Jan 012016
 

Teaching son 002Note to readers of Native American Antiquity:  This article marks a change.  This year, the journal will change from weekly to monthly and will  present facts on the art, archaeology, astronomy, history and culture in each article.  I hope you enjoy the new format, wado (thanks), Courtney Miller.

Culture LogoFor the ancient Cherokee, this time of the year was a time for personal reflection and purification through ritual and ceremony.  It was a time of preparation for spring, repairing old tools and making new ones.  It was a time when families moved into their “asi” or winter house and listened to stories told by the elders.  The asi’s were conical clay houses partially submerged where the families could sit and sleep around the center fire to stay warm.

Oct 292015
 

On the surface, it appears that  Chief Di’Wali Bowles spent his life running from something trying to find peace.  He left his home in Running Water Chief Dewali BowlesTown on the Tennessee river after the Muscle Shoals Massacre fearing retribution from his tribe (He was later completely exonerated).  He left Missouri after a massive earthquake was determined to be a sign from the Great Spirit.  He left Arkansas after the Louisiana Purchase expanded the jurisdiction of the United States.  He twice relocated in Tejas (first a part of Spain, then Mexico).  In his early seventies, he thought he had possibly found peace in Texas until the white Texans revolted against the Mexicans.

Oct 222015
 

Reelfoot_Rift_diagram_from_USGS_en_svgOn December 16, 1811, a series of intense interplate earthquakes shook the area around New Madrid, Missouri.   They are, to this day, the most powerful earthquakes to hit the contiguous United States east of the Rocky Mountains.  The quakes were felt strongly over roughly 50,000 square miles.  Compare this to the 1906 San Francisco quake felt over roughly 6,200 square miles.  Chief Di’Wali Bowles interpreted these quakes as a sign from the Great Spirit that they were not to live there.  They left their homes and moved to Arkansas, still hoping to be far enough west to “outrun the disease of the white man and their great hunger for land.”

Oct 152015
 

map of Spanish possessions 001“In the mid-1700s, the Spanish invited the Ani-Tsalagi, known as Cherokees, to move into their frontier area.  The Spaniards offered the red men land for their families.  The Spanish wanted them located on the eastern frontier to be a buffer between them and the English Colonies to the east.

Oct 012015
 
Chief Buffington

Chief Buffington

“I have seen my people strive to make a living ever since the last bunch of Cherokees arrived over the trail of tears to the present time. I have seen many of our tribe deed away their land to satisfy a mortgage of which they were not able to cope.

“I have had many ask me the difference in an ‘Old Settler Cherokee’ and an ‘Eastern Emigrant.’ An old settler is a Cherokee who came with the first bunch from Georgia without being forced by the government. An eastern emigrant is one that remained behind and was forced by the government to remove to the new country, west of the Mississippi and this movement was known as the ‘Trail of Tears.'”

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