Tahlequah Daily Press

Homepage

March 26, 2007

Dancers share ancient Cherokee traditions

People who expected to sit in the bleachers watching an exhibition by the Warriors of AniKituwa Friday night at the old Sequoyah High School gym received a surprise.

Many of them became part of the show.

The Warriors of AniKituwa, an eight-man group sponsored by the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, are cultural ambassadors for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The ensemble, which has been together three years, performs ancient Cherokee dances as described by Lt. Henry Timberlake in 1762.

Timberlake described the dances in his Memoirs, published in 1865. It is regarded as the most detailed description of Cherokees in the 1700s.

“These are dances that were done by the Cherokee people for hundreds of years,” said Dr. Barbara Duncan, education director for the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, N.C.

She helped research the dances.

“We found music on old wax cylinder recordings,” she said.

The visit by the Warriors of AniKituwa was another way to establish bonding between the Eastern Cherokees and the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

“The Eastern Cherokees are really doing it right because of their research and study,” said Shelly Butler Allen, director of Cherokee Nation education here. “I think it’s very important that we see these ancient traditional dances of the Cherokee people.”

“We are eastern Cherokees but we are Cherokees the same as you,” said Bo Taylor, master of ceremonies for the Warriors of AniKituwa.

The Warriors entered the gym with a yell as they began to perform the welcome dance.

“We found that the welcome dance also was a war dance,” Duncan explained.

The dance was performed when people visited Cherokee villages.

Standing in line, the dancers crouched low as they looked for the enemy. They moved forward slowly, beginning to swing their war clubs and yell.

Clad in breechcloths and leggings, their bodies painted red with an authentic mixture of ochre and bear grease, their faces painted in different designs, they were indeed a fearsome sight to any foe they might encounter.

Text Only
Local News

Crime & Courts
Sports
Features
News Updates
Tahlequah Daily Press
Follow us on twitter
Living Well, Fall 2013
Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
AP Video
Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks