Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


June 30, 2001 - Issue 39



Heritage Weekend Teaches the Cherokee Way of Life


 by Jon Ostendorff Asheville Citizen Staff Writer - June 24, 2001


art Women Work Men Play by Jerome Tiger

art Women Work Men Play by Jerome TigerSWANNANOA, NC — As Bo Taylor hammered out an ancient beat on a deer-skin drum, Angel Dahlgren did her best imitation of a quail and followed the other 12 dancers in a circle around a classroom at Warren Wilson College.

Dahlgren traveled from Birmingham, Ala., to attend the Cherokee Heritage Weekend at the college.

The event started Friday with storytelling and culminates today at 10 a.m. with Cherokee gospel singing.

Although the quail dance — with its back and forth motion and mock fighting step — was not Dahlgren’s favorite, she said overall the dance class offered a new insight into Cherokee culture.

"I really liked learning about the role the men and women played," said Dahlgren, who has family on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. "I liked the rabbit dance the best. It seemed to bring togetherness."

Saturday, event goers could choose from classes including Cherokee woodcarving, craft making and dancing.

Taylor, a Cherokee educator who taught the dance class, offered a running commentary on native cultures while his students took a break from the aerobic, foot-stomping shuffle that permeates Cherokee dance.

"You’ve really got to put yourself into it," he told his class. "It doesn’t matter if you are banging the drums with the Japanese or in Africa. The drums — you will feel that."

Barbara Duncan, education director of the Museum of the Cherokee and heritage weekend organizer, said the event is designed to teach people about the Cherokee way of life.

"It’s an opportunity for the general public to meet Cherokee people and learn about Cherokee traditions," she said.

Map - Swannanoa, NC

Maps by Travel


Museum of the Cherokee Indian




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