Such is the belief upon which their medical practice is based, and whatever we may think of the theory it must be admitted that the practice is consistent in all its details with the views set forth in the myth. Like most primitive people the Cherokees believe that disease and death are not natural, but
This Cherokee formula, obtained from A’wani´ta, may be repeated by the doctor for as many as eight men at once when about to go to war.
In the old days quadrupeds, birds, fishes, and insects could all talk, and they and the human race lived together in peace and friendship. But as time went on the people increased so rapidly that their settlements spread over the whole earth and the poor animals found themselves beginning to be cramped for room. This
This short formula, obtained from Â’wani´ta, is recited by the hunter while taking aim.
This formula, from A’yû´ninis’ book, is for the purpose of driving away a witch from the house of a sick person, and opens up a most interesting chapter of Cherokee beliefs.
Of late years, especially since the establishment of schools among them, the Cherokees are gradually beginning to lose confidence in the abilities of their own doctors and are becoming more disposed to accept treatment from white physicians. The shamans are naturally jealous of this infringement upon their authority and endeavor to prevent the spread of
Among the papers thus obtained was a large number which for various reasons it was found difficult to handle or file for preservation. Many of them had been written so long ago that the ink had almost faded from the paper; others were written with lead pencil, so that in handling them the characters soon
A few words remain to be said in regard to the language of the formulas. They are full of archaic and figurative expressions, many of which are unintelligible to the common people, and some of which even the shamans themselves are now unable to explain. These archaic forms, like the old words used by our
Two different Cherokee formulas for childbirth. The first idea is to frighten the child and coax it to come, the second idea is to cause a sudden muscular action by the chilling contact.
Taking the Dispensatory as the standard, and assuming that this list is a fair epitome of what the Cherokees know concerning the medical properties of plants, we find that five plants, or 25 per cent of the whole number, are correctly used; twelve, or 60 per cent, are presumably either worthless or incorrectly used, and