Cherokee Blog by Bratilclious Litha Sapien
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~ Warrior Of The Wind ~ Across the sky as the night winds blow I hear your voice, great Warrior of long ago Oh, Mighty Warrior, my brother of the wind who stood proud with spirit unwilling to bend Who rode painted ponies over prairies and hills while I must ride gas-guzzling automobiles You rode the plains to galloping hoof beats while I'm confined to over crowded city streets Yet we are the same you and I... Our love of Mother Earth and Father sky From the time of our Mother's birth Indians have been keepers of the earth Our Sacred ground now covered in parking lots and our images used for team sport mascots... Great Warrior, your voice ever calls to me Giving my spirit strength and dignity... Oh Great Warrior who rides the wind how wonderful it must have been to have seen the splendor of your time You, whose warrior spirit touches mine One day I too will ride the wind Where the spirit has no end... AHO! ~*~ Barbara LaBarbera ©2005 (MysticWolfSpirit)
~ Two Hundred Years Ago ~ In my heart I dreamed of us together In these dreams it is like I can remember Being a trapper in the northern wilderness Understanding only friends of the land where we were blessed I was trading at a village, when my heart skipped a beat As the most beautiful woman came to trade with me She offered help for me to learn of her ways Gave me a blanket, so warm my night would stay I often stopped then, at the village to see This beautiful maiden that was kind to me One early summer night, it grew cold just after dark The tent fire's warmth she offered, this became the first spark Together we had a family offering, spirits their due Sweat lodges and fasting, so child's name we finally knew Living with the land, together we shared a life So much passion was a pleasure, when calling her wife It happened in a white city in a crowded place But that home was not my ancestor's ways For back there with her in the night, the singing Of the wolves honored the Great Spirit's bringing Then I would wake, with her right beside me Would be like the dream never ending I see Yes, technology has exploded satellite TV With her lying there beside me, a dream I never leave So this white man to his native queen I say Been over two hundred years if it has been more than a day Our love has spanned the ages, a life or two or three How much happier could this white man ever be ~*~ Gary Salter ©2005
~ I Am Cherokee ~ Half Breed Hey Half Breed They yelled you're a Injun We tried to kill off your seed Those hateful words I heard growing up in a white world Just a child with a few kin I didn't know where I came from Mom always said hush -it don't matter none Pay them no mind ,they're just being unkind I managed to grow up and learned That it did matter a lot, not just some I learned I am descended from the First Peoples and we are Earth Keepers Now I know why my heart is free and the heart drums I hear are a part of me History books never... taught me things I know instinctively It is the blood that flows in my veins That let me see what is hidden from view Others look but they have no clue Always knew I was different but didn't know that I should be proud Years have passed since childhood taunting It has been a long journey to find all of me But I found a thread and followed it back through history And now I tell you who I am I am Cherokee Bonnie Ray © 2004 used with permission
~ Cloud Walker ~ Born to mountains on high his spirit walked clouds in the sky As a strong brave young boy to all, he brought happiness and joy But as time and fate would be men came from across the sea Cloud Walker held the land in great trust but it was soon taken in greed and lust So many were the white man out numbering Cloud Walker's clan and in haste to clear the land they started fires by their evil hands Greedy and in such thoughtless rush they started burning off thick wooded brush Soon the fire was out of hand burning and destroying all the land The white men with evil smiles watched as it spread for miles but in fear they would not stay Their coward's hearts soon ran away The land was burning and smoking while people were dying and choking Cloud Walker bravely rushed in trying to save his blood's kin Risking his very heart's life he saved his children and wife His body was burned and charred and his heart's spirit forever scarred Cloud Walker stood atop a hill the fire yet burning still He watched as it spread and his spirit's heart bled He stood there a solitary man taking in the emptiness of the land Not many were left of his clan They would have to start life over again Watching as smoke bellowed across the lake thinking his heart would surely break His spirit no longer heard life's song for his heart's beloved land was gone He had fought on into the night with all his brave spirit's might But in his heart was a great void for all he loved had been destroyed His brave spirit looked to the sky and his heart could only ask why ... Surveying all the destruction with his eye asking, why did the land have to die? Cloud Walker's spirit watches yet today pollution of the once clear water ways destroying the Creator's clean fresh air without giving any thought or care His spirit watches in great sorrow and asks, will there be a tomorrow ... For him this question will ever burn will men's heart's never learn ... Cloud Walker respected this land true and all man's destruction is in his view His spirit is asking you ... What are you going to do? Cloud Walker still watches from the skies with a heart's tears in his eyes and he continues still to ask why .... Why does the land have to die? Barbara LaBarbera (LadyBleaux) © 2004 used with permission
˜Cherokee Indian Fact Sheet – How do you pronounce the word "Cherokee"? What does it mean? It's pronounced "CHAIR-uh-kee," and it comes from a Muskogee word meaning 'speakers of another language.' The Cherokee originally called themselves Aniyunwiya, "the principal people," but they have generally accepted the name Cherokee, which is spelled and pronounced Tsalagi in their own language. Where do the Cherokees live? The Cherokees are original residents of the American southeast, particularly Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky. Most Cherokees were relocated to Oklahoma in the 1800's by the infamous Trail of Tears, and the descendants of those who survived this death march still live in Oklahoma to this day. Some Cherokees escaped deportation by hiding in the Appalachian hills, or were sheltered by sympathetic white neighbors. The descendants of these people still live scattered throughout the original Cherokee homelands, particularly in North Carolina, where they have their own federally recognized tribe. How is the Cherokee Indian nation organized? There are three federally recognized Cherokee communities, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (the largest with 125,000 members), the United Keetoowah Band in Oklahoma 'with about 7000 members' and the Eastern Band of Cherokee in North Carolina (with about 10,000 members). Each Cherokee tribe has its own government, laws, police, and other services,just like a small country. However, the US government still considers the Cherokees citizens and controls some of their decisions. In the past, each Cherokee band was led by one war chief and one peace chief,chosen by a tribal council on the basis of their great deeds for the tribe. The war chief was always male, but the peace chief could be of either gender. Today,Cherokee government is similar, but the tribal councils and chiefs are popularly elected, just as senators and governors are. What language do the Cherokees speak? Most Cherokee people speak English but more than 20,000 Cherokees also speak their native Cherokee language. Cherokee is a musical language with an innovative writing system that was invented by the Cherokee scholar Sequoyah. This writing system is a syllabary, which means that each character represents a consonant and a vowel. (Another language that uses a syllabary today is Japanese.) You can see what the Cherokee syllabary looks like here and you can hear what some Cherokee words sound like when they are spoken here. If you'd like to know a few easy Cherokee words, "osiyo" (pronounced oh-see-yoh) is a friendly greeting,and "wado" (pronounced wah-doh) means 'thank you.'You can also read a glossary of some Cherokee words here. What was Cherokee culture like in the past? What is it like now? Here are links to the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and Eastern Band of Cherokees, where you can learn about the Cherokee people past and present. Chrrokee People How do Cherokee Indian children live, and what did they do in the past? They do the same things any children do-- play with each other, go to school and help around the house. Many Cherokee children like to go hunting and fishing with their fathers. In the past, Indian children had more chores and less time to play, just like early colonists' children. But they did have toys and games to play, such as a hoop game where kids tried to throw a dart through a moving hoop. Lacrosse was also a popular sport among teenage boys as it was among adult men. As for babies, Cherokee mothers, like many Native Americans, traditionally carried their babies in cradleboards on their backs-- a custom which many American parents have adopted now. What were Cherokee homes like in the past? The Cherokee people lived in settled villages of houses with plaster and rivercane walls with thatched roofs. They also built larger, seven-sided buildings for ceremonial purposes, and most towns had a lacrosse field with benches for spectators. Cherokee villages often had palisades (reinforced walls) around them, to guard against attack.Today, Cherokees live in modern houses and apartment buildings, Click here for more info just like you. What was Cherokee clothing like? Did they wear feather headdresses and face paint? The Cherokees didn't wear long headdresses like the Sioux. Cherokee men usually cut their hair in the Mohawk style or shaved it completely except for a single scalplock, and sometimes they would also wear a porcupine roach. (These headdresses were made of porcupine hair, not their sharp quills!) Cherokee women always wore their hair long, cutting it only when they were in mourning for a family member. Men tattooed their faces and bodies extensively and painted themselves bright colors in times of war, but unlike in other tribes, Cherokee women didn't paint or tattoo themselves. Originally, Cherokee men wore breechcloths with leather pant legs tied on and the women wore wraparound skirts and poncho-style blouses;both genders wore moccasins on their feet.However, once they encountered Europeans,the Cherokees adapted European costume into their own characteristic style, including long braided or beaded jackets, cotton blouses and full skirts decorated with ribbon applique, feathered turbans, and the calico tear dress.Follow the link to our page on traditional Native American clothing in general, where you can find photographs and more links about these clothing styles. Today, some Cherokee people still wear moccasins or a ribbon shirt, but they wear modern clothes like jeans instead of breechcloths... and they only wear roaches in their hair on special occasions like a dance. What was Cherokee transportation like in the days before cars? Did they paddle canoes? Yes--the Cherokee Indians made long dugout canoes from hollowed-out logs. When they were on dry land, Cherokee people usually just walked. There were no horses in North America until colonists brought them over from Europe, so the Cherokees used dogs to help them carry their belongings over land. What was Cherokee food like in the days before supermarkets? The Cherokee were farming people. Cherokee women did most of the farming, harvesting crops of corn, beans, squash, and sunflowers. Cherokee men did most of the hunting, shooting deer, wild turkeys, and small game and fishing in the rivers and along the coast. Cherokee dishes included cornbread, soups, and stews cooked on stone hearths. What were Cherokee weapons and tools like in the past? Cherokee hunters used bows and arrows and blowguns;fishermen generally used spears and fishing poles. In war, Cherokee men used their bows and arrows or fought with tomahawks and spears. What are Cherokee arts and crafts like? The Cherokees were known for their pipe carving, rivercane baskets, gourd art, and pottery. When they were moved to Oklahoma, the Cherokees couldn't get the materials they used to use for their traditional crafts, so they concentrated more on other crafts such as beadwork and textile arts. You can see some photographs and read some more details about these art forms at our Native American art site. These Facts For Kids sections are being added in response to the many emails we've been receiving from young people looking for information about the Cherokees for school or home-schooling reports. We encourage students, especially older kids, to look through our Cherokee language and culture pages for more in-depth information about the tribe, but here are some straightforward answers to the questions we are most often asked by children, with Cherokee pictures and links we believe are especially suitable for all ages.
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