Red man's origin : the legendary story of his rise and fall, his victories and defeats and the prophecy of his future

by Donald N. Panther-Yates

Book, 2011



Call number

E99.C5 P265 2011


Publisher Unknown


"When we lived beyond the great waters there were twelve clans belonging to the Cherokee tribe. And back in the old country in which we lived the country was subject to great floods." So begins the earliest and most complete version of the story of the origins and migrations of the Cherokee people, as recited by a noted member of the Keetoowah Society.First recorded in English by Cornsilk (William Eubanks) from the oral version in Cherokee by Sahkiyah (Soggy) Sanders in an 1890s Indian Territory newspaper, this tribal narrative has now been edited and published anew after over a hundred years.In the world of Native Americans, oral communication takes the place of the written word in preserving their most valued "texts." By a miracle of transmission, here is the earliest and most authentic version of the story of the Cherokee people, from their origins in a land across the great waters to the coming of the white man. In olden times, it was recited at every Great Moon or Cherokee New Year festival so it could be learned by young people and the tribal lore perpetuated. It was set down in English in The Indian Chieftain by Cornsilk (the pen-name of William Eubanks) from the Cherokee language recitation of George Sahkiyah (Soggy) Sanders, a fellow Keetoowah Society priest, in 1896. We do not have anything anterior or more geniuine than Eubanks and Sanders' "Red Man's Origin. Mystic and plain-spoken at the same time, "Red Man's Origin" tells how the clans became seven in number, reorganized their religion in America and struggled to maintain their "half-sphere temple of light." You will hear in Cornsilk's original words about the true name of the Cherokee people, the totem Uktena serpent, divining crystals of the Urim and Thummin, "terrible Sa-ho-ni clan" and other Cherokee storytelling subjects. The brief narrative is here reprinted with an introduction, notes and line drawings from Native American history by Cherokee author Donald Panther-Yates.Also available in e-book form and in an audiobook by Irish seanchai (storyteller) Shandon Loring.… (more)


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