Note 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.
For 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.