Moving Back Home…

The name Creek is not the actual name of the Creek Indians. Their actual name is the Muskogee. They lived as a confederacy or in other words, their tribal configuration consisted of more than one Indian tribe. It is an amalgamation of several tribes.

  

The Creek Indians have history in the Atlanta area. A number of Creek Indian trails are said to terminate at Buckhead of the Atlanta area. Specifically, what is known as the Peachtree trail ran along the top of the Chattahoochee ridge from near Toccoa to Buckhead, where it divided into branches. One branch continued by way of what is now called the Pace's Ferry and Moore's Mill roads to Standing Peachtree. The other branch led southward from Buckhead across Peachtree Creek and joined the Sandtown trail at Five Points in what is now Atlanta.

 

 

Thus, as African Americans move to Georgia, they should reflect if they are moving back to the ancestral place of their Native American heritage.

  

Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 27, 2006

Be Aware…

You should ask what the craft object is and what it is used for. Also, ask what tribal affiliation made the craft and does it have symbolic representation and meanings. These questions will allow you to make an informed decision. 

In the Native American culture, as in many other cultures, some of its ancient craft objects are believed to posses powers. These craft objects are generally carved animals which were crafted as fetishes. A fetish is generally a variety of animals which are carved out of wood, bone, glass with the belief that the animal fetish will bestow an attribute to its owner. Some fetishes appear to be positive, for example, deer fetish represents gentleness, and a beaver represents a builder. On the other hand some fetishes appear to be sinister. For example, a snake can represent death, and a raccoon can represent a bandit.  

Also, a fetishes may have several potential meanings some positive and some sinister and it is the craftsman that makes the fetish with a particular intent. Thus, it’s best to ask questions and not make purchases of things your religion would not approve of or that you personally feel uncomfortable with. 

Be aware so that you won’t be sorry… 

Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 25, 2006

 

American Indian Heritage Month – November

American Indian Month was proposed and sought after in 1915 by Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y. Likewise, Black History Month’s origination is accredited to Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Dr. Woodson in 1915 established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now called the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History).  

Both men took on very challenging tasks but were inspired by the notion that the contributions of their people must be acknowledged and formally recognized by all peoples of the United States. Both men are great examples of following what their hearts inspired them to do. They were able to garner support and move their visions forward after years of working towards their goals the reality occurred and we celebrate their efforts today. 

Article by CherokeeCloud 

Written September 24, 2006 – Reposted November 20, 2006

Gourd Crafts and Decorations

Gourds are vegetables although most people don’t eat them but instead use them for decorative crafts. To prepare a gourd to be used for decorations there are several steps. They include storing the gourd, drying it out, cleaning it, and decorating it.

To dry out a gourd put some pin holes in the bottom of it and let is sit in a dry area with good air circulation. Once the gourd is dried out it can be cleaned and then decorated.   

How do you know when a gourd is dried out? It is simple. Gourds contain seeds. When you can shake the gourd and hear the seeds rattling inside, the gourd is dry. It will be very firm or tough to the touch. Once this is observed the gourd is dryed out and can be cleaned.   

Cleaning a gourd is accomplished by placing it in water with about a capful of bleach to a gallon of water. The gourd is then scrubbed to remove any mold, or discoloration spots. It is not unusual to see rot on the gourd but this should not discourage you continue to clean it. As the gourd is scrubbed the thin layer of gourd skin is removed. After the cleaning is complete rinse the gourd and let it sit in a dry area.  

Once the gourd is washed, cleaned, and let dry it can be coated with paste wax or painted with acrylic or enamel paint. The painting can include wonderful colors and designs. The gourds are then ready for use or sale as decorative crafts. Gourds make great table decorations for the Fall season.

If you don't want to make your own Gourd crafts they can be purchased in Native American craft stores.

Article by CherokeeCloud 

Written September 23, 2006

The Meaning of Color

For Native Americans the color symbolism is generally as follows with some variation:

 

Red (Faith): Communication
Yellow (Love): Overcoming challenges through unconditional love
Blue (Intuition): Using intuition to teach and serve
Green (Will): Living willfully
Pink (Creativity): Working
White (Magnetism): Sharing
Purple (Wisdom): Gratitude/healing
Orange (Learning): Kinship
Gray (Honoring): Friendship
Brown (Knowing): Self-discipline
Rose (Seeing): Motivation
Black (Hearing) Harmony; listening
Crystal (Clarity): Wholeness
    

So, when planning Native American decoration or clothing design, keep these coloring schemes in mind. This is especially important since color can affect one attitude, mood, and disposition. Color can be calming, agitating, welcoming or distant so be sure you are seen in the best color possible.  

So, when planning Native American decoration or clothing design, keep these coloring schemes in mind. This is especially important since color can affect one attitude, mood, and disposition. Color can be calming, agitating, welcoming or distant so be sure you are seen in the best color possible.  

Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 22, 2006

Dance Shawls

There are many types of Native American dance shawls. The shawls are made of various materials, as well as, decorative items on the shawls. The determination of whether to make or buy a shawl is generally the choice of the woman seeking to wear a dance shawl.   

Making a shawl can be time consuming but it is the best way to appreciate the Native American culture and also design the shawl to reflect ones creativity. Buying a shawl is efficient but generally expensive, because one must pay for someone else’s time, materials, and creativity in making the shawl for sale.  

The best way to obtain a dance shawl is to be “gifted” with one. This is certainly the native tradition. Gifting of a shawl is when someone else makes a shawl and gives it to you as a gift. This is certainly an honor for both the one who gives the shawl and the one that receives it.  

I have seen shawls made of cotton, gabardine, satin, linen, and suede. These shawls are in a variety of colors and adorned with designs, patterns, and pictures. The adornments are generally made of sparkles, metallic, or satin fabrics, and also adorned with shells and beads. Around the edges of the shawls are tassels (fringes). The tassels give the shawl a flowing quality and complete it.  

A shawl is a great way to represent yourself, your tribal affiliation, nature, your family/clan designations, or the particular dance in which you are participating.So, whether you make, purchase, or are gifted with a dance shawl it is an important part of a woman’s clothing appearance at a Pow Wow. Take great care of your shawl and pass it down to the next generation.  

Article by CherokeeCloud 

Written September 21, 2006

Ettiquette for Pow Wow

Although the Pow Wow is seen by Non-Native Americans as entertainment, it provides an opportunity for refreshing and respect of sacred tradition for Native Americans. So, in order to be respectful, etiquette must be observed.

 

There are many forms of etiquette that must be observed at a Pow Wow. The etiquette includes:

  

Ask permission before taking pictures of the dancers, native elders or other Native American persons. This demonstrates respect.

  

Always stand and remove hats when requested for special songs or ceremonies.

  

Follow the directions of the Pow Wow master of ceremony and other Pow Wow officials.

  

Never bring alcohol or drugs to a Pow Wow or attend one if intoxicated.

  

Bring your own seating, such as a lawn chair, because seating and seating areas may be reserved for Native American elders, officials or special guests. A lawn chair is portable and can be moved easily.

  

If Non-Native Americans are invited to participate in a dance, be sure to respect the head dancer(s), and enter into the dance area by invitation waiting for others to go ahead of you if they are already in the dance area.

  

Donate to the requests for gifting the elders or donating to special Native American activities.

  

Lastly, remember you are a guest and must be very respectful of the Native American culture and traditions.

  

Article by CherokeeCloud

Re-published – April 6, 2007

Hairstyles

For Native American men long hair is an indication of wisdom and strength.  For African American men it is a symbol of ethnic pride and non-conformity to the mainstream. But for both in the 21st century it is a symbol of confidence in oneself.  

For Native American women hair in some tribal affiliations was an indication of marital status based on whether the hair was worn long and flowing or in braids. Common braiding styles included one large braid down the back of the head and back, or two braids separated by a part in the center of the head. For African American women hair has always been styled in a variety of ways. Straight, curled, braided, natural, and the list goes on and on.  All of these styles demonstrated the importance and flexibility and freedom African American women demonstrate in their personal styles.  

But for all the concern about hair, both Native American and African Americans it is not what is on the head (i.e. Hair), but what is in the head –knowledge and pride in ones ethnicity and culture.  

Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 19, 2006

The Myth of Race and Self-Identification

The US Census of 1850 described people by Color. There were 3 choices which included “white”, “black”, or “mulatto”. Mulatto described as a mix of colors. In the US Census of 1880 people were described by 5 choices of Color with the choices, “white”, “black”, “mulatto”, “Chinese”, and “Indian”. As you can see race as described by color was starting to fall apart as a definitive way to determine race.

  

So, in the US Census of 2000 people were described by both race/ancestry with 14 choices. One of the choices was the option to make up your own race, if you did not believe you fit into one of the choices.

  

So, what is indicated is that race is a social construct or an invention of society. Race is only legitimate because people agree to behave as if race exists. So, why not agree to a racial makeup of Black-Red ancestry and write that in next time you have an opportunity to self-select your race/ancestry or in the space labeled “other” write in Black Red race/ancestry.

  

Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 18, 2006

Perpetual Peace

The introduction to the “Six Nation” treaty speaks of in its introduction the following:

  

The President of the United States having determined to hold a conference with the Six Nations of Indians, for the purpose of removing from their minds all causes of complaint, and establishing a firm and permanent friendship with them.

  

This treaty language seeks permanent friendship between the United States and the Nation of Indians. The first article within the treaty states,

  

“Peace and friendship are hereby firmly established, and shall be perpetual, between the United States and the Six Nations.”

  

As history reveals peace and friendship in perpetuity did not occur. But, what did occur is the forceful removal of the Native Americans from their land.

  

We should be careful about declaring Peace for history has given us fair warning that it is easier said then done.

  

Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 16, 2006