Cherokee Myth of Creation

Long, long ago, a great island floated in a giant ocean. This island hung from four thick ropes from the sky, which was solid rock. Cherokee dance (Photo credit: sniggie) There were no peoples and it was always dark. The animals could not see so they got the sun and put it in a path that took it across the island from east to west each day. The animals and plants were told by the Great Spirit to stay awake for seven days and seven nights but most could not and slept. Those plants that did stay awake, such as the pine and cedar and those few others were rewarded by being allowed to remain green all year. All the others were made to lose their leaves each winter. Those animals that did stay awake, such as the owl and the mountain lion and those few others were rewarded with the ability to go about in the dark. Then the […] Read More

THE YOUNG GIRL WHO BECAME A WOLF

It had been a long and cold winter. Food was scarce. Many of the old ones and the babies died before spring arrived. As spring came, the animals became more active in the woodlands and forests and the men went out on many hunts to find food, to make the people strong again. The men found little. They often saw a pack of wolves on these journeys and some of the men said it was because of the wolves that game had become so scarce. During the winter, when the snows were too deep, the wolves could go where man could not, and could easily take down the deer and the moose. The deer and moose gave the people not only food to live, but their fur and hides were a necessity as well. Nothing was wasted in a successful hunt. “It is not the wolves.” Four Steps said. […] Read More

The Traditional Cherokee Belief System

In a search for order and sustaining that order, the olden Cherokee devised a simple, yet seemingly complex belief system. Many of the elements of the original system remain today. Although some have evolved or otherwise been modified, the traditional Cherokee of today recognize the belief system as an integral part of day-to-day life. Certain numbers play an important role in the ceremonies of the Cherokee. The numbers four and seven repeatedly occur in myths, stories and ceremonies. Four represents all the familiar forces, also represented in the four cardinal directions. These cardinal directions are east, west, north and south. Certain colors are also associated with these directions. The number seven represents the seven clans of the Cherokee, and are also associated with directions. In addition to the four cardinal directions, three others exist. Up (the Upper World), down (the Lower World) and center (where we live, and where […] Read More

MEDICINE OF PLANTS

Once, in the beginning…  animals, and people lived together in harmony and talked with each other. However, when mankind began to increase at a rapid pace,  the animals were pushed and crowded into forests and deserts. Man began to kill four-footed’s for their skins and furs,  not just for food that was much needed. The animals… angry at such treatment by those whom they had befriended…  decided they must punish such greedy mankind. The Bear tribe met in council. This was led by Chief Old White Bear. After many Bears had spoken against humankind and their bloody ways,  war was agreed upon. But what kind of weapons would the Bears use? Chief Old White Bear suggested that the human’s weapon,  the bow, and arrow, should be used against him. The council all agreed. While the Bears worked and made bows and arrows,  they wondered what to use for bowstrings. One […] Read More

The Story of Corn

Image via Wikipedia The earth began as nothing but water and darkness, and all the animals were in Galúnlati, above the stone vault that makes up the sky. Eventually, Galúnlati became so crowded that the animals needed more room, and they wanted to move down to earth. Not knowing what was below the water, they sent down the Water beetle to explore. Water beetle dove below the water and eventually came back with some mud from below. That mud grew and grew, and finally, it became the island that we call earth. This island of earth is suspended at its four corners from ropes that hang down from the sky, and legend has it that someday the ropes will break and the earth will sink back into the water. Because it grew from mud, the new earth was very soft. Many of the birds flew down to explore the […] Read More

A story of the Pipe of Peace

A story of the Pipe of Peace – Cherokee This story was related by a Chickamauga elder. It is a telling. As they say… Nothing is etched in stone… Way back before recorded history, the Aniyuwiya (Cherokee) lived in their country of lakes and rivers, beautiful valleys and rolling mist-covered mountains. They had lived well there for more winters than could be remembered. They had lived with their neighbors in that land with a minimum of disagreement or strife. As time went on, men of the Aniyuwiya started to become at odds with their neighbors over many things. This prompted fights to break out that even escalated into wars. The Aniyuwiya had great warriors and were not afraid to go to war. They had known peace throughout their history, but also their share of great and terrible battles. It seemed that anger was coming far easier than peace. The […] Read More

How The Rabbit Stole The Otter’s Coat

Cherokee The animals were of different sizes and wore coats of various colors and patterns. Some wore long fur and others wore short. Some had rings on their tails, and some had no tails at all. Some had coats of brown, others of black or yellow. They were always arguing about their good looks, so they agreed to hold a council to decide who had the finest coat. They had heard a great deal about the Otter, who lived so far up the creek that he seldom came down to visit the other animals. It was said that he had the finest coat of all, but no one knew just what it was like, because it was a long time since anyone had seen him. They did not even know exactly where he lived, only the general direction, but they knew he would come to the council when the […] Read More

Cherokee Spirit People

     There was a race of spirit people named the Nunne hi, or immortals, whose home in the old Cherokee country was in the highlands.  They had many townhouses, or communal-type dwellings, especially in the bald mountains, the highest peaks of which no timber ever grew on.  There were large townhouses in Pilot Knob and under the old Nilwasi mound in North Carolina, and there was another one under Blood Mountain, at the head of the Nottely River in Georgia.      The immortals were invisible except when they wanted to be seen, and then they looked and spoke just like the Cherokees.  They were very fond of music and dancing, and hunters in the mountains would often hear their dance songs and drums beating in some distant townhouse.  But when the hunters searched for the source, the sound would shift and they would hear it behind them or away […] Read More

2006: Scientific research, Cherokee tales of ‘little people’ give clues about our world

Steve Hammons July 31, 2006 Some modern physics research includes examination of interesting ideas such as unseen dimensions within our universe separated by subtle and discreet boundaries sometimes referred to as “branes.” The term “multiverse,” a universe with many dimensions, has even been used to describe these kinds of ideas. In some ways, this view of the universe is similar to the longstanding beliefs in many human cultures that there are unique veils that separate our normal world and other realities, dimensions and beings in nature. Accounts of seeing things and beings suddenly appear out of thin air are not new. There have been many reports of such phenomena. These incidents sometimes may be described as the appearance of angels or supernatural beings. Other beings who appear from nowhere are sometimes said to be loved ones who have passed on. In the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams” starring Kevin […] Read More