Cherokee Messenger
December 1996

New Officers

During the October elections, new board members were selected for the Cherokee Cultural Society. The new president of CCS is Victor Carroll, Pat George will continue as treasurer, Cindy Linnenkohl will be the secretary and membership coordinator, Judith Bruni will head up special projects, Joe Williams will coordinate the newsletter and Jimmy Melton will continue work on the land acquisition.

December Meeting-Kickapoo Blanket Drive

The Cherokee Cultural Society will be working to support the Kickapoo Blanket Drive again this year. Please bring a new blanket to the December meeting. Otilia Sanchez, coordinator of the event since it’s inception, will make sure the goods are delivered in plenty of time for the holidays. Even though we ask that the blanket be new, it need not be expensive. K-mart and other area centers have blankets for as low as $6 - so - bring a blanket!

This event is also part of our Red Nations Remembering events for December. During the forced march west, our ancestors spent many days walking in the cold. Though we cannot go back or change the past, we can certainly do something to help people in the present!

The December meeting is also our White Elephant Gift Exchange. Please bring a "white elephant" gift, (something from your home that is of absolutely no use to anyone!) and we will draw names and start the bartering. It is one of the most popular meetings of the year, so mark your calendars. Bringing a dessert to share is always appreciated at this meeting.

Book Review

Native American Gardening; Stories, Projects and Recipes for Families, by Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac with a foreword by Gary Nabhan, brings the magical world of Native American stories together with the experience of gardening. Readers will learn traditional gardening, seed preservation, cooking and garden crafts. Also an excellent publication for teachers. $16.

Buffalo Bird Women’s Garden: Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians. First published in 1917 by anthropologist Gilbert Wilson who chronicles a year in the life of Buffalo Bird Woman, a Hidatsa Indian born in 1839 in North Dakota who describes preparing the soil, and seeds she grew, harvested, dried, cooked and saved. A packet of Shield Figure bean, once grown in her garden, is available with the book for a unique teaching experience or addition to any garden. Book only, $9. Book and seeds, $11.

Both books may be ordered through Seed Saver Exchange, (319) 382-5872.

Shawl Society

This has been a very busy year for the Cherokee Women’s Shawl Society. The quilt is finished and hanging in the Cherokee Historical Society Museum in Tahlequah. Several of us traveled to Tahlequah for the Cherokee National Holiday and were thrilled seeing our work hanging in the Museum. Thanks to Margie Lowe another dream has come true.

Since completion of the quilt the Shawl Society has been playing. We’ve traveled, gone shopping and have just generally been having a good time recuperating from all the hard work of "quilting." We are now back on track and ready to begin our classes starting in January, 1997.

We are opening our classes to our children age 9 and up. It is an opportunity for our young not only to learn beading, basket weaving, etc., but also much can be learned by listening, watching and participating. Of course, we encourage all of you to come join us.

Basketweaving Class in Tahlequah

The Shawl Society is planning a trip to Tahlequah for a class in basketweaving. We will be leaving early on 1/16/97 for an all day class at the Cherokee Cultural Center on Friday. Saturday will be spent sightseeing, genealogy research and so on, and Saturday night we will go to a stomp dance at Red Bird Smith Stomp grounds. We will share motel expenses, gas and cost of class. Please join us. Call BJ at 713-668-022 for reservations.

The Legend of the Great Smokies

One of the early chiefs of the Cherokee tribe, Da-na-gasta, wandered away from his people and never returned. After waiting many moons, his son, Kan-a-ti went in search of the chieftain. After traveling through lowlands and forests and crossing many rivers, he came at last to their highest summit, where he saw mountain peaks as far as the eye could see.

Indian legend describes a way for a pursuer to find the trail of his quarry when it has been lost. If an arrow is shot in the direction the hunted has taken, it will not return. But if an arrow is shot in the wrong direction, it will return to the place from which it was launched. Young Kan-a-ti wished to know the direction his father had taken; so, standing on the highest summit of the mountains, he shot arrows in the four directions of the compass. All of his arrows returned to him, and in his wrath and depression, he shot an arrow straight into the sky; this arrow never returned. He knew, then, that the Chief had gone to the land of the Great Spirit. The Great Spirit was so enraged at the young warrior for shooting into the land of the spirits that he sent his thunder at him there on the mountain top. Kan-a-ti was so frightened and amazed the he prayed to the Great Spirit, asking him to save him from the thunder. The Great Spirit promised to stop the thunder, but decreed that smoke should cloud the mountains forever as a warning against a repetition of his rash act in shooting the arrows. Thus the Great Smokies got their name.

Source: Indian Legends of the Southern Mountains

CCS Raffle Tickets

Raffle tickets were mailed out with the last newsletter and we are delighted to report that many members are participating in the raffle and selling tickets to friends and relatives. If you need additional tickets, contact Cindy Linnenkohl at (409) 258-8441.

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