Cherokee Messenger
November, 1997

CCS Elects Board

At the October, 1997 monthly meeting Cherokee Cultural Society members elected Wade McAlister, Carter Terry, and Terry Thompson, as new board members; Cindy Linnenkohl and Joe Williams were reelected to the board. Returning to continue their terms are Judith Bruni and Victor Carroll. Special appreciation goes to retiring board members Pat George, Jimmie Melton, and Martha Sebastian, who have served CCS so well over this past year. The new board will assume duties in January, 1998. Thanks again to the Nominating Committee and Chair Joe Williams for their efforts on behalf of the organization, and to Deborah Scott, Steve Triplett and Bill Turk for overseeing the election. CCS can look forward to a great year!

CCS Members Have Opportunity to Assist in Kickapoo Drive

The American Indian community and public contributors in the Houston area are sponsoring the 1997 ANNUAL FOOD AND BLANKET DRIVE to offer critically needed basic items to the KICKAPOO TRADITIONAL TRIBE OF TEXAS, located on land eight miles south of Eagle Pass, Texas in Maverick County.

CCS members have been most generous in past years by providing items to these families, who subsist on migrant farm work and food stamps. Although a tribal casino has been established, only 54 of the 130 employees are from the tribe, and there is debt to pay from casino construction.
The 700 to 800 tribal members face many hardships resulting from historical injustices familiar to Native American. They were once residents of Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Mexico and Texas. Now the Texas Kickapoo live on a reservation of 125,32 acres held in Federal trust, land for which the tribe raised $100,000 as down payment for the purchase. Others are on reservations in Oklahoma and Kansas and in a village in Mexico. An informative brochure on the drive and the tribe is available from Otilia Sanchez (see contact information below).

What to donate and where to contact:
Appropriate donation items are: new blankets of any fabric, size or style; dry goods, (flour, sugar, cornmeal, rice, dried beans, pasta, or cereals); canned goods, spices, and shortening. If checks are preferred, they may be made payable to the "Kickapoo Drive." All donations can be sent to O. Sanchez, RE: Kickapoo Drive, P.O. Box 772204, Houston, Texas 77215; OR bring your contributions to local pow wows until December 12; OR phone 713-783-3882 to arrange for a pick up of donations. CCS SUPPORT IS MOST APPRECIATED!

An Archeological Note:

The Heavener Runestone
On Poteau Mountain near the small town of Heavener, OK, and the Arkansas line, stands a slab of stone 12 feet tall, 10 feet wide, and 16 inches thick, like a billboard. There is writing consisting of eight deeply pecked letters, whose edges have eroded to smoothness, even though the stones hardness on the Mohs Hardness Scale is 7, where a diamond is 10. In the 1830s, the Choctaws of Indian Territory saw the writing but could not read it. Various citizens in the 1800s saw the stone and named it "Indian Rock," although the Indians had no alphabets.

In 1923 the lettering was submitted by Carl Kemmerer of Heavener to the Smithsonian Institution, who identified the letters as Norse runes. In 1948, research to discover what the letters said, when they were made, and by whom, was begun by Gloria Stewart Farley, who had seen the inscription as a child. She spent 38 years finding the answers to these questions and renamed it The Heavener Runestone in 1951. Based on her research, Runestone State Park emerged to preserve this stone in 1970. By 1967 the runes were believed to represent the date of November 11, 1012, with the runes used as numbers in a Norse cryptopuzzle, according to Alf Monge, a cryptanalyst who was born in Norway. The authenticity of the stone being made by ancient Vikings was supported by the finding of two more runestones in the vicinity of Poteau Mountain, another smaller inscription of eight runes at a foothill of Cavanal Mountain, 14 miles away, and another stone bearing five runes at Shawnee, OK.

In 1986, it was found that these five runestones apparently were made even two or three centuries earlier, before 800 A.D. Translations were made in words, not numbers, by Dr. Richard Nielson, whose doctorate was from the University of Denmark. By making an in-depth study of the ancient literature and hundreds of Scandinavian runestones, he determined that the second and eighth runes are actually variants of the letter L, which permitted him to say that the Heavener runes are G-L-O-M-E-D-A-L, meaning Glomes Valley, a land claim. The similar Poteau runes are a memorial to the same man, meaning, "Magic or protection to Gloie (his nickname)." The Shawnee runestone is the name MEDOK, and was probably a gravestone, but had been moved because of construction work. The other two runestones on or near Poteau Mountain do not have enough runes for a translation, but the four stones were placed in a straight line, miles apart. These five inscriptions are all from the oldest 24-rune FUTHARK, used from 300 until 800 A.D. in Scandinavia. It is believed that these Norse explorers crossed the Atlantic, rounded the tip of Florida into the Gulf of Mexico, found the Mississippi River, and sailed into its tributaries, the Arkansas and Poteau Rivers, around 750 A.D. This date is indicated by the grammar used on Poteau Runstones.

There is much evidence that many Old-World cultures visited America centuries before Columbus, discovered by Gloria Farley and her colleagues, and presented in her book. In Plain Sight: Old World Records in Ancient America. One chapter of her book is devoted to the Oklahoma Runestones.

E-mail Gloria Farley for further information on the Heavener Runestone. Or click here to visit her home page.

Many thanks to these e-mail friends for sharing this information: hummingbird (by way of "J.C. High Eagle" ).

Community Events

Call the TIA PIAH for pow wow details: Ted Weatherly, 713-674-1017.

INTERTRIBAL COUNCIL OF HOUSTON, Call for details: John Croce, 713-991-2664, e-mail

THE ALABAMA COUSHATTA benefit pow wow is November 1, 1997, at the Livingston, TX Reservation. Call: 409-563-4391; toll free 1-800-444-3507.

November 1, 1997, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.: SEMINAR on Cherokee History, Culture, Ceremony and Genealogy, hosted by the Texas Gulf Coast Cherokee, at the Humble, TX Civic Center. $15 advanced sales; $20 at the door. Barbeque plates at noon for $5 each. Call Dan Crosby, 281-354-1163, or Pat Poland, 409-756-1264, or send a SASE to Gulf Coast Cherokee, P.O. Box 1619, New Caney, TX 77357.

November 14-15, 1997: "NATIVEWORDFEST: Honoring the Seventh Generation," Wordcraft Circle Regional Conference, Houston Museum of Natural Science. For details, call Janet Johnson, voice mail, 713-801-0895, or phone 281-931-3614.

  • November 20-23, 1997 AISES ANNUAL CONFERENCE, George R. Brown Convention Center. Call Marjorie Lowe, CCS Coordinator on the project to volunteer:713-937-4826.

  • May 30-31, 1998. THE INTERTRIBAL COUNCIL OF HAWAII (ICH) 5TH ANNUAL WARRIOR SOCIETY POW WOW in Honolulu, Hawaii at the Kapiolani Park Bandstand. M.C. will be Tom Philips, Kiowa. Host Drum is Standing Horse. Preliminary plans are also being set for the 2nd Annual IC Maui Pow Wow the following weekend. Everyone is invited: all dancers, drums, vendors, crafters and especially veterans. For more information contact: Bill Tiger, President, Intertribal Council of Hawaii, 1541 S. Beretania Street, #303, Honolulu, Hawaii 96826. Phone (808) 947-3306 or e-mail Contact:

    Arthur C. Parker Scholarship

    The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) established a new scholarship for Native American and Native Hawaii students, Tribal or Native Hawaiian cultural preservation program personnel. It provides up to $1,500 to support training in archaeological methods, including fieldwork, analytical techniques, and curation. The scholarship name honors Arthur C. Parker, the first SAA president, who was of Seneca ancestry and who spent his youth on the Catraraugus Reservation in New York. Individuals may apply, or they may be nominated by a current professor, high school teacher, or cultural preservation program supervisor. Applications must be postponed by January 15, 1998. For information or to obtain an Application/Nomination Form, contact Rick Peterson, Society for American Archaeology, 900 Second Street, NE #12, Washington, DC 20002-3557; phone 202-789-8200, fax 202-789-0284, email

    An Interview With Andrea Foster

    by Carroll Cocchia (Blackfoot), Treasurer, Houston Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers & Storytellers.
    The friendly, attractive lady, born of Cherokee grandmothers, sits quietly, relaxing in her chair, sipping hot coffee. Shes just now completing a long, grueling day, filled with people seeking her assistance, her time, her patience, her guidance, her friendship, her love-for this is Andrea Foster, an owner of Spiritual Heights, a very unique place in this city, where all souls are welcomed, nurtured, and healed everyday. "Im not aiming for the jet set-Im sincerely interested in the everyday needs of the average person," she says quietly. "I want to help them in whatever ways I can, be it nutritional, herbal, spiritual, cultural, or just plain curiosity about a subject which they cant find information."

    Her Cherokee grandmothers influence her far more than she realizes, as she dispenses daily advice regarding herbal blends, healing oils, soothing teas, and a vast array of lavish incense. Shes knowledgeable in all the worlds major religions and professes a real interest in building and developing a large Native American section, where all may come and learn about their own particular culture in a caring atmosphere. "Weve just purchased additional land next door to this building, where we hope to build an authentic sweat lodge, where Native ceremonies can be held with the respect and dignity they require and deserve," she says proudly.

    Presently being exhibited at Spiritual Heights is the excellent work of Native artists, Bob Annesley (a CCS member) and Julia Nava-Head. In the future, the exquisite jewelry of Anna Manygoats and the authentic spirit drums of B.J. Quintana will be on display for our appreciation. Says Andrea, "I want Spiritual Heights to be an open and welcoming sanctuary for talented people of all cultures, where their talents can be show-cased for all to see and enjoy."

    Spiritual Heights already hosts a variety of helpful, educational workshops, in many interesting fields, and is always "open to your suggestions for future programs and topics." Andrea shyly says, "It took me 44 years to arrive at this point in my life, where I feel I can trust my intuition-trust myself. I know Im doing what I was created to do, and its a wonderful and fulfilling feeling. Im a very happy person."

    Copyright © The Cherokee Cultural Society of Houston