Cherokee Registry

The Old Ways

The "old ways" are the weaving together of a series of structured relationships to create a cohesive worldview and a sacred order rooted in harmonious and interdependent actors and activities. Based upon their observations of the workings of nature, the Cherokee built their society upon inclusivity and complimentarity as well as "modes of interrelatedness across categories of meaning, never losing sight of an ultimate wholeness." Cherokee author Marilou Awiakta describes the "old ways:" "The pattern of survival is in the poetics of primal space. Balance, harmony, inclusiveness, cooperation -- life regenerating within a parameter of order.... Continuance in the midsts of change, cardinal dynamics that sustain the universe...The Cherokee have used these poetics for survival.

This pattern of complimentarity and harmonious interrelationships began at birth. In Cherokee society, gender was a critical factor in determining one's place in the social order. This relationship had its roots in the Cherokee primal myth of the original beings -- Selu, the "corn mother," represents the relationship of women to the cycles of nature and agricultural production, and Kana' ti, the "lucky hunter," signifies the relationship of men with the forests and the harvest of game. As Cherokee society was primarily horticultural, the women were responsible for the fields which raised corn, beans, squash, and peas; after harvest, they gathered semi-cultivated plants such as berries, wild rice, potatoes, nuts and mushrooms. The women's responsibility being the garden and the field, the men were responsible for harvest the forests and for protection from enemies. Men provided meat from fishing and from hunting deer, wild turkey, and other animals. Hunting parties were primarily male. The Cherokee men regarded the forests as their fields, "The buffalo are our cows, the deer our sheep...the bear our hogs."

The Cherokee social world revolved around the interaction of gender roles, almost to the point of creating separate worlds. This led to the common belief among those Europeans that first encountered them that the Indians were lazy. They understood the work that the men did (hunting, fishing, etc.) as leisure because of its role as such in European society, "The Indians have all their work done by women...The man smokes peacefully while the woman grinds corn in a mortar." This was an assertion that explorer William Bartram was quick to reject, "The Indians are by no means that lazy slothful sleepy people so commonly reported to be."

Traditional society was often seen as bipolar and this was understood in a negative sense, "The Southeastern Indians had very little choice about what they wanted to be in life. Basically, they could either be a man or a woman." However, the bipolar structure of Cherokee society was critical to both social and personal identity and created a complementariness between individual enterprise and social benefit; thus, polarity must be understood as complementarity rather than opposition. This interrelatedness was essential to Cherokee society and provided the natural balance critical to the preservation of the Cherokee world.

The Cherokee Nation in the early colonial period was also a very decentralized and often distant collection of independent and interrelated people. It was divided into several bands living in specific geographic locations, which spoke a common language yet with different dialects. Each band functioned politically separate from others and even within the particular bands, the towns functioned as separate political entities. As Henry Timberlake described it, it was hardly a government at all, "Their government, if I may call it government, which is neither laws nor power to support it ...there is no laws or compulsion on those who refuse to follow." In addition, women were much more powerful in Cherokee society than European, The reader will not be a little surprised to find the story of the Amazons not so great a fable as we imagined, many of the Indian women being as famous in war, as powerful in the council."

The only thing that connected this loose confederation of people were ties of kinship. Patterns of kinship expressed through clan relationships transcended ties to community and affected the political order and stability of the Cherokee people. Through the clan ca me one's most basic sense of understanding themselves within the plethora of relationships that made up the social and political organization of the Cherokee people. Even the political system came to be rooted in the clan structure, "the national council is composed of chiefs from each clan, some sending more some less, regard being held for the population of each."

Community, and in a very real sense citizenship in the Cherokee Nation itself, was tied to bonds of kinship defined by membership in one of the seven clans91 that made up the Cherokee Nation. In accordance with the historic traditions of Cherokee society, people belonged to the clan of their mother; their only relatives were those who could be traced through her.

92 When a man married a Cherokee woman, he moved in with her family and their children were part of the mother's family. An individual's "blood" relatives were not those related to them on both their mother and father's sides, but only those relatives on their mother's side traced through women. The clan was the most important social entity to which a person belonged.

93 When one traveled, room and board as well as family ties could always be found in the homes of one's clan.

94 The ties of the clan were so critical to Cherokee society that they became the basic component in the relationship of native peoples with everything in their environment. Vine DeLoria, in his article "Native American Spirituality" articulates the role of kinship in the traditional worldview, "With respect to other life forms, this attitude manifests itself in what one could call "kinship" cycles of responsibility that exist between our species and other species...For the responsibility of our species is to perform responsible tasks with respect to each form of life that we encounter learning from them the basic structure of the universe, and ensuring that they receive in return the dignity accorded them."

95 Kinship terms were used to describe positive relations with other nations as well as other political entities with which the Cherokee had forged treaties and other political and trade partnerships. The term "grandfather" was used not just in a kinship sense, but also to confer respect to one in a superior position whether by age or dignity.

96 They were also used to express bonds of relationship other than blood; "brother" was used to describe familiarity; "elder brother" implied a relationship of dependence; "father" was term of respect for paternal oversight.

97 Bonds of word between family members were ties of a sacred nature. So important were ties of kinship that they found expression in Cherokee descriptions of the sacred order. The water beetle was the beaver's grandchild; the moon was the sun's brother.

98 Existence outside of the bonds of clan was a precarious one indeed. As blood oaths to avenge the harm or death of a fellow clan member were a guiding principle in the Cherokee justice system, having no clan ties meant one was at the mercy of ill-will. As Cherokee society revolved around relationships, someone who fell outside of their understood structure posed significant problems. The Cherokee may have regarded someone without ties of kinship as being less than a person.

99 Clans enabled the Cherokee to place themselves in the world and to establish appropriate relationships and thus order within the cosmos. As Theda Perdue notes in her Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, 1700-1 5: "Only those who belonged to Cherokee clans -- regardless of language, residence, or even race were Cherokee; only those who had Cherokee mothers were the Ani-Yunwiya, the Real People."

100 The name by which the Cherokee call themselves is Ani-Yunwiya in the third person, which means the "real people" or "principal people." When Hernando De Soto first encountered people from "the province of Chalaque,"

101 his Mvskoke guides informed him as to this name for these people was tciloki which means "people of a different speech," making reference to the Iroquoian nature of the Cherokee language.

102 Some say that its derivation comes from the Choctaw word chiluk ki meaning "cave people" referring the Cherokee's residence in the highlands of the Appalachian mountains of the Southeastern United States.

103 James Adair states that the name came from the Cherokee word Cheera-tahge meaning "people of the divine fire."

104 Most likely, the word Cherokee is a corruption of the word tsa-la-gi by which the Cherokee distinguish themselves from other native people.

105 Another word used by the Cherokee to distinguish themselves from their neighboring peoples is the word Ani-Kituhwagi.  James Mooney descrbes this term as being used most often on ceremonial occasions. It referred to an ancient settlement known as a "mother-town" on the Tuckasegee River near present day Bryson City, N.C. Originally describing the original nucleus of the Cherokee Nation, it came to indicate a body of people who spoke the Kituwhan variant of the Cherokee language. These people exerted a considerable influence over all the other towns along the Tuckasegee and the upper Little Tennessee River valley. The name became synonymous for the Cherokee among their Northern neighbors as the Kituwah provided protection from these sometime aggressors.

106 Another key element in the "old ways" of Cherokee society was collective ownership of land, shared responsibility for the working and maintenance of that property, and the communal distribution of the proceeds from such.

107 As women were tied by sacred legend to the domain of agriculture, they exercised tremendous power over agricultural production and in the market economy of Cherokee culture. Sarah Hill, in her Weaving New Worlds: Southeastern Cherokee Women and their Baskets divides the woman's agricultural domain into a-wi-sv-di-yi, the garden, and ga-gesi, the field.

108 The garden was usually close to the home with "large and small beans, peas, and the smaller sort of Indian corn" and was usually enclosed by a small fence to protect it from animals.

109 This small garden of "Corn, Rice, Squashes, &c, which, by early planting & closer attention, affords an earlier supply than their distant plantations."

110 In addition to the garden, each town had what Bartram referred to as the "Town Plantation, where every Family or Citizen has his parcel or share, according to desire or conveniency."

111 James Adair described the gadugi, or work detail, used by the Southeastern Indians to tend these collective fields:

Among several nations of Indians, each town usually works together. Previous thereto, an old beloved man warns the inhabitants to be ready to plant on a prefixed day. At the dawn of it, one by order goes aloft, and whoops to them with shrill calls, "that the new year is far advanced-that he expects to eat, must work, and that he who will not work, must agree to pay the fine according to the old custom, or leave the town, as they will not sweat themselves for an healthy idle waster." At such times, may be seen the war-chieftains working in common with the people...thus they proceed from field to field til their seed is sewn.

112 When the harvest is done, the same procession occurs to bring in the crops and each person harvests their share of the collective effort.

113 A certain portion of the collective's effort is set-aside for the "Publick Granary."

114 This granary is for the "wisest & best of purposes" being "A Store, or Resource, to repair to in cases of necessity; -- as when a family's falls short, or is destroyed by accidents or otherwise. He has an equal right of assistance and supply from the Publick Granary.... And it furnishes aid to neighboring Towns should they be in want."

115 Historian R.S. Cotterill's 954 work, Southern Indians: The Story of the Civilized Tribes before Removal referred to this aspect of Cherokee society as "communism."

116 As the Cherokee were soon to find out, their practice of "communism" would be as great a threat to the American way of life in 14 as it would be in 1954.

117 The Indians of the Southeast did not pursue "agriculture" in the sense that those from other continents that first encountered them understood it, and this proved to be a great impediment to the mutual understanding. The fields and gardens were hoed with a dipple stick or stone mattock and seemed hardly tended to at all: "They dig their holes and plant. Grass grows up around the spot, and they weed out what is close enough to the plant to harm it directly...seeing the fields that result, one would not believe that they had been cultivated at all."

118 Both Timberlake and Adair credit successful Cherokee agriculture as resting solely with the virtue of the land, "They commonly have pretty good crops, which is owing to the richness of the soil; for they often let the weeds outgrow the corn."

119 If the women worked the gardens and the fields in the summer and fall, the men harvested the woods and the streams in the winter and spring. From the very first contacts, the explorers noted the skills of the Southeastern Indians, "The Indians never lacked meat. With arrows they get abundance of deer, turkeys, rabbits, and other wild animals, being very skillful in killing game, which the Christians are not."

120 John Gerar William De Brahm, the British Crown's Surveyor General, noted that "As the Cherokee, like unto the rest of all Northern Indians, are expert in and fit for nothing but hunting."121 The Cherokee understood their relationship to the animals of the forests as the Europeans did to the animals of their fields, "The great God of Nature has placed us in different situations...He has given each their lands...he has stocked yours with cows, ours with buffaloe; yours with hog, ours with bear; yours with sheep, ours with deer.

122 The men were also responsible for the protection of the village from enemies both foreign and domestic; the Cherokee were constantly at war with the Shawnee, the Iroquois, and the Muskogee. Once again, their ways of war were unusual, "These chiefs command the army and direct the main operations, but there are many private expeditions to pillage houses or isolated farms. In their armies, the warriors stay, go, and return just as they please; no one cares. Their ways of war are fierce; they rarely take prisoners."

123 When taken, prisoners were subjected to terrifying torture.

124 Status was achieved in male society by being victorious at war.

125 Warfare was considered a great honor and a great responsibility; it was indicative of the highest form of patriotism to the Cherokee Nation, "They are all equal -- the only precedence any gain is by superior virtue, oratory, or prowess; they esteem themselves bound to live and die in defence of their country...Warriors are to protect all, but not to molest or injure the meanest...The reason they are more earnest than the rest of mankind, in maintaining that divine law of equal freedom and the notion...of the divine theocracy, and that inexpressible abhorrence of slavery."126 Warfare was such a sacred responsibility for the male gender that it was forbidden for them to have sexual contact with females before battle and the costs of such were considered to be the cause of failure in their endeavors.

127 That is not to say that women did not have a place in warfare. Women would occasionally accompany men to war and if they were successful in their encounters, the woman would be raised to the "Dignity of War Woman."

128 The "War Woman" has a status which no man can enjoy, not even "Emperor, Kings, or Warriors" and "there are but few towns in which is a War Woman."

129 All prisoners must be delivered alive to her for her to decide their fate, "if she can come near enough to the Prisoner as to put her hand on him, and say, this is my Slave, the Warriors (tho with the greatest Reluctancy) must deliver him up to her."

130 As he was traveling through Cherokee country near "Tugilo," William Bartram came upon "Warwoman's Crick" that was so named for the "valour and strategem of an Indian Woman that was present & who afterwards was raised to the dignity of Queen of Chief of the Nation as a reward of her superior virtues & abilities."

131 Central to the "old ways" were religious traditions.

132 If, as James Adair suggests, the Cherokee were known as "people of the divine fire,"

133 it is because fire played such an important part of their religious traditions.

134 According to Cherokee mythopoetic traditions, shortly after the creation of the middle world from the midst of the lower world, the Thunders sent lightning from the upper world to the middle world and created fire. After a series of councils and a number of efforts by the biggest and the bravest of the animals, only the tiny water spider was able to bring the fire from its island resting place by carrying it in a web on her back.

135 The sacred fire was appointed by the sun to take care of her people and it serves as the nearest representative of the sun in the middle world,

136 When fire burns, its smoke returns to the upper world. Among the Hitchiti people of the Mvskoke confederation, it is said that when red men received knowledge, "it was through the fire that they received it."

137 In another mythopoetic tradition related to James Mooney by the Cherokee Ayunini entitled "the old sacred things," the divine fire is closely related to the temple mounds in Western North Carolina. The temple mounds in Nikwasi and Kituwha were built by the early Ani-Kituhwagi as townhouses to protect and store the atsi'la gulunkw'tiyu, "the honored or sacred fire."

138 In all of the Cherokee towns, the sacred fire is kept in the central townhouse, "They venerate Fire. And have some mysterious rites and ceremonies which I could never perfectly comprehend. They seem to keep the Eternal Fire in the Great Rotunda, which is guarded by the priests....None but a priest can carry any fore forth"

139 William Richardson, one of the earliest missionaries to the Cherokee, also noted the importance of fire at a religious ceremony he attended in 19, "I took it for some religious ceremony paid to the fire as they frequently bowed to it."

140 The Cherokee also had periodic gatherings to celebrate their relationship to the cycles of nature. One of the most important of these gatherings to celebrate religious holidays was the Green Corn Ceremony or "Festival of First Fruits."

141 The Green Corn Ceremony was a ritual of propitiation that featured the ritual cleansing of the community by getting rid of all old and useless things, including grievances and feuds that were to be forgiven and settled. All of these old and useless things, "they cast together in one common heap, and consume it with fire."

142 The people then fasted for three days and drinking the "black drink;"

143 on the fourth day, the high priest "produces new fire in the public square, from whence every habitation in the town is supplied with a new and pure flame."

144 With the new flame, the people feast, rejoice and dance for three more days. At the end of the busk, a very curious thing occurs; the participants paint themselves white and form a solemn procession:

In this manner, the procession moves along, singing Aleluiah to YO He WaH, &c, till they get to the water, which is generally contiguous, when the Archi magus jumps into it and all the holy train follow him...Having purified themselves, or washed away their sins, they come out with joyful hearts, believing themselves out of the reach of temporal evil, for their past vicious conduct; and they return in the same religious cheerful manner, into the middle of the holy ground, where having made a few circles, singing and dancing round the altar, they thus finish their annual great festival, and depart in joy and peace.

145 The ritual of "going to water," in which the emergent arose cleansed of impurities is a critical element in Cherokee religious life and culture.

146 In nearly every important event in Cherokee life, the activity was preceded by the ritual act of "going to water" by immersing oneself into the fingers of Yunwi Gunahita, the Long Person, as the Cherokee called the rivers that surrounded them. De Brahms noted that "The first and principal Exercise of the Indians is bathing and swimming...Every morning, both in Summer and in Winter, coming out of their Hot houses, they take their babes under their arms, and lead their children to the Rivers which they enter be it ever so cold."

147 The Cherokee believed that water was sacred because it led to the underworld -- a world of mythic and powerful beings whose magic powers affected humanity.

148 One of the times that "going to water" was important was before another important religious tradition held at community gatherings, that of "ball play." "Ball play" allowed the Cherokee who would be warriors an opportunity to prove themselves in a traditionally accepted ways; "ball play" was known as the function it served -- "the little war."

149 In the olden times, it was a very fierce and dangerous battle in which participants were even known to lose their lives. There were often huge wagers and if one town's team beat another town's team three times, then the loser was absorbed into the victor's town.

150 In later times, "ball play" became much less serious, but it maintained its ritual importance and also preserved some aspects of traditional social organization in which clan and town figured prominently.

151 The same could be said for the periodic "stomp dances" in which the sacred fire was the center of the ritual but, in which, clan relationships as well as traditional gender roles were celebrated. The seven clans were each called to dance around the fire and smoke from the sacred pipe. The men and women danced collectively and they danced separately. The women wore rattles made of turtle that they wore around the lower part of their legs. The rhythmic movement of the women wearing shells had a very particular sound to correspond to the drumming of the men.

In the midst of every Cherokee ceremony, whether stomp dance or "ball play," is to be found the storyteller or orator. The power and presence of the oratorical tradition is a critical element of traditional society. Linking together the past with the present, the mythic with imagined reality, and providing for a common future, the Cherokee orator is the tie that binds in the beloved community of the Cherokee Nation. As much as the historian is the keeper of the collective memory in western traditions, the power of the spoken word is central to the traditional wordlview.

152 On the eve of contact with the European invaders, the realm of the Cherokee spread over some forty thousand square miles and contained nearly twenty-five thousand people. Primarily an agriculturally-based society, it was noted for its radical democracy, its egalitarian social structures, its communitarian values, and its strong sense of identity rooted in the ideal of community. In contrast with European "civilization," Cherokee society stood on its own, "As moral men they certainly stand in no need of European civilization. They are just, honest, liberal and hospitable to strangers, loving and affectionate to their wives and relations; fond of their children; industrious, frugal, temperate and perservering; charitable and forebearing...In this case they stand as examples of reproof to the most civilized nations, as not being defective in justice, gratitude, and a good understanding."

153 Mary C. Churchill, "The Oppositional Paradigm of Purity versus Pollution in Charles Hudson's 'The Southeastern Indians '" in The American Indian Quarterly (June, 1996): 563. Joseph Epes Brown, The Spiritual Legacy of the American Indian. (New York: Crossroads, 19 ), .

Marilou Awiatka, Selu: Seeking the Corn-Mother's Wisdom (Golden, CO.: Fulcrum Publishing, 1993),

1 . Paula Gunn Allen refers to this structured society as "gynocratic:" "In gynocratic tribal systems, egalitarianism, personal autonomy, and communal harmony were highly valued, rendering the good of the individual and the good of the society mutually reinforcing rather than divisive. Gynocentric communities tend to value peace, tolerance, sharing, relationship, balance, harmony, and just distribution of goods." (Paula Gunn Allen, Grandmothers of the Light: A Medicine Woman's Sourcebook (Boston: Beacon Press, 1991), ix.) John Swanton, The Indians of the Southeastern United States, (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1946),

5. Nearly every work on Cherokee Society begins with a discussion of the mythology of Selu and Kana'ti. Perhaps the most striking rendering is Paula Gunn Allen's "River, Blood, and Corn" in her Grandmothers of the Light: A Medicine Woman's Sourcebook on pages 66-70. Louis Phillipe, Diary of My Travels in America, Trans, Samuel Becker (New York: Delacorte Press, 19), ; Adair, 438; Bartram, "Observations," 165; Timberlake, 68. Bartram, "Observations," 152; Adair 439-440. Sarah Hill, - . Bartram, "Observations," 152, 165; De Brahm's Report; 114; Adair, 330. Alexander Longe, "A Small Postscript of the ways and manners of the Indians Called Charikees," ed. David Corkran, Southern Indian Studies 21 (1969), 28. Charles Hudson, The Southeastern Indians (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 19), 260. Louis Phillipe, . Bartram, "Observations," 152. They saw the males hunting, fishing, ball-play, and warfare as mechanisms of entertainment as opposed to methods of survival. Hudson, 269. Allen, xiv.

David Cornsilk, "Footsteps -- Historical Perspective: History of the Keetoowah Cherokees," Cherokee Observer (online),

( August 29, 1998;

Wilma Dunaway, The First American Frontier: Transition and Capitalism in Southern Appalachia, 1700-1 0 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996), 29-31. Timberlake, 94. ibid. Hudson, 1 -193. William H. Gilbert, Jr., "The Eastern Cherokees" Anthropology Paper #23, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin (133): 169-413. 91 There could be many more clans. "The Cherokee Vision of Eloh" records that there were twelve, but that five are reportedly lost. [Howard Meredith and Virginia Milam, "A Cherokee Vision of Eloh" Indian Historian 8 (4): 19]. See also Swanton, 654-657; Mooney, 212-213. 92 Louis Phillipe, ; Timberlake, ; John Lawson, A New Voyage to Carolina, Hugh T. Lefler, ed. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1967), 57. 93 Hudson, 193. 94 William Bartam, The Travels of William Bartram, edited with commentary and an annotated index by Francis Harper. Naturalist's ed. Athens, University of Georgia Press, 1998, 311. 95 Vine Deloria, "Native American Spirituality" in For This Land: Writings on Religion in America (New York: Routledge Press, 1999), 131. 96 Mooney, 491. 97 Hudson, 1 . 98 Hudson, 127. 99 John P. Reid, A Law of Blood: Primitive Law in the Cherokee Nation (New York: New York University Press, 1970), .37-48. 100 Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, 1700-1 5 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998), 59. 101 J. Franklin Jameson, ed. Original Narratives of Early American History: Spanish Explorers in the Southern United States (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1 7), 1. 102 Lee Sultzman, First Nations Histories: The Cherokee, August 22, 1998, (; Swanton, 110. 103 Some have conjectured that this "cave people" may have associations with the "temple mound" culture of the American Southeast. Although the Cherokee did inhabit and build mounds, the oldest mounds in the area seem to be of Mvskogean origins as opposed to Cherokee. (Goodwin, 34-36) 104 James Adair, Adair's History of the American Indians, edited by Samuel Cole Williams, (Johnson City, Tenn: Watauga Press, [17] 1930), 237. 105 James Mooney, "Myths of the Cherokees" (Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1 0), 1 . 106 Mooney, 1 . 107 Longe, 24, Louis Phillipe, ; Bartam, "Observations," 155. 108 Hill, - . 109 Adair, 435. See also Joan Greene and H. F. Robinson, "Maize Was Our Life: A History Of Cherokee Corn" Journal of Cherokee Studies 19 11(1): 40-52. 110 Bartam, "Observations," 160. 111 Bartam, "Observations," 160. 112 Adair, 436. 113 Claudio Saunt, in his work, A New Order of Things: Property, Power, and the Transformation of the Creek Indians, 13-1 6 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999) states that the Creeks, and by extension other Southeastern Indians, believed that the people claimed rights to the crops their labor produced but not to the land itself. The land was "worked in common, but harvested in severalty, was not owned as much as it was used." [Saunt, 49]

114 Bartram, "Observations," 159.

115 Ibid.

116 "Communism freed the Indian from ambition to acquire wealth as anarchy freed him from temptation to seek power. It made him improvident of the future, minimized class distinctions, reemphasized cooperation, promoted tribal solidarity. ...He held women in high regard, admitting them to share his private labors as well as his public counsels, imparting to them secrets which they frequently, unpenalized and apparently uncriticized, revealed, and conceding to them a freedom of action and immunity to regulation such as modern women have nowhere obtained" [R.S. Cotterill, Southern Indians: The Story of the Civilized Tribes before Removal (Norman: University of Oklahoma press, 1954), 13-14.]

117 "There is not a pauper in that Nation, and that Nation does not owe a dollar. It built its own capital, in which we had this examination, and built its schools and hospitals. Yet, the defect in this system was apparent. They have gone as far as they can go, because they hold their land in common. It is Henry George's system, and under that there is no enterprise to make your home any better than that of your neighbors. There is no selfishness, which is at the bottom of civilization. Till these people will consent to give up their lands, and divide them among their citizens so that each can own the lands he cultivates, they will not make much progress "[Senator Henry Dawes quoted in Janey Hendrix, "Redbird Smith and The Nighthawk Keetoowahs." Journal of Cherokee Studies 8 (Fall, 19 ): 24].

118 Louis Phillipe, .

119 Adair, 438.

120 Jameson, 168.

121 De Brahm's, 114.

122 Onitositah (Corn Tassel), quoted in Lee Miller, ed. From the Heart: Voices of the American Indian (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995), 131.

123 Louis Phillipe, .

124 De Brahm's, 108.

125 De Brahm's, 108.

126 Adair, 406.

127 Adair, 1. 128 DeBrahms, 109. 129 Ibid. 130 Ibid. 131 Bartrams, "Observations," 153. 132 Samuel D. Perry, Religious Festivals In Cherokee Life, Indian History 19 12(1): 20-22, 28. 133 Adair, 237. 134 David Corkran, "The Sacred Fire of the Cherokees" Southern Indian Studies 1963 (5): 21-26. 135 Mooney, 240-242 136 Adair, 101. 137 John Swanton, Myths and Tales of the Southeastern Indians (Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995), . 138 Mooney, 396-396. 139 Bartram, "Observations," 149. 140 William Richardson, "An Account of my Proceedings," Wilberforce Eames Indian Collection, New York Public Library. 141 Bartram, Travels, 323. See also Ruth Y. Wetmore, "The Green Corn Ceremony Of The Eastern Cherokees" Journal of Cherokee Studies 19 8(1): 45-56. 142 Ibid. 143 The "black drink" was made by the women of the community. It consisted of a variety of holly that grew along the eastern seaboard. Its main ingredient was caffeine. It served as a stimulant, a diuretic, and sometimes an emetic. William Richardson, one of the first missionaries to the Cherokee, described the drinking of the black drink as being "taking physick." [ Richardson, `An Account of my Proceedings," ] The effects of "taking physick" were a more rapid and clear flow of thought, more sustained intellectual effort, and a sharpened reaction time. [Hudson, 226-229] 144 Bartram, Travels, 323. 145 Adair, 117. In 1 8, Baptists missionary Evan Jones witnessed a similar process:
Went to a Town Meeting for the early Spring Ablutions. The Adoneeskee, or priest, allowed me to accompany them, but when we came near the water, he directed me to take another path, and coming to the place a stool was set down with a deerskin on it and some beads on the skin. The Adoneeskee, or priest, muttered something which nobody could hear for about 20 minutes, the people standing with their faces towards the water. Then, with great solemnity, he walked into the water and scattered the sacred beads into the stream in all directions. The women then commenced plunging their children into the water; those who were large enough plunged in themselves. The men went a little distance and dipped themselves and the women went to a separate place and did likewise. This done all retired to the home of the Adoneeskee and after listening to a long speech from the old man, commenced eating cold venison which was prepared for the occasion.

Evan Jones, Journals, February 29, 1 8, "Correspondence of Missionaries to Native Americans, [microform], 1 5-1 5," American Baptist Historical Society, Rochester, N.Y.

146 Alan Edwin.Kilpatrick, "`Going To The Water': A Structural Analysis Of Cherokee Purification Rituals" American Indian Culture and Research Journal 1991 15(4): 49-58; Alan Kilpatrick, "A Note on Cherokee Theological Concepts" The American Indian Quarterly 19 (June 19595): 394. 147 De Brahms 107-108; Richardson. 148 James Mooney, "The Cherokee River Cult," The Journal of American Folklore 13 (January-March 1 0): 48. 149 James Mooney, "The Cherokee Ball Play" Journal of Cherokee Studies 19 7(1): 10-24; Mark Reed, "Reflections On Cherokee Stickball" Journal of Cherokee Studies 19 2(1): 195-200; Catherine Cochran, "Traditional Adult Cherokee Games" Journal of Cherokee Studies 19 13: 19-45. 150 For descriptions of ball-play, see Louis-Phillipe, 91-94 151 Theda Perdue, Nations Remembered: An Oral History of the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles in Oklahoma 1 5-1 7 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993), 68. 152 Jack and Anna Kilpatrick, Friends of Thunder: Folktales of the Oklahoma Cherokees (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1964 [1995 Reprint]), 3. 153 Bartram, Travels, 310.