Cherokee Formula to Attract and Fix the Affections

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Cherokee Formula to Attract and Fix the Affections

Listen! O, now you have drawn near to hearken-
-Your spittle, I take it, I eat it.-Your body, I take it, I eat it,-Your flesh, I take it, I eat it,-Your heart, I take it, I eat it. } Each sung four times.

Listen! O, now you have drawn near to hearken, O, Ancient One. This man’s (woman’s) soul has come to rest at the edge of your body. You are never to let go your hold upon it. It is ordained that you shall do just as you are requested to do. Let her never think upon any other place. Her soul has faded within her. She is bound by the black threads.

Explanation of Cherokee Formula to Attract and Fix the Affections

This formula is said by the young husband, who has just married an especially engaging wife, who is liable to be attracted by other men. The same formula may also be used by the woman to fix her husband’s affections. On the first night that they are together the husband watches until his wife is asleep, when, sitting up by her side, he recites the first words: Sge! Ha-nâ´gwa hatû´ngani´ga nihi´, and then sings the next four words: Tsawatsi´lû tsiki´ tsikû´ ayû´, “Your spittle, I take it, I eat it,” repeating the words four times. While singing he moistens his fingers with spittle, which he rubs upon the breast of the woman. The next night he repeats the operation, this time singing the words, “I take your body.” The third night, in the same way, he sings, “I take your flesh,” and the fourth and last night, he sings “I take your heart,” after which he repeats the prayer addressed to the Ancient One, by which is probably meant the Fire (the Ancient White). A’yû´nini states that the final sentences should be masculine, i.e., His soul has faded, etc., and refer to any would-be seducer. There is no gender distinction in the third person in Cherokee. He claimed that this ceremony was so effective that no husband need have any fears for his wife after performing it.

Cherokee Original

ADALANI´STA’TI´YI. I.

Sge! Ha-nâ´gwa hatû´ngani´ga nihi´-
-Tsa´watsi´lû tsiki´ tsikû´ ayû´.
-Hiyelû´ tsiki´ tsikû´ ayû´.
-Tsawiyû´ tsiki´ tsikû´ ayû´.
-Tsûnahu´ tsiki´ tsikû´ ayû´.

Sge! Nâ´gwa hatû´ngani´ga, Hikayû´nlige. Hia´ asga´ya uda´ntâ tsa’ta´hisi´ga [Hikayû´nlige] hiye´lastûn. Tsaskûlâ´histi-gwû´ nige´sûnna. Dikana´watû´nta-gwû tsûtû´neli´ga. Hilû dudante´’ti nige´sûnna. Duda´ntâ dûskalûn´tseli´ga. Asti´ digû´nnage tagu´talûntani´ga.



MLA Source Citation:

Mooney, James. Sacred Formulas Of The Cherokees. Published in the Seventh Annual Report, Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 301-399. 1886. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 30 October 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/cherokee-formula-to-attract-and-fix-the-affections.htm - Last updated on Jun 13th, 2013


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