Feb 012016

FEBRUARY: Bony Moon Kagali Traditional time of personal-family feast for the ones who had departed this world. A family meal is prepared with place(s) set for the departed. This is also a time of fasting and ritual observance. A community dance officiated by a “doctor” Didanawiskawi commonly referred to as a Medicine-person. Connected to this moon is the “Medicine Dance”.

Art logoThis morning the sun spilled pale gold over the horizon and filled all the space beneath the great oaks.  High above, the red-tailed hawk, known to the Cherokee as ta-wo-di, sailed lazily along air currents.  Even though spring is still many weeks away,  the land is beautiful to see. … a restful moment is a perfect moment.  But we have to be open to it, and receptive to anything that gives us peace of mind with no side effects.  It can’t happen if our minds are set to be drab and dreary.  –Joyce Sequiche Hifler

The earth has received the embrace of the sun and we shall see the results of that love.  — Sitting Bull


Astronomy LogoTlish TsohWhen we look southward in the February night sky, we see Orion and his dog, Canis Major.  The constellation we know as the Big Dog, or Canis Major, was known to the Navajo as “Tlish Tsoh”, or “Big Snake”.  For them the stars in Canis Major and some of the stars in Puppis formed a zig-zag similar to a snake. 

Nancy C. Maryboy and David Begay, “Sharing the Skies”, wrote: “With the coming of winter Tlish Tsoh becomes visable.  Thus, Tlish Tsoh is an indicator that winter ceremonies can be performed and winter stories, including star stories, can be told.

“Navajos say that when snakes are hibernating you can tell winter stories.  In the land of the Navajo, Dine Bikeyah, snakes will go into the ground and enter into a period of winter seasonal hibernation, where their whole physical body will slow down and enter into a form of extended sleep.  During this time they do no move around much or eat.”

History Logo“On 23 February 1836, on behalf of and at the direction of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Texas, Commissioners Sam Houston, John Forbes, Henry Millard, A. Horton, Joseph Durst, Matthias A. Bingham, Geo. W. Case, and G. W. Beckley, serving as Secretary of the Commission, signed a treaty with the Cherokees and the twelve allied bands … The treaty was signed, or their X given, only by Cherokee leaders, Colonel Bowl “Chief Diwali,” Gadvwali “Big Mush,” Utsitsata “Corn Tassel,” Vwetsi “The Egg,” John Bowl (Diwali’s son), and Tunnette (no translation). The treaty was signed at one of the Cherokee towns near present day Alto, Texas. There were no representatives from any other tribe, the Anglos accepting Diwali and his leaders to agree for all Indians. Over two and one half million acres of land was provided for the Indians. 

This is a preview of Chief Di’Wali Bowles: Cherokees in Texas. Read the full post (1690 words, 12 images, estimated 6:46 mins reading time)

Archaeology Logo

The Cherokee Phoenix was the first Native American newspaper and the first issue was published on February 21, 1828, in New Echota,Cherokeephoenix-5-1828 (Georgia), capital of the Cherokee Nation at that time. The paper continued until 1834.  The Nation founded the paper to gather support and to help keep members of the Cherokee Nation united and informed. The newspaper was printed in English and Cherokee, using the Cherokee syllabary developed in 1821 by Sequoyah.  The first editor was Elias Boudinot who was forced to resign in 1832 when he began to support the view that removal was inevitable and that the Cherokee should protect their rights by treaty.   He was replaced by Elias Hicks whose views aligned with the majority of Cherokee at the time who supported Cherokee sovereignty and apposed relocation.  The federal government stopped annuity payments in 1834 and the Georgia Guard took the printing press and destroyed the printing office to prevent any further publication.

This is a preview of Great Sites, Part 1: Tahlequah. Read the full post (802 words, 13 images, estimated 3:12 mins reading time)

Culture Logo

The most important and fundamental structure of the Cherokee society of antiquity was the clan.  The clan was “family” for the Cherokee and those of the same clan were not allowed to marry.  The Cherokee were a matrilineal society, therefore clanship came from the mother.  Your clan defined who you were and what you would become and how you behaved.

This is a preview of a 7-part series on the clans of the Cherokee [Goto Part 1]

Clans of the Cherokee, part 2: Wild Potato Clan. Read the full post (593 words, 10 images, estimated 2:22 mins reading time)

“Clans of the Cherokee, part 3: Long Hair clan” link to this post (542 words, 9 images, estimated 2:10 mins reading time)

“Clans of the Cherokee, part 4: Deer Clan” link to this post (356 words, 10 images, estimated 1:25 mins reading time)

“Clans of the Cherokee, part 5: Bird Clan”  link to this post (768 words, 10 images, estimated 3:04 mins reading time)

Clans of the Cherokee, part 6: The Paint Clan  link to this post (446 words, 10 images, estimated 1:47 mins reading time)

“Clans of the Cherokee, part 7: Blue Holly Clan”  Permanent link to this post (665 words, 10 images, estimated 2:40 mins reading time)

Clans of the Cherokee, part 8 — The Wolf Clan. link to this post (499 words, 11 images, estimated 2:0 mins reading time)

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