Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cherokee Fables: How They Brought Back Tobacco

 
Branta_canadensis_in_flight,_Great_Meadows_National_Wildlife_RefugeIn the beginning of the world, when people and animals were all the same, there was only one tobacco plant, to which they all came for their tobacco until the Dagûl`kû geese stole it and carried it far away to the south. The people were suffering without it, and there was one old woman who grew so thin and weak that everybody said she would soon die unless she could get tobacco to keep her alive.
 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cherokee Fables: The Daughter of the Sun

Autumn Equinox 9-21-2 01The Sun lived on the other side of the sky vault, but her daughter lived in the middle of the sky, directly above the earth, and every day as the Sun was climbing along the sky arch to the west she used to stop at her daughter’s house for dinner.
 
Now, the Sun hated the people on the earth, because they could never look straight at her without screwing up their faces. She said to her brother, the Moon, “My grandchildren are ugly; they grin all over their faces when they look at me.” But the Moon said, “I like my younger brothers; I think they are very handsome “–because they always smiled pleasantly when they saw him in the sky at night, for his rays were milder.
 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

“Cherokee Fables: Origin of Disease and Medicine”


Cherokee Hunter by Mails
In the old days the beasts, birds, fishes, insects, and plants could all talk, and they and the people lived together in peace and friendship. But as time went on the people increased so rapidly that their settlements spread over the whole earth, and the poor animals found themselves beginning to be cramped for room. This was bad enough, but to make it worse Man invented bows, knives, blowguns, spears, and hooks, and began to slaughter the larger animals, birds, and fishes for their flesh or their skins, while the smaller creatures, such as the frogs and worms, were crushed and trodden upon without thought, out of pure carelessness or contempt. So the animals resolved to consult upon measures for their common safety.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

“Part 2, Kana’tï And Selu: The Origin Of Game And Corn”

 Cultures, Legends, Native American Antiquity  No Responses »
Jul032014
 
letting the deer get awayPart 2: Wild Game

Thursday, June 26, 2014

“Kana’tï And Selu: The Origin Of Game And Corn”


Part 1:  The Wild Boy
 
[from Myths of the Cherokee, by James Mooney]
 
When I was a boy this is what the old men told me they had heard when they were boys.
 
When I was a boy this is what the old men told me they had heard when they were boys.
river in Smoky MountainsLong years ago, soon after the world was made, a hunter and his wife lived at Pilot knob with their only child, a little boy. The father’s name was Kana’tï (The Lucky Hunter), and his wife was called Selu (Corn). No matter when Kana’tï went into the wood, he never failed to bring back a load of game, which his wife. would cut up and prepare, washing off the blood from the meat in the river near the house. The little boy used to play down by the river every day, and one morning the old people thought they heard laughing and talking in the bushes as though there were two children there. When the boy came home at night his parents asked him who had been playing with him all day. “He comes out of the water,” said the boy, “and he calls himself my elder brother. He says his mother was cruel to him and threw him into the river.” Then they knew that the strange boy had sprung from the blood of the game which Selu had washed off at the river’s edge.
 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cherokee Fables: The First Fire


Lightning_hits_treeIn the beginning there was no fire, and the world was cold, until the Thunders (Ani’-Hyûñ’tïkwälâ’skï), who lived up in Gälûñ’lätï, sent their lightning and put fire into the bottom of a hollow sycamore tree which grew on an island. The animals knew it was there, because they could see the smoke coming out at the top, but they could not get to it on account of the water, so they held a council to decide what to do. This was a long time ago.

Cherokee Fables: How the World was Made

Clouds_over_the_Atlantic_Ocean
The earth is a great island floating in a sea of water, and suspended at each of the four cardinal points by a cord hanging down from the sky vault, which is of solid rock. When the world grows old and worn out, the people will die and the cords will break and let the earth sink down into the ocean, and all will be water again. The Indians are afraid of this.