Facts about the Cherokee People
There are two major bands of Cherokee (three if you count the The Echota Cherokee who is recognized only by the state of Alabama, which I do), the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and the Eastern Band of Cherokees. Now, this is not counting all of the sub-tribes. The band in Oklahoma was part of the group that was forced out upon the Trail of Tears. The eastern band hid in the Smoky Mountains to avoid displacement, or returned to the lands of their foremothers. My family is part of the second band.
There are seven clans of the Cherokee People, all clans are passed down from mother to child. Unfortunately, from what I’ve come to understand this means because my grandfather married a non-Cherokee, we are clanless. Here is what the tribal site says about each clan. This is the most accurate info I’ve found to date. :)
A really cool thing about Cherokee leadership is there were two chiefs. One for war time called the Red Chief, and one for peace times, called the White Chief. From each clan there was a man who rules with the White Chief his council. This didn’t mean the women didn’t have a voice my any means. In fact during war time a council of women called War Women or Beloved Women was on every war council. Many of those women had warrior son or had won war honors in battle themselves.
The Origin of Medicine
Rattlesnake Story by Eagle Woman (look for the video link at the bottom of the page there)
I’ll start with this picture. This is a current photo, but it’s traditional garb. This is Chief Red Hawk. He is a Cherokee Indian and former Chief of the Bird-Band for the American Cherokee Confederacy of Georgia. He is an old-style, traditional dancer and master storyteller.
And of course the familiar tear dress. I bet ya’ll can guess what that was named after.