General aspects

The Cherokees are a matrilineal society. The home, family, children, inheritance, family ties, and clan membership are under the absolute control of the women. The husband is just a convenience to supply meat and father the children. Other than this, he has no say in the matter, and that is the final answer. All children belong to the mother, and clan lineage is passed through the mother, the mother of the bride, the bride, and the bride¶s brother are all of the same clan. All children of this union will be members of the bride¶s clan. They are µadopting¶ the groom into the clan. If he is µrejected¶, the children will still be members of the bride¶s clan. In the Cherokee Marriage Ceremony, the groom brings an offering of meat to the bride¶s family, showing that he is a good hunter and promising to help support them. The bride brings offerings of food, showing that she can be a good home maker. Then they join together under the ceremonial blanket, showing mutual support in the building of a family. A woman got her name, and her Clan from her female elders. She keeps this name for life, even if she is baptized with an Anglo name or married. A boy is given a soft cuddly name by his mother, when he becomes a man, his father and uncles will give him a new name. When he is matured and ready to become a warrior, he goes on a vision quest. The medicine man then gives the man a new name, related to his vision quest, that he will use for life. The Scotsmen, English, Germans that married into the Cherokees, began the Anglo naming tradition for their children. The Cherokee ignored this tradition completely, as they were not concerned about cousins intermarrying, as they had their own traditions that a man could not marry a woman from his mother¶s clan. The young men all had to wait until the Festival of The Corn to find a bride. This is an annual event that brings participants from all over the Nation for several weeks. This gives the people an opportunity to visit married relatives, exchange stories, trade goods, participate in sports and dances, and to find prospective mates. After the couple was married, the man moved into his wife¶s village and became her hunter. His wife would weave him a Marriage Belt of river-read fibers, dyed red and black, woven in a pattern of her own choosing. This belt served much the same as a wedding ring in modern society. It not only marked him as µtaken´, but the design was the identification mark of his wife. If he committed unforgivable µerrors¶ he would find his clothing and belongings piled in the yard when he returned home. This form of µdivorce¶ was final. Cherokee men were able to keep several wives. The other wives were usually chosen by the first wife, as her husbands ability to hunt exceeded the needs of his family. The other wives were usually widowed sisters or other female clan members. Some powerful chiefs and very wealthy Cherokees violated this rule, to their own peril.

From about 10,000 to 500 years ago, the Native Americans did not have the Bow and Arrow. Instead, they used a Short Spear, about 3 to 4 feet long, made from river reed (similar to Bamboo or Cat Tail) trimmed with two feathers, and tipped with a small stone or bone point (Projectile Points). The spear was usually thrown with the aid of a Atlatl or throwing-stick, to increase the speed and range. This was the primary weapon for hunting and war, as the Bow was not invented (introduced) until about the arrival of the Spaniards in the 1500¶s. The Spanish troops learned that the short spear, thrown with an Atlatl, was the only weapon (except a cross bow) that could pierce their body armor. The average warrior could fire 5 spears to 1 Spanish musket shot. Many archaeologists agree that the Atlatl, or spear thrower, has been discovered in European deposits that date back to 30,000 BP. Since this same weapon system has been discovered in America, they glibly state that the weapon was introduced into America much later (about 8,000 - 10,000 years BP). The problem is that there was no way for people to continue to cross the land bridge to bring this new weapon to the people of

America, as the Land Bridge was underwater at that time. It is entirely possible that Sandia Man may have developed the Atlatl to give them more range and power for their spears in order to successfully hunt the mammoth. As the glaciers receded North, the hunters followed, all the way back to Asia, taking their better tools, weapons, and hunting techniques with them. Other similarities in weapons and tools include the shape of the spear points, and the mounting technique (pitch). This mounting technique for spear or arrow points was still in use in Europe until 5,000 years ago, but had long been replaced in America for the tip design that allowed tying the tip to the shaft with thin strips of raw skin. This is understandable, as there was not many natural deposits of pitch (tar pits) available to the inhabitants of America. Another problem for archaeologists is the type of stone ax used by many coastal Native Americans. The size, shape, material, and manufacturing techniques are virtually identical to the types found in Europe and described as Celtic. The Atlatl fell out of use in Asia and Europe when the Bow was developed several thousand years ago, probably in Greece or Egypt. The bow was not in use in America until about the time of the arrival of Columbus. When the invaders from Europe engaged the native in warfare, they were greeted by short spears, thrown with great accuracy and power from long distances. The white invaders thought for a while that the natives were using a powerful long-bow, but the Atlatl had greater range, more power and accuracy than the muskets of the whites. The average native warrior could throw five µarrows¶ for each musket shot. Projectile point designs varied widely as dictated by the material and their use. Small points with no flutes were used for small game, medium points with flutes were used for hunting large game and for war, large points were used on large spears for large game (bears) and for war. There does not appear to be one particular type of point design that was used exclusively by the Cherokee. Virtually every type of stone point used in the US has been found somewhere in Cherokee Territory. They were quite the µtechno¶ types of their time and would adopt a new design from another tribe, or create a design of their own for a special purpose. The art of projectile point making (flint napping) almost became a lost art when the Europeans began trading small bits of iron. The Cherokee were probably one of the first to make Iron Arrows.

The Atlatl shafts were usually made of Ash, Popular, or Hickory due to their spring-like qualities. The shafts were usually equipped with a stone counter-weight which increased the power delivered to the throw. Traditionally, Cherokees make their Bows from Hickory as it was readily available and has excellent spring qualities. The bowstrings were made from braided bear hairs. After a bow was made and tested, the grip was covered with leather, and a small feather was tied to the bow to act as a wind-sock. More decorative bows were generally gifts to the chief and used for ceremonial purposes.

Cherokee Canoes were made from large hollowed-out tree trunks. They had a flat square front with a gentle taper for beaching and a flat bottom. They were wide enough for two men to sit side by side, and long enough to hold raiding party of about 20 men. Depending on the depth of the river, they used poles or paddles for propulsion. Most rivers in the Cherokee Nation were quite shallow, so poles were used when carrying freight, and paddles were used for speed when moving war parties.

Cherokee carved bone, stone and wood into objects of art. They had a lively trade with the Seminoles and other coastal tribes for sea shells, particularly Conch shells and Clam shells. They carved beautiful breast-plates (gorgets) from the wall of the Conch and Clam shells. Earrings made of Sand Dollars and Scallop shells were common. Necklaces were made of carved bone and wooden beads. Some artists specialized in stone carvings of clan animal figurines used on Ceremonial Pipes and round stone balls used in a game called Marbles.

They were made from contrasting layers and deeply incised to show the contrasting colors.Cherokee women made beautiful Baskets from river reeds. Whiskey and other µstrong drink¶ were unknown until the Scotsmen arrived in the early 1700¶s. Some were rigid for food gathering and storage. or by dropping hot stones into the basket to make tea or soup. Bowls were made from river clay and baked in an open fire. . Corn was roasted in the husk. Some of the baskets were made water-tight and used directly on the fire for cooking. pounded or ground to a powder for bread and other dishes. Others were stamped with designs carved on µstamping boards¶ made of wood and bone. Other Recipes are listed below. some were flexible for use as warrior¶s packs.

The ceremony is typically held during the full moon when the first corn crop is ready to harvest. The ceremony lasts for several days. made of deer hair and hide. Then the first corn harvest is tasted followed by dancing. The holy man as a symbol of health. known as the Busk. A ball game is quite popular in which teams of boys and girls try to hit a target on a large pole. singing. of course. is tossed into the air by the medicine man. A thanksgiving for the crops and old grudges are forgiven. In earlier times. and female players use the bare hands. and Iroquois as well as other Native American tribes celebrate this ceremony on some manner. . and spiritual power tends a sacred fire. using ball sticks which are handmade from hickory. Yuchi. The game was oftentimes played to settle disputes. The exact date cannot be determined ahead of time. playing. only the men with the greatest athletic ability played the game. A small ball. it's all up to the corn. corn tortillas. Ball Games A-ne-jo-di (Stickball) The game resembles the modern European game of lacrosse. and two points are awarded when the ball strikes the pole.The Green Corn Festival or Ceremony is a Native American harvest celebration. corn soup. the original source of our lacrosse. and their homes. corn bread«. The game varies. the "Black Drink" that help cleanse and purify their bodies. and the conjurer for each team often became as important to the team as the players themselves. The male players use a pair of the sticks. life. and feasting. Cherokee. The first few days. Creek. Men and women then drink an herbal concoction. cleanse themselves. Many foods are included in the feast with an emphasis on corn: roast corn. Seven points are scored when the ball strikes a wooden fish on the top of a pole approximately 25 feet in height. It is a time of thanks and forgiveness. people fast. Seminole. from tribe to tribe.

there would be a dance before the ballgame.Saw nu'g or Cherokee Ball Player. Each woman represented one of the clans. Yuchi. The ballplayers were the participants of the dance. Today.. from his book "History. Di-ga-da-yo-s-di (Marbles) Cherokee Marbles is a game of skill. The marble game dates back to approximately 800 a. Also a skill is the art of making the marbles themselves. There are also intertribal teams made up of players from Cherokee. along with seven women dancers. the women would step on black beads which represented the players of the opposing team. Myths and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees" In earlier days. It is also a recreational sport at other times between community teams. picture by James Mooney. Muscogee (Creek). Natchez. . still played in the form of tournaments. and other area communities.d. stickball is an important part of the days activities at ceremonial Stomp Grounds. The conjurer had placed these black beads on a large flat rock. Throughout the dance. being necessary to play before the Stomp Dance can ever begin.

The River Cane flute. and sometimes from long neck gourds or the thigh bone of the crane. far from conforming to the common stereotype in the minds of others. (from the Cherokee Nation webpage ) A text by Charlie Orme: Native American music is very unusual. Trumpets were sometimes made from buffalo horns. a single rattle to be held in the hand for use by men. known as the tonal (or Indian) scale. Until the early part of the 20th century. Today. The first team to complete the course is the winner. It plays a mainly functional role in their culture. and had 6 holes. forming an L-shape. and has a light. The melody of Cherokee Indian music is generally played with a flute. The players toss the marbles at the holes with the object of advancing by landing in each hole in sequence and returning to the starting point. Each player uses on marble and must keep track of its location as well as the opposing players marbles. An inch or so of water or other liquid is placed inside before playing. Music The traditional musical instruments of the Cherokee consist of : The water drum which is a earthen pot or kettle with a skin stretched over the top of it. All Native American music is generally categorized in two ways: instrumentation and lyrical content. Any number of players may play. which in 1835 was reported to have been approximately one foot long.and is a complex game of skill and strategy played by adults on a five-hole outdoor course. The game is played on a field approximately 100 feet long. Part of this sound comes from the fact that Native American music uses a fascinating scale. Conch shells were used in very early times. players used marbles chipped from stone. smoothed into round marbles about the size of billiard balls. and turtle shell shackles worn on the legs of women. 10 to 12 yards apart. This scale sounds very odd because most people are used to the . Sometimes the ceremoinial hand rattles are made of gourd. but most tournaments utilize billiard balls for play. Players must toss their marbles and knock the opposing players¶ out of the way in a prescribed manner. Turtle shells are used for ceremonial rattles. This gives the songs an interesting sound unique to Native American music. but each team must have an equal number. where there are five holes about two inches in diameter. melodic sound that seems to float in the air. It exhibits an enormous amount of variety not commonly realized by most people. there are still some traditional marble makers. This flute is carved out of wood. as well.

It can also be seen in the fact that men tend to predominate in composing. flutes and flageolets. they provide the rhythmic foundation for Cherokee and all Native American music. or rattle would be an idiophone. or complementary melodic lines being sung or played simultaneously) and polyphony (two different melodic lines played or sung simultaneously) are almost unheard of. but harmony (two of the same. Overview Clothing varied from season to season. but to the Cherokee people. and the Ionian major scale sounds weird. Flute melodies may be sung.standard Ionian major scale. the men wore pants. for the most part. musical rasps. looking into the music of the Cherokee gives an engaging glimpse of the culture. The lyrics generally involve family songs and tribal ritual songs. plays a functional role in Cherokee culture. curls. rich sound not found in today's ordinary drum sets. simple trumpets and/or reed instruments. unmodified by any special tension. the music of the Cherokee Indians is unique. and sometimes articles woven into their hair for a spectacular effect. Other Native American instruments include the Pow Wow drum. Hair styles differed wildly from clan to clan. . the rattle. although song texts may (and often do) consist entirely of meaningless syllables. including drums. In conclusion. The Long Hair Clan wore their hair in fancy hairdos with waves. in this case Cherokee. it sounds perfectly normal. it is referred to as "good" rather than beautiful. possessing a musical richness and emotional depth not often found in other music. (An idiophone is an instrument whose sound is simply the vibration of its elastic constituent material. and have a deep. Native American (including Cherokee) drums are made from animal skin stretched across a large gourd. whereas a drum would not. Another important part of the Native Americans' music is the singing. This can be seen in the fact that music is graded on its magical or spiritual power. similar. gong. Some men were clean shaven. In winter. this part of the music truly completes the song. whistles. singing. since men usually prevail in rituals and other cultural elements. if a song is well performed. Lyrics The lyrics of the Native Americans' music are in the local tribe's language. it is used as a part of other activities and rituals. the wore a cloak made of woven cloth or fur. beaten planks. others wore beards. Whether rhythmic chanting or high-pitched yodeling. The music. it is only natural that men would be the ones singing the songs. The Cherokee language is very complex. the idiophones are represented by rattles. It is very interesting to look into other cultures' music. and writing the lyrics for the songs. and slit drums. The drums are very important. Those most widespread are percussion instruments. and everybody wore shoes. but mainly consisted of woven cloth or deer skin. sticks beaten together.) Membranophones (drums with skin heads) are also used commonly. for example. They may also consist of or include archaic words or phrases and/or special phonetic changes. Among other percussion instruments. rods. others wore a top-knot or pony-tail. The women wore dresses. some men shaved their heads. and was first transcribed by Chief Sequoyah. with the whole-whole-half-whole-whole-whole-half step foundation and the dore-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do progression. a bell.

The dresses were made of deerskin and typically reached mid thigh. . Women of status had colored beads or feathers arranged in patterns in the under-skirt fringe. but for special occasions. but I encourage you to read it complete here. went from the waist to the knees. The dyed thread was used to weave belts. The Cherokees of North Carolina have a completely different style of dress. dyed blood red. which I have done clumsily. Daily wear was made of tanned deer skin. A knitted or woven underskirt. This consisted of a single Eagle or Hawk feather. and garters for the men. and sprinkled it with red and yellow dust. Colored seed-beads were used to decorate their moccasins. the priest (medicine man) from the Paint Clan (Ani Wodi) would prepare the feathers for the warriors to wear into battle. anklets. close-fitting. bone. with a small feather. or horn that hung in successive layers to nearly cover their chest. The dying technique was considered a secret and sacred rite. They wore multiple necklaces made of shell. The only time a Cherokee would wear a feather was in time of war or during a Ball Game similar to La Cross.Cherokees were not feather-nuts and never wore huge feather head-dresses like the Woodland or Plains people. made of wild hemp. An special chapter is the famous Tear Dress. Each woman developed her own special pattern for her husband to wear. In preparation for war. on the top of his head. The Cherokee Nation is the only tribe to my knowledge to legislate a specific style of clothing as the official tribal dress. sleeveless dresses similar to a µsummer shift¶. Cherokee Master Craftsman and National Living Treasure in the Area of Traditional Clothing and he kindly let me extract parts of the article. made of beaten lead and copper. They had pierced ears and wore earrings made of shell and bone. it is a wonderful piece of historical accurate information and it will teach you how a real tear dress should be. A deer-hide scarf was worn around the neck and tucked into the top of the dress. The author of the article is Wendell Cochran. tied to the top. and had long fringes that went to the ankles. which served as a µwedding ring¶. The feathers would then be tied into the Cherokee warrior¶s hair. Women The women wore short. The following information has been extracted from The People's Paths home page. adorned their hands. They were belted at the waist with hand-woven belts and pinned at the breast with bone pins or carved broaches. Mr Cochran also sent me the photo illustrating his article "The Cherokee Tear Dress is the official tribal dress for women of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma by proclamation of the National Council. black or red. dresses made of woven mulberry-root bark and turkey feathers. Possum hair was spun into thread and dyed yellow. The women¶s moccasins were made of soft leather and were laced up to the knee. while others tied it up into a knot on top of the head. Hair was combed with bear grease to give it a deep shine. Metal rings. Some let their hair hang loose.

it describes how the pieces of the dress are cut during construction. crafters. . and the one piece construction allowed women to bend and stretch with out fretting with the problem of keeping a waist tucked in or hooked to a skirt. No one can remember who named it the Tear Dress.. Historically. This was the type dress that was made at home. this style of shirt-waist dress was worn by working class women -.The word "tear" is pronounced as in "rip and tear". but none give complete instructions or are self-explanatory to the novice tear dressmaker. The name is onomatopoeia. form fitting garments that were fastened up the back with rows of hooks and eyes. To provide ease. or by the neighborhood seamstress. farmers. who did not have the luxury of having a personal attendant to help them get dressed each day like the privileged class who dressed in stylish.trades people. The bodice top (the old fashion term is waist) is attached the skirt by means of an inset waistband and closes up the front with buttons. The dress is practical for two reasons: The fullness of the gathered bodice and skirt gave the wearer freedom of movement to do the labor of daily work chores. and a lot of patience. Measurements: Every tear dress is one-of-a-kind original creation and is usually made to fit the individual. a fair understanding of the sequence of steps needed to cut. either by a member of the family. The original dress was constructed of simple shapes of squares and rectangles and each piece was torn across the grain of the fabric and not cut with scissors. not tear as in the act of crying or in Tail of Tears. larger pieces are gathered and sewn onto smaller pieces of the garment. etc. shape and form. A well fitting dress requires taking accurate measurements. Making a Cherokee Tear Dress requires a mediumto-advanced knowledge of garment construction and sewing skills. sew and finish the dress. much like a man¶s shirt. There are a few commercially printed tear dress patterns now available on the market. The dress is a basic shirt-waist style.

The White Turkey Feather Cape. a White Turkey Feather Cape and a Copper Crown were created for Virginia Stroud during her reign as Miss Indian America 1968. was made for Miss Stroud to wear during her reign. which was worn as part of the offical Miss Cherokee wardrobe. At the end of her year-long reigh. Tahlequah. was returned and is now in her possession. Oklahoma in April 2000. Miss Stroud¶s ³Miss Indian America´ crown. shape and engraved with the same turkey feather and turkey tracks motifs. Mr. missing for almost twenty years. A White Turkey Feather Cape. acclaimed Cherokee Wood Sculpture from Locust Grove. the other inscribed ³ Miss Cherokee´. The ³Miss Cherokee´ crown. the original cape was then passed to reigning Miss Cherokee 1969. Oklahoma. Both crowns were identical in size. OK. the only differences were the engraved titles. Stone was commissioned in 1968 to make two identical crowns: one inscribed with the title ³ Miss Indian America 1968´ (it is the one shown in the picture). past yearly to each suceeding Miss Cherokee for more than twenty years was eventually retired and a replacement commissioned. was retired during the late 1970¶s and not replaced by a new one. The Original Dress and Copper Crown are the property of Virginia Stroud. This original three-piece outfit was last shown in its entirety in a fashion show presented by Wendell Cochran (adjusting the feather cape in the photo) during the Indian Symposium at Northeastern State University at Tahlequah. this one along with the first original cape are currently in the permanent collection of the Cherokee National Heritage Society. It is now in the permanent collection at the Heritage Society. The cotton fabric Cherokee Tear Dress (shown worn by a model in the photo) is the first modern-day Tear Dress and it is the prototype of all Cherokee Tear Dresses since then. ."The Original Cherokee Tear Dress. The Copper Crown was designed and made by Willard Stone. exactly like the one shown in the photo.

Cherokee never had a traditional style of dress that was unique or ethnically different than any other tribe in the hot and humid Southeastern United States.Wendell Cochran The True History of the Cherokee Tear Dress. related primarily to the rise and fall of the waistline and the shape and size of the skirt. They felt it was unacceptable for a Cherokee women who was suppose to be representing the Cherokee people in the public eye was appearing at public events dressed as a Kiowa. And they did not want the dress to look anything like the Plain¶s Indian dress. thus recording a moment in time. who was the appointed Cherokee Chief at the time. Please note that there are no trim bands on the sleeves. which would allow them to make piece goods. The garment we call the Cherokee Tear Dress came about to fulfill the needs of a particular situation and had more to do with embarrassment than it had to do with tribal pride or tradition. was chosen as "Miss Indian America". three-quarter sleeves with very narrow binding and a plain rounded neck whithout a neck collar. Keeler. The first official tear dress was made for and worn by Virginia Stroud during her reign in the titled position as "Miss Indian America" 1969. That is not true for two reasons. The Tear Dress is definitely a style that came into fashion at a later date." . . simple and utilitarian. In the late 1830¶s. bell shaped skirt and short puff sleeves. Philadelphia or New York. The clothing of both sexes. it had to be documented. was not available until the opening of the frontier to missionaries. belts and rope. covering mostly their private parts. The band of diamond applique trim on the skirt and those across the shoulder yoke are very narrow compared to trim seen on tear dressed today. the period of the beginning and the end of the Trail of Tears episode. the Moravians in particular. or Early Victorian. This story may seem shocking and little sad to some who are romantically inclined to the modern myth about the Tear Dress. and made of mostly animal hides and furs.W. by the name of Virginia Stroud. They could not find an established precedence in Oklahoma for a traditional tribal dress. Frontier fashion was nothing like those seen in picture books and paintings of the ladies in eastern sea coast cities such as Boston. The situation arose in 1968 when a young Cherokee woman. and using another model in city-fied clothing. women of fashion in the cities along the eastern seaboard were wearing garments that costume historians call late Empire. Georgia or Tennessee. The ladies mounted a serious search for a record of a dress design that would be uniquely Cherokee and acceptable by Chief Keeler. W. history and style. They did not want to simply copy or adapt any other tribe¶s style. as described by the very earliest European adventurers. The second reason that the Tear Dress could not have been worn at the time of the Trail of Tears is because the style is completely wrong for the period. was approached by a group of Cherokee women about Virginia Stroud¶s official wardrobe. Whether this painting was executed on site with real Cherokees as models. The clothing they made was fashioned on the type of clothing they were taught to make plain. The answer they decided could only be found someplace in North Carolina. It was not uncommon for artists to use substitute models when painting Indian subjects. They did use a rudimentary form of finger weaving and netting to make sashes. Romantic period. Loom weaving technology. First of all. was primitive and scant.Note the details of this dress: the short. or was finished by the artist at a later time. They also wanted the dress to be historically correct and if a dress could be found. The myth is that our women wore this style of dress at the time of the Trail of Tears in 183839. Chief Keeler agreed and appointed a committee of Cherokee women to find something more appropriate for Miss Stroud that would reflect the Cherokee¶s eastern woodland traditions. There is one painting extant of a Texas Cherokee couple which shows the woman wearing a most definite "Empire" style gown ± high waist. She had competed and was crowned in a Kiowa buckskin dress she had borrowed from a college friend. below the knee length of the skirt. Women¶s fashions of every historical period have a very definite silhouette.

A knife made of flint. and had a deer skin µpurse¶ suspended from their belt in front. or woven turbans made of hide or cloth. and moccasins made of beaver or muskrat skin. They had µpony-tails¶ on top of their heads. or copper. with the tip of the pony-tail protruding. The µtip¶ was well greased and sprinkled with red or yellow dust. with the fur on the inside to keep the feet warm. a ring of hair was shaved or plucked out to a width of about 2 inches. As soon as the committee of women decided that Wynona¶s Grandmother¶s hand made dress would be perfectly acceptable for the new Miss Indian America to wear as a representative of the Cherokee people. She had come across it by chance after she inherited her mother's belongings. obsidian. Elizabeth Walters. The men had hats made of beaver fur. threaded or pulled into hollow tubes of bone or antler. which was tied at the sides with thongs. Virginia Stroud¶s sister. For hunting or warfare. and Wynona Day. and they had fur robes and moccasins for winter use. She remembered having seen the dress and had retrieved it for the committee to examine. the daughter of an influential Cherokee family from the days before statehood. They wore simple skin belts until they were married. with a wooden or bone handle was worn on the right side of the belt. it was common practice for women to use broach pins to fasten blouses and those garments known as waists. made the new dress. Chief Keeler concurred. Men Summer clothing consisted of a breechclout made of soft tanned deer skin. which allowed the ends to hang nearly to the knees in front and back.Ms. Stroud flew back to Tulsa and was met by a personal representative of Chief Keeler. The dress has a square neckline and no buttons or buttonholes. We believe that according to fashion research. I have recently been told that the dress actually belonged to Wynona Day¶s Grandmother or great-grandmother and that it had in truth been stored in a trunk. She copied the dress line for line. A shorter version was also available that used less material that was similar to a man¶s briefs. As the children approached puberty. It closes with hooks and eyes. It was at that point that Chief Keeler and his handpicked committee of Cherokee women began their search to find a suitable Cherokee outfit for her to wear. Men¶s moccasins were short with flaps on either side to help protect the ankles from brush. Today we would probably just use safety pins. exposing the ears and ear-rings. secured at the waist with thongs. Around the base of the pony-tail. Winter clothing consisted of deer skin shirts. Older children wore woven cloth or skin skirts. including duplicating the reverse applique on the decorative bands over the shoulders and around the skirt. The next step was to get a new Tear Dress made for Virginia to wear. who she calls B. to allow their pony-tail to protrude. however the original had no visible means of fastening the dress with modern closures." Children Young children usually went naked in the warmer months. The sides of the hair was neatly trimmed. men wore leather µchaps¶ or leggings that went from the ankle to mid-thigh. Their hats were open at the top. and were fastened to the belt with thongs. pulled up between the legs. a BIA employee. Two of the women on the committee were Marie Waddle. fur robes. adult clothing was provided. Wynona Day is the person responsible for discovering the dress that became the prototype and model for the modern day Tear Dress. .

stretching the ear-lobes to great size. Fancy dress moccasins were decorated with colored beads. The art of feather dying was reserved for the shaman of the Paint Clan. and another smaller red feather was attached to the top of the larger feather. but with the addition of feathers. to give the tattoo a dark color. shells. which some say originated after first white contact. and large carved shell plates called µgorgets¶. Men¶s decoration consisted of woven belts. Later. teeth. In ancient times. by pricking the skin and rubbing the wound with ashes from a fire. porcupine quills. Special head and hair ornaments were made from possum hair. Each warrior or ball player tied one feather to the top of their pony-tail. Men also had pierced ears.Men of the Long Hair Clan wore their hair as the name implies. made of animal hair. braided in the center. died black. and bits of dyed thread. . and on each side of the mouth. with large shell or metal plates inserted into the holes. but used cloth or leather head-bands with a false pony-tail attached to the front. Please see section on the ³Booger Dance´. War and ball-game attire was much the same. For Booger Dances. they adopted the style of shaving or plucking out the unwanted facial hair. with long noses reminiscent of phallic symbols. men and women would attach shell rattles to their ankles. please see the description under the section µMarriage Ceremony¶. Marriage Ceremony. the men would dress in white-man¶s clothing with absurd µcaricature¶ faces. They did not have pony-tails. to make a rattling sound with each dance step. copper plates. The dance leaders would use small turtle shells filled with rocks. claw. yellow or red. anklets and wrist bands made by their wives. Special Attire For Stomp Dances. hammered lead. the Cherokee men sported beards. Men were often tattooed. Thong necklaces consisted of bone.

. that the greatness of the Cherokee Nation will live forever.They called him Sequoyah. He gave them a writing system. . this great Cherokee Indian gave his people a gift that will endure forever. which removed the shackles of illiteracy from the Cherokee People .

Today. in trying to create the syllabary. Sequoyah realized that a written language could be very beneficial to the Cherokee. and according to the silversmith traditions. He completed the writing system in 1821. type-casters and labor from Europe.sequoyahmuseum. During the years of the development. By 1809 he was practicing the trade of silversmith in northern Georgia. Sequoyah and many other Cherokees enlisted on the side of the United States under General Andrew Jackson to fight the British troops and the Creek Indians in the war of 1812. after 12 years of hard work. Sequoyah was sometime known by his English name George Gist or Guess. able to read and write their own language. writing and reading orders. Sequoya was accused of µwitchcraft¶ and his µTalking Leaves¶ were burned. where the Texas Cherokees had accepted land grants from Mexico. it was only a matter of months before thousands of Cherokees were literate. to assemble the press and teach the Cherokees how to use it. Wu-reth or Wut-teh. Anyone who could speak the Cherokee language could learn to read or write in two weeks. Sequoya wanted his writing to be used for his people to record their ancient tribal culture. Sequoyah died in the Republic of Texas in 1843. He married a full blood Cherokee woman called Sallie. In recognition of this contributions. While serving in the US army during the Creek War (1812-1814) the idea blossomed. The giant sequoia trees and Sequoia National Park in California are named after him. was a member of the Paint Clan. owned by his good friend Rich Joe Vann. His father. He decided to dedicate most of his life to make a system of writing for his people. near present day Tyler. Major Ridge was called on. Nathaniel Gist. or seriously injured later in life. engravers. Each of the 85 characters Sequoyah created. he worked for many years developing the characters. Texas. He noticed that the American soldiers were writing letters home. in the Cherokee village of Tuskeegee on the Tennessee River. Sequoyah was a mixed-blood Cherokee." which leads many to believe that he was born with a µclub foot¶. Thousands of Cherokee began to use Sequoyah's invention on a daily basis and the syllabary gave the nation the ability to create the first American Indian newspaper. Use of the language spread quickly through the Cherokee Nation. as leader of the Lighthorse Patrol. After an initial test of his writing system before a Cherokee Council. he learned to sign his work. daughter of a Cherokee . the Cherokee Nation awarded Sequoyah a sliver medal struck in his honor and a lifetime literary pension. His mother. In a few short years one man had achieved a means of communication that had taken other civilizations thousands of years to accomplish. His name Si-kwo-yi is Cherokee for "pig's foot. In 1821. This was where Sequoyah first had the idea for a Cherokee writing system. they ordered Major Ridge to remove the tops of Sequoya¶s fingers. There is some question as to if this punishment was ever carried out. to punish Sequoyah for practicing witchcraft. After the war. arriving in 1822. also spelled Sequoya. a museum stands at his birth place. Disenchanted with the movement towards nationalism.Sequoyah. He also imported press-men. Rich Joe Vann bought a printing press and gave it to Sequoya. he spent a great deal of this time on Spring Place Plantation. He later left Indian Territory for Mexico (now East Texas). was a Virginia fur trader. and to force him to stop. By 1825 much of the Bible and numerous hymns had been translated into Cherokee. the Cherokee Nation reviewed and adopted the syllabary. under Cherokee Chief John Ross. about 1820. and recording the events of the war as they happened. stands for a syllable in the Cherokee language. Sequoyah left the Old Cherokee Nation in Georgia in 1821 and moved to Indian Territory in Arkansas. under Major Ridge. Sequoya was amazed at how the white man communicated through written language. The leaders of the tribe felt that this written language was the work of the devil. or U-ti-yu. was born between 1760 and 1776. Go to http://www. The syllabary is remarkable complete and no additions have ever been made.

California In 1892 the Cherokee nation printed an edition of its Constitution and laws in Cherokee and English ( mouse over to see the English version ) (Constitution and Laws of the Cherokee Nation. [in Cherokee] Parsons. Sequoyah was . Sequoyah The Hawks nest. University of Pennsylvania library The Cherokee Phoenix The first bi-lingual newspaper in the United States. site composed by eight grade students of Saint John Vianney School. alphabet All things Cherokee. All this was done 175 years ago. Kansas: Foley r'y Printing Co. After the Cherokee Nation adopted the syllabary. 1892-3. The Cherokee Phoenix. They also printed religious pamphlets. The newspaper carried articles from Washington and local politics. in San Jose. was started on February 21. Sequoya The Evolution of the American struggle against discrimination. 1828.) Special Collections. educational materials and legal documents.About North Georgia. with articles in both Cherokee and English. by a people considered µsavages¶ by the white settlers..

hypermart. Special thanks to them for letting me use this image. He is one of the best known Cherokees in history and is still considered a genius. they are offering an invaluable historical resource. Click on it to see a bigger version. Please go to http://cwyphoenix.hailed as a genius and honored by the Cherokee to see transcriptions and images from The Cherokee Phoenix. .

How to say µhello'in Tsalagi. from the Michigan University Cherokee Language lessons. Inc. English Cherokee translator Basic phrases and words . from the Cherokees of California.

1 SEQ-1.2nd generation Te-es-ey Guess George Guess 1789 ~1791 ~1793 SEQ-1. and you have the Gene Number of the parents. Find a name.2 Rebecca Bowles (b 1816) .7 are his children. first spouse. {denotes parents of spouse}. by Emmit Starr. SEQ-1. SEQ-1 is the first generation. remove the last digit of the Gene Number. In many cases. 1921 edition.1.1.2 is the 2nd child of SEQ-1. Dawes Roll Numbers included when I find them. Dawes Roll Number. Gene Number. Name.1 to SEQ-1. who is the first child of SEQ-1. the name of the spouse is unknown. second spouse. The data is in the following order.1. etc.1. There are errors in the estimated dates of better birth dates can help locate Dawes Roll Numbers. children were left out of the 1921 records. estimated date of birth. Sequoyah ~1764 SEQ-1 Sallie. please send me e-mail at info@cherokeebyblood.1. The Gene Numbers work like this. If you have corrections. SEQ-1.From the History of the Cherokee Indians. or U-ti-yu Children of SEQ-1 .

5 Joseph Starr ~1815 SEQ-1.7 Araminta Sixkiller RedBird Sixkiller Samuel Sixkiller Lucas Sixkiller.1.Poly Guess Richard Guess E-ya-gu Guess O-oo-loo-tsa Guess Gu-un-e-ki Guess ~1795 ~1797 ~1799 ~1801 SEQ-1.7.6 Girty (Mary) William Foster (Tunooie) Joseph Downing Children of SEQ- Children of SEQ-1.1 SEQ-1.1 ± 4th generation Mary (Poly) Guess. ( Dawes Roll 7397) ~1840 ~1845 ~1850 1855 SEQ-1.3 Annie Flying ~1815 SEQ-1.4 Pamelia Whaley Fannie Foreman Emma Blythe (b 1856) (Dawes Roll 7398) {Emma¶s parents were: Absalom Blythe Mary Millsap} Children of SEQ-1.3 SEQ-1. (Dawes Roll 3255) George Guess.1 George Mitchell (b 1852 IW).7.1 SEQ-1.1.7 Flying. and Thomas Brewer George Starr Sixkiller Children of SEQ-1.4 SEQ- .5 SEQ-1.5 SEQ1.2 SEQ- generation George Guess (William) Richard Guess Joseph Guess Sallie Guess Joseph Guess Cathrine Guess ~1815 ~1816 ~1817 ~1818 ~1819 ~1820 SEQ-1.3 SEQ-1.1.3 SEQ-1. (Dawes Roll 16640) 1854 SEQ1.4 SEQ. and Andrew Russell (b 1846) (Dawes Roll 33254) Betsy Vann (b 1845) (Dawes Roll 16641) 1856 SEQ1.2 SEQ- SEQ-1.1.1 Joseph Griffin Children of SEQ-1.1 .

1 Children of SEQ-1.4 Mattie Sixkiller Samuel Sixkiller Jr ( who is SEQ-1.1) 1877 SEQ1. Susie Foster.1 Richard Boles (b 1871) (Not Registered) Coggle ~1880 ~1882 ~1884 ~1886 SEQ1.3 SEQ1.1.1 Tidugiyosti Griffin ~1840 SEQ1.7.Children of SEQ-1.6 Nannie Downing.1 Children of SEQ- Levi Toney.4 SEQ1. Children of SEQ-1.4. (b 1859) (Dawes Roll 17008) Children of SEQ- generation .1) 1874 SEQ1. (Dawes Roll 16877) Mattie Sixkiller (who is SEQ-1.1. (Dawes Roll 17009) 1862 SEQ1.1 Children of SEQ-1.3 Samuel Sixkiller Jr. (Dawes Roll 30105) Lucile Downing Edward Downing Sequoyah Downing Maud Downing 1878 SEQ1. .6.1.2 SEQ1.

The average town council house was fifty feet in diameter and sat on a mound.1 SEQ1.2 Cecil Coggle Houston Coggle ~1865 ~1866 SEQ1.1. (Dawes Roll 27421) 1898 1899 SEQ1.1. at which all national festivals were celebrated. The town council house was a circular building. (Father and mother on Dawes Roll) 1899 1900 SEQ1. Contrasted with this were the smaller individual town council houses.4.6.1 Susan Hildebrand.1.4.1.George Mitchell Jr. rounded.4.4 SEQ1.6. seven-sided.1.1.1. (Dawes Roll 17011) Margaret Toney. so that the interior arrangement was. although the members of each of the seven clans sat in it in individual places.6. and Martha Horn Minnie Holston Children of SEQ-1.1. (Dawes Roll 17014) 1882 1886 1894 1890 1894 SEQ1.1.4.1 SEQ1.1. which served an average town population of 350 people. (Dawes Roll 17012) Sallie Toney. (Dawes Roll 17013 ) Cathrine Toney.1.1 SEQ. (Dawes Roll 17010) Cicero Toney.5 Children of SEQ-1.4.2 SEQ1.1. (Dawes Roll 27420) Richard Bowles. (Dawes Roll 27694) George Russell. . where major war parties assembled before going off to war and the nation was ruled. Children of SEQ-1.1 Calvin Toney.1 Leo Bowles.1.1.1. in a sense.4.1.1 SEQ1.2.3 SEQ1.2 The National Heptagon In the national capital and situated on a high mound was a huge heptagon or seven-sided building.

and also regulated the treatment dealt to prisoners of war. or war. The higher authority was the Great High Priest. The one exception was when the nation was being attacked and the white chief took control. or peace.Red and White Organizations The ancient Cherokees lived in an alternating state of war and peace which called for a dual organization of tribal government: a white. An assemblage of Beloved Women. If either of the two organizations was in any way subordinate to the other. each town was governed by its two head chiefs: the white chief in peacetime and the red chief in war. These served as counselors to the male leaders. white officials alone owned the prayers for invoking blessings from protective spirits. and seven counselors representing the seven clans. White officials could remove the uncleanness from polluted persons and restore them to normal life. Like the national capital. The Great High Priest had a principal assistant. a great speaker. The White Organization The white organization consisted of a set of officials aged fifty or more. whose Cherokee name was "Uku". and a red. organization. It was this group of officials that helped him determine the times of the national feasts and made arrangements for them. organization. In addition to administering civil law. whom he consulted on all matters of importance. . also called "Pretty Women" or "War Women." was present at every war council. The white officials were either to some extent hereditary (through female line) or subject to appointment by the Great High Priest. since the Great High Priest could make or unmake the war chiefs. it was the red one. a large portion of whom were priests. and who performed both secular and religious functions.

He wrapped around his shoulders in shawl fashion a consecrated deerskin that was also whitened and wore a new pair of whitened buckskin moccasins he had made and stitched together with deer sinew. seven cooks. 4. 10.but with a certain red root whose leaves and stalk resembled the ipecacuanha. The festival costume of the Uku included a magnificent cape made of white feathers and a breastplate made of a white conch shell. Ti nv Ii no he ski. His headband was either a wreath of swan feathers or a long piece of swan skin. 9. attendants at the Ookah dance. 5. The top portion above the toes he painted with a few streaks of red . but topped with feathers a little shorter than those worn by the Great High Priest. seven overseers. or beloved men. Nv no hi ta hi. Probably the principal assistant and the chief speaker had differently adorned but similarly shaped hats with swan feathers and bells. The council of elder. . All priests had spectacular ritual pipes. the priest who superintended the building of the hothouse. which were about three feet long and had whitened wooden stems and stone bowls carved with symbolic figures. 7. for this was a war color . A tsi nv sti. 8. which was one of the principal symbols for holy things. U lo tv. Ti kv no tsi Ii ski. the women who warmed water to wash the chief.not vermilion. A ke yv gv sta. The chief of the tribe. the Uku was clothed in a sleeveless white waistcoat and wore a broad woven belt. or Great High Priest: Uku.The principal officers in the white organization were: 1. musicians. the seven counselors who represented the seven clans. and the Yo wah hymn singer. Ookah 2. the chief's principal assistant. the chief's messenger. 6. Lesser officers required for specific ceremonies included: seven hunters. the chief speaker. seven cleansers. On festival occasions. The Beloved Women. seven fire makers." 3. also called "right-hand man" or "the one who fanned him.

The platform was brought to the candidate's house. The procession of priests bearing the candidate walked silently around the heptagon four times and then lowered the platform to within three feet of the ground. they sat in silence for the rest of the night and contemplated the significance of the event. the principal assistant presented the candidate with an eagle-tail fan. and the national council would. with half of the assembled priests walking in front and the other half behind. went to the candidate's house. was sacred. four chosen men then lifted the platform on their shoulders and carried the candidate to the national heptagon. painted with red spots like stars. Each day the messenger traveled. along with a vast multitude. the Uku had a standard or flag. which consisted of a long white pole with a carved eagle on top and bearing a pennant made of white cloth or deerskin. "Tsa gv wi tso la. an official Uku investiture costume. The procession halted three times on the way. Then. Then the candidate was dressed again in his official garments. "Ho!" When everyone had returned to their seats. When he finished. since he was being transformed into the Uku. who would already have been chosen and trained. In case of a sudden attack. the priests used those six days to make a special platform of tall and strong reeds. and he leaped onto it and stood upright. which was the signal for the candidate to commence smoking with the other priests as a token of friendship and loyalty." to which he replied. success and happiness. At the appointed time. whereupon the candidate climbed onto the back of an appointed person and was carried into the heptagon. and the people arose and in single file came to do this. the nation's priests assembled with their messengers at the national heptagon and sent them to the candidate to request that he accept the office. the Uku broke the silence with an address to the people in which he promised to exercise his authority in all respects according to the commands of God. four or five yards long. all singing. Each priest smoked his own pipe. Next. In addition to his special costume. The candidate stood up. At this point the chief speaker came forward and made a lengthy address in which he directed everyone to pay homage to the new Uku. and a yellow painted scepter.The Uku Consecration Ceremony On the death of the presiding Uku. When the messengers returned and the priests were assured that the candidate would comply with the request and had begun a six-day fast. the priests. A messenger was dispatched to notify the chief priests throughout the nation. his principal assistant set a date for the consecration of his successor. after assembling for divination with tobacco smoke to learn the nature and extent of the emergency. taking the yellow scepter in his right hand. the standard was raised in front of the national heptagon. Previously selected persons undressed and carefully bathed the candidate. Just before daybreak. old sacred tobacco and a sacred pipe. for the candidate's pipe. for he must be absolutely clean when his official clothing was put on him. he was to cut one knot from his string and thus would keep a precise account of the time. He was given a special string of braided wild hemp with as many knots tied in it as there were nights prior to the appointed date. Then he was dressed in Uku garments and his face was anointed with sacred white paint. and except for his breechclout. the people promised to obey him. bowing before the Uku and saying. his clothes were removed by another priest. on the seventh day. . the people no doubt praying for divine blessings.

8. called Ko wo ni gv lv. the warrior who carried the Great War Chief's battle standard 7. except that their function was exclusively military. Ska ya gu stu eg wo. If the concluded that danger was imminent. A priest who had killed an enemy during a battle was named Nv no hi ta hi. Then seven counselors. the tobacco was smoked. 12. The seven counselors were summoned to convene at the national heptagon. When anyone of the town chiefs was forewarned of approaching enemies who were yet some distance away. 3. and he superintended the building of sweat houses for purification rites. The red war standard was also hoisted in front of the heptagon. Seven war counselors. Three war scouts: the Wolf. Lesser officers included drummers. they did not smoke the tobacco but sent it back by the same messenger who had brought it. was called "the Raven" when he scouted while the army was on the march.The Red Organization The Red organization consisted of a set of officials who corresponded in rank and duties to the white officials. the Uku immediately called for the Great War Chief and his officers.Ka tat a ka ne hi. the priest who carried to war the ark containing the holy fire. who during such emergencies exhorted the warriors to boldness and action by describing the legendary feats of distinguished leaders who had fallen in past battles. and always in conjunction with the Great War Chief and his advisers. and the Uku had his standard hoisted to notify the citizens of the national capital. Beloved Women to judge the fate of captives 5. His right-hand man was called Ko lv nv. Each group of seven counselors had its own speaker. 4. On receiving the tobacco and message. and the Fox 11. Only the priest and this man were allowed to touch the ark. Messengers 9. As soon as this meeting was held. 10. cooks. A special war priest. the Owl. who did the divination and carried out other religious functions for the Great War Chief. who had three or more assistants. The body of soldiers who would gather to defend the nation would be divided into either four or seven companies and the council selected a healer for each company. to order acts of war. along with a twist of sacred tobacco that was painted red. man. were selected to direct each company. and the red officers painted themselves and their weapons with fresh red paint. war plans were made. he immediately dispatched a messenger bearing this news to the Uku. messengers spread the news throughout the nation. 2. 6. one from each clan. Either a priest of great power was chosen to officiate in divining and offering sacrifices for the entire army or the counselors for each company selected their own priest. the Great Red War Chief or High Priest of War. If after consulting together. fire tenders and wood gatherers. the chief war speaker. Ku ni ko ti. the Chief War Priest for healing and treating wounds. They were honored with victory and scalp dances and sat in places of honor in the town council houses. The principal officers of the red organization were: 1. .A tsi lv ti ye gi. The red officials were at frequent intervals elected by popular vote or acquired their rank as the result of bravery in battle. Ska li ko ski. The Chief's second. this group felt there was no great worry. or right-hand.

War bows averaged five feet in length and had a flat. Each warrior carried his own provisions and was heavily loaded with them when he started out. their war chief and their war officers led them in rapid procession for the sometimes long march to the place of meeting at the national capital. some warriors would roast and eat their shields. The "helmet". A bracelet was worn on the left wrist. The armor consisted of a shield and a club used only for defense. The ark has been described either as an earthenware vessel or a square basket. and with his assistant trailing behind him. and ready. whose upper edge held a tightly packed circle of upright feathers painted red. Once the warriors of each town and village were assembled. made of buffalo hide. he returned to his house. War priests were chosen to serve on the occasion. which was the house of the Great War Chief. For greater flexibility. It contained several consecrated vessels of antiquated forms made by Beloved Women. marched through the town to bestow his blessing upon the planned war expedition. the Great War Chief took control. and the limb width tapered to threequarters of an inch at the necks. Strings were fashioned from twisted bear gut and were very strong. large numbers of warriors gathered at the Great War Chief's house. axes. the warriors. Three of the basket sided are bowed out in the middle. and was designed to protect the arm against the released bowstring. were made of cane. The warriors got ready for leaving. the priests gave each man a small root that through ritual had been given the power to confer invulnerability. The ark has a cover that is rightly woven in basketry style with hickory splints. the entire nation agreed to. It was boiled and then dried in the sun until hard. but the fourth side that rests again the carrier's back is flat. shouted the war whoop again and again. Oak. People living nearby heard this performance and relayed the word until it had spread throughout the town. On the eve of the battle. rectangular cross section. a three-inch-wide thick buffalohide headband.War Practices War prayer formulas were recited by the priests of the different companies for four consecutive nights. The draw was more than fifty pounds. The handle section was one-and-threequarters inches wide. shook the rattle. The ark is quite small . The skins were taken to the Chief War Priest. The ark held a prominent place in Cherokee life. It was said that in instances of starvation. then warmed by a fire to cause the oil to sink in. and hickory wood were used for the bows. Stone-headed arrows averaged thirty inches in length. The Chief took his gourd rattle and went into the yard surrounding his house. The designated priest and a beloved waiter carried the ark by turns. After this. the bows were coated with bear oil. The priest and waiter were purified more thoroughly than the . lances. ash. where he notified that Cherokees would return the blows that had been struck. chewed some of the root and spat the juice on their bodies to make enemy arrows or bullets slide off like drops of water. the messengers went to the national heptagon and obtained seven dressed deerskins that were kept for that purpose in the treasure house. and were fletched with two split turkey feathers. In declaring a war of revenge. fifteen inches broad and fifteen inches high. On the fourth night. and bows and arrows. knives. sat down and handed the gourd to his assistant. He also furnished his own weapons and armor. which is described as a lidded earthen pot that contained live coals taken from the sacred fire. and notice given. who wrapped his divining crystal in them and gave the bundle to his assistant. and the weapons consisted of war clubs. afterwards being referred to as "shield eaters. and sang four times the word "U gi wan e e" . where he walked back and forth. The priest then took up his ark.perhaps twenty inches in length. He and his principal assistant consulted together and whatever they decided." The Cherokee men made perhaps the finest war bows and the smoothest barbed arrows of all Indians. who went outside and repeated the ritual. after immersing in a stream. The shield was twenty-four inches in diameter and made from the thick forehead skin of the wood buffalo. Within minutes. armed.

red-painted deerskin flag that was attached to a tall. Certain rules were to be obeyed and certain rituals be followed along the way. Once the entire army was assembled in the capital. If in marching the war party unexpectedly encountered enemies. a fast day was celebrated. the priest set up a small table. That night. and further predictions were solicited to see if the prediction could be changed. and by his priests. and went forward as a spy. That was the signal for the Great War Chief to call the men to order. the chief speaker. the Great War Chief halted the dance and ordered the entire war party to the river. Then he threw the piece onto the fire. by the light of huge bonfires. At sunrise. and among other things kept men's minds focused and inspired continued confidence. three renowned warriors put on their skins and went off in other directions. everyone gathered around the Great War Priest. when the Great War Chief put on his raven skin. Objects to be passed must be dropped on the ground by the passer and picked up by the receiver. Next in line after the three leaders were the seven counselors of the chief warrior. The priest made a prayer to the Three Beings above and the war party moved off. and no one should take anything directly from the hand of another person. The taboos included a provision that no warrior or priest should eat or sleep. they were firmly believed in then. folded and put seven deerskins on it. Although acts such as these are put in the category of superstition today. ed pole and Ska ti lo ski. and before long the Great War Chief and his principal assistant shouted the war whoop and broke into a rousing war song. he held a piece of deer tongue in his hand and prayed to learn what the fate of the war party would be. The three principal leaders of a revenge army were the Great War Chief. other rituals were done. The chief speaker chose the path the marchers would follow.or five-yard-long. If the latter happened. and that evening. selected campsites. He then moved back a few steps and prayed to each of the seven heavens. Standing on the west side of the fire and facing the east. who swept and made bare a place on the ground. and to do this he waved his red war club in the air. down the left side. with his principal assistant at his right and his seven counselors behind him. which means "going around in a circle. and everyone waited for his directions. who in most respects was considered equal in authority with the Raven. The owl man went as a spy to the right. the wolf man to the left and the fox man went back the way they had come. bathing was optional. the chief speaker told the warriors what to do. then kindled afire on it with some of the coals of the ark. A little after sunrise. everyone halted while the chief speaker gave a speech of encouragement. it indicated that the Cherokees would win the battle. and if they were to lose. If they were to win. and sounded the daily call to awaken and get moving. the war standard was set up in the middle of the town sacred square. and cooks. Each night. each led by its town war chief who was called A ska ye gv sta. and who was followed by his principal assistant. where the men immersed themselves seven times. Then came one after the other the individual companies. Town drummers and other musicians marched in the center of each company. but if the fire did not consume it. the flag carrier." Just before daylight. When the war party reached enemy country. If the fire burned bright and clear and quickly consumed the meat. This description of the ark as a basket is most intriguing and suggests that since it contained consecrated vessels one of those would have been the earthenware pot that contained the live coals taken from the sacred fire in the national heptagon. the priest put then the hot ashes of the fire back in the ark and picked it of the company. doctors. so that the first might be fit to act in the religious office of a priest of war and the other to carry the sacred ark. blood would flow down the right side of his crystal. Into this fire he first sacrificed rats and 'worms. now called the Raven because he wore around his neck a raven skin. On the morning of the second day. then made a speech. the war party did a dance called A te yo hi. . This consisted of a day and a night that were given over to prayer and fasting. At the end of the rituals. by his own seven counselors and speaker. and placed his divining crystal on top of the skins. whose fuel on this occasion was seven special kinds of wood. and who carried the Great War Chief's standard that consisted of a four. it meant the opposite.

When the Great War Chief retired or was killed. and all men under the age of twenty-five were called "boys. During this time the retired war officers neither ate or slept. they inducted the candidate to his heptagon seat. then Raven. Owl. they could take him by force and make him retreat. wearing red costumes. Four retired war officers of high rank were chosen to spend with the candidate the day and night prior to the day of the consecration ceremony. and they also fasted on the day of the ceremony. One of them carried a ceremonial war club made entirely of red stone and walked in front of him. although when other warriors saw that the tide was turning against them. when he retired he was given an eagle feather with a red strip painted across it for each war party he had led and each enemy he had killed. they underwent extensive purification rituals to rid themselves of uncleanness that was contacted during the fighting. which was something like a stool with a four-foot-high back and painted red. On arriving at the heptagon. The ceremony was directed by the retiring Great War Chief or if this chief had been killed. Such men achieved higher status and with it certain war offices and increased responsibilities. the Great War Chief never retreated. and one behind him carried a magnificent red cape made of eagle feathers. Other men were appointed to wash the candidate ld to dress him in his official robes. Warriors The prime age for a warrior was twenty-five to fifty years. by a past Great War Chief. the warriors stayed at their own town council houses for twenty-four days where before returning to their wives and families.On their return home from a battle. when the stool was ready. Warriors who distinguished themselves in battle were on their return honored by the gift of a new name that was publicly bestowed by a general council of town leaders. one bearing a red-painted eagle feather walked on his left. the candidate underwent a regal consecration ceremony." When war officers reached fifty years of age they retired. Individuals were appointed to prepare the candidate's seat. which faced east and was situated directly in front of the seats of the Uku and . which was already filled with the leaders of the Cherokee Nation. the nation's warriors nominated his successor. and other men were appointed to fill their places. This nomination was presented to the Uku and to the war chiefs. Killer was the highest name. Wolf and Fox. At sunrise. To honor the Great War Chief's bravery. which were entirely red. the group circled it once and then entered to lead the candidate to his seat. one carrying a bag of red paint and a bag of black paint walked on his right. they were to place it just to the west of the sacred fire in the national heptagon. Another rule was that in battle. and if they and their counselors approved.

The men put the war club in the candidate's right hand and the man with the eagle feather put it on the candidate's head. Fighting techniques A general fighting technique of the Cherokees was to set a trap for their enemies. Adair believed there never was a people who pursued the mosaic law of retaliation with such fixed eagerness as they did. until they have passed around him four times and four verses had been sung. I will fight and conquer or die. if in my path any tribe or individual shall raise the war whoop. when in fact they would soon find themselves completely surrounded. . If equal blood had not been shed in battle. While the candidate stood in front of his seat and faced the sacred fire. Prisoners and peace Regarding retaliation and the treatment of prisoners. singing one verse of a certain song with each circle. in which they formed a Vshaped wedge that caused the foes to at first think they had only a few Cherokee warriors to contend with. the retiring war chief stood up and addressed the audience. that a favorite method of waylaying an enemy was ambushing and that whenever an encounter was imminent. The red eagle feather. never exposing them unnecessarily in war. At this point. The men who had walked behind the candidate undressed him saved his red-dyed breechclout. and if I see weapons in their hands. along with the bands of otter skin he wore on his arms. Then they proceeded to paint his body with red and black stripes.the retiring Great War Chief. the four escorts performed a low dance around him. then while the warriors were purifying themselves for war. the quiver was shifted from the shoulders to the left side where the arrows could. Now the man who carried the red cape put it on the candidate's shoulders and the man who had undressed the candidate put on him garters and moccasins. legs and head was the chief's identifying badge of rank. charging them to obey without question the new chief and never to go to war without his knowledge and direction. The ceremony continued until noon next day. You have made me your Great War Chief and I will strive to take care of my young warriors. The only other battle techniques mentioned by early white observers were that the Cherokees mimicked the voices of birds to communicate with one another. he would address the audience (the new chief): "You have now put me in blood from my head to my feet. by the warrior's reaching across the abdomen with the right hand to be more quickly and easily drawn. after spending some time on war parties with the Cherokees. In concluding. but in war I shall not bloody my hands by destroying the infants and aged who cannot defend themselves. Yet. at which time food was brought to the heptagon and served to the new chief and the other chiefs and priests. The final act of preparation for the new chief was when the retired Great War Chief brought forth his revered stuffed raven skin and put it on the neck of his successor. they always asked the Beloved Women to delegate captives either to be killed outright or put to torture.

The ritual concluded with a dance. they drank the purification medicine and bathe with it. At the end of the 4 years. A short while before daybreak the men left behind all the clothes but for the breechclouts and went to another tent for sweating. On the appearance of the first new Moon in March. and during this period were not allowed to have sexual relations with women. he authorized the chief hunter to offer sacrifices instead. they then drank a bitter liquid called "cusseena" and used ancient invocations for peace. When young men wished to be hunters. they had to talk to the priest. carried out by half dozen of the most active and expert young warriors. and as such held a holy office that demanded a close association with the "above powers". It made them to throw up and thus cleanse the interiors of their bodies. then put on clean clothing. When he couldn't accompany the hunters. They were taken to the "osi". and the first buck killed belonged to him and he offered also the tip of the tongue as sacrifice. For four years thereafter. the priest prepared on the bank of the river an "osi" or tent for sweating. who painted their bodies with white clay and covered their heads with swansdown. Once purged. The hunting priest sometimes accompanied the specialist on expeditions. but the dependence of the ancient peoples on game made them understandable. they were ordered to plunge in the river and immerse themselves seven times. Once they killed the first buck. As soon as the pupils were in a profuse sweat. The rites concerning hunting seem involved and time consuming. Men that were not specialists could also ask the priest to prepare them. The drink was a tea made of cedar boughs. . He helped them to make the masks for hunting. they were going to the river where they immersed seven times. horsemint. The meat foods were as much a gift from the above powers as the cultivated and wild plant food. that never failed to bewitch the game and which allowed hunters to easily get within killing distance. and advanced to the sacred square where their leader was met by the chief priest of the white organization. The same ritual was repeated at the appearance of the first new moon in September. Each man had for a seat a deerskin. The next day the visitors entered the town without weapons and in a friendly parade. they fasted until afternoon. On that day. they took the tip of the tongue to the priest to offer as a sacrifice.When the Cherokee Nation made peace. After some rituals. Once dressed. They did not sleep the first night. smoked the pipe and ate together. cane and old tobacco. and to forget this was to ensure failure. they held very solemn ceremonies. the candidates were consigned to the care of the hunting priest. After that they had to go to the river and immerse themselves seven times. the two leaders and their officers entered the heptagon where they took seats. After this purification ritual they were free to have sexual relations with women. and at intervals the priest sang the hunter's song. Hunters specialist were called on to supply the deer meat and skins needed d for the rituals that accompanied the great festivals. The hunters were told how to give proper thanks for success and how to conserve enough game to assure a supply for future years. The priest taught them the sacred formulas for hunting (see below) and everything about the animals. the priest gave the pupils an emetic purifying drink and had them wash their bodies with it. who was in charge of training them. A messenger carried a swan's wing in his right hand that was painted all over with streaks of white clay. He also taught them how to made the special calls that imitated nature to draw the animals closer. burning it in a new fire that he had brought along with him. with the two leaders sharing the priest's ottoman.

spearing. water traps. but the fasting period was shorter. the Cherokee used walnut bark to poison small areas of streams or ponds. the first meal was eaten early in the morning. Men often walked 30 miles over rough ground. On the night of the seventh day everyone stayed awake while at intervals the priest sang the hunter song. when the buck flies first made their appearance. the priest had supplied. Just before daybreak they went in the sweating tent and at daybreak immersed again. A special Hunter's Feast took place in September. On occasion. a six-to eight-inch dart was projected. yet were so light and maneuverable that the could be forced upstream against a strong current. fasting themselves and purifying often. Pounded walnut bark is thrown into small streams to stupefy the fish. when the need for food was very severe. the sign was good. The rituals of drink. On killing the first deer they took the meat and offered it to the fire for sacrifice. the poison temporarily stunned the fish for easy gathering. Hunting was a laborious exercise. Fishing Fish were caught with bow and arrow. Some years. the blowgun was used. and one the above powers could not fail to respond to favorably. turkey. The ritual was repeated for seven days. Then. Some of the canoes could carry fifteen to twenty men. the priest would check his crystal to see if the hunting was going to be successful. the men went on a hunt. Some fishing was doing from canoes fashioned from large pine or poplar logs. To kill rabbits and small birds. and the hunt would be successful. It was the ultimate form of self-denial. partridge and pheasant.On the next day. immersion and fasting were repeated. opossum. the rule would remain in force for 6 months. The blowgun was a seven or eight-foot-long hollow piece of cane through which. or if the meat popped throwing pieces toward the east. sides and ends of the canoes were flat. and on the fourth day. deer. they drank the mixture again. During a prolonged series of winter hunting expeditions. and on the seventh day. and hollow gourds was used to store the cotton like thistledown plant fibers that the darts were stuck through to seal them in the blowgun and give them greater velocity. bait and hook and dipping out with baskets. If a puff of wind came out of the meat while it burned. carrying a new fire in a ceramic vessel. although the ends were slanted to give less resistance to currents. Should a . it wasn't a good sign. The darts were carried in quivers made of a section of large cane. The bottoms. the specialists were not permitted to have intercourse with their wives. so that they may be easily dipped out in baskets as they float on the surface of the water. by means of blowing. as much as forty feet long and two or more feet wide. squirrel. That night the hunters were honored guests for a huge banquet where the village shown their appreciation for their efforts throughout the year. but if it popped towards the west. The animals shot with the bow and arrow were buffalo.

and may you never be satisfied. The clotted blood is your recompense. Now let your spirit arise. The red hickories have tied themselves together." Hunting prayer "Give me the wind. Listen !" . Let your stomach cover itself. *** Accept the clotted blood. Yo!. its effect is nullified. Yu!" Hunting birds prayer "Listen! O Ancient White.pregnant woman wade into the stream at the time. Let me come along the successful trail with them doubled up (under my belt). I have come to offer you freely the white food. Where you have gathered in the foam you are moving about as one. support me continually. O Ancient White. Yu! O Great Terrestrial Hunter. let my experiences be propitious. may you hover above my breast while I sleep. O Ancient White. The fish have become a prey. Now let good dreams develop. and there shall be no loneliness. as they lie down in various directions. Hang the mangled things upon me. Let it cover itself at a single bend. where you dwell in peace I have come to rest. let it be covered with leaves. You two (the Water and the Fire) shall bury it in your stomachs. and may your appetite never be satisfied. O Ancient Red. Ha ! Now let my little trails be directed. It (the road) is clothed with the mangled things. Your spittle has become agreeable. that I may never become blue. O Kanati. Let the leaves be covered with the clotted blood. and may it never cease to be so. Let the paths from every direction recognize each other. Our spittle shall be in agreement. unless she has first taken the precaution to tie a strip of the bark about her toe. O Ancient White. I come to the edge of your spittle where you repose. Give me the breeze. And you. Let it (the game brought down) be buried in your stomach. put me in the successful hunting trail. Hunting and fishing prayers Fishing prayer: "Listen ! Now your settlements have drawn near to hearken. Let them be together as we go about. You Blue Cat and the others.

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