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Cherokee Formula for Ball Play

This Concerns The Ball Play – To Take Them To Water With It. Listen! Ha! Now where the white thread has been let down, quickly we are about to examine into (the fate of) the admirers of the ball play. They are of-such a (iyu´sti) descent. They are called-so and so (iyu´sti). They are shaking the road which shall never be joyful. The miserable Terrapin has come and fastened himself upon them as they go about. They have lost all strength. They have become entirely blue. But now my admirers of the ball play have their roads lying along in this direction. The Red Bat has come and made himself one of them. There in the first heaven are the pleasing stakes. There in the second heaven are the pleasing stakes. The Pewee has come and joined them. The immortal ball stick shall place itself upon the whoop, never to be defeated. As for the lovers of the ball play on the other side, the common Turtle has come and fastened himself upon them as they go about. Under the earth they have lost all strength. The pleasing stakes are in the third heaven. The Red Tlaniwa has come and made himself one of them, that they may never be defeated. The pleasing stakes are in the fourth heaven. The Blue Fly-catcher has made himself one of them, that they may never be defeated. The pleasing stakes are in the fifth heaven. The Blue Martin has made himself one of them, that they may never be defeated. The other lovers of the ball play, the Blue Mole has come...

Color Symbolism in Cherokee Formulas

Color symbolism plays an important part in the shamanistic system of the Cherokees, no less than in that of other tribes. Each one of the cardinal points has its corresponding color and each color its symbolic meaning, so that each spirit invoked corresponds in color and local habitation with the characteristics imputed to him, and is connected with other spirits of the same name, but of other colors, living in other parts of the upper world and differing widely in their characteristics. Thus the Red Man, living in the east, is the spirit of power, triumph, and success, but the Black Man, in the West, is the spirit of death. The shaman therefore invokes the Red Man to the assistance of his client and consigns his enemy to the fatal influences of the Black Man. The symbolic color system of the Cherokees, which will be explained more fully in connection with the formulas, is as follows: East = red  = success; triumph. North = blue = defeat; trouble. West = black = death. South = white = peace; happiness. Above? = brown = unascertained, but propitious. = yellow = about the same as blue. There is a great diversity in the color systems of the various tribes, both as to the location and significance of the colors, but for obvious reasons black was generally taken as the symbol of death; while white and red signified, respectively, peace and war. It is somewhat remarkable that red was the emblem of power and triumph among the ancient Oriental nations no less than among the modern Cherokees.1FootnotesFor more in regard to color...

The Cherokee Gods and Their Abiding Places

After what has been said in elucidation of the theories involved in the medical formulas, the most important and numerous of the series, but little remains to be added in regard to the others, beyond what is contained in the explanation accompanying each one. A few points, however, may be briefly noted. The religion of the Cherokees, like that of most of our North American tribes, is zootheism or animal worship, with the survival of that earlier stage designated by Powell as hecastotheism, or the worship of all things tangible, and the beginnings of a higher system in which the elements and the great powers of nature are deified. Their pantheon includes gods in the heaven above, on the earth beneath, and in the waters under the earth, but of these the animal gods constitute by far the most numerous class, although the elemental gods are more important. Among the animal gods insects and fishes occupy a subordinate place, while quadrupeds, birds, and reptiles are invoked almost constantly. The uktena (a mythic great horned serpent), the rattlesnake, and the terrapin, the various species of hawk, and the rabbit, the squirrel, and the dog are the principal animal gods. The importance of the god bears no relation to the size of the animal, and in fact the larger animals are but seldom invoked. The spider also occupies a prominent place in the love and life-destroying formulas, his duty being to entangle the soul of his victim in the meshes of his web or to pluck it from the body of the doomed man and drag it way to the black...
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