking". (Battle, 182)

      "Old Age being held in as great Veneration amongst these Heathens, as amongst any People you shall meet withal in any Part of the World. Whensoever an Aged Man is speaking, none ever interrupts him, (the contrary Practice the English, and other Europeans, too much use) the Company yielding a great deal of Attention to his Tale, with a continued Silence, and an exact Demeanour, during the Oration. Indeed, the Inds are a People that never interupt one another in their Discourse; no Man so much as offering to open his Mouth, till the Speaker has utter'd his Intent". (Lawson, 43)
      Old men and women who had no relatives to care for them were permitted to sleep in the town house.
     The job of watching the fields usually fell to old women, or to young boys under the supervision of old men. Watching the fields was a rather dangerous and sometimes fatal occupation because enemies would seize upon the watchman's lack of protection for a surprise attack.

    Included in every town house, and at every council, was an interpreter and the two chief speakers, the main speaker was of the "white, peace" organization, and his counterpart was of the war organization. ....Several European observers were impressed with the oratorical ability ... particularly their delight in using metaphors and verbal flourishes in urging their people to right action". (Hudson, 225,6)
     Before the ball game... "the head conjurer gave an inspirational speech to the players, telling them that all the omens were favorable, that they should play to their utmost ability, and that their victory would be applauded by their friends and relatives. This speech, given in rapid, staccato utterances, touched emotional chords in the players, who frequently interrupted with exultant yells" (Hudson, 415).
     "Another form of verbal artistry was oratory, the words of a gifted speaker that could move contentious men to reach consensus or the timid and hesitant to go against the enemy... still another form of verbal artistry was the oral tradition, the rich and dramatic narrative whose purpose was to instruct and entertain. (Hudson, 377)
     In a funeral, a eulogy would be spoken.....
     Ancient Cherokees greatly valued the spoken word. Oratory  was one of the two ways that a young Cherokee male could elevate his status: the other was to become a noted warrior. But while a warrior could become important in the red (war) side of the organization, a speaker could become an important and valued member of the white (peace) organization, which had the preeminence and which was perpetually in existence, even in time of war.
See Old Age, just above.

      Seven being a sacred number to Cherokees (the lesser number was: 4) there was a special ceremony every seventh year which was unlike any of the other feasts or celebrations. It was the "Oukah dance", the only time the reigning Cherokee king was known to dance before his people.
     "At this septennial rite the uku took the title of Oukah and performed a sacred dance of thanksgiving. The main procedures were as follows:
     "At about the last of summer or early autumn, at the commencement of every seventh year, the people assembled at the national capital from every quarter for the rite. The precise time was set between the Oukah and his seven counsellors.
     "Messengers were dispatched throughout the nation to notify the people beforehand. The seven hunters were sent out to hunt for 7 days prior to the festival, and meat was brought in on the seventh night and distributed throughout the metropolis for public use. On the same evening all the nation assembled at the heptagon.
     "The usual officials attended to the details, seven men to order and direct the banquet, women to superintend the cooking, and certain special ones, such as the aged and honorable women, appointed to warm the water for the bathing of the Oukah; two men to dress and undress him, one man to fan him, one man to sing for him and lead the music, and one man to prepare his seat.
     Under the superintendency of this last, a structure was raised midway between the abode of the Oukah and the heptagon, consisting of a tall throne with a canopy and footstool, all made white for the occasion. A similar structure was set up in the public square, around which a broad circle was marked out, swept clean, and kept from unconsecrated feet.
     "The festival began on the eighth morning after the preparations had begun with all of the officials led by the seven counselors preceding to the abode of the Oukah, singing. Arriving there, they found the honored matron waiting with warm water. One person took off the Oukah's clothes while another bathed him in warm water. the Oukah then received his garment of yellow and climbed up on the back of his attendant and, with his fanner carrying the eagle-tail fan and a musician on the sides and preceded by one-half of the priests and followed by the other half, was carried to the canopied white throne. Here, after a pause, the journey was resumed to the sacred square. Here the Oukah sat all night in state attended by his second, his speaker, and the counselors. All kept a vigil in silence while the populace danced in the heptagon.
     "The morning of the second day the Oukah danced in the guarded circle a slow step while the fanner and magician stood by, the rest of the assistants following and imitating his steps. No women were allowed in the vicinity.
     "In the afternoon the Oukah directed all of the rest of the people to feast, but, fasted himself with his suite until sunset. The Oukah and his court then ate and was carried home and disrobed.
     "The third day was marked by the same proceedings except that the bathing was omitted. On the fourth day the Oukah seated on his throne was consecrated by his right-hand man, and invested with sacerdotal and regal power, thus ending the ceremonies.
     "When ever seated on the white ottoman in his official duties he wore only a white dress. During the ceremonies of the entire festival, the heptagon had to be purified if a polluted person transgressed and the Oukah saw him. If anyone touched an unsanctified thing during the festival he was excluded, and no drunkenness was allowed. The limbs of the young men were gashed with sharp flints and any flinching was berated highly. The general bearing during the festival was considerate and the discipline perfect, there being no need of reproof." (Gilbert, 133)

      Of necessity, paint was either vegetable or mineral.
    "In ceremonies and for personal adornment, as well as for some of their utensils and implements, the(y) used paints to satisfy their desire for display. The base of all paint is a ground mineral or ore, mixed with some liquid material to cause it to be retained upon the surface on which it is applied.... and they used water, oil, or grease. For permanency the last two were used ... They ground the mineral bases in cavities of hard flat stones of compact nature similar to those employed for cracking nuts, and they also used stone pestles in the same manner. The colors were red, black, vermilion, brown, yellow, and white ... after the colors were ground, oils were mixed in and ground again. For applying the paint... brushes were readily thought of and used, consisting of hair or bristles from the bear, dear, or other animals." (Battle, 179)
    Many wooden carvings were painted, particularly those representing animals. Sometimes pottery jars were painted (polychromatic) ?
    "We know from Wm. Bartram's observations... that  the(y) once decorated the buildings around their square ground with wall paintings of bold, well-proportioned beings with mixed human and animal features. Some of them, said Bartrams, were "very ludicrous and even obscene... they were complete with male sexual organs. These paintings were executed in white (using white clay or chalk) on walls which had been plastered with red clay, and in red, brown, and blue on walls which had been plastered with white clay. In all probability these figures of men with the heads of "duck, turkey, bear, fox, wolf, buck etc." and of these same animals with human heads were painted in accordance with the seating arrangements of the various clans. (Hudson, 379)
    "Moreover they buy Vermillion of the ... traders wherewith they paint their Faces all over red, and commonly make a Circle of Black about one eye, and another Circle of White about the other, whilst others bedawb their faces with Tobacco-Pipe Clay, Lamp-black, black Lead and divers colors... It is impossible to know (one) under these colors although he has been in your Home a thousand times ...As for their Women, they never use any Paint on their Faces." (Lawson)
      "Personal  adornment was an important artistic media. The men, for example, painted their bodies on all important occasions. Using red, black, and yellow pigments, the men painted elaborate designs on their faces, shoulders, and chests. Women, on the other hand, used body paint sparingly." (Hudson, 380).
      There are examples of bison matchcoats, with the fur worn on the outside, and with geometric figures in various colors painted on the inside of the pelt.
      Warriors going to war painted themselves with red and black paint, the colors of conflict and death.
      "Much sacredness attaches .. to red paint, the color being symbolic of war, strength, success, and spirit protection. The word paint ... (throughout native North America)  is generally understood to mean red paint, unless it is otherwise distinctly noted. The ... red paint is usually a soft hematite ore, found in veins of hard-rock formation, from which it must be dug with much  labor and patience." (Mooney, Myths, 455)


    IDEAL CHEROKEE: "The ideal Cherokee male avoided a show of aggression, valued social harmony, and sought to achieve at least a semblance of cooperation with his fellows. Once finding himself in a minority, he did not push an argument to the point that might lead to animosity or compel the majority to acknowledge they were forcing his compliance. If he could not agree, he withdrew from the debate, letting their consensus prevail.
    "...a good Cherokee, realizing he was in the minority, might avoid prolonged controversy by withdrawing from a discussion, permitting a consensus to emerge and a policy to be announced. By the same norms of conduct, a good Cherokee ... would not invite controversy by insisting that a consensus, once arrived at, was final, or that discussion was over." (Reid, Hatchet, 76)
    "The good Cherokee was not only nonagressive, he was forgiving. Forgiveness was the doctrine tht made ridicule, withdrawal, and other Cherokee sanctions viable, for it restored harmony to society." (Reid, Hatchet, 186)

     1765. The visiting Lt. Henry Timberlake wrote in his Memoirs: "The Cherokees are of a middle stature, of an olive colour tho' generally painted, and their skins stained with gun-powder, pricked into it in very pretty figures. The hair of their head is shaved, tho' many of the old people have it plucked out by the roots, except a path on the hinder part of the head, about twice the bigness of a crown-piece, which is ornamented with beads, feathers, wampum, stained deers' hair, and such like baubles...
     "They that can afford it wear a collar of wampum, which are beads cut out of clam shells, a silver breast-plate, and bracelets on their arms and wrists of the same metal, a bit of cloth over their private parts, a shirt of the English make, a sort of cloth boots; and mockasons, which are shoes of a make peculiar to the Americans, ornamented with porcupine-quills; a large mantle or matchcoat thrown over all compleats their dress at home, but when they go to war they leave their trinkets behind, and the mere necessities serve them.
    "The women wear the hair of their head, which is so long that it generally reaches to the middle of their legs, and sometimes to the ground, club'd, and ornamented with ribbons of various colours; but, except their eyebrows, pluck it from all the other parts of the body, especially the looser part of the sex. The rest of their dress is now become very much like the European; and indeed, that of the men is greatly altered. The old people still remember and praise the ancient days, before they were acquainted with the whites, when they had but little dress, except a bit of skin about their middles, mockasons, a mantle of buffalo skin for the winter, and a lighter one of feathers for the summer. The women, particularly the half-breed, are remarkably well featured; and both men and women are straight and well-built, with small hands and feet." (Timberlake, 75,76,77)
    Gilbert reports in late 1800's, Eastern Cherokees: "The average height is rather under that of the white man in the neighborhood, appearing to be about 5 feet 4 inches. The women are shorter than the men. The taller men range to 5 feet 10 inches. The build of the men, although in a few cases strikingly muscular and athletic, is in the main asthenic and wiry. The build of the women is variable. The younger girls are thin as a rule. The married and older women are well-rounded and rather heavyset, especially around the waistline. Some of the very young girls are very chubby cheeked and almost obese. The face of the female is rather rounded with prominent cheek bones. Prognathism is sometimes apparent. The men seem to be lighter boned in the face and more approaching the white type of feature.
    "The long black hair of the women is in many cases rather attractive. The skin color is a variable brown tending toward lighter      shading. ...the Mongolian fold appears in the eyes of the females occasionally...
    "The beaklike formation of the face characteristic of Maya sculpture sometimes crops out. Ears are generally small, lips rather full but vary to thin. Brownish hair appears occasionally in children and is attributed to burning by the sun. Lighter eye coloring than is usual with dark races appears now and then." (Gilbert, 195-196)
    "Most authorities concur in the opinion that both physically and temperamentally the older Cherokees made a most favorable impression. They delighted in athletics and excelled in endurance of intense cold. Well featured and of erect carriage, of moderately robust build, they were possessed of a superior and independent bearing. Although grave and steady in manner and disposition to the point of melancholy and slow and reserved in speech they were withal frank, cheerful, and humane, as well as honest and liberal". (Gilbert, 194)
    "The women of the Cherokees are tall, slender, erect and of a delicate frame; their features formed with perfect symmetry, their countenance cheerful and friendly, and they move with a becoming grace and dignity...
    The Cherokees are yet taller and more robust than the Muscogulges, and by far the largest race I ever saw. They are as comely as any, and their complexions are very bright, being of the
olive cast of the Asiatics..." (Bartram, 1792, 481-483)

      "The calumet ceremony involved the smoking of tobacco in red and black stone pipes cut out of stone by tomahawks and then fired. The stems of these pipes were 3 feet long and adorned with quills, dyed feathers, and deer's hair." (Gilbert, 317)
    "Clay smoking pipes were fairly numerous (in excavations)... At Warren Wilson (site), 20 whole or fragmentary pipes were found in the feature and burial fill.. These were small elbow pipes on which the stems usually were slightly shorter than the bowls, and the bowls were flared or rimmed at the top and usually decorated with ridges, incised lines, or nodes. Some had highly burnished surfaces, while others were only lightly smoothed. A heavy cake of burnt organic matter was present in most of the intact bowls." (Dickens, 146)
    "Stone pipes... were a specialty. These were skillfully carved in the shapes of birds and animals, and occasionally in human form. Many of them, massive affairs weighing several pounds, were ceremonial pipes used only at council meetings. The Smoky Mountains furnished the pipestone, a greenish steatite, that was readily carved with flint knives." (Lewis & Kneberg, 161)
Note: This beautiful pipe material found in Cherokee lands was a large and important item of barter in the early days, when Cherokees were still Cherokee.
    "They make beautiful stone pipes; and the Cheerake the best of any.. for their mountainous country contains many different sorts and colours of soils proper for such uses. They easily form them with their tomohawks, and afterward finish them in any desired form with their knives; the pipes being of a very soft quality till they are smoked with, and used in the fire, when they become quite hard. They are often a full span long, and the bowls are about half as large again as those of our English pipes. The fore part of each commonly runs out with a sharp peak, two or three fingers broad, and a quarter of an inch thick -- on both sides of the bowl, lengthwise, they cut several pictures with a great deal of skill and labour; such as a buffalo and a panther on the opposite sides of the bowl; a rabbit and a fox; and very often, a man and a woman puris naturalibus. Their sculpture cannot much be commended for its modesty. The savages work so slow, that one of their artists is two months at a pipe with his knife, before he finishes it; indeed, as before observed, they are great enemies to profuse sweating, and are never in a hurry about a good thing. The stems are commonly made of soft wood about two feet long, and an inch thick, cut into four squares, each scooped till they join very near the hollow of the stem; the beaus always hollow the squares, except a little of each corner to hold them together, to which they fasten a parcel of bell-buttons, different sorts of fine feathers, and several small battered pieces of copper kettles hammered, round deer-skin thongs, and a red-painted scalp; this is a boasting, valuable, and superlative ornament. According to their standard, such a pipe constitutes the possessor, a grand beau. They so accurately carve, or paint hiereglyphic characters on the stem, that the war actions, and the tribe of the owner, with a great many circumstances of things, are fully delineated. (Adair, 423,424)
     "...the peace-pipe was prepared: the bowl of it was of red stone, curiously cut with a knife; it being very soft, tho' extremely pretty when polished. Some of these are of black stone, and some of the same earth they make their pots with, but beautifully diversified. The stem is about three feet long, finely adorned with porcupine quills, dyed feathers, deers hair, and such like gaudy trifles." (Timberlake, 39)
     "North Carolina has been a great tobacco country, and the tobacco pipes of the Inds. form an extensive series. Clay pipes range in shape from the straight tubular to the L-shaped. Fragments of pipes or whole specimens have been found in all parts of the state." (Rights, 275)
    They use two kinds of pipe. One is at the end of a hatchet, and the handle serves as stem. That is what they call a tomahawk. The other is made of a soft stone that they work themselves, the stem being the stalk of a shrub found only in this region. Some are sculpted with scenes of every imaginable depravity. They brought me one with a bear and a wolf on it and named me Atota, that is, "father".(Louis-Philippe, 89,90)
    "They also had a great peace pipe, carved from white stone, with seven stem-holes, so that seven men could sit around and smoke from it at once at their peace councils." (Mooney, Myths, 397).NOTE: This pipe evidently had a stem for each of the seven clans, and leaders of those individual clans would undoubtedly be the ones to smoke it together. It was surely a ceremonial symbol of solidarity and agreement.
    "In the sixteenth century, ambassadors on peace missions used flageolets, but by the time the French descended and ascended the Mississippi River late in the seventeenth century, the use of the calumet had extended over its entire course.... The calumet, it is to be remembered, was not properly the pipe but a highly ornamented and symbolic stem. The stem used in a peace-making ceremony remained with the chief who had received the embassy while the pipe bowl was taken out and carried back by the visitors." (Swanton, #137, 547)
    Tubular stone pipes have been found in ancient excavations. "This does not, however, necessarily mean that they smoked tobacco in these pipes. The tobacco (Nicotiana rustica L.) used by the Southeastern Inds. was native to the central Andes, and we do not know when it first reached the eastern United States. We do know that the Inds. of the upper Great Lakes smoked twenty-seven different native plant substances..." (Hudson, 54)

      "The gathering of wild plants is a major industry today in many parts of Southern Appalachia. Of 250 botanical drugs produced in the United States, over 200 are found in this region, particularly in the west North Carolina mountains and the Piedmont area. (Yeakley, 1932: 311,17)
See Flora, and the charts for Herbs & Medicines.

      "Pottery vessels, used for most of the cooking, were enormous kettles that held up to five gallons. These vessels were made from local clays to which sand or ground-up rock had been added to prevent shrinkage and cracking during the process of manufacture. This process started with a mass of wet clay mixed with the rock. First, a long roll was made and coiled spirally to form a conical bottom for the vessel. Then, additional rolls were added as rings, one at a time, until the vessel was the desired height and size. During this step, each coil of clay was firmly welded to the previous one before another was added. Next, the inside surface was scraped smooth and the walls thinned down until they were one-fourth to one-half inch in thickness. During the following step, the vessel, still moist and flexible, was beaten on the outer surface with a paddle wound with cords or wrapped in woven fabric. The paddling produced a roughened surface which retained the impressions of the cords or fabric. This surface finish was not particularly ornamental, but its roughness was practical because the vessel, after long use in cooking, became greasy and slippery. After the surface was finished, the damp vessel was dried in the sun. Then came the critical firing operation which involved gradual pre-heating near a hot fire, and final burning in the midst of the blaze. After several hours of burning, the vessel reached a stage of almost white heat which produced a chemical change in the composition of the clay." (Lewis & Kneberg, 41,42,43)
    "They have two sorts of clay, red and white, with both which they make excellent vessels, some of which will stand the greatest heat". (Timberlake, 86)
     "...the favorite tempering material.... was grit, although soapstone fragments and other material have been discovered. In Tennessee, shell was used considerably. ...the smallest vessels are called paint cups.... sizes range from less than an inch in height. Some are pierced for suspension. A pint or more is the next size favored, and vessels run through varying sizes up to twenty-six inches or more in height. There are also saucers, either manufactured per se or borrowed from the bottom of a larger vessel. ..there are also some large storage urns... designs could be incised, notched, and punctate, fillet-banded at top, knobbed, and occasionally provided with handles. Holes for bails are frequently found.
    The women "go in search of heavy earth, examine it in the form of dust (before it had been wet), throwing out whatever grit they find, make a sufficiently firm mortar, and then establish their workshop on a flat board, on which they shape the pottery with their fingers, smoothing it by means of a stone which is preserved with great care for this work. As fast as the earth dries they put on more, assisting with the hand on the other side. After all these operations, it is baked by means of a great fire.
    "These women also make pots of an extraordinary size, jugs with a medium-sized opening, bowls, two-pint bottles with long necks, pots or jugs for bear's oil, which hold as many as 40 pints, also dishes and plates like those of the French. I have had some made out of curiosity on the model of my earthenware. They were of a rather beautiful red color." (duPratz, vol. 2, 178,179)
    The Cherokee "have two sorts of clay, red and white, with both of which they make excellent vessels, some of which will stand the greatest heat". (Timberlake, 86)
     A business largely overlooked was established early in the Cherokee country by an Englishman who discovered the fine Cherokee clay which he shipped in large quantities to England. This Cherokee clay made possible the first fine porcelain ever made in England, and established the famous English porcelain industry.

      "The conjurors are the Persons consulted in every Affair of Instance, and seem to have the Direction of every Thing, the Chief of them are that of Telliquo, that of Tapelochee, that of Hiwassie, and that of Noyohee" (Journal of Sir Alexander Cuming, 1730)
     "Going to the water in clan groups for purificatory ceremonies ... as the conjurer prayed for the family he mentioned the clan by name and prognosticated as to the future fortunes of its individual members. In all of his conjuring practices, whether for good or ill of the person affected, the conjurer is above all careful to get the right name and clan of the person to be conjured on, otherwise the charm would be powerless. (Gilbert, Bulletin 133) Also, "A council of seven members to represent the seven clans is always employed in selecting a conjurer to pray for rain or to magically order a favorable change in the weather".
     "Conmjurers or Adawehis held important positions in the Cherokee government. Custom decreed that Adawehis be present at every council to prevent evil spirits from entering the Town House. Wearing animal or bird masks, the Adawehis also served as the chief's counselers..."
      "The priesthood was to some extent hereditary, but there was always a selection and weeding out of the less likely candidates. The priests were given forenotice to receive a new candidate. First, the consecrated drink was administered by the parents, who fasted and tasted only of a certain root for 7 days in order to give the child magical powers.
     "The boy designed for the priesthood was not allowed to wander about like other children and was supervised as to his eating so as to run no risk of uncleanness. The priest always kept the boy in view. He was given a knowledge of the tabooed things. A child intended as chief speaker in war could eat no frogs, nor the tongue or breast of any animal. Generally the training for the sacred office began at about 9 years of age. The boy was led by the priest at daybreak to the mountaintop and, after a purifying drink had been given him, he had to follow the course of the sun with his eyes for a whole day. Nights were then spent in walking with the priest and in receiving knowledge concerning the lore of the priest. The use of the divining crystal was taught in a secret place, and various formulas and prayers.
     "When the boy's first 7 day' training and his fast had ended, the priest consulted the crystal to see what would be the boy's future. He set the stone in the sun. If an old man appeared in it, success was assured. If a man with black hair and beard appeared, the boy's career would be a failure.
     "Only as many as seven boys at a time could be tutored by the priest. At his death an aged priest gathered all his pupils about him and presented his crystal to one of them. All of the secrets imported by the priests to their pupils were sacred, and to reveal them mean death.
(Gilbert, 133)
    "Before the removal, Moravian missionary Daniel Butrick learned that the home of each Cherokee priest or conjuror contained a private area no one but he was allowed to enter. There 'in a cane basket, curiously wrought' the priest kept his revered instruments of prophecy -- conjuring beads, grains, and the Ulunsu-ti. Cane baskets safeguarded the crystal and at the same time protected household members from its formidable power. Cherokees considered the crystal to be so powerful that when a priest died, they buried it with him. If it was not buried, the force of the Ulunsu-ti could cause the death of every member of the priest's household". (Hill, 46) Payne-Butrick.
    "The ani-dawehi (pl.) were the most knowledgeable and skilled of all magico-medical practitioners, familiar with witchcraft as well as healing, and identified with the sacred." (Hill, Notes, 329)
 THE SACRED KUTANI:   Before the white man came, the Cherokee had lost their sacred ark which was captured and removed by the Delawares, and they had also overthrown their ancient priesthood, called the "Kutani" of which little record is preserved. Mooney writes in a chapter called "The Massacre of the Ani'-Kutani": "Among other perishing traditions is that relating to the Ani'Kutani or Ani'Kwata'ni, concerning whom the modern Cherokee know so little that their very identity is now a matter of dispute, a few holding that they were an ancient people who preceded the Cherokee and built the mounds, while others, with more authority, claim that they were a clan or society ... and were destroyed long ago by pestilence or other calamity. Fortunately, we are not left to depend entirely upon surmise in the matter, as the tradition was noted by Haywood some seventy years ago (about 1810?) and by another writer some forty years later, while the connected story could still be obtained from competent authorities. From the various statements it would seem that the Ani'Kuta'ni were a priestly clan, having hereditary supervision of all religious ceremonies among the Cherokee, until, in consequence of having abused their sacred privileges, they were attacked and completely exterminated by the rest of the tribe, leaviang the priestly functions to be assumed thereafter by individual doctors and conjurers.
    "Haywood says, without giving name or details 'The Cherokees are addicted to conjuration to ascertain whether a sick person will recover. This custom arose after the destruction of their priests. Tradition states that such persons lived among their ancestors and were deemed superior to others, and were extirpated long ago, in consequence of the misconduct of one of the priests, who attempted to take the wife of a man who was the brother of the leading chief of the nation.'"
    "A more detailed statement, on the authority of Chief John Ross and Dr. J. B. Evans, is given in 1866 by a writer who speaks of the massacre as having occured about a century before, although from the dimness of the tradition it is evident that it must have been much earlier.
    "The facts, though few, are interesting. The order was hereditary, in this respect peculiar, for among Inds. seldom, and among the Cherokees never, does power pertain to any family as a matter of right. Yet the family of the Nicotani -- for it seems to have been a family or clan -- enjoyed this privilege. The power that they exercised was not, however, political, nor does it appear that chiefs were elected form among them.
    "The Nicotani were a mystical, religious body, of whom the people stood in great awe, and seem to have been somewhat like the Brahmins of India. By what means they attained their ascendancy, or how long it was maintained, can never be ascertained. Their extinction by massacre is nearly all that can be discovered concerning them. They became haughty,  insolent, overbearing, and licentious to an intolerable degree. Relying on their hereditary privileges and the strange awe which they inspired, they did not hesitate by fraud or violence to rend asunder the tender relations of husband and wife when a beautiful woman excited their passions. The people long brooded in silence over the oppressions and outrages of this high caste, whom they deeply hated but greatly feared. At length a daring young man, a member of an influential family, organized a conspiracy among the people for the massacre of the priesthood. The immediate provocation was the abduction of the wife of the young leader of the conspiracy. His wife was remarkable for her beauty, and was forcibly abducted and violated by one of the Nicotani while he was absent on the chase. On his return he found no difficulty in exciting in others the resentment which he himself experienced. So many had suffered in the same way, and so many feared that they might be made to suffer, that nothing was wanted but a leader. A leader appeared in the person of the young brave, whom we have named, the people rose under his direction and killed every Nicotani, young and old. Thus perished a hereditary secret society, since which time no hereditary privileges have been tolerated among the Cherokees" (Quoted, Mooney, Myths, 392,3)
    It has not been noted here that the Kutani spoke a special religious language that was unknown to the common Cherokee. Only a few scraps of their rituals have been discovered, were translated into the Sequoyah syllabary, then into English by Anna Gritts Kilpatrick. The present compiler of this book reports that instead of giving the priests their usual rite of being burned on a funeral pyre so that the smoke would take them immediately to the seventh heaven, their bodies were thrown into the rivers as a final insult. Also, the compilers of this report believe that there was some things much more important than the ravishing of one wife that precipitated the overthrow. The real reason we probably shall never know.

BEAR:     Cooking: Many of our contacts cooked bear roasts and steaks in the same fashion as been or venison. One suggested parboiling the fresh meat until tender, and adding several large apples to the water. When the apples fell apart, the meat was reason to be taken out, seasoned, and baked." (Foxfire I, 269,70)
COON:  Cooking: the most common way of cooking coon is to put it in a pot of salted water (one spoon of salt per pound), one or two pods of red pepper or one tablespoon of black pepper, and let it boil in a pot with no lid until the meat is tender. Remove, put in a greased baking pan, and bake until golden brown.
    To parboil, add either broken spicewood twigs, an onion or two, a teaspoonful of vinegar, or some potatoes to the water to remove the wild taste. Take out, roll in flour, salt and pepper, and bake in a greased Dutch Oven turning the meat often. Another method is to rub the parboiled coon with salt and pepper, and dot it with butter. Place quartered sweet potatoes around the meat, and bake it in an oven at four hundred degrees until the meat and potatoes are tender. The meat can also be parboiled, cut into pieces, rolled in corn meal, and then fried in lard.
    Another contact told us that his method was to sprinkle the skinned carcass all over with salt and leave it overnight on a pan that was tipped so that as the salt drew the water out, it would drain. The next morning he packs it in ice and cools the meat, then parboils it, cuts it into two halves, and baked it like a ham, basting it with a sauce containing poultry seasoning. Still another  woman told us that rather than skinning the coon, her family always dipped the coon in boiling water to which ashes had been added to help loosen the hair. Then the coon was scraped clean, gutted, and the chest cavity filled with sweet potatoes. It was then baked until brown and tender.
     Apparently it is also possible to salt the scraped, gutted carcass and smoke it like a ham for later use. (Foxfire !, 1972, p. 265,6.7)
 DEER:     Cooking: Before cooking meat from the smokehouse, soak the pieces overnight in clear water. If you kept them in brine, simply cook without adding salt.
    For steaks from the smokehouse or brine, slice into pieces a half inch thick, four inches long, and three inches wide. In a skillet, brown in butter and simmer until tender depending on the toughness of the meat. Salt is not needed since the meat was salted during curing. For fresh steaks, roll in flour, pepper and salt until covered, and then put in a frying pan with a half cup of shortening. Fry slowly until tender, or until both sides are browned.
    One woman told us to pound the steak, and soak it for an hour in a mixture of a half cup vinegar, one cup water, and a teaspoon of salt (for two pounds of steak). Remove from the liquid, dry, and roll in about a cup of flour. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt, and brown in shortening at a high heat. Cover, and simmer at a low heat for forty-five to sixty minutes.
    "For fresh roasts, some put a four-pound roast and one pod of red pepper (to kill the wild taste) in water and parboil, uncovered, until tender. The meat should be completely covered with water. When tender, take out, wipe dry, sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, and then brown in an oven.
    "To cook without parboiling, rub with a teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and place in a roasting pan. Add one cup water, one medium diced onion, and one half cup chopped mushrooms. Cover and bake at a low heat for around three hours.
    "For pot roasts, soak a four-pound roast ins alt water overnight. Remove from water, dry, and rub with a mixture of one half teaspoon each salt and pepper, and one half cup flour. Heat one half cup fat, add five or six chopped onions, and brown meat on all sides. Add a cup of water, cover tightly, and cook on top of stove until tender. If you wish, add two or three chopped potatoes and carrots half an hour before the roast is done.
    "For venison load, mix together 2 1/2 lbs ground deer met, 1 pound ground hog meat, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 large chopped onion, and 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs dampened with a little water. Shape into a loaf, and bake for about an hour at 400 degrees.
    "For stews, cut two pounds of meat into one-inch cubes and brown on all sides in a small amount of fat. Then, in a stewing pot, add the met, two cups water, four potatoes, six large carrots, four medium onions, one quart of tomatoes, one tablespoon salt, and one teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for three hours. After three hours, thicken with three tablespoons flour and one half cup water. Eat then, or store in a cool place and heat as needed. Another person told us to thicken with flour, three tablespoons bacon drippings, and a pint of tomato juice." (Foxfire I,  270,1,2)
FROGS: Dressing: Cut the legs off and clean them, and throw the rest away. Save only the legs. Cooking: Get some grease hot in a skillet, but not too hot... if it is too hot they will jump out of the pan. Roll them in flour and salt and pepper like chicken, and fry them; or take buttermilk and egg and whip it together, roll the legs in that, then in bread or cracker crumbs, and fry them. Delicious!
GROUNDHOG:  Cooking: Parboil with spicewood twigs (to take the wild taste out) until tender. Pepper and put in a greased pan to bake until brown.
     Another way is to parboil the groundhog until tender in water containing two carrots, garlic, and a piece of fat meat "about the size of a baby's fist". You can also add pepper and a tablespoon of salt if you wish. Then the groundhog is browned in an open baking pan in the oven.
    The carcass could also be dried, salted, and smoked for later use. (Foxfire I, 268,9)
POSSUM:  Cooking: The most common way of cooking possum is to parboil it in water containing salt and red or black pepper to taste. It is boiled until tender, and then put in a greased pan surrounded or filled with sweet potatoes. It is then baked until golden brown (about two hours if you're using a wood stove).
      Another, lines the bottom of the baking pan with sassafras sticks instead of grease. Then she bakes it. Some prefer to skin the possum, parboil the meat in salty water until tender, cut the pieces up and roll them in red and black pepper and flour and fry them in fat. (Foxfire I, 267,8)
    Cooking: There are several popular ways. First cut the rabbit into sections. Remove the legs, and separate the ribs and back section by cutting up the rabbit's sides vertically. Parboil the pieces in a covered pot in salted (two tablespoons) water to make it tender if it's not young and tender already.
    For frying, put the parboiled pieces in a greased pan and fry until brown on all sides, season with a half teaspoon pepper. Some roll the pieces in meal or flour before frying/
    For baking, dip the parboiled pieces in a breaded solution consisting of two eggs, four tablespoons of flour, a quarter cup milk, and a half teaspoon pepper. Put pieces in an oven and bake until brown (about 30 minutes).
    Others prefer the meat simmered in the salted water until tender, and then eaten. Another used to make rabbit dumplings similar to those described in the squirrel section." (Foxfire I, p 268)
SQUIRREL:  Cooking: After soaking the squirrel long enough to get all the blood out, cut it into pieces and roll the pieces in flour, salt, and pepper. Fry until tender and brown. If the squirrel is old, you may want to parboil it in water containing sage to take out the wild taste.
    Another way was to cut the squirrel into pieces after parboiling, and cook the pieces in a gravy made of milk and flour.
    Another made squirrel dumplings. Cut the squirrel up and parboil the pieces for five minutes. Then remove the meat and cook it in fresh water until tender. Add to the broth a quarter teaspoon of pepper, one tablespoon of butter or cooking fat, and some milk. Prepare the dumpling dough, and cook by dropping the pieces into the boiling broth mixture. Cover and cook for ten minutes and serve hot.
TURKEY:  Cooking: After cleaning, some then cut off the legs and breast (saving them for frying like chicken) and stewed the rest. Others rubbed the outside with lard, sprinkled it with two tablespoons of salt and one teaspoon of pepper, replaced the liver and gizzard, and baked it for about three hours on low heat. After baking, two cups of the resulting liquid were sometimes mixed in a saucepan with two tablespoons flour and a quarter cup water and heated to make gravy. Chopped liver and gizzard could be added.
"Dressing & Cooking Wild Game", Northern Trails Press, Minneapolis, Mn.
"A World of Game Cooking"                                                                     "Gamebird Cookery"
"Preparing Fish & Wild Game"                                                 "Venison Cookery"
"America's Favorite Wild Game Recipes"

     RED OFFICIALS, or Red Organization: this was the war-making department that went into effect whenever there was a threat from outside the nation.
    "The red officials had a number of very important functions also. Bravery and warlike deeds were sustained by these officials. They acquired their titles in several cases as the result of bravery in battle. The wolf, fox, and owl were set up as symbols of bravery and used as titles. For those who had performed ably in the field also certain victory and scalp dances were given as a reward in which various goods were donated to the hero being honored. This has some resemblance to the allotment of the winnings in the ball game as stakes of victory. War was an act of killing and because it involved blood was a polluting agent. Most of the ritual surrounding war was designed to deal with and remove this uncleanness. Like the hunter who had killed certain animals such as the deer, bear, and eagle, the warrior had to be purified before and after his undertaking. As in the case of the player in the ball game, every precaution was taken to insure victory by constant invocation of protective powers over, and the dissolution  of uncleannesses from, the warrior. In war, as in hunting and the ball game, the expectation of success or failure was determined by the use of various forms of divination, these mostly centering around the use of fire, beads, and crystalline tallismans." (Gilbert, 357)
For a further description of them and their function, see War Officials, below.

      "At the time of the earlier contacts with the whites, the Cherokee town sites were grouped in four main divisions, namely: (l) Lower Settlements on the upper tributaries of the Savannah River in what is now South Carolina; (w) Middle Settlements or Kituhwa lying to the north of the Lower Settlements on the easternmost reaches of the Little Tennessee and Tuckaseegee Rivers in North Carolina between the Cowee Mountains and the Balsam Mountains; (3) Valley Settlements in extreme western North Carolina along the Nantahala, the Valley River, and the Hiwassee; (4) Overhill Settlements north of the Unakas and south of the Cumberland Chain along the upper Tennessee and Lower Little Tennessee Rivers." (Gilbert, 178)
    There were three nations in one, each with its own council and ruled by its own Oukah (king): The Upper Nation (the Overhills) where the Oukah at the sacred city of Echota was considered to be the highest of all; the Middle Cherokee Nation, and the Lower Cherokee Nation.
    One may wonder why the Cherokees chose to live inland, rather than on the coasts of Virginia and the Carolinas and upper Georgia. Perhaps John Lawson gives us the reason: "It must be confess'd. that the most noble and sweetest Part of this Country, is not inhabited by any but the Savages; and a great deal of the richest Part thereof, has no Inhabitants but the Beasts of the Wilderness; For, the Inds. are not inclinable to settle in the richest Land, because the Timbers are too large for them to cut down, and too much burthen'd with Wood for their Labourers to make Plantations of; besides, the Healthfulness of those Hills is apparent, by the Gigantick Stature, and Gray-Heads, so common amongst the Savages that dwell near the Mountains. The great Creator of all things, having most wisely diffus'd his Blessings, by parcelling out the Vintages of the World, into such Lots, as his wonderful Foresight saw most proper, requisite, and convenient for the Habitations of his Creatures. Towards the Sea, we have the Conveniency of Trade, Transportation, and other Helps the Water affords; but oftentimes, those Advantages are attended with indifferent Land, a thick Air, and other Inconveniences; when backwards, near the Mountains, you meet with the richest Soil, a sweet, thin Air, dry Roads, pleasant small murmuring Streams, and several beneficial Productions and Species, which are unknown in the European World. One Part of this Country affords what the other is wholly a Stranger to." (Lawson, 89)
NOTE:  We wonder how he would have reported had he ventured further westward into the Appalachian mountains and found the Cherokees and their paradise in the richest area of the world for flora and fauna.
    "Their weakness lay in their divisions, for they were spread throughout 60 independent towns, connected by winding, narrow, difficult trails and partitioned by high mountain ridges. Their language was subdivided into at least three distinct dialects, and their nation was segregated into five regional groups, often competeting against one another, and sometimes, when rival clusters of towns became antagonistic, even competing within themselves.
    "The first of the five regions of the Cherokees to enter recorded history was the Lower Towns. The least mountainous section of the nation, the Lower Cherokee towns were located in the pleasant, fruitful valleys of South Carolina's western foothills, along the branches of the Keowee river, a Blue Ridge affluent of the Savannah. Almost in the Carolina piedmont, the Lower towns served the remainder of the nation as a buffer against Creek attacks and enjoyed the earliest profits of British trade. Beyond them, over the first towering peaks of the Appalachian range, lay the Valley towns, nestled on the upper waters of the Hiwassee and in the glens of its tributary, the Valley river, southeast of the Unaka mountins, the southern extension of the Great Smokies. Almost due east from the Valley Cherokees, in the numerous vales along the Little Tennessee and the streams feeding it, were the Middle settlements. Together, the Valley and the Middle Cherokees contained about half the nation's population and dominated the best of the nation's hunting grounds. Northeast of the Middle settlements, protected from the north by the Great Smokies and isolated from the remainder of the nation, were the Out towns. Occupying the only part of the ancient homeland still peopled by their descendants, the Out Cherokees had little impact on eighteenth-century history, too removed from the war paths and too separated from the other regions to assume a leadership role. From the Valley towns across the Unaka mountains or from the Out towns across the Great Smokies, one entered the region and encountered the people framed throughout colonial history as "the Overhills". Here on the upper reaches of the Little Tennessee were found the seven Overhill towns, northern outposts of the Cherokee nation. Belligerent, haughty, and independent, the Overhills were precariously situated astride the invasion routes, down which came raiding parties from the castles of the Mohawks and the country of the Shawnees.
     "It was approximately 150 miles by meandering path and dangerous trail up the length of the nation from Tugaloo, the beloved town of the Lower Cherokees, to Chota, the mother town of the Overhills. Across the width, from Hywassee in the Valley to Stecoe among the Outs, it was between 40 to 50 miles, yet so mountainous that informed British officials miscalculated the distance as 140 miles". (Reid, 2,3)
    "The first British superintendent ... for the southern colonies, Edmond Atkin of South Carolina, contrasted the Lower Cherokees with the Overhills, also called "Upper towns", when he wrote in 1755: "The upper and lower Cherokees differ from each other, as much almost as two different Nations. The upper (among whom the Emperor resides) being much more warlike, better Governed, better affected to us, and as sober and well behaved as the others are debauched and Insolent ... They seldom take part in each others Wars; which is the case also with the upper and lower Creeks, with whom they are often at War; that is the Lower Cherokees, with the lower Creeks. When the upper and lower of both Nations engage in a War, the Lower Cherokees whose Towns being the most and Nearest (and much exposed) are glad to accept the Mediation of the So. Carolina Government, to make a Peace between them. The middle Cherokees are much more like the upper, than the lower". (Atkins, 49, quoted in Reid, 3)

     Like so many other places on earth just before the white man came, the Cherokees had overthrown their old system of worship to some extent, and had put it aside. There had been an uprising of the people against the priest class, and the "Kutani" as they were called, were put to death. (See: Priesthood). This happened in Hawaii, also, just before the missionaries came. This happened before the white man came in great numbers to spread their so-called "civilization", so this, at least, cannot be attributed to them.
     With the Cherokee, also, about that time, the Delawares (with which they had carried on friendly wars for centuries) had invaded the Upper Cherokee area, and at Echota, the sacred Capital City, had entered their townhouse and carried away their sacred ark and other of their religious objects. After that, the priesthood went into a decline, and that area of life was filled in with the Conjurors, or Medicine Men, in their daily life. (Oukah).
     "The religious organization of the Cherokee was closely interrelated with the civil government. All persons who held the main governmental positions were dedicated in childhood and underwent special training. This was the same training that the various classes of medicine men received. They were educated during periods of fasting and had regular instruction in the traditional history, religious beliefs, rituals and sacred medicinal formulas." (Lewis & Kneberg, p. 165,166)
    "Although the religious behavior of peoples of different cultures, such as the prehistoric Cherokee, often includes rituals and beliefs incomprehensible to the outsider, religion among all peoples is the outgrowth of human desire for an orderly and understandable universe. Of all cultural achievements, religion is the most highly symbolic and is as necessary to mankind as food, water, and air." (Lewis & Kneberg, 188)
    "As to religion, every one is at liberty to think for himself; whence flows a diversity of opinions amongst those that do think, but the major part do not give themselves that trouble. They generally concur, however, in the belief of one superior Being, who made them, and governs all things, and are therefore never discontent at any misfortune, because they say, the Man above would have it so. They believe in a reward and punishment... they knew very well, that, if they were good, they should go up; if bad, down..." (Timberlake, 87).
    NOTE:  This is after Mr. Martin from Virginia had preached to them, until they asked him to leave the country, and was after Christian Priber had been among them for years. Some of the Christian religion had been assimilated, probably.....
    "The religion of the Cherokee, described by Mr. Mooney, like that of most North American tribes, was zootheism, or animal worship, with the survival of an earlier stage which included the worship of all tangible things, and the beginnings of a higher system in which the elements and great powers of nature were deified. Among the animal gods insects and fishes occupy a subordinate place, while quadrupeds, birds, and reptiles are invoked constantly. The mythic great horned serpent, the rattlesnake, and the terrapin, the various species of hawk, and the rabbit, the squirrel, and the dog are the principal animal gods. The spider also occupies a prominent place in the love and life-destroying formulas, his duty being to entangle the soul from his victim in the meshes of his web or to pluck it from the body of the doomed and drag it away to the Darkening Land.
    "Among what may be classed as elemental gods the principal are fire, water, and the sun, all of which are addressed under figurative names. The sun is called "Apportioner", just as our word moon originally meant "Measurer". The sun is invoked chiefly by the ball player, whereas the hunter prays to the fire; but every important ceremony -- whether connected with medicine, love, hunting, or the ball-play -- contains a prayer to the "Long Person", the formulistic name for water, or, more strictly speaking, the river. Wind, storm, cloud, and frost are also invoked.
    "Few inanimate gods are included, the principal being the Stone, to which the shaman prays while endeavoring to find a lost article by means of swinging a pebble suspended by a string; the Flint, invoked when the shaman is about to scarify a patient with a flint arrowhead before rubbing on medicine; and the Mountain, which is addressed in one or two formulas.
    "There are a number of personal deities, the principal being the Red Man. He is one of the greatest of the gods, hardly subordinate to the elemental deities. Another god invoked in the hunting songs is "Slanting Eyes", a giant hunter who lives in one of the great mountains of the Blue Ridge and owns all the game. Others are the Little Men, probably the two Thunder Boys; the Little People, fairies who live in the rock cliffs; and one diminutive sprite who holds the place of our Puck.
    "The personage invoked is always selected in accordance with the theory of the formula and the duty to be performed. Thus, when a sickness is caused by a fish, the Fish Hawk, the Heron, or some other fish-eating bird is implored to come and seize the intruder and destroy it, so that the patient may find relief. When the trouble is caused by a worm or an insect, some insectivorous bird is called in for the same purpose. When a flock of redbirds is pecking at the vitals of the sick man, the Sparrow-Hawk is brought down to scatter them, and when the rabbit, the great mischief-maker, is the evil genius, he is driven out by the Rabbit-Hawk. Sometimes after the intruder has been expelled, "a small portion still remains" in the words of the formula, and accordingly the Whirlwind is called down from the treetops to carry away the remnant to the uplands and there scatter it so that it shall never reappear. The hunter prays to the fire, from which he draws his omens; to the reed, from which he makes his arrows; to "Slanting Eyes", the great lord of the game, and finally addresses in songs the very animals which he intends to kill. The lover prays to the Spider to hold fast the affections of his beloved one in the meshes of his web, or to the Moon, which looks down upon him in the dance. The warrior prays to the Red War-club, and the man about to set out on a dangerous expedition prays to the Cloud to envelop him and conceal him from his enemies.
    "Each spirit of good or evil has its distinct and appropriate place of residence. The Rabbit is declared to live in the broom sage on the hillside, the Fish dwells in a bend of the river under the pendant hemlock branches, the Terrapin lives in the great pond in the West, and the Whirlwind abides in the lofty treetops. It should be stated that the animals of the formulas are not the ordinary, everyday animals, but their great progenitors, who live in the upper world above the arch of the firmament." (Rights, 214,215,216)
    "In 1826, a leading Cherokee told a white audience in the east, his knowledge of the Cherokee religious practices which had obviously been altered very much by the influx of the missionaries some time before. He concluded: "When the ancient customs of the Cherokees were in their full force, no warrior thought himself secure unless he had addressed his guardian angel; no hunter could hope for success unless, before the rising sun, he had asked the assistance of his God and on his return at eve he had offered his sacrifice to him". (quoted, McLoughlin, Missionaries, 345)
     NOTE: Instead of zooism, or animal worship, we think the ancient Cherokee religion should be described as "animism", as they attributed life to every living and growing thing, such as plants, and trees, and even to rocks and water. They had a reverence for all creation, and a kinship with it. (Oukah).

      "Especially important in the medicinal mythology of the Cherokees were the reptiles and amphibians. In this group were the rattlesnakes, copperheads, and other snake species, the lizards, skinks, glass snakes, iguanas, turtles, frogs, toads, and salamanders." (Gilbert, 185)
    "There are likewise a great number of reptiles, particularly the copper-snake, whose bite is very difficult to cure, and the rattle-snake, once the terror of Europeans, now no longer apprehended, the bite being so easily cured; but neither this, nor any other species, will attempt biting unless disturbed or trod upon; neither are there any animals in America mischievous unless attacked. The flesh of the rattle-snake is extremely good; being once obliged to eat one through want of provisions, I have eat several since thro' choice" (Timberlake, 72)
    "The most feared of the reptiles was undoubtedly the snake. At least two species of poisonous snakes thrived in the Southern Appalachians, the copperhead and the rattlesnake. The rattlesnake was the most revered by the Cherokees and it was believed to be 'the fire's messenger (bringer of the sacred fire)'. (Logan, 1859, 90). As a result of centuries of protection and veneration,  this venomous snake proliferated throughout the Cherokee habitat. Nonetheless, the Cherokees understood rattler characteristics and habits and, thus, always traveled with a snake-kit, consisting of tuberous roots, that might be used in the event of a rattlesnake bite (Catesby, 1731: 41). Adair stated that in his thirty years with the Inds, he knew of no casualties from snake bite.
    "The rattlesnake, as well as the copperhead, were generally found at the lower elevations, below 2,500 feet, although exceptions have been noted. Neither snake was of economic importance and were killed only for ceremonial purposes and not for food, unless associated with ritual.
    "Snakes of lesser importance to the Cherokees included: rough green snake, hog-nosed snake, Queen snake, eastern garter snake, and several other species. All of these snakes were harmless and abounded in lower elevations, although a few such as the black snake and hog-nosed snake were known to flourish at the 4,500-foot level.
    "Other reptiles and amphibians of importance to the Cherokees included many varieties of lizards, salamanders, and toads and frogs. Each species had some prominence in ...folklore, and were treated in a respectful manner, reflective of the total Cherokee concern for all forms of life." (Goodwin, 76)

       Private injuries were mainly settled by means of the law of blood revenge, the brother or nearest male relative of the victim revenging the injury by inflicting a like hurt on the offender or a member of the offender's family or clan. This retaliation might be avoided by the defendant in two ways. First, he might settle with the family and clan of the injured party by payment of goods or other compensation, if there was some doubt as to the purposeful intent of the injury. Secondly, he might flee to one of the four white towns of the nation wherein no blood could be shed and remain safe from revenge there. If the offender was within sight of a white chief or within his dooryard, he would also be safe. He then appealed to the ruler to save him. The latter would then follow one of two courses depending upon his own judgment of the case. He might send his messenger or blow his trumpet to call the whole town together and in their presence declare the man acquitted, or hold a regular court before which the defendant was brought and tried. If the examination showed that the guilt of the defendant was clear, he was not publicly condemned but was privately exposed to the shafts of death either in battle or in some other way so as generally to be soon taken away.
     "According to Nuttall (1819, p.189) the brothers of a murderer would often dispose of him in order to save one of themselves from blood vengeance. Accidental deaths could be recompensed by a scalp from a prisoner or enemy. "Towns of refuge" were those inhabited by a supreme (priestly ruler). . No blood could be shed in these towns and manslaughterers fleeing there could excuse themselves and profess contrition" (Gilbert, 324)
     Revenge was necessary to the ancient Cherokee way of life because of their fixation on "natural balance". Things that were wrong must be put right. Sometimes whole villages would not sleep until it was done. "Revenge" is the negative way of looking at it: the positive way would be "making it right".

      "The Cherokees regarded the river as a deity, calling him the Long Man" ... "a giant with his head in the foothills of the mountains and his foot far down in the lowland, pressing always, resistless and without stop, to a certain goal, and speaking in murmurs which only the priest may interpret." (Hudson, 128)
    "The World was sometimes frequented by Under World monsters who came out of the rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and mountain caves, all of these being entrances to the Under World. They lurked around lonely spots like mountain passes, making mischief or even causing great misfortunes for people. There were giant frogs, and giant lizards, among these monsters..." (Hudson, 131)
      "Rivers also figured prominently in the Cherokee spirit world. ... The river was associated with the moon, and on every new moon, including those in winter, the Cherokees used to go to the bank of the river where a priest officiated and everybody plunged in. This was to ensure long life, implying that the snake, which annually sheds its skin, is associated with longevity. Usually this ritual took place at a bend of the river where they could face upstream towards the rising sun. Just as Fire could be offended, so could the River.  (Hudson, 172,3)
     "The river was often used for divining into the future and for discovering the causes of illness....
    The dipping into the water was a preliminary to the Ball Game.....
      Since most Cherokees traveled by foot before the white man came, the crossing of rivers and streams was a major problem. ... "when (they) were traveling on foot and encountered a stream of water too deep for wading, they had several ways of getting to the other side. The most common way was to make a raft by lashing together lengths of the large cane that grew along the water's edge. A second solution was to make a temporary canoe out of hickory, cypress, or elm bark. These were not the strong, graceful birchbark canoes ... but rather a crudely constructed vessel made for this one crossing and then discarded, or perhaps laid aside for use on a return trip." (Adney & Chapelle, 212-20)
      "A third solution was to kill a large animal and made a crude, bowl-shaped boat (a coracle) by stretching the skin of the animal over a frame of saplings. The white fur traders seem to have adopted this technique in their practice of carrying along on their travels a skin to be used for a boat. With this a trader had only to cut several small poles to fashion a keel, gunwales, and ribs and attach the skin covering to it. " (Hudson, 314)

       "The river bank emphasis is shown, for example, in the many uses of shells for decoration and utensils, the extensive use of cane for basketry and for blowguns, the use of cane for thatching dwellings or even for walls, the use of cane in fire making, the ritualistic importance of the river, the great emphasis on fish food, and, finally, the divisions of groups of settlements into localities by particular river habitats. (Gilbert, 190)
    Adair's History: Speaking of the Cherokees, he says: Their towns are always close to some river or creek, as there the land is commonly very level and fertile, on account of the frequent washings off the mountains, and the moisture it receives from the waters that run through their fields. And such a situation enables them to perform the ablutions connected with their religious worship".
    "In Cherokee ritual, the river is the Long Man, Yu'nwi Gunahita, a giant with his head in the foothills of the mountains and his foot far down in the lowland, pressing always, resistless and without stop, to a certain goal, and speaking ever in murmurs which only the priest may interpret. In the words of the sacred formulas, he holds all things in his hands and bears down all before him. His aid is invoked with prayer and fasting on every important occasion of life, from the very birth of the infant, in health and sickness, in war and love, in hunting and fishing, to ward off evil spells and to win success in friendly rivalries. Purification in the running stream is a part of every tribal function, for which reason the town-house, in the old days, was always erected close to the river bank." (Mooney, River Cult, 1,2)
    For "Going to the Water": "At regular intervals, usually at each recurring new moon ... the whole family (goes) down together at daybreak, and fasting, to the river and stand with bare feet just touching the water, while the priest, or, if properly instructed, the father of the household, stands behind them and recites a prayer for each in turn, after which they plunge in and bathe their whole bodies in the river... Following is a literal translation of one of the regular ritual prayers used on this occasion: --
    "Listen! O, now you have drawn near to hearken, O Long Man at rest. O helper of men, you let nothing slip from your grasp. You never let the soul slip from your grasp. Come now and take a firmer grasp. I originated near the cataract, and from there I stretch out my hand toward this place. Now I have bathed in your body. Let the white foam cling to my head as I go about, and let the white staff be in my hand. Let the health-giving aya await me along the road. Now my soul stands erect in the seventh heaven. Yu!"
    Explanation: The declaration that the suppliant himself originated 'near the cataract' is intended to emphasize his claims upon the assistance of the Long Man, who is held to speak to the initiated in the murmurs of the stream and the roar of the waterfall. The idea intended to be conveyed by the latter part of the prayer is that the petitioner, having bathed in the stream, comes out with the white foam still clinging to his head, and taking in his hand the 'white staff' - symbolic of old age and a long life -- begins his journey to the seventh upper world, the final abode of the immortals. At first his progress is slow and halting, but strengthened by the health-giving aya (ambrosia) set out for him at intervals along the road, he is enabled at last to reach the goal, where his soul thereafter stands erect." (Mooney, River Cult, 2,3)
        "Sge! O Ancient White, where you have let the soul slip from your grasp, it has dwindled away. Now his health has been restored and he shall live to the old. Ku!
    "Sge! O Long Man, now you had let the soul slip from your grasp and it had dwindled away. Now his health has been restored and he shall live to be old.
    In the first upper world, O Ge'hyaguga, you have the tables. The white food shall be set out upon them. It shall be reached over and pushed away (i.e., the client shall eat of the 'white" or health-giving food, reaching across the tables in his eagerness, and pushing the food away from him when satisfied). His health has been restored and he shall live to be old.
    In the second upper world, O Ge'hyaguga, you have the tables. The white food shall be set out upon them. It shall be reached over and pushed away. His health has been restored and he shall live to be old.
    In the third upper world, O Ge'hyaguga, you have the tables. The white food shall be set out upon them. It shall be reached over and pushed away. His health has been restored and he shall live to be old.
    In the fourth upper world, O Ge'hyaguga, you have the tables. The white food shall be set out upon them. It shall be reached over and pushed away. His health has been restored and he shall live to be old.
    In the fifth upper world, O Ge'hyaguga, you have the tables. The white food shall be set out upon them. It shall be reached over and pushed away. His health has been restored and he shall live to be old.
    In the sixth upper world, O Ge'hyaguga, you have the tables. The white food shall be set out upon them. It shall be reached over and pushed away. His health has been restored and he shall live to be old.
    In the seventh upper world, O Ge'hyaguga, you have the tables. The white food has been set out upon them. It has been reached over. It has been pushed away. His health has been restored and he shall live to be old. Yu!

     "Salt was of so much importance in early trading enterprises in the Southeast that it requires rather extended notice.... Elvas (chronicler of the DeSoto expedition) says: 'The Inds carry it thence to other regions to exchange it for skins and blankets. They gather it along the river, which leaves it on top of the sand when the water falls. And since they can not gather it without more sand being mixed with it, they put it into certain baskets which they have for this purpose, wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. They hang the baskets to a pole in the air and put water in them, and they place a basin underneath into which the water falls. After being strained and set on the fire to boil, as the water becomes less, the salt is left on the bottom of the pot." (Robertson, 192-193).
    There were salt lakes, salt licks, and salt pits (mines).
    "Garcilaso tells us that when the Spaniards entered the province of Tascalusa, between the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers, they lost many of their companions for want of salt, but the rest 'made use of the remedy which the Inds. prepared to save and help themselves in that necessity. This was that they burned a certain herb of which they knew and made lye with the ashes. They dipped what they ate in it as if it were a sauce and with this they saved themselves from rotting away and dying, like the Spaniards." (Garcilasso, 1723, 175-176)
    "They make salt for domestic use, out of a saltish kind of grass, which grows on rocks, by byrning it to ashes, making strong lye of it, and boiling it in earthen pots to a proper consistence. (Adair, 1775, 116)
    Beverley said of the Virginia natives: "They have no Salt among them, but for seasoning, use the Ashes of Hiccory, stickweed, or some other Wood or Plant, affording a salt ash" (Beverley, bk 3, 15)
         Salt was a principal and important item of trade.

      "...the Cherokees reckoned the year in two parts: The first was from the Great New Moon Feast of October to that of April (the 7th) and included the winter (gola) months; the second commenced with the first new moon of spring in April and ran to the great new moon of October again (the 7th) and included the summer (gogi) months. Thus the two important new moons were in each case seventh in a continuous series reckoning from the other, each ended and each began a new season, and both served as the boundary points of the chief periods of the year, winter and summer." (Gilbert, 325)
     "The two seasons... can be called the cold season and the warm season. The Cherokee cold season (gola) ran from the new moon in October to the new moon in April, and their warm season (gogi) ran from April to October." (Hudson, 270)
     "In the cold season, the time of the eagle, the men held council in the town house and they were occupied with hunting, mostly for deer, while the women were occupied with gathering wild foods, particularly nuts. In the warm season, the time of the snake, the men held council at the square ground and they were mainly occupied with war and the ball game, while the women tended their fields." (Hudson, 270)
     "The winter hunts were followed by spring fishing trips. As soon as herring, sturgeon, and other fish began running upstream to spawn, the(y) went to their favorite fishing spots, some of the best places being at the rapids along the fall line. When the weather was warm enough, in April or May, the first crops were planted, and these were tended and cultivated through the summer mainly by the women. While the women were busy with the crops, the men set off on raids against their enemies. Between raids they occupied themselves by playing their favorite games of skill. This continued throughout the summer until the Green Corn Ceremony and the harvest, when a new year began and the cycle started all over again." (Hudson, 272)

    "The Southeastern Ind. favorite places for sexual episodes were corn cribs, corn fields, and bean patches". (Hudson, 198). He probably was never invited into the hothouses, or under the shade of a protecting bower.
    Cherokee clan life carried with it stiff taboos. One did not marry, or establish a sexual alliance, with a member of ones own clan, of the opposite sex. Unwanted inbreeding was thus avoided, in a natural way. The natural attraction of men and women was recognized and encouraged, and if this brought forth children, all to the good. The nation was small, and always needed to grow. In numbers there was strength.
    The account of Prince Louis-Philippe of France, while visiting in America with his two brothers, gives some insight into the practices of the white pioneers who lived nearby in the 1700 and 1800's.  It relates how they were allowed to spend the night on the floor before the fire of a rustic cabin. The owner and his wife were in an alcove to one side, and two daughters were in another bed, one older than the other. In the night a young man entered, son of a neighbor, who took off his clothes and proceeded to have sexual intercourse with the older daughter. This rather shocked the Frenchmen, but it was typical of frontier white ways at that time. A neighbor boy, agreeable to the family and to a young girl, was allowed intercourse with her in the hopes that she would become pregnant. Children were valuable property at that time, for they worked without pay, and assumed other family responsibilities, so a young white man could not afford to marry a young woman who was sterile and would not produce children for him. If she became pregnant, then they got married; if she did not do so within a reasonable time, he went rutting elsewhere. Such was the white way on the frontier. The Cherokees had it much better. Divorce was common, so marriage was entered into without hesitation. There are few reports of any Cherokee woman being barren, so she expected to have children, and she needed a husband to help support them.
      " Ind. is allowed to marry two Sisters, or his Brothers Wife. Although these People are call'd Savages, yet Sodomy is never heard of amongst them, and they are so far from the Practice... that they have no Name for it in all their Language". (Lawson, 193)
     When we read the above passage to Cherokee men today, they always laugh, but all agree, for there was no need for Cherokee men to "practice" homosexuality  (we are told that this word, homo-sexuality, was not invented in the English language until the 1880's or 1890s, barely a hundred years ago) for by the time they were  from 14 to 18 they would have become quite an expert at it. What kind of a man would not help out another man with his pressing problems? It was like with the Greeks and Romans -- they recognized a biological need, and found a cure for it (however temporary); but, in the process their female "virgins" were protected. Wherever in the world there has been raised an objection to something so natural, it always stems from some "religious" or "pseudo-religious" dogma, which of course must have its 'do's" and its "don'ts", having nothing to do with humanity or reality. And of course, among Cherokees, it was not spoken of. Whatever for? Cherokees did not talk of trivia. Nobody was harmed, hopefully all participants were pleased, and it was of no more importance than the sun coming up in the east each morning.  When there was a pronounced case of feminism, or strong attraction for persons of the same sex, any female would have her own house within the confines of the towns, but the males would probably prefer (and usually did) to have their own cabins in the woods, to which their friends could come to visit, unnoticed and unmolested. There are cases recorded where a young warrior, on his way to war, would go by to spend the night with an older, proven warrior, in order to take in his "manna", or spiritual bravery. And, on the warpath, or prolonged hunting trips, who was there to have sex with? Answer: each other, just as it is in the armies of the world, and the navies of the world, most of whose members,  to this day,  refuse to discuss it or even to admit that it exists among them. There has always been a brotherhood between men to which women have been excluded, even to the extent of knowing it existed.
    While visiting the Eastern Cherokees in the 1930's, Gilbert observed: "In the use of coarse and quite obscene joking between brothers, a tendency toward homosexual relationships characteristic of the Southeastern area is to be seen" (p. 251). Note: If Gilbert had been visiting anyplace else on earth, he would have found the same thing. Men's appreciation of each other is universal.
     "The Southeastern Inds. had very little choice about what they wanted to be in life. Basically, they could either be a man or a woman. The man's role was unusually demanding, and to be admired one had to possess great strength, agility, endurance, tolerance for pain, and courage. Perhaps for this reason some men became transvestites. They chose to play the woman's role rather than the man's. So it was that the French were shocked to find a few Timucuan men dressing as women and doing the things that women did. The same was true of Natchez transvestites, who cultivated fields and carried burdens along with women. Without supplying any details, the French who observed this custom among the Natchez make it plain that Natchez transvestites also played the women's role in sexual intercourse." (Hudson, 269) (Swanton: Ind Tribes of the Lower Mississippi Valley,100.)
Note: in all the books we have read, we have never read of a Cherokee man being effeminate, nor a Cherokee woman being manly. Among Cherokees there did not seem to be the blatant transvestites of the Creeks, or the hermaphrodites noted among the Choctaw.
     "Indeed, the roles of men and women were so different that the two sexes were almost like different species. Consistent with this basic assumption, men and women kept themselves separate from each other to a very great extent. They seem, in fact, to have preferred to carry out their day-to-day activities apart from each other. During the day the women worked with each other around their households, while the men resorted to their town house or square ground. Separation was most important in activities which in their view epitomized sexual identity. We have already seen, for example, that warriors kept themselves apart from women for three days before going on a raid. And women kept themselves apart from men when they menstruated and gave birth. This ideological separation of the sexes was further reflected in their value on sexual abstinence." (Hudson, 260)
       During warfare and hunting, men abstained from sexual relations, believing that any contact with women would overwhelm the power imparted by medicine men. On war paths, they were forbidden even to speak of women"  (Adair, 171,175) These were men's activities, and while it is well-known and accepted that Cherokee women had a "sisterhood" that a man could not understand, it is not well recorded that Cherokee men had a "brotherhood" to which no woman could belong. It was this strong bond between men that made it possible to live at other times with aggressive, demanding women.  Men were the 'givers' of life; women were the 'incubators' of it.
      Warriors preparing for war abstained from sex. "They believed that their success in war was directly related to the strictness with which they observed their ritual precautions. The older men kept a particular close eye on the young warriors, whom they feared might break the ritual rules and endanger them all." (Hudson, 244)
     Cherokees were true children of nature. There is reason to believe that Cherokees enjoyed the full spectrum of sexual expression and experience, free from taboos, stigmas, or religious intolerance.

      Slaves were taken in war, and were considered valuable property. Slaves belonging to Cherokees in the early days were very fortunate, for they lived just like their masters, as Cherokees built only one kind of house and cooked one kind of food. Some slaves were adopted into the owner's clan, which would then make him a blood brother, and he would have to be treated even with respect, which he, of course, would give in return. In the case of a female slave, she might be adopted into a clan, or marry a Cherokee man, after which she would be adopted into a suitable clan (other than his), so that her children would have clan sisters and brothers. There are many instances in which a slave taken in war, and well treated, would stay around for some years, and then suddenly disappear and go to his/her own home and own people, as they were never shackled or restrained. This was understood, and they were never followed and forced to return, for if it was time to go it was time to go. By good treatment, a Cherokee who owned a "slave" was never in fear of his or her life, and the slave was considered a part of the household, a valuable adjunct to the family.
     "Far more profitable than a Creek slave for a Cherokee was a Frenchman or a Spaniard. The captor could expect a higher price for a European not only because the humanitarian instinct was greater but because Charles Town could not risk leaving French or Spanish slaves in the nation where they might spread anti-British talks or be adopted by a Cherokee clan. During the few years of the public monopoly, the Cherokees conducted a respectable business selling Europeans to South Carolina. They were a prime commodity for speculation in the towns, their captors selling them to fellow Cherokees who hoped to obtain a better price from the British." (Reid, Hatchet, 81)
     Cherokees taken prisoner either in time of war or peace were often sold as slaves to masters in South Carolina. It should be noted that black slaves from the first were considered valuable property, and protected by law and practice, but an "Indian" could be killed without recourse, being considered by the pioneer whites as being worth no more than a jackrabbit -- in fact, better exterminated than to be allowed to live.

       "Smoke was considered to be closely associated with fire, and the smoke of tobacco (Nicotiana rustica L.) was particularly important in ceremonial and ritual contexts. Puffs of smoke were blown toward the three divisions of the cosmos or in the four cardinal directions. Bits of tobacco leaf expressed the same idea when sprinkled on a fire or when tossed into the air." (Hudson, 318)
     In ancient times it was done on purely ceremonial occasions, probably using the sacred tobacco; but by the time the white man arrived it was a more commonplace practice. The ordinary tobacco was offered to any arriving guest, was sometimes smoked both by men and women at any time of the day they so desired.
    "All ... are in general very fond of tobacco smoke. They are often seen to swallow 10 or 12 mouthfuls in succession, which they keep in their stomachs without being inconvenienced after they have ceased to draw, and give up this smoke many successive times, party through the mouth and partly through the nose." (Dumont, vol. 1, 189)

    In the old day with which we are concerned here, Cherokees did not have soap as we know it. But we have seen our grandmothers, and others, make soap in an iron pot, so we have decided to include a recipe for it here, for sentiments sake.
       A good recipe for making soap: Needed is a large pot, like iron or stainless steel. Use five pounds of grease, one box of Red Devil Lye, three tablespoons of borax, two tablespoons of sugar, one tablespoon of salt, one-fourth cup of ammonia and one-half cup of boiling water. Mix the lye in a pan with a quart of hot water and stir until the lye is dissolved. Let it cool, and add the lukewarm, dissolved grease. Mix the borax with a half cup of boiling water, and add it along with the other ingredients. When all the ingredients are dissolved and well mixed, pour the solution into flat, shallow pans to harden into soap. When hard, the soap can be cut into bars for use.
    An ingenius method for testing soap: After the melted fat and lye had been well mixed together, a feather would be stirred briefly into the mixture. If it ate the bristles off the feather, there was still too much lye in the mixture. Fat would be mixed in slowly until the solution could no longer damage a feather. At that point the liquid was ready to pour out into a container to harden into a jelly-like soap.

      "The sun and the moon were considered supreme over the lower creation..."
      "The sun and moon were regarded as the creators of the world. The sun was generally considered the more powerful and was supposed to give efficacy for curing to roots and herbs. If the sun did not cure the ailment, the suppliant turned to the moon over the power controlling the disease".
     "In the beginning, just two worlds existed: the Upper World and the Under World. This World, the world on which the Inds. lived, was created later. The Upper World epitomized order and expectableness, while the Under World epitomized disorder and change, and This World stood somewhere between perfect order and complete chaos.
     "In the Upper World things existed in a grander and purer form than they did in This World.... the Sun and the Moon, for example, were of the Upper World, and their sexual identities are inconsistent. The Sun, the source of all warmth, light, and life, was one of the principal gods, but whereas some of the Southeastern Inds. regarded the Sun as male, the Cherokees generally considered the Sun to be female. The Cherokees called the Sun "the apportioner", referring to her dividing night and day, and perhaps life and death as well ... the earthly representative and ally of the Sun was sacred fire, the principal symbol of purity. If anyone did anything wrong in the presence of sacred fire, it would immediately inform the Sun of this wrongdoing, and the Sun might punish the offender.
    "The Cherokees believed that sacred fire, like the Sun, was an old woman. Out of respect, they fed her a portion of each meal; if neglected, they thought she might come at night in the guise of an owl or whipporwill and take vengeance on them." (Witthoft, 177-80)
     Successful hunters would throw into the fire a piece of meat (usually liver) from any game they killed. One could be stricken by disease as a consequence of urinating into a fire, spitting into it, or throwing into it anything that had saliva on it. The Cherokees addressed fire by the epithets "Ancient White" and "Ancient Red". Some Southeastern Inds. built their sacred fire by resting four logs together in the shape of a cross, so that the fire burned in the center; others built sacred fire by arranging small pieces of wood or dry cane in a circle or spiral, so that the sacred fire burned in a circular path. Thus the circle and cross motif also symbolized sacred fire." (Hudson, 126)
     "The Cherokees believed that the Moon was the Sun's brother, with the clear implication that an incestuous relationship existed between them. In the Southeastern belief system the Moon was sometimes associated with rain and with menstruation, and with fertility generally, but it was not as important a deity as the Sun. When an eclipse of the Moon occurred, the Inds. believed that it was being swallowed by a giant frog in the Upper World. They would all run out of their houses yelling and making noise to frighten away the frog. It goes without saying that they always succeeded, thereby saving the moon from destruction.
    "The Cherokees addressed both the Sun (and sacred fire) and the Moon as "our grandparent". As... the kinship system.... was more than just a means of ordering social relationships among kinsmen. It was a conceptual model which shaped their thinking about relationships in other realms. By addressing the Sun and Moon as "our grandparent", the Cherokees meant that the Sun and Moon stood in a relationship of respect and affection, as their remote ancestors. Their metaphorical use of 'elder brother', 'younger brother', 'mother', and so on also implied relationships modeled on kin relationships in their social world." (Hudson, 126,127)
    "The Sun was often called upon to cure disease, and a priest usually asked the Sun's permission before gathering medicinal herbs. Fire, the Sun's earthy representative, was also frequently called upon to fight disease. Since fire was a thing of the Upper World, it was used in curing diseases caused by animals of the Under World, including turtles, snakes, and fish. When a medicine had to be drunk, it was often strengthened with the power of fire by dropping four or seven live coals into it?" (Hudson, 172)

    The Cherokee world was filled with supernatural beings, both in the world that could be seen and the world that could not be seen. Some were good, and some were bad, and some just mischievious or amusing. But most were bigger than in life, and must be respected and considered, if not feared.
     There was Whirlwind, the Rainmaker (agandiski); the Cloud people... the Red Man of Lightning, the Thunder Man, the Snow Man, the Hot and Cold Weather Man; the Rainbow Man; Hail Man, Frost Man; Waterfall Man... and the Long Man of the River....
    "Most things in nature were believed to have spirit counterparts -- thunder, animals, plants, water, etc. And the mountains and forests were peopled with fairies who were friendly when undisturbed but mischievious when offended. Then there were ghosts, the spirits of the dead that hovered around their former homes before finally departing for the other world and its seven heavens". (Lewis & Kneberg, 176)

    Cherokees were very superstitious people. Every aspect of their lives responded to their superstitious beliefs and practices. Every effect had a cause, and every cause an effect -- usually caused by something malevolent. Life had a constant awareness of the need to be careful, not to offend any man or spirit, lest one suffer the consequences.
      "Spirits designated as 'father' and 'mother's brother' are thought to send apoplexy. The maize in the fields is regarded as a 'mother', the fire and the sun are 'grandmothers' while the moon is regarded as a powerful protecting 'elder brother'. (Gilbert, 237)
    "It is an establish'd Custom amongst all these Natives, that the young Hunter never eats of that Buck, Bear, Fish, or any other Game, which happens to be the first they kill of that sort; because they believe, if he should eat thereof, he would never after be fortunate in Hunting. The like foolish Ceremony they hold, when they have made a Ware to take Fish withal; if a big-belly'd Woman eat of the first Dish that is caught in it, they say, that Ware will never take much Fish; and as for killing of Snakes, they avoid it, if they lie in their way, because their Opinion is, that some of the Serpents Kindred would kill some of the Savages Relations, that should destroy him; They have thousands of these foolish Ceremonies and Believes, which they are strict Observers of." (Lawson, 219)

       "A principal sweetening agent... was the sap of the honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos). Sweet pulp abounded 'in the pod between and around the seeds'. The seasonal availability of locust pods occurred between spring and late autumn. The .... extracted saccharine from the pod of the plant 'using powdered pods to sweeten parched corn and to make a sweet drink'. Red maple and especially sugar maple also produced a good sap that acted as sugar or a seasoning agent in the preparation of cooked foods. Maple trees were found in the low to middle altitudes of the southern Piedmont and mountainous regions of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Chains, e.g., near Old Tellico and Limestone Creek." (Goodwin, 59,60; from many sources)
     "...several... produce sugar out of the sweet maple-tree, by making an incision, draining the juice, and boiling it to a proper Consistence" (Adair, 414)
    "...the(y) make One Pound of Sugar, out of Eight Pounds of the Liquor" (Beverley, Bk2,21)
    "The(y) tap it (the sugar maple) and make gourds to receive the liquor, which operation is done at distinct and proper times, when it best yields its juice, of which, when the(y) have gotten enough, they carry it home, and boil it to a just consistency of sugar, which grains of itself, and serves for the same uses, as other sugar does" (Lawson, 174)
     Speaking of Limestone Creek, in Northern Georgia, Benjamin Hawkins (Agent to the South) wrote: "On this creek, the sugar is made by the ... women, they use small wooden troughs, and earthen pans to ketch the sap, and large earthen pots for boilers." (Hawkins, 367)
    " land, and cleare fields, wherein growes Canes of a foot about, and of one yeares growth Canes that a reasonable hand can hardly span; and the(y) told us they were very sweet, and that at some time of the years they did suck them, and eate them, and of those we brought some away with us." (Alvord, 124)

     "Like people everywhere, the Southeastern Inds. tried to improve on nature. The men in particular were fond of painting designs on their bodies and faces, and both sexes made extensive use of body tatooing. This was especially practiced by Creek and Cherokee warriors, who tattooed on their bodies the figures of scrolls, flowers, animals, stars, crescents, and the sun, with the latter usually placed in the center of their chests. The serpent was frequently used as a design. ...Some... made tattoos by pricking the flesh with garfish teeth dipped in soot from pitch pine, thus imparting a black or dark-blue color. They used the mineral cinnabar (mercuric sulphide) for red designs. In some places tattooing was done with five or six needles tied to a small piece of wood in such a way that all the points were aligned like the teeth of a comb; the design was first traced on the body in charcoal, then the pigment pricked in with this instrument." (Hudson, 30)
     "...the designs were both geometric and representational and adorned the face, chest, arms, and legs. ....Bartram says that the tattooed designs were well executed, reminding him of mezzotints." (Hudson, 380)
    "The best descriptions of tattooing to be had in any of the early writings are those given by Bartram having special reference to the Creeks and Cherokee. In his Travels he gives the following note: 'Some of the warriors have the skin of the breast, and muscular parts of the body, very curiously inscribed, or adorned, with hieroglyphick scrolls, flowers, figures of animals, stars, crescents, and the sun in the centre of the breast. This painting of the flesh, I understand, is performed in their youth, by pricking the skin with a needle, until the blood starts, and rubbing in a bluish tint which is as permanent as their life." (Bartram, 394, quoted in Swanton, #137, 533)

      "Tobacco was used throughout most of the New World, either chewed, snuffed or smoked, depending upon local custom. The effect of the nicotine was about the same, regardless of how it was taken. The smoking of tobacco... was mainly for magical and religious purposes, and only secondarily for pastime.... wild tobacco, Nicotiana rustica, was a carefully tended plant, and its flowers as well as its leaves were used in rituals. During councils, ceremonial pipe smoking formed an integral part of the formalities; it was a pledge to bind peace treaties and a rite to invoke the high gods. Similar customs which involved pipe smoking as a symbolic act were so widely observed... that they must have originated almost as long ago as the use of tobacco itself." (Lewis & Kneberg, 62,63)
    "Tobacco, as is well known, is of American origin and is sacred among nearly all our tribes, having an important place in almost every deliberation or religious ceremony. The tobacco of commerce (Nicotiana tabacum) was introduced form the West Indies. The original tobacco of the Cherokee and other eastern tribes was the wild tobacco (Nicotiana rustica) which they distinguished now as tsal-agayun'li (old tobacco). (Mooney, Myths, 492)
    "Their teeth are yellow with Smoaking Tobacco, which both Men and Women are much addicted to. They tell us, that they had Tobacco amongst them, before the Europeans made any Discovery of tht  Continent. It differs in the Leaf from the sweet-scented, and Oroonoko, which are the Plants we raise and cultivate in America. Theirs differs likewise much in the Smell, when green, from our Tobacco, before cured. They do not use the same way to cure as we do; and therefore, the Difference must be very considerable in Taste; for all Men (that know Tobacco) must allow, that it is the Ordering thereof which gives a Hogoo (relish) to that Weed, rather than any Natural Relish it possesses, when green. Although they are great Smoakers, yet they never are seen to take it in Snuff, or chew it". (Lawson, 175,176)
    "They have a certain plant... The leaves of this, carefully dried, they place in the wider part of a pipe; and setting them on fire, and putting the other end in their mouths, they inhale the smoke so strongly, that it comes out at their mouths and noses, and operates powerfully to expel the humors." LeMoyne, 8,9)
    "...the(y) dry the leaves ... over the fier, and sometymes in the sun, and crumble yt into pouder, stalks, leaves, and all, taking the same in pipes of earth, which very ingeniously they can make." Strachey, 121,122)
    "The native tobacco (Nicotiana rustica) was cultivated by the Cherokee and occupied, and still occupies, an important position in the ceremonial life...and the native pharmacopoea, but Timberlake may very well be right when he intimates that relatively little time was devoted to the care of it." (Swanton, #137, 384)
    "They raise some tobacco, and even sell some to the traders, but when they use it for smoaking they mix it with the leaves of the two species of the Cariaria (Rhus coriaria, sumac) or of the (Liquidambar styraciflua), sweetgum, dried and rubbed to pieces." (Romans, 47)
    While he and his two brothers were visiting America in 1797, LouisPhilippe of France wrote of visiting a Cherokee house where the men were smoking, while the women worked inside. He wrote: "We went right up to the men and shook hands, which they did firmly without rising or disturbing themselves in any way. Then the first to light his pipe invited everyone else to puff at it before he did; such is Inds. courtesy, and when we lit our own we too were careful to have all the others take a puff. We were smoking what the Cherokees call Taluma, the Chickasaws Mosutchedk, some northern Inds. Kalikinek, etc. The Americans call it Little Shoemake to distinguish it from Big Shoemake, which is what we call sumac, and the American French call Appapona. I believe that it is a separate species. They harvest the shrub's leaves in autumn after the sun has burned it dry and the frost has nipped it. It is exceedingly pleasant to smoke. They.. smoke it straight or mixed with tobacco. They also smoke the shrub's berries and the bark of the little red willow. They use two kinds of pipe". (LouisPhilippe, 89,90)  (see Pipes)
     "Many of the truly serious acts of conjury required the use of "ancient tobacco" (Cherokee, tso:lagayA;li). This was ....the Nicotiana rustica L., a small variety of tobacco which was present in the Southeast for an unknown period of time before European contract. This was one of the most important herbs used by the Southeastern Inds. They smoked it to suppress hunger, used it as a medicine, and they smoked it as a kind of spiritual facilitator before councils of war and peace and before performing rituals and ceremonies. The Southeastern Inds. sometimes experienced mind-altering effects from smoking Nicotiana rustica L., far more than is experienced in our use of commercial Nicotiana tabacum L. The reason for this difference is not clear" . (Hudson, 353). NOTE: it has lately been explained that this old, sacred tobacco was a cannabis, from the hemp family, therefore a narcotic, very similar to marijuana.
     "In the memory of Cherokees in Oklahoma this ancient tobacco was grown on tiny patches of ground made ready for planting by having pieces of lightning-struck wood burned on them. These patches were hidden in the woods, where none but those growing the tobacco could see them. This ancient tobacco had no intrinsic spiritual properties; it was only an herb. It gained its power by virtue of the ritual act of 'remaking' (Cherokee, go:dhlAhi:so?hnA;hi, literally "remade it", which infused it with thought and power. It was this act of remaking which transferred thought to the herb, making it into a medium through which one person could affect another. Tobacco was generally remade at dawn at the bank of a stream or at a spring. A conjurer would face the sun rising in the east, hold up the tobacco in his left hand and recite a formula while kneading the tobacco in a counterclockwise direction with four fingers of his right hand. The conjurer often blew his breath or rubbed his spittle on the tobacco. If the tobacco was to be used for an antisocial purpose, it was sometimes remade at dusk or at midnight, and it was rubbed in a clockwise direction. Remade tobacco could be used in four ways: it could be smoked near the person who was the target of the conjury, so that the smoke would actually touch him; it could be blown in the direction in which he was likely to be located; it could be smoked so that the smoke would pervade and affect everyone in a general area; and bits of tobacco leaf could be left where the person to be affected would come into contact with them." (Hudson, 353, 354:  81. .
     "We do know that the Inds of the upper Great Lakes smoked twenty-seven different native plant substances, including shining willow bark (Salix lucida Muhl.), red willow bark (Cornus amonmum Mill.), smooth sumac leaves (Rhus glabra L.), stagnorn sumac leaves (Rhus typhina L.), fragrant goldenrod flowers (Solidago graminifolia [L.] Salisb.).

    In various archeological excavations were found: "...small side notched and triangular projective points, flake scrapers and gravers, stone discs, conical celts,... small cylindrical hammerstones, bone awls, cut deer mandibles, and abraded pigment stones" (Dickens, 12)
    "Other artifacts include small triangular projectile points, flake scrapers and drills, rectanguloid celts, stone and potsherd discs, stone and clay elbow pipes, bone awls, and antler flakers" (Dickens, 14)
    Antler: "While bone was mostly used to make perforating tools, the antlers of deer and elk provided a tough material for stouter tools and equipment. Among these were heavy tools for defleshing hides, handles for flint tools, and flakers for flint working. Occasionally, weapon points were made from sharpened and socketted antler tips." (Lewis & Kneberg, 29,30)
    Axes: "Axe blades, grooves where the handle was attached, were less numerous, but were made in a great range of sizes, from a few inches up to a foot in length. All of these blades were made by the pecking and grinding method, but only the bit was well ground". (Lewis & Kneberg, 46)
    Drills: Stones "were drilled by a tedious method -- a primitive version of core drilling, using a section of hollow reed and wet sand. The rapid rotation of the reed between the palms of the hands and the cutting action of the sand eventually perforated the hardest types of stone. This critical drilling operation demanded great skill because it was usually done after the object had been shaped." (Lewis & Kneberg, 26)
    Gravers: "Small tools were merely small flakes with one or more finely chipped, delicate points. These are called gravers and may have been used for engraving. They may also have been utilized for punching small holes in skins that were to be laced together to make clothing and other equipment". (Lewis & Kneberg, 10)
    Scrapers: "Scrapers were made from blades by chipping a steep cutting edge along the side or at the end. A common scraper type is trapezoidal in shape with the broadest edge forming the bit. Occasionally the corners of the bit end in sharp spurs. Since the scrapers were presumably used in preparing hides, these spurs may have served to slit the hides into usable sections. The scrapers probably also were employed in working wood, bone and antler. The spurs in such instances may have been used for engraving decorations." (Lewis & Kneberg, 9,10)

      Cherokee towns rarely exceeded 500 to 600 people, and most were considerably smaller. There was good reason for this: the townhouse, which was the center of their life, could not hold more than that, and the surrounding areas had few flat stretches of land suitable for planting crops to support them. So, when they reached a certain size, they split off and formed another town in another place.
    In a town of 500 people, for example, there might be 300 females and 200 males. Of these 200 males, perhaps 100 would be of warrior age and status, the other males being either too young or too old. Thus it can be seen that one town depended on their surrounding towns for aid and support in war (if threatened), or for other things. It was this co-dependency, and the interaction of their lives, in the very early days, not a centralized government, that made it a nation.
     "Pisgah" (early history, before white contact) "villages ranged in size from only a few houses to perhaps as many as 50 houses and were distributed in varying densities along major streams and in the tributory valleys, on or adjacent to fertile bottomland soils. Presumably, portions of the bottomlands adjacent to each village were constructed on a square or slightly rectangular plan with rounded corners. The walls of these houses were formed of closely spaced upright posts and covered with bark or woven-cane mats. The roofs were peaked at the center, where there was a smoke hole, and probably were covered with bark shingles or straw thatch. The floor of a house was slightly lower than the surrounding ground, and there was a raised clay hearth at the center. The interior of a house might be divided into several small rooms, and the entrance was usually a vestibule that extended a short distance out from one of the walls. Storage pits, refilled borrow pits, and refilled burials were located on the house floor or just outside the house.
     "In a village, houses were arranged in a roughly circular or oval pattern facing a central plaza. Adjacent to some of the houses were smaller structures, used for sweat baths, winter sleeping quarters, or storage bins. Probably there were also skinning racks, fences, small garden plots, and additional hearths or pottery kilns interspersed between the houses. The village was surrounded by a sturdy log palisade which had an overlap on one side for an entrance. At some villages, perhaps the larger and more important ones, the palisades were equipped with bastions.
     "Certain large villages contained ceremonial facilities. which might consist... of semisubterranean earth lodges, large open-air structures, or houses raised on earthen platforms. Such buildings probably were reserved for political and religious functions..." (Cherokee Prehistory, 94)
     "Their principal towns were scattered along the upper reaches of the Savannah, the Hiwassee, and Tuckasegee rivers, and along the whole course of the Little Tennessee to its mouth. On the latter some miles before it joins the main Tennessee River, they located Echota, the beloved peace town which was usually considered the capital of the nation". (Mooney, 14 and 21).
    "Each village contained members of the same seven clans as did the others and this allowed a feeling of blood relationship and solidarity to extend beyond the mere bounds of a single settlement" (Gilbert, 359)
    "The towns were at considerable distance from each other because level tracts of as much as 450 acres were rare and the rugged topography furnished few suitable sites for extensive settlements. Where settlements did occur, it was necessarily on the banks of some stream. The rivers were used in every important religious rite as well as in fishing, fowling, and the stalking of deer". (Gilbert, 316)
   "At the Coweeta Creek site... a small village was tightly clustered around a civic precinct that consisted of a plaza with a mound and its superstructure at one end and a secondary ceremonial structure at the opposite end" (Dickens, 14) This being from an excavation site, it gives us a glimpse into what a Cherokee village was many hundreds of years ago.
    "The size of Cherokee towns varied, but during the eighteenth century, they consisted of at least three elements --residential dwellings, ceremonial centers, and agricultural fields, both common and familial. Towns lay in bottomlands following the contours of the land. Where river valleys narrowed, villages extended across both sides of the waterways and clustered at the bases of hills. As little as two or three miles separated most villages, enough distance to disperse settlers and fields, and enough proximity to facilitate communication, exchange, and mutual aid." (Hill, 69)
      Towns consisted of many houses, with their hot-houses adjacent, and their storehouse (raised on stilts) adjacent, plus the "townhouse", sometimes gardens for vegetables and perhaps some early corn, and the public square before the townhouse.
    Note: some books refer to 'white' towns and 'red' towns. This is in error. Towns were "red" in times of war, and "white" in times of peace. There was no such things as "peace" towns and "war" towns.
    "A few notes on Cherokee towns appear in Bartram's Travels: "The Cherokee town of Sinica is a very respectable settlement, situated on the East bank of the Keowe river, though the greatest number of ... habitations are on the opposite shore, where likewise stands the council-house, in a level plain betwixt the river and the range of beautiful lofty hills, which rise magnificently, and seem to bend over the green plains and the river; but the chief's house, with those of the traders, and some ... dwellings, are seated on the ascent of the heights on the opposite shore" (Bartram, 327-328)
    Later he writes: "After riding about four miles (on the way to Cowe), mostly through fields and plantations, the soil incredibly fertile, arrived at the town of Echoe, consisting of many good houses, well inhabited. I passed through and continued three miles farther to Nucasse, and three miles more brought me to Whatoga. Riding through this large town, the road carried me winding about through their little plantations of Corn, Beans, &c. up to the council-house, which was a very large dome or rotunda, situated on the top of an ancient mount, and here my road terminated. All before me and on every side, appeared little plantations of young Corn, Beans, &c. divided form each other by narrow strips or borders of grass, which marked the bounds of each one's property, their habitation standing in the midst." (Bartram, 348)
Upper or Overhill Cherokee Towns: "...settlements occupied the great ridge and mountainous zone of northern Cherokee country. Here in the eastern Tennessee Valley and Unaka Mountain regions, settlements spread to the fertile bottomlands and alluvial stream banks of the Little Tennessee River and its principal tributaries, the Cheowah, Nantehaleh, Tuckasegee, and Tellico. Large towns developed in these river valleys at Great Echota, Settico, Tellassee, Tanasi, and Tuskegee, whereas the major tributaries, such as Tellico River gave rise to Talikwa (Great Tellico) and Chatuga.
Valley Towns: "...were situated south of the Upper Settlements, primarily on the headwaters of the Hiwassee and its main tributary, the Valley River. This mountainous region included the Great Smokies, and the majority of the sites occurred near the rivers at the base of the lofty Nantahala Mountain chain and to the west of the majestic Balsams. Settlements along the Hiwassee probably constituted the westernmost site of occupance among the early Cherokees, whereas the northermost limit stretched no further than the banks of the Lower Little Tennessee River.
     Major Cherokee towns in the Valley region included Little Hiwassee, situated at or near the mouth of the Valley and Hiwassee rivers. Also of significance were Valleytown, Setsi, and Tomatley, on the Valley River, and Tusquittee, Nottely, and Dulastun'yhi on smaller affluents of the Hiwassee.
Middle Settlements: "East of the Nantahala Mountains, and comprising the 'heart' of the Cherokee country, were the Middle settlements. Associated with the Blue Ridge physiographic province, and sheltered by the surrounding Cowee, Balsam, Black, Pisgah, and adjacent mountain spurs, the Middle Towns enjoyed natural protection from competing tribes. Early settlements in this region grew quickly, and sent out colonizing parties who subsequently established permanent towns in the lower reaches of the territory. Some of the more populated of the traditional Middle Settlements included Cowee, situated on Cowee Creek (a tributary of the Little Tennessee River); Ellijay, Nequasse, and Echoy on the upper Little Tennessee River, and Kitu'hwa, Stecoe, Tuckaregee, and Tuckasegee on the Tuckasegee River.
Lower Towns: "The majority of Lower Settlements rested on the banks of upper Savannah River tributaries, such as the Chattooga, Tugaloo, and Keowee affluents. Dominant towns such as Estatoe and Tugaloo on the Tugaloo below the junction of Chattooga and Tallulah Rivers, and Keowee, on the river of the same name, stood on the first line of defense against marauding southern tribes and early colonists... Several other towns occurred in this region, including Sugartown, Canuga, and Ustanala on the Keowee River; and Ellijay, Tomassee, and  Cheowee on branches of the Keowee. "(Goodwin, 39,40)
   "In addition to being treated as a corporate entity, as the basic unit of government, the town was one of the two legal institutions to which Cherokees applied the doctrine of collective responsibility. The second was the clan. We shall see many instances of the doctrine of collective responsibility, especially when we examine the Cherokee homicide law and international law. Let one illustration suffice here. During the spring of 1751, a number of disturbances occurred in the nation. It had been a poor winter for hunting, and with many Cherokees heavily in their debt the British traders refused to extend further credit, thus leaving a large segment of the population with no means to obtain supplies. Dissatisfaction became widespread, and in several towns the people looted the stores of the traders. In Chota, for example, Old Hop took the local trader into his house and persuaded the thieves to return much of the stolen property. But in two towns, Ustanali and Stecoe, the goods disappeared. When the other towns disowned them, and they realized they were open to British retaliation,  the people of Ustanali and Stecoe gave way to panic. The Ustanalis were so alarmed they broke up their town and fled a hundred miles westward beyond several mountains, where they permanently settled." (quoted in Reid, Law, 32)
For a list of Cherokee Towns in 1755, see Index: Cherokee Settlements, 1755

      (Public meeting places; council houses):  "Earth-covered ceremonial buildings... definitely were used by the Cherokees until the late historic period.  William Bartram, on his visit to the Middle Town of Cowee in 1776, described a 'large rotunda capable of accommodating several hundred people; it stands at the top of an ancient artificial mound of earth... (and has) a thin superficies of earth over all"  (Bartram, 1791;297-29)
     "Henry Timberlake described the 'townhouse' at Chote in the Overhill towns as being 'raised with wood, and covered over with earth, and has all the appearance of a small mountain at a little distance'." (Timberlake, 1765;59)
    "The council house in which many ...ceremonies were held was a peculiar structure and is shown in the accompanying diagram. It was held up by seven posts set in a circle. There were seven slanting beams set on those posts and these beams met above the middle. Side ribs were covered with grass thatching and this grass was covered with dirt and then thatch again to carry off the water. The roof was of bark with an opening for the escape of the smoke from the council fire. In the center the sacred fire always burned. On the east side was a door with a portice. On the west side of the house was set the sacred ark... There was a shelf and rack on this side of the building for sacred things. There were several concentric rows of seats in the council house wherein the various officers were seated during the council. The seven sides of the council house were symbolic of the seven clans meeting in council." (Gilbert, 355-356)
    "Councils were held in large town houses capable of containing 500 people. These immense seven-sided structures had peaked roofs and were supported on concentric circles of wooden pillars. Rafters were laid across these posts to support the roof of earth and bark. Around the walls were sofas or benches covered with woven oak or ash splint mats and arranged in the form of an amphitheatre. In the center of the rotunda or open space in the center a fire was kept burning." (Gilbert, 317)
    "The Cherokee council house was a combination temple for religious rites and public hall for civil and military councils, hence it had both sacred and secular features, with the sacred predominating. The traditional council house was seven-sided and could seat as many as five hundred persons. The seven sides corresponded to the seven clans of the Cherokee, with the members of each clan being seated in its designated section.
    "The main framework of the council house was also based upon the sacred number seven. Seven large upright pillars, spaced equidistant, outlined the outer walls, and within were two more concentric series of seven posts and a single large central pillar. Three tiers of benches around the walls were elevated to form an amphitheatre. The entrance, which was on the east side of the building, faced the square ground, but was constructed as a winding corridor to prevent the interior from being seen from outside. Opposite the door at the west side of the building was the sacred area where all of the ceremonial costumes and paraphernalia were kept. This area was determined by the large pillar of the outer wall which was known as the sacred seventh pillar. In this area of the council house were seated all of the main officials, three of whom had special seats with high carved backs. These seats were whitened with a mixture of clay, white being symbolic of purity and sacredness. Near the central post, and in front of the officials' seats, was the altar where a perpetual fire burned.
During war councils, three additional seats for war leaders were installed in front of those for the three civil officials. These were similar to the others, but painted red to symbolize war." (Lewis & Kneberg, 159,160)
    "The town-house, in which are transacted all public business and diversions, is raised with wood, and covered over with earth, and has all the appearance of a small mountain at a little distance. It is built in the form of a sugar load, and large enough to contain 500 persons, but extremely dark, having, besides the door, which is so narrow that but one at a time can pass, and that after much winding and turning, but one small aperture to let the smoak out, which is so ill contrived, that most of it settles in the roof of the house. Within it has the appearance of an ancient amphitheatre, the seats being raised one above another, leaving an area in the middle, in the center of which stands the fire; the seats of the head warriors are nearest it." (Timberlake, 59)
    "A large, circular, ceremonial center stood in the middle of all but the smallest towns. Construction of town houses was a community enterprise that cleared the vegetation from settlement areas. The buildings, where religious, social, and secular transactions took place, were central to Cherokee life. Men congregated there to smoke and discuss war and politics or receive Europeans who came to negotiation issues of state and faith. Townspeople gathered there for sacred ceremonies and social dances.
    "Built on a cleared and level square of ground, often on the summit of an ancient mound, the huge, windowless rotunda was covered with earth and thatch, giving it "all the appearance of a small mountain at a distance". Enormous trees went into the construction of ceremonial centers, which had heavy, dense, conical roofs. Smoke curled continuously skyward toward the center hole, confirming for townspeople that the sacred fire still burned inside.
    "At Cowee Middle Town, builders sank into the ground a large circle of  "posts or trunks of trees about six feet high at equal distances", then set them another circle of "very large and strong pillars, about twelve feet high" and finally, within that circle, set yet a "third range of stronger and higher pillars". In the center they raised up the tallest, sturdiest post "which forms the pinnacle of the building." Rafters of forest woods lay between the posts "strengthened and bound by cross-beams and laths." Builders layered bark across the top "to exclude the rain", then covered the bark with dirt and thatch". 93 (Travels of Wm. Bartram, 297,298)
    "European visitors entering town houses for the first time were struck first with numbing darkness. Passing through the narrow entry door, Timberlake wound and turned through a mazelike passage until he reached at last a great, open arena with raised rows of cane benches along the wall. "It was so dark", he wrote of the Overhills Settico Town House "that nothing was perceptible till a fresh supply of canes were brought" for fire and light. As his eyes grew accustomed to the dim and smoky atmosphere, the surprised Englishman discovered around him "about five hundred faces".  (Timberlake)
    "Bartram found benches in the Cowee Town House covered with "mats or carpets, very curiously made of thin splits of Ash or Oak". In most town houses, however, the benches attached to the walls were covered with mats made of rivercane, like those at Chota. Clan members sat together on benches along each of the seven sides of the town house. Special seats were reserved for ..important guests, and all benches faced the center, where the hearth lay and the fire burned. (see Sturtevant: LouisPhillipe on Cherokee Architecture).....
    "Townhouses "are very hot" complained missionary William Richardson from Chota, (December 29, 1758) exasperated and frightened by nearly everything he found in the Overhills. "Their Town houses are built in the Form of a Sugar Loaf & will hold 4 or 500 peo.; they are supported by ten Pillars; at the Foot of most of them are seats for the great Men among them; on ye right hand, Hop, on the 3d the Prince of ye Former Year; on the 4th the Chief Beloved Man, of ye present Year, w'm they call Prince; on the 5th the Head Warrior (Oconostata), &c., in this order I'm informed. The two seats behind y'm where the rest sit made of Canes & where some sleep all Night; they are very hot & here they sit & talk & smoke & dance sometimes all Night." (Richardson, 133)
    "Townhouses included storage areas, either inside or beyond the rotunda, where "their consecrated vessels" were stored (Adairs History). When women brought "some of each sort" of the newly ripened "fruits of the season" for Green Corn Feasts, they deposited them in the ceremonial storehouse. Harvest baskets thus joined the ranks of "consecrated vessels". Similarly, for Ah-tawh-hung-nah, the sacred rivercane basket with medicinal woods was "stored in the treasure house" adjacent to the town house. (Payne) This special place also held important secular materials. William Fyffe explained that "the wampum or other presents" that accompanied treaties were deposited "in their Court House" underscoring the collective ownership of documents recording "the History of their Treaties."  (Fyffe, letters to brother John).
    "Weapons were generally prohibited in town houses, for the centers were places of communication rather than conflict, arenas in which society joined physically and psychologically for negotiation, decision making, performance, recreation, and ritual. Weapons were reminders of unsettling times and unsettled scores and symbols of imbalance and disharmony. The great rotunda was the heart of each town just as the household was the heart of each family. Cherokees sought harmony and balance in their personal and communal hearts. When they returned from captivity, women and men were "kept four day's and Nights in the Town House"  (Chicken) Thus returned to the core of the settlement, they once again became fully Cherokee.
    "In addition to the substantial number of trees cut for residential and ceremonial structures, Cherokees often surrounded their towns and town houses with palisades made from hundreds of saplings. In 1673,  English trader and explorer James Needham arrived in an Overhill town that was defended by "trees of two foot over, pitched on end,  twelve foot high" and topped by "scaffolds placed with parrapits. Fifty years later, ...agent George Chicken encouraged the Lower Town people of Tugalu and Keowee to repair their aging palisades. In Chagey, he found that "round their town house is built a very Substantial Fort" and a "slight fortification" surrounded the town as well. Perhaps the most imposing palisades outlined Old Estatoe Middle Town, which was "very well fortifyed all round with Punchins". The town house was also "enforted", and a dry moat beyond the palisades was "stuck full of light wood Spikes". At Great Tellico and Chatuga Overhill Towns, the ceremonial centers were "both enforted". (Chicken: Journal of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1725).

      "Echota, the ancient Cherokee capital near the mouth of Little Tennessee, was the Cherokee town of refuge, commonly designated as the 'white town' or 'peace town'. According to Adair, the Cherokee in his time, although extremely degenerate in other things, still observed the law so strictly in this regard that even a willful murderer who might succeed in making his escape to that town was safe so long as he remained there, although, unless the matter was compounded in the meantime, the friends of the slain person would seldom allow him to reach home alive after leaving it. He tells how a trader who had killed an Ind. to protect his own property took refuge in Echota, and after having been there for some months prepared to return to his trading store, which was but a short distance away, but was assured by the chiefs that he would be killed if he ventured outside the town. He was accordingly obliged to stay a longer time until the tears of the bereaved relatives had been wiped away with presents. In another place the same author tells how a Cherokee, having killed a trader, was pursued and attempted to take refuge in the town, but was driven off into the river as soon as he came in sight by the inhabitants, who feared either to have their town polluted by the shedding of blood or to provoke the English by giving him sanctuary (Adair, Amer. Inds. p. 158, 1775). In 1768 Oconostota, speaking on behalf of the Cherokee delegates who had come to Johnson Hall to make peace with the Iroquois, said: 'We come from Chotte, where the wise (white?) house, the house of peace is erected' (treaty record, 1768, NY Colonial Documents, viii, p.42,1857). In 1786 the friendly Cherokee made 'Chote' the watchword by which the Americans might be able to distinguish them from the hostile Creeks (Ramsey, Tennessee, p.343). From conversation with old Cherokee it seems probably that in cases where no satisfaction was made by the relatives of the man-slayer he continued to reside close within the limits of the town until the next recurrence of the annual Green-corn Dance, when a general amnesty was proclaimed." (Mooney, Myths, 207)
         Some of the older towns were considered "white", "peace", "sacred" towns of refuge. "It was said that no human blood was ever shed in white towns, and that they were places of sanctuary for people whose lives were in danger." ... "People who eloped before the mourning period was over, adulterers, and people accused of other crimes should presumably find sanctuary in these towns until a busk had been performed. The towns were also places where a manslayer could find temporary sanctuary while he and his clan desperately sought ways to secure forgiveness from the clan of the man he had killed. If the people of the sanctuary town allowed him to enter, and sometimes they did not, he found time to bargain for his life and to seek intermediaries to try to persuade the aggrieved clan to forgive him or to accept compensation" (Hudson, 238,9)
   "It seems likely that the Cherokees had but one city of refuge, Echota, the 'beloved town' of the nation and the principal village of the Overhills. James Adair... states flatly that Chota was 'their only town of refuge', and most reliable evidence tends to agree.
    "James Adair, our one contemporary authority, implies that a manslayer could never leave Chota in safety unless he paid commutation to wipe away the tears of the victim's relatives.
    "We cannot even be certain who could claim sanctuary in the city of refuge. Again, later tradition is in conflict with contemporary evidence, for in the nineteenth century it was believed that only a manslayer who had killed accidentally was safe -- but James Adair insists that Chota protected even 'a willful murtherer". ...Indeed, we may wonder whether Chota offered much safety even for the Cherokee manslayer. While he probably could not be drive out, once he reached the town limits, the people of Chota were known to raise a guard and prevent a manslayer from entering their town. And even though eighteenth century white men believed that a prisoner of war could be executed only if he was taken to another town...
    "We must not forget that if a manslayer did reach Chota, he became safe from the avenger of blood -- but his clan kin did not. Unless a settlement was quickly arranged, a manslayer could not remain in Chota without sacrificing a relative, perhaps his brother, to pay the blood price for which he was responsible. Thus, we are told, the manslayer would leave Chota and take the penalty himself. This supposition is, in fact, one of the best arguments we have for believing that the Cherokees did indeed have a law of compensation. For if the avenger of blood was able to persuade the average manslayer to surrender by threatening his clan kin, what would have been the purpose of the city of refuge but to offer a short period when passions might cool, and a settlement be negotiated?
    "The answer to this question may well expose the true legal function of the city of refuge: not so much as a place of sanctuary as a place of respite -- a place where a manslayer could bargain for his life, and an avenger of blood might be led to consider the elements of the homicide, to balance accident against malice and vengeance against compensation". (Reid, Law, 110,111,112)

      "White traders began to infiltrate into the country (as early as 1700) and to bring in white agricultural complexes as well as trinkets, whiskey, and guns. These traders took native wives and settled down in the country. Their mixed descendants soon became the ruling class in Cherokee society and exerted an enormous influence in the changing of the native culture through political leadership. These mixed families engaged in stock raising and the typical pioneer industries of the white colonial English settlers (Mooney, 1900, pp. 213-214) quoted in (Gilbert, 360)
    In the early days of Cherokee-White contact, it was only a few white traders from Carolina who came to live in the Cherokee country, establish a trading post, and learn the Cherokee language. Speaking of the "Carolina traders", Reid wrote: "He depended upon the Inds. around him for all needs not supplied by the goods he brought -- everything, from food to women.
    "As Cherokee women owned the planting fields and the crops they grew, traders depended on them for more than sex. It was they who bartered food, chickens, wild fruits, and swine for pieces of ribbon" (Reid, Hatchet, 141)
     "The Ind. trade in South Carolina began through private initiative, and by an act of the Assembly it passed in 1707 under the regulation of a Board of Commissioners. Every trader was required to have a license, for which he paid 8 (pounds) annually, and to give bond of 100 (pounds) to observe certain regulations; among them, not to seize any free Ind. and sell him as a slave, not to obtain furs or other goods by threats or abuse, not to supply ammunition to enemy Inds and under no conditions to sell or give rum to the savages. The act provided also for the appointment of a superintendent who was required to live among the Inds. in order to see that they were justly treated and that the provisions of the act were complied with. Nine years later, in 1716, the fur trade was taken over by the province as a government monopoly. A factory was established at Savannah Town or Fort Moore and two years later another at the Congarees." (Rothrock, 6)
     "All transactions in the Ind. trade were based on credit. The London merchant credited the Charles Town merchant, who in turn credited the trader for his season's stock of goods. When the trader sold to the Ind. it was with the understanding that he was to be paid with the skins and furs to be obtained in the coming winter's hunt. Though the amount of credit which the trader might extend was limited by law, there seemed no effective means of enforcing the regulation. These skins and furs went successively to Charles Town and London to settle the debts of trader and merchant. Anything then which interfered with the success of the winter's hunt, such as scarcity of ammunition or warfare with other Ind. tribes, hurt both the business fabric of the colony and the well-being and serenity of the Ind. nations." (Rothrock, 9,10)
     "Winter was the hunting season. Throughout these months the Inds. would go out for weeks at a time, making their hunting lodges in the woods, there to kill their game and dress the skins. By late spring or early summer, when all the hunting parties had returned to their villages and had applied their skins to the payment of their debts with the trader, the latter tied the peltry in bundles, averaging 150 pounds weight, loaded his horses and started off for the factory. Usually the traders from several different villages went down at the same time in one long train. Then in the late summer or early fall they were ready for the return to the Ind. country, with a varied assortment of goods...."
     "...These goods consisted of guns, powder, bullets, flints, knives, tomahawks, hatchets, hoes; clothing of all sorts, especially blankets, which Ind. etiquette required for all dress occasions, even in the warmest weather, match-coats, ruffled shirts, laced hats, petticoats, stockings -- red and blue preferred -- ribbons; bracelets; anklets, beads, hawks-bells, scissors, and awls. In the early days of the trade, there was such a great demand for salt, gunpowder, tea-kettles and looking glasses that no price was set but each trader was allowed to get whatever he could for them. The looking-glasses were for the men, for a warrior's costume was not complete without his mirror slung by a rawhide string over his shoulder" (Rothrock, 13)
    "Rates of exchange varied from time to time. A schedule of values was agreed upon in 1717 between James Moore, second, for the Board of Ind. Commissioners and Charite Hayge, chief of the Lower Towns, as follows: a gun was to be equal in value to thirty-five skins; one yard of strouds cloth to eight skins; a white duffil blanket to sixteen skins; a hatchet to three; a narrow hoe to three; a broad hoe to five; thirty bullets to one; a pair of scissors to one; a knife and string of beads to one each; twelve flints to one; a laced broadcloth coat to thirty; an axe to five; a pistol to twenty; a sword to ten; a shirt to five; a piece of steel to one; a calico petticoat to fourteen and a red girdle to two." (Rothrock, 14)

     "At the time of the earlier white contacts with the Cherokees there were some seven main groups of trails or means of access to this area. These were as follows:
1. A group of trails running north to the Kanawha and Big Sandy Rivers.
2. A group of trails running north through the great valley of Pennsylvania.
3. Trails running northeast and east to the tidewater in Virginia and North Carolina.
4. Trails running down the Savannah to tidewater in South Carolina.
5. Trains leading south and east to the Chattahoochee and Coosa valleys of Georgia.
6. Trails westward along the Tennessee River and others through Tennessee.
7. Trails running northward through Kentucky to the Ohio.
    "Through trail group 1 the Cherokees had contact with the Mingoes, Iroquois, and Shawnees; through group 2 they contacted with Senecas, Mohawks, and Delawares; group 3 connected them with the nearly related Tuscaroras, the Catawbas, and the Eastern Siouans; group 4 with the Uchees, Cheraws, and others; group 5 with the Creeks; group 6 with the Chickasaws, Shawnee, Choctaws, and Natchez; and group 7 with the Shawnees. It was through trail groups 2, 3 and 4 that the westward rolling stream of white population first connected up with the Cherokees, but it was not until the whites had crossed the mountains and attacked the Cherokees in the rear through trail groups 6 and 7 that the latter were finally subdued." (Gilbert, 181)
    "The Southeastern Inds. could satisfy almost all of their material wants without traveling far from home. But they did travel for three purposes: to hunt, to wage war, and to trade." (Hudson, 313)

       Lawson records the trees of the Carolina area: Chestnut-Oak; Scaly Oak; Red Oak; Spanish Oak; Black Oak; White Iron; Turkey Oak; Live Oak; Willow Oak; Fresh-water Oak; Ash; Elm; Tulip-Tree; Beech; Buck Beech; Horn-Beam; Sassafras; Dogwood; Laurel; Evergreen; Indico; Bay Tulip-Tree; Black Gum; Sweet Gum; White Gum; Red Cedar; White Cedar; Cypress; Locust, white & yellow; Honey-Tree Locust; Sour Wood (Sorrel); Pine; Hiccory; Red Hiccory; Walnut; Maple; Chinkapin; Birch; Willow' Sycamore; Aspin; Holly; Red-Bud; Pelltory; Arrow-Wood; Chesnut; Persimmons; Mulberry; Hazlenut; Cherry (Black); Piemento (All-Spice-Tree); Papau; Plum, red; Damson;  Peach; Apricot; Cherry; and Filbert. (Lawson, 98-118)
    Also mentioned are: Almond pine; Boxwood; Yaupon; Dwarf Bay Tree;
    "In the early 1700's, Southern Appalachian trees formed a forest so varied and beautiful that English surveyor William DeBrahm called it 'the American Canaan'." (Hill, 7)
    "Women found multiple uses for red mulberry. In addition to relying on the fruit for food, they wove the bark into floor and wall coverings. In 1715, a group of women made "a large carpet' of mulberry bark for Queen Anne and "twelve small ones for her Counsellours". Such 'very handsome' carpets, wrote Adair, were painted with 'images of those birds and beasts they are acquainted with' or depictions "of themselves, acting in their social, and marital stations". Women also made the inner bark of  mulberry into clothing. They wore soft 'petticoats' of mulberry bark woven 'like basket work'. " (Hill, 9)
    "Along forest margins (and in coves of lower elevations) black walnut trees appear with yellow poplar, hickory, black locust, various oaks, eastern hemlock, basswood, and sweet birch" At higher elevations, black walnut grades into white walnut, or buttternut... (Hill, 9)
    "In a few areas, old growth forests retained immense stands of poplar, sycamore, tupelo, locust, birch, magnolia, hickory, silverbell, sourwood, and sugar maple.... Deep shadows on forest floors encourage 375 native mosses, 250 kinds of lichens, and 60 species of ferns......
    "At elevations above 4,000 feet, close-growing conifers predominate, including red spruce and Frazer fir... High elevations also include a few northern hardwoods such as yellow birch, beech, red oak, black cherry, and two types of maple, striped and sugar.
    "For palisades, summer and winter residences, corn cribs, townhouses, moats, and other structures, Cherokees cut an immense number of trees and saplings, cane stalks and grass thatch, adding bark from trees, soil and clay from the ground, and even shells from the waterways. Town construction transformed the environment and created new landscapes with terraces, fields, and clearings that crisscrossed waterways like patchwork. With each new settlement, nearby woodland resources dwindled.
    "In 1760, Rich Dudgeon reported to his British superiors that soldiers garrisoned on the Keowee River were 'often distressed for Fewell, which is nearly a mile from them'. And across the river, women in the old and populous Lower Town of Keowee walked farther and farther to cut wood for daily fires. That same year, Timberlake saw the elderly mother of Chief Ostenaco regular 'carry 200 weight of wood on her back near a couple of miles' to her Overhills home." (Hill, 73,74)
       Goodwin reports: " the Unaka-Blue Ridge-Traverse Mountain systems. Variations in type and density of stand occur according to altitude, but the chestnut, chestnut oak, and red oak cover most of the mountains, mountain slopes, and rolling uplands up to an elevation of about 4,500 feet. On the lower slopes of the Blue Ridge and adjacent spurs, the oak-chestnut climax may be mixed with pine and hickory, although oak usually predominates....
    "In the coves of the highlands, eg. Balsam Mountains, are abundant stands of poplar, hemlock, basswood, ash, and buckeye, while on the ridges among the chestnut stands can be found short-leaf pines, black gum, and blackjack oaks...
    The early chesnut trees have disappeared now due to disease;  now "secondary forest species such as the northern red oak and chesnut oak have replaced the virgin chestnut dominant.
    "Some portions of the Southern Appalachian Mountains: Black Mountains, Grandfather Mountain, and the Nantahala Mountains, are also covered with mixed hardwoods including buckeye, birch, maple, beech, and black cherry." (Goodwin, 16,17,18)
    "The Georgia and Alabama Piedmont, which is oriented toward the Gulf slope, resembles the Atlantic counterpart with a heavy concentration of oak and oak-pine woods. Some notable differences do occur, especially at elevations up to 2,000 feet where longleaf pine extends to the tops of the ridges and foothills. In the Cheaha Mountain region, above the Coosa Valley, longleaf pine is particularly abundant until it reaches the upper zones where it is replaced, rather abruptly, by mountain oak, chestnut, and pignut hickory. These pine and oak forests of the Piedmont were of special value to the Cherokee and dominated a large part of their habitat.
    "In the Appalachian Valley the oak community (especially white oak) dominates the vegetation cover. Along the southern portion of the Valley, below Knoxville and across northeast Alabama and northwest Georgia, the white oak and accompanying stands of red, black, and scarlet oak eventually merge into the longleaf pines along the Coosa Valley. The ridges and hills of the Santee Valley show a preponderance of loblolly forests, while shrubby undergrowth throughout the Valley includes species of Rubus, Vitis, Cornus, and the herbs, such as Geranium maculatum, Smilacina racemosa, and Aster spp." (Goodwin, 18,19)
    " the lower parts of the (Cumberland Mountains) between 1,500 and 3,500 feet, beech abounds, while basswood, buckeye, and sugar maple dominate the middle zones, and birch thrives at the crescent, e.g., in the Black Mountains of Kentucky. White oak, hemlock, red maple, and pines are all found in the north Cumberland chain.
    "In the southern part of the plateau, extending from north Tennessee to Alabama, the topography generally appears as a rolling upland, and elevations are less extreme than in the north. Association of oak-pine, mixed with oak-hickory, plus varieties of herbaceous plants such as spicebush, witch-hazel, pawpaw, wild hydrangea, and dogwood, are found in this region. Further south, near Lookout Mountain, white oak, chestnut, and highland gum are dominant, while a large portion of the dissected plateau fits into the oak-hickory forest type. Tuliptree is also a part of the mixed mesophytic complex." (Goodwin 19,20)
    A final natural vegetation zone includes the Interior Low Plateau, lying immediately west of the Cumberland encarpment. The northern section of this region, the Bluegrass of Kentucky, is essentially an extended basin with no areas of natural vegetation remaining. The original cover, prior to colonial settlement, was most likely an oak-hickory forest, dominated by several species of oak with a mixture of black locust, honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos), and mulberry.
    "Compared to the Bluegrass section, the Nashville Basin, or lower Western Mesophytic Forest, resembles the upper zone except for the preponderance of cedar glades. Here, dense stands of red cedar, often intermingled with other deciduous trees of the areas, e.g., oaks and hickories, dominate the landscape. On the slopes of the basin are sugar maples and tuliptrees while the surrounding Highland Rim is associated with the Mixed Mesophytic Forests." (Goodwin, 20)
     "Cedar (thuja) was considered the most sacred of all trees, possibly due to its balsamic fragrance, and the beautiful color of its fine-grained wood, unwarping and practically undecaying... Sourwood also contained special properties and was never burned. (Mooney, 1900: 421,2)

     "...a second reason why the Cherokees could avoid agression among themselves was their war machine. They may not have been distinguished warriors, but they were always at war, and the aggressive Cherokee male had many outlets for his energy and frustrations. He did not have to quarrel with fellow Cherokees; he could quarrel with Creeks, Choctaws, Shawnees, and Catawbas. For him war was a person affair, not a national duty or a clan obligation. Like the domestic blood feud, wars were often waged for retaliation, yet clans did not wage them. If any unit of society did, it would most likely be the town of the victim, with all seven clans participating. This rule, however, was not absolute, for war parties were generally private groups which gathered around a leader and followed him as long as he could maintain interest. The Cherokee warrior was an individualist, who fought when he pleased and seldom went to war except for pleasure. If the enemy pressed too hard and panic seized him, he would retreat into the woods to await a safer day. If he set off on a raid and became tired on the first night out, dreamed a bad dream, or decided that the trip was too much bother, he did not fret. He abandoned the expedition and went home. No one could keep him on the path against his free will, and public opinion praised caution without seeking explanations." (Reid, Hatchet, 9)
    "...peace for the Cherokees meant something different than it did for contemporary Europeans. It was less a reality than a state of mind, or being free not from the danger of a raid -- the Cherokees were never free of danger -- but of fear that a raid was imminent. A Cherokee was at peace with the Creeks not because his nation had negotiated an agreement with them, but because he was not looking over his shoulder for Creek warriors. Hence peace was an unstable phenomenon, yet the Cherokees could not afford to make it a legal absolute. Their problem was not merely that they had no coercive law with which to enforce peace; their problem was that without a coercive law they needed an outlet for the energies of their young men. The Cherokees called war their "beloved occupation" and whether they knew it or not, war was an essential prop holding up their legal system". (Reid, Hatchet, 10)
     The major village war officials were four beloved men with esoteric ritual knowledge necessary for war; war chief, war priest, speaker for war, and surgeon. They were elected by the warriors. There was a seven-man council for war, one prominent warrior from each clan.
    "...war can be said to have been a ritualized recurrent event of immense importance in Cherokee society. There were three main phases, the preparation, the actual campaign, and the return. The first phase consisted in actual practical preparations of equipment and provisions as well as the divinations and magical rites of the priests. The second phase consisted of a series of stratagems and devices whereby the warriors, under the guidance of the priests and their magic, endeavored to outwit the enemy. The third phase consisted mainly in the ritual purification of the warriors for their return to the ranks of the civilians." (Gilbert, 356)
    "Warfare was a major event in the life of the Cherokee... On the warpath the brave painted himself with black and red paint and the priest hoisted the red flag. At the end of a war the white flag of peace was hoisted, the bloody hatchet buried, and the peace pipe smoked. The calumet ceremony involved the smoking of tobacco in red and black stone pipes cut out of stone.. and then fired. The stems of these pipes were 3 feet long and adorned with quills, dyed feathers, and deer's hair." (Gilbert, 317)
    "The Inds. ground their Wars on Enmity, not on Interest, as the Europeans generally do: for the Loss of the meanest Person in the Nation, they will go to War and lay all at Stake, and prosecute their Design to the utmost; till the Nation they were injur'd by, be wholly destroy'd, or make them that Satisfaction which they demand. They are very politick, in waging, and carrying on their War, first by advising with all the ancient Men of Conduct and Reason, that belong to their Nation; such as superannuated War-Captains, and those that have been Counsellors for many Years, and whose Advice has commonly succeeded very well. They have likewise their Field Counsellors, who are accustomed to Ambuscades, and Surprizes, which Methods are commonly used by the Savages; for I scarce ever heard of a Field-Battle fought amongst them." (Lawson, 208)
     It is said that Native Americans spoke to their enemies only with the tomahawk and the murderous ax. "This means that once war is declared, you speak to the enemy only by beating him on the head. There is no communication with him, either direct or indirect, for any reason whatsoever. Anyone who disregards this is considered a traitor and is treated accordingly." (Bossu, Travels, 135)
War Officials: "The retiring chief, they said, directed the inauguration and instructed the young men to obey the new chief and never go to war without his permission. The new war chief made an acceptance speech:
     "You have now put me in blood to my knees... You have made me a ska-yi-gu-stu-e-go and I shall endeavour to take care of my young warriors, and never expose them in war unnecessarily"
     Then the civil priests and the war priests filed past the new war chief and called him "mother's brother". The mother's brother was the disciplinarian of the Cherokee family.
     "The principal officials in the Red, or War, organization of the Cherokees were the following (these officials in the capital town were duplicated in the lesser towns):
1. Great Red War Captain (Skayagustu egwe), or "High Priest of the War", who was sometimes called "The Raven", as he scouted forward when the army was on the march and wore a raven skin around his neck.
2.  Great War Captain's Second, or right-hand man.
3. Seven war Counselors to order the war.
4. Pretty Women (or War Women) or honorable matrons to judge the fate of the captives and the conduct of war.
5. Chief War Speaker, or "Skatiloski".
6. A Flag Warrior, or "Katate kanehi" to carry the banner.
7. A Chief Surgeon, or "Kunikoti" with three assistants.
8. Messengers.
9. Three War Scouts or titled men:
     a. The Wolf wore a wolfskin around his neck and scouted to the right on the army when they were on the march.
     b. The Owl wore an owl skin about his neck and scouted to the left on the army.
     c. The Fox wore a foxskin about his neck and scouted in the rear of the army.
10. Sometimes Special War Priest was appointed to take over the divinatory and other religious functions of the Great War Captain.
11. There were a number of under officers such as drummers, cooks, certain special priests who had killed an enemy were called "osi tahihi" and alone superintended the building of the sweat houses.
     "The Great War Captain was generally elected to office. The warriors having nominated a candidate, his name was sent to the Uku and his white counselors for approval. If the approval of the letter was secured, the candidate was duly notified to assume his new office. He was consecrated at the first Green Corn Feast after his nomination except in cases of emergency in which event he was consecrated after 21 days. The predecessor in office directed the ceremonies. Persons were appointed to prepare his seat, which was a stool with a back 4 inches high and painted red. Others were appointed to wash the candidate and to dress him in his official red robes. Superannuated warriors of high rank were appointed to conduct him to his seat. One walked before the candidate carrying the red war club, one at his right hand carrying a handful of red paint, one at his left hand carrying an eagle feather painted red, while still another walked behind him. The day and night previous and the day of his consecration, the candidate and his four counselors neither ate nor slept and could do neither until midnight of the following night. The dress of the candidate and his four assistants were all red.
     "The candidate on reaching the council house took the central red seat directly before the white seat of the Uku facing east and when he was seated the attendant who had preceded the candidate stepped up and placed the red war club in his hand. Then the assistant who had walked on the left put the eagle feathers on his head. The quill of the feather had been previously inserted into a small cane 2 inches long painted red and this cane was fastened to the hair on the crown so as to cause the feather to stand out on the head. Then the paint carrier of the right hand stepped up and with the forefinger of the right hand made seven stripes alternately red and black across the candidate's face and one red stripe from the forehead down along the nose and chin to the breast, together with various other stripes.
     "The retiring captain now made a speech in which he commanded obedience to the new captain and warned the warriors never to go to war without his knowledge and directions. This was followed by a speech from the candidate in which he promised to be humane in war but proclaimed the necessity of defending the tribe from its enemies. All the assembly then filed by the new captain, took him by the hand, and called him "uncle". The new war chief and his retinue continued in their seats all of that day and night until the next noon. They also fasted until the afternoon, but the young warriors and other had repaired to seven houses in the town to eat previously. After the counselors had broken their fast, strangers and others could eat in the council house. The inauguration ended, and the new chief left the council house.
     "When the next war came, the young war chief called a council and the old war chief brought forward his bow, arrow, quiver, helmet, shield, and bracelet, all painted red, and delivered them to his successor. The old chief next took off his raven skin and put it about the back of his neck with red strings tied to the ends of the feathers. Eagle feathers painted red were the war chief's badge of distinction and there were as many red stripes on the eagle feathers as there were enemies he had slain. In war the great war chief was never to retreat but be carried back by force in case of reverses.
     "The seven red, or war, counselors were appointed at each war by the common consent of the warriors. These red counselors were distinguished by a small round object wrought of two small eagle feathers painted red and attached to the tuft of hair left on the crown of the head. They assisted in the preparations for war and were generally necessary for all acts of the war captain. The dress of the counselors and speaker were not as red as that of the war captain.
     "When a messenger died or became superannuated, the war captain nominated a successor. There was a rite of ordination wherein a staff 3 feet long was wound from end to end with a long strand of beads and given to the nominee, who took it and ran around the council house repeating a formal ritual. The messenger could always be distinguished by his staff.
     The 'war women' were certain old and honored matrons high in the councils of the clan who were delegated with the task of deciding on the fate of the captives in war.
    "Among several nations, notably the Cherokee, a fairly elaborate system was followed. The lowest masculine title was "bowman", "gunman", or "boy", conferred upon the young men upon admission into full tribal membership. These terms... are practically indistinguishable from "warrior", where the latter term is unmodified. Next was the degree known by the whites as "slave-catcher", conferred upon more experienced braves. It was the first step toward chiefship. The title Colona or "The Raven" was next in importance, being bestowed upon warriors noted for their vigilance and strategy. The usual rank of a seasoned war chief was Outacity or "ManKiller". This title was held during Lyttelton's War by Ostenaco of the Overhill settlements, but the highest military title was "Great Warrior" applied to Oconostota during the same conflict." (Milling, Red Carolinians", 29
                      WAR PROCEDURE
     "War was a form of blood revenge for relatives killed by some other nation. It was determined by the council to comfort those who were now mourning for their friends who had been killed by such and such a nation and whose blood had not been avenged. The general reason for offensive and voluntary wars was in the spring or fall. The Great War Chief and his right-hand man consulted together. The consultation was an expression of opinion to which the whole nation had to give consent. The chief voted for war and, if the others assented, he went out in the yard, rattled his gourd, and raised the war whoop, singing a loud song of mourning for himself and the warriors. Then other officers went through the same procedure. Messengers were dispatched to every war chief in all the towns of the nation. Certain warriors were asked by the right-hand man to select seven counselors to order the war.
     "In each town the war chief consulted with his fellows or the next in authority and, in the same manner as the Great War Chief did at first, took the gourd rattle and went through the yard raising the war whoop. Soon the whole nation was convened at the place of rendezvous or the house of the head warrior. The seven war counselors of the town then selected one of the sacred war paints to use for the present occasion, and also a red, or war, priest. The latter took charge of the sacred fire for the war and also of the war crystals used in divining the results of the war. In some cases the warriors of each of the towns chose to have a red, or war, priest from each of their respective towns.
     "The war chief appointed certain women to prepare provisions for the army. Provisions consisted of parched corn meal and corn bread, the latter made in long cakes about 6 inches wide and baked on the hearth covered with leaves and hot ashes. Each town provided provisions for its own men as a rule. The warriors carried their own provisions and were often heavily loaded when starting. They also furnished themselves with their own weapons and armor. The war club, in later times, the tomahawk, were carried in the belt. Weapons consisted of bow, arrow, quiver, war club, spear, sling, tomahawk, and knife. Armor consisted of wooden or leather shields, buffalo-hide breast pieces, and leather arm bracelets.
    "After assembling, a whole day and night were devoted to prayer, fasting, and vigils. None could eat or sleep, and no one must take anything whatever from the hand of another. A thing to pass from hand to another must be dropped to the ground and then picked up.
        "Every two towns formed a company, and under officers for the companies were selected by the seven war counselors. The under-officers consisted of musicians, doctors, cooks, and the like. The main officers were selected at this time and were the following:
    "Three officers marched in front of the army and possessed equal powers. They were said to be able to track the enemy as well by night as by day and to be able to fly and to handle coals of fire. They could not be shot with a ball, and if an enemy approached they could throw themselves down and disappear. They had been initiated into the sacred office by looking at the sun.
    First, the Great War Chief.
    Second, Katate kahehi, or "Flat Warrior", who was considered the equal in almost all respects with the first officer. The flag was raised on a pole painted red and consisted of a red cloth or a deerskin painted red.
    Third, Skatiloski, or "Great Speaker", who addressed the army on occasion.
    Following these came the fourth officer, who was the Kunikoti, or surgeon (Genikta, or "Doctor").

    "Each town war chief was called "skayagustu" and the chiefs headed the men of their own companies. All were marshalled under the command of the chief warriors mentioned above. In each company the seven counselors of the town war chief followed next a