Friday, June 30, 2017

Learning about the Cherokee

For the past two weeks, our family has been learning about the Cherokee tribe.

We ate a lot of the "Three Sisters"--corn, squash, and beans--this week, as well as turkey jerky, nuts, dried fruit, and bacon. Because the Cherokee used to live near the ocean, before the awful forced relocation to Oklahoma in 1838 known as the the "Trail of Tears," the children also got to try oysters--cooked, not raw. I'm not that adventurous.

Current flag of the Cherokee tribe. The seven-point stars are used because of the symbolism of the number seven to the Cherokees. The black star is to memorialize the Cherokees who died on the Trail of Tears.

Last night, we invited a friend over who is 1/8 Cherokee and ate a dinner of whole baked trout, dried fruit, succotash (made of bacon, onions, lima beans, and corn), pumpkin pie, and cornbread. Her children showed mine how to shoot a bow and arrow; the younger ones used a Nerf bow, while the older ones tried out a real compound bow.

We learned about the Cherokee language, with its own unique syllabic script. We read about how the Cherokees had assimilated to European-American culture. Some Cherokees even were slaveowners in the antebellum South. One interesting and little-known fact is that the Cherokee language, along with other Native American languages, was used as "code talking" during WWI.

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