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Myths of the Cherokee (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)
     

Myths of the Cherokee (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

3.9 11
by James Mooney, Duane King (Introduction)
 

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James Mooney’s Myths of the Cherokee is one of the most revered works on a Native American subject. Originally released as the Nineteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, in 1900, it provides a concise history of the Cherokee tribe and the undisputed definitive study of their mythology. This publication ensures that the stories

Overview

James Mooney’s Myths of the Cherokee is one of the most revered works on a Native American subject. Originally released as the Nineteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, in 1900, it provides a concise history of the Cherokee tribe and the undisputed definitive study of their mythology. This publication ensures that the stories that the Cherokee elders entrusted to Mooney in the 1880s will survive for future generations to be inspired by and to enjoy. The timeless messages in the traditions and stories that have been handed down for generations hold a fascination for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780760783405
Publisher:
Barnes & Noble
Publication date:
10/18/2007
Series:
Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading
Pages:
688
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.38(d)

Read an Excerpt

Introduction

More than a century after it was first published, James Mooney’s Myths of the Cherokee continues to be one of the most revered works on a Native American subject. Originally released as the Nineteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, Part One, in 1900, it provides a concise history of the Cherokee tribe and the undisputed definitive treatment of their mythology. The timeless messages in the traditions and stories that have been handed down for generations hold a fascination for readers of all ages and backgrounds. At the time Mooney worked with the Eastern Band of Cherokee, the Cherokee Reservation in the Great Smokey Mountains was one of the most isolated communities in the eastern United States. Contact with outsiders was limited and the keepers of the sacred traditions shared them only with a select few chosen to be the guardians for the next generation. Mooney was an enigma to the tradition-keepers. He was not Cherokee and did not understand the language, but he had an inquisitive mind and a thirst for knowledge. At first suspicious of his motives, the resistant tribal leaders one after another developed trust in and friendship with Mooney. With the eventual passing of these venerable tribal elders, Mooney himself acknowledged that much of the information that was shared with him would have been lost forever had it not been for his painstaking efforts to record it. This publication ensures that the stories that the Cherokee elders entrusted to James Mooney in the 1880s will survive for future generations to enjoy and contemplate.

James Mooney was the youngest child of James and Ellen Devlin Mooney who emigrated from County Meath, Ireland, to New York in August 1852. They married shortly after they arrived and within a year their first daughter, Mary Anne, was born. About 1854 they followed some of Ellen’s relatives to Indiana. In 1856, their second child, Margaret, was born. The younger James was born February 10, 1861, in Richmond, Indiana. In October James Mooney, Sr., died from pneumonia leaving his mother to raise her three children on the wages of a housekeeper. She never remarried but devoted herself to her children.

As a young man, Mooney developed an intense interest in American Indians and read all the avail­able literature. He assembled an impressive library including a series of notebooks filled with newspaper clippings and hand-copied reports from reference books. Having exhausted all the sources in local libraries and private collections, Mooney dreamed of distant travel to pursue his interest.

In early 1885, he wrote to John Wesley Powell, director of the Smithsonian Institu­tion, seeking employment. Citing budgetary constraints, Powell politely turned down his application. Mooney was not dissuaded, however, and repeatedly wrote to Powell explaining the depth of his interest and his desire to expand his research. A short time later he joined the Smithsonian Institution’s Bureau of Ethnology[i] in an unofficial capacity without a title, job description, or regular paycheck.

Although Mooney was paid only through discretionary funds at the completion of projects, the value of his command of history and his research capacity was not lost on Major Powell. Before coming to the Bureau, Mooney compiled a list of 2,500 Indian tribes and their locations. With the help of Henry Weatherbee Henshaw, one of the Bureau’s first ethnologists, the list was regrouped by linguistic affiliation and published by the Government Printing Office as a fifty-five-page pamphlet titled A List of Linguistic Families of Indian Tribes North of Mexico.…[ii] The young anthropologist’s first publication quickly became an indispensable reference book for the Smithsonian staff and other anthropologists. Mooney’s propensity for in-depth and disciplined research secured him a temporary job as a researcher.[iii] The following year, Powell found a place for the young anthropologist on the Smithsonian staff. In August 1886, Mooney swore an oath before a government notary and officially became an ethnologist. He had gained the respect of his peers and they conferred on him the status of a professional.

Mooney’s colleagues had a profound influence on his philosophy and his approach to research. Of particular importance was Dr. Washington Matthews, curator of the Army Medical Museum, who shared Mooney’s affinity for Irish heritage and his devotion to scholarly pursuits. Mooney credited his mentor for instilling in him a respect for other cultures. Matthews impressed upon the then academic neophyte the importance of gaining the confidence of informants. To gain this confidence, according to Matthews, one must not only respect the informant’s culture but immerse oneself in it. To accomplish this, one should first learn the language, a necessary step in understanding the subtleties and nuances of the culture.[iv]

Armed with much enthusiasm and little experience, Mooney prepared for his first field assignment which he had hoped would be the exotic jungles of South America. Instead he was sent to the rugged mountains of the Great Smokies to study an isolated population of Cherokees. Mooney described this group as “the purest-blooded and most conservative in the nation.”[v]

In 1830 Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, which authorized the president to make treaties with eastern tribes and exchange their land for holdings in the Indian Territory. Unable to reach a treaty with elected representatives of the Cherokee Nation, the federal government recognized a minority faction as a new Cherokee Government and signed a treaty with them on December 29, 1835. Although the treaty was denounced as a fraud by the overwhelming majority of Cherokee people, it was ratified by the U.S. Senate on May 23, 1836. The Cherokees were given two years in which to voluntarily remove. When the time had elapsed in May 1838, only two thousand Cherokees had left their ancestral homeland. Brigadier General Winfield Scott and seven thousand state and federal troops were sent to the Cherokee Nation to enforce the terms of the treaty. About one thousand Cherokees managed to avoid the forced removal in 1838 and they were later constituted as the Eastern Band of Cherokees. Some families claimed North Carolina citizenship under the provisions of 1817 and 1819 treaties. Some who were still living on tribal lands at the time of the New Echota Treaty in 1835 escaped removal by eluding federal troops during the spring and summer of 1838. In all, about one thousand Cherokees remained in the East after the army had left. Fear of forced removal and apprehension about anyone associated with the federal government still lingered in this isolated community a half-century later.

In his early days at the Bureau, Mooney became acquainted with Nimrod Jarrett Smith, principal chief of the Eastern Band, who was in Washington lobbying for recognition of the remnant group by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Smith had visited the Bureau to meet with J. Owen Dorsey, a philologist assigned the task of interviewing Indians in Washington to collect information on Indian biography, language, myths, and legends.[vi] In the meetings with Smith, Mooney took notes on Cherokee vocabulary and grammar. Mooney and Powell were both intrigued by Smith’s revelation that members of the band spoke several distinct dialects. Of particular interest was the connection between Cherokee and the other Iroquoian languages, a relationship that had only recently been unequivocally established.

Powell authorized Mooney to make his first field trip to Cherokee, North Carolina, in the summer of 1887. In addition to linguistic research, Mooney was directed to collect data for comparisons of religious practices, customs, and arts.[vii] Mooney’s work proceeded slowly. He began by collecting plant species and learning their Cherokee names and uses in Cherokee medicine. He obtained little information on the incantations and prayers and found these subjects cloaked in a veil of secrecy. One young woman who was willing to discuss the nature of the secret formulas was quickly dissuaded by her elders from whom she had received the information.

Mooney continued to probe the information he was given to try to understand the parameters of the secrets that were not shared. He spent several days with a man named Swimmer (Ayunini) learning about myths and ancient customs. Swimmer, through an interpreter, told Mooney about certain hunting songs. When asked to sing a few, Swimmer refused. The next day Mooney told Swimmer he must share information completely or Mooney would find someone else who would. Swimmer explained that the songs contained all of the mysteries of his knowledge and that he could sell a single efficacious song to a hunter for five dollars whereas Mooney only paid one dollar for an entire day’s work. Mooney appealed to Swimmer’s professional pride by telling him that his intent was to preserve the information for future generations thus insuring Swimmer’s place in history. This flattery had the desired effect and Swimmer acquiesced, sharing with the anthropologist some closely guarded formulas and songs.

Upon hearing about Swimmer’s perceived collaboration with Mooney, other native practitioners attempted to persuade him to desist. Their efforts had the opposite effect. One day entering Mooney’s quarters, Swimmer removed a book from under his coat. Handing it to Mooney he said, “See if I don’t know something.” To Mooney’s astonishment, the notebook contained the secrets that had so long eluded him. Mooney wrote,

Here were prayers, songs, and prescriptions for the cure of all kinds of disease…; love charms to gain the affection of a woman or to cause her to hate a detested rival; fishing charms, hunting charms…; prayers to make the corn grow, to frighten away storms, and to drive off witches; prayers for long life, for safety among strangers, for acquiring influence in council and success in the ball play… It was in fact an Indian ritual and pharmacoepia.[viii]

When Mooney asked if other practitioners kept similar notebooks, Swimmer replied in the affirmative. Time, however, was fleeting. Mooney was scheduled to return to Washington in a few days. He wrote to Powell asking for permission to stay until December 1. He still had half of his $400 allowance for living expenses. He reported, “I am working here every hour of daylight & half the night.”[ix]

Mooney reported to Henshaw, his supervisor on the synonymy, that he had recently witnessed a Green Corn Ceremony, an annual thanksgiving and renewal ceremony celebrating the first consumption of new corn. By this time, Mooney had collected about two hundred songs written in the Sequoyan syllabary. The syllabary was created by Sequoyah between 1809 and 1821. It is comprised of eighty-five characters representing seventy-eight consonant-vowel combinations, six vowel sounds, and the letter “s”.. Within months of its introduction in 1821, the Cherokee people had a higher literacy rate than their white neighbors. Sequoyah is credited as being the only individual in recorded history to create writing without first being literate in some language.

Mooney struggled to learn the Cherokee language and the syllabary. He was also developing a reputation among the Cherokees and being a conjuror himself. Reciting Gaelic formulas and dredging up memories of Irish folklore, he was able to convince Cherokee practitioners that he had knowledge of charms and would be willing to trade his secrets for information of like value.

Although Mooney heard about other existing notebooks, none were shared with him before he left the Qualla Boundary in late 1887. Mooney went back to Washington and spent the winter and spring of 1888 working on the synonymy, attempting to reconcile the various spellings and names for Indian tribes found in the literature. He wrote two articles, one on Irish funeral customs and the second on Myths of the Cherokee, which was the first article on American Indian studies published solely in his name.[x]

Mooney returned to Cherokee in July 1888. In preparation he spent most of June studying the 1882 Hester roll of Eastern Cherokees. After a break of six years, the Bureau of Indian Affairs reestablished the Cherokee Agency in North Carolina in 1882. The Hester roll provided the official list of those people recognized as Eastern Cherokee, a total of 2,956 individuals. Of these 1,881 lived in North Carolina, 758 in Georgia, 213 in Tennessee, 71 in Alabama, and 33 scattered in other locations.[xi]

Mooney brought a camera with him in 1888 and carefully recorded landscape scenes, individual portraits of his informants, and candid shots of ball play during the summer. He lamented the fact that it was easier to study ball play one hundred miles away than on the reservation since the commissioners of Indian Affairs had instructed his agents to discourage native ceremonies. Even the chief, the council, and the preachers denounced the ball game according to Mooney.[xii]

Mooney also focused much of his attention in 1888 on securing the notebooks of other shamans. He reported to Powell that the papers he collected “are probably the first which have ever been obtained by a white man. They are invaluable for the knowledge which they give in regard to Indian beliefs and are the genuine productions of full-blooded Cherokees, who spoke no English, and were the acknowledged masters in such matters.”[xiii] Although he seemed to give little credence to the Cherokee theory and practice of medicine, he held in high regard the information he collected, noting that “[i]t is impossible to overestimate the ethnologic importance of the materials thus obtained. They are invaluable as the genuine production of the aboriginal religion before its contamination by contact with whites.”[xiv]

Mooney believed it was his duty to collect as many of the Cherokee mysteries as possible before they fell into irrevocable silence with the passing of the elders who knew them. He learned much about the Cherokees during his field work in 1887–8. His approach to learning as a lifelong process is evidenced by his subsequent trips to Cherokee in the following decades. His last major work on the Cherokees was completed after his death by Frans Olbrechts. Olbrechts recounted:

When I went to live with the Cherokee of the Great Smokey Mountains to continue with the work of Mooney, I found his depar­ture had been felt as cruelly by his Indian friends as by his white colleagues. The mere statement that I came to stay with the same purpose in view as had Nv:do (Mooney's Cherokee name, mean­ing “moon”) served as the best introduction I could have desired. People who looked askance, and medicine men who looked sullen when I first approached, changed as if touched by a magic wand as they heard his name and as I explained my connection with his work. [xv]

Mooney's thirty-six-year career as an ethnologist resulted in several major contributions including Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees (1891),[xvi] Myths of the Cherokees (1900)[xvii] and The Swimmer Manuscript (1932) BAE Bulletin 99.[xviii] Mooney also wrote articles on such diverse Cherokee topics as ball play,[xix] mound-building,[xx] plant lore,[xxi] parallels with the Iroquois,[xxii] evolution of Cherokee personal names,[xxiii] the river cult,[xxiv] improved alphabets,[xxv] and the theory and practice of medicine.[xxvi]

The Cherokee sacred formulas are of special importance since they encompass an unal­tered vestige of the indigenous religion. About six hundred formulas were furnished to Mooney by Cherokee shamans in 1887 and 1888. More than half of these dealt with medical remedies. Next in quantity were love charms, followed closely by songs and prayers used in hunting and fishing. Other formulas included the themes of war, self-protection and destruction of enemies, witchcraft, crops, the council, and ball play. All of the formulas were written in the Sequoyan syllabary and were ob­tained, with the explanation, from either the writers themselves or their surviving relatives.[xxvii]

Mooney’s early attempts to procure sacred formulas were met with a great deal of reluctance on the part of the Cherokees, who expressed uncertainties about Mooney's intentions. The Swimmer, Ayunini, was the first and perhaps most impor­tant Cherokee shaman to be converted to the belief in anthropological legitimacy. He listened carefully when "he was told that the only object in asking about the songs was to put them on record and preserve them, so that when he and the half dozen old men of the tribe were dead the world might be aware how much the Cherokee had known.”[xxviii] The Swimmer was moved by the fact that medicine men from other tribes had furnished a large quantity of similar songs to be sent to Washington. Believing that he knew as much as any of them, he attempted to fur­nish all the information in his possession so that others might be able to judge who knew the most.[xxix]

The Swimmer provided Mooney with a small daybook of about 240 pages, which was half-filled with writing in the Cherokee language. The book con­tained the information Mooney had sought but proved hard to procure. This book, along with the explanations rendered by Swimmer, is the basis for B.A.E. Bulletin 99. Other similar manuscripts were also delivered to Mooney with varying degrees of reluctancy. A young man named Wilnoti possessed the writings of his father, Gatigwanasti, once a prominent shaman and a man of superior intelligence. His manuscript book contained 122 pages of foolscap size, completely filled with for­mulas comparable to those in Swimmer's book. In addition, there were numerous loose sheets, constituting in all almost two hundred pages of sacred text. Only after a great deal of consideration did Wilnoti part with his father's work. And of these, Mooney writes:

These papers of Gatigwanasti are the most valuable of the whole, and amount fully to one half the collection, about fifty pages consisting of love charms.[xxx]

Another manuscript book was obtained from a woman named Ayosta ("The Spoiler"). It had been written by her husband, Gahuni, who died around 1860. The procurement of this book was not difficult to arrange since Ayosta had been em­ployed by Mooney on several occasions and understood the nature of his work. Also, her youngest son, Will West Long, had been actively engaged in copying and classifying the manuscripts already procured.[xxxi] Since the book was claimed as common property by Ayosta and her three sons, negotiations had to be carried out with each one, even though the cash amount involved was only fifty cents, in addition to another book for copying some family records and memoranda. This book contained only eight, but extremely unique, formulas. Also, the book contained about twenty pages of scripture extracts, since Gahuni like several other shamans combined the professions of conjurer and Methodist preacher.

Another conjurer and Methodist preacher was Inoli, or "Black Fox," who died a few years before Mooney's arrival. Inoli's daughter, upon receiving an explana­tion from the interpreter about the purpose of Mooney s work, readily gave per­mission to examine and make selection from her father's papers. Inali's writings were so extensive that Mooney was astonished and wrote, "such a mass of material as it had not seemed possible could exist in the entire tribe.”[xxxii] Although the Swimmer, Gatigwanasti, Gahuni, and Inoli manuscripts constitute the bulk of the information gathered by Mooney, there were others who added to Mooney's knowledge. An old shaman named Tsiskwa, or "Bird," anxiously dictated formulas to Mooney's interpreter from his deathbed so that they might be pre­served. One of the best herb doctors in the tribe, Awani:ta, or "Young Deer," col­lected various plants used in medicine and described their uses. Another doctor named Ta:kwatihi, or "Catawba Killer," being unable to write, dictated formulas to his son. Mooney writes of him: "His knowledge was limited to the practice of a few specialties, but in regard to these his information was detailed and accu­rate.”[xxxiii]

Many formulas collected by Mooney, for one reason or another (age, illegibility, scrap paper, etc.), had to be duplicated. This task was assigned to W. W. Long. The formulas were systematically arranged and copied into a book with a table of contents and subheadings. This book, which contains 258 formulas and songs, was titled Kanaheta Ani Tsalagi Eti, or "Ancient Cherokee Formulas," and was placed in the library of the Bureau.[xxxiv]

As to the value of the formulas, Mooney wrote:

It is impossible to overestimate the ethnologic importance of the materials thus obtained. They are invaluable as the genuine produc­tion of the Indian mind, setting forth in the clearest light the state of the aboriginal religion before its contamination by contact with the whites.[xxxv]

Another valuable part of Mooney's ethnographic research is his collection of Cherokee myths which he classifies into four categories: 1) sacred myths, 2) animal stories, 3) local legends, and 4) historical traditions. The sacred myths encompass stories of the creation of the world, elemental forces of nature, the origin of life and death, heavenly bodies, and the spirit world. The understanding of this group of stories is the basic understanding of the Cherokee worldview.[xxxvi]

Nearly 75 percent of the myths collected by Mooney came from one man, Swimmer. The fact that his role was vital to Mooney's research is evident in Mooney's state­ment that the collection could not have been made without his help, and now that he is gone it can never be duplicated.[xxxvii]

The next most important person in the research of Cherokee myths was Itaguhani, or John Ax, the oldest man in the tribe at that time (b. 1800). His contribution was in the wonder stories of the great Uktena or of the invisible spirits, as well as the humorous animal stories. Suyeta, or "The Chosen One," a Baptist minister, was also fond of rabbit and other animal stories. Perhaps because of religious con­flicts, he avoided myths dealing with spiritual beings. Ta:gwadihi, "The Catawba Killer," also furnished several valuable myths and confirmed information obtained from other sources. In addition to these, other in­formants included Chief N. J. Smith, Salo:li (Squirrel), Tsesa:ni or Jessan, Ayo:sta (Spoiler), and James and David Blythe, younger men of mixed blood and inheritors of a great amount of lore from their father, a recognized leader of ceremony.[xxxviii]

Today, many of the 125 myths published in Myths of Cherokees are known only from that work. Some, especially the story of creation and origin of fire as well as the more popular animal stories, are remembered by many older people who can relate these stories with only slight variations from the forms that Mooney col­lected so many years ago. Although some of the myths furnished Mooney along with a few he did not obtain still exist in the Cherokee oral tradition, it is obvious that his work can never be duplicated, but only revered for its contributions to ethnology and Cherokee history.

In the 1890s, Mooney turned his attention to Indians west of the Mississippi. He became an authority on the Ghost Dance Religion and worked with the Kiowa. On September 28, 1897, he married Ione Lee Gaut, whom he had met a dozen years earlier as a dinner guest in the home of her father. Perhaps with her encouragement, he dusted off his Cherokee research, which had lain dormant for eight years, and began to work in earnest on Myths of the Cherokee. The manuscript was sent to the Government Printing Office in March 1900. Mooney visited the Qualla Boundary again in the summer to make the final revisions as close to the date of publication as possible. At Cherokee, he put the finishing touches on the map and made the last revisions on the proofs. In December 1900, it was sent to the printers and the Bureau issued the volume in early 1901. It became Mooney’s single most important career contribution.

Although Mooney obtained the Swimmer manuscript in 1887, it was not published until 1932. Fourteen of the original 137 formulas were published in the Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees, and four of these were included in the later work that contained ninety-six of the formulas. The remaining ones were de­leted because they were not strictly medicinal in character. Apparently Mooney purposely withheld all of the other formulas, such as love-attraction formulas, incantations, and hunting songs, reserving them for publication at some later date.

Although the original manuscript was lost after it reached the Bureau of Ethnology, Olbrechts and his informants were able to reconstitute the text using Mooney’s transliterations. The process involved reading Mooney's script to a medicine man who wrote it in the Sequoyan syllab­ary, who in turn read it to Olbrechts who wrote it out phonetically. On this latter text the work was done.[xxxix]

James Mooney died on December 22, 1921, leaving his wife, Ione, to care for their five children, the oldest of whom was still a teenager. He spent thirty-five years in the service of the Bureau of American Ethnology, longer than any other person at the time.

Although scores of anthropologists have worked with the Eastern Cherokees in the last century, only a handful will be remembered for their significant contribu­tions. None will be remembered more favorably than James Mooney, whose work is as important today as when it was first published.

Duane King is the Director of the Southwest Museum of the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. He is a former Assistant Director of the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution. He has authored more than sixty publications on Cherokee culture and history and was the founding editor of the Journal of Cherokee Studies.

[i] The Bureau of Ethnology became part of the Smithsonian in 1879. In 1894, the name was changed to the Bureau of American Ethnology. The Bureau ceased to exist on July 29,1964. See Moses, L. G. The Indian Man: A Bibliography of James Mooney. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1984. pages 7–15, 45, 112.

[ii] Mooney, James. A List of Linguistic Families of Indian Tribes North of Mexico, with Provisional List of the Principal Tribal Names and Synonymy. Miscellaneous Publications of the Bureau of American Ethnology. Washington, D.C.: 1885. 55 pages.

[iii] Moses, L. G. The Indian Man: A Bibliography of James Mooney. Urbana and Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984. page 19.

[iv] Mooney, James. “In Memorium: Washington Matthews,” American Anthropologist, n.s. 7 (1905): 520.

See also: Moses, L. G. The Indian Man: A Bibliography of James Mooney. Urbana and Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984. page 21.

[v] Mooney, James. "Myths of the Cherokee,” Nineteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1900, Part I, Introduction, page 4.

[vi] Moses, L. G. The Indian Man: A Bibliography of James Mooney. Urbana and Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984. page 22.

[vii] Mooney, James, "Myths of the Cherokee,” Nineteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1900, Part I, page 173–178; Seventh Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1892, page 310.

[viii] Mooney, James, “The Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees,” Seventh Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1891. page 312.

[ix] Mooney to Powell. October 29, 1887. BAE Records, LR, Box 14, National Anthropological Archives.

[x] Mooney, James. The Funeral Customs of Ireland (Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, vol. XXIV, 1888, pp. 243–296. Mooney, James. “Myths of the Cherokee,” Journal of American Folk-Lore, Vol. I, 1888. pp 97–108.

[xi] Mooney, James. “Historical Sketch of the Cherokee.” Chicago, 1975. page 181.

[xii] Mooney to Henshaw. August 7, 1888. BAE Records, LR, Box 21, National Anthropological Archives.

[xiii] Mooney to Powell. September 19, 1888. BAE Records, LR, Box 21, National Anthropological Archives.

[xiv] Mooney, James. “The Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees,” Seventh Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1891. page 319.

[xv] Mooney, James, and Frans Olbrechts. “The Swimmer Manuscript,” Bureau of American Ethnology Bulle­tin 99, 1932, pp. 1–39.

[xvi] Mooney, James. “The Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees,” Seventh Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1891.

[xvii] Mooney, James. “Myths of the Cherokee,” Nineteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1900, Part I.

[xviii] Mooney, James, and Frans Olbrechts. “The Swimmer Manuscript,” Bureau of American Ethnology An­nual Report 99, 1932.

[xix] Mooney, James, "Cherokee Ball Play," American Anthropologist, Volume III, 1890, pp. 105–32.

[xx] Mooney, James. "Cherokee Mound Building," American Anthropologist, Volume II, 1889, pp. 167–71.

[xxi] Mooney, James. "Cherokee Plant Lore," American Anthropologist, Volume II, 1889, pp. 223–4.

[xxii] Mooney, James. "Cherokee and Iroquois Parallels," Journal of American Folklore, Volume II, 1889, page 67.

[xxiii] Mooney, James. "Evolution in Cherokee Personal Names," American Anthropologist, Volume II, 1889, pp 61–2.

[xxiv] Mooney, James. "The Cherokee River Cult," Journal of American Folklore, Volume XIII, 1900, pp. 1–10.

[xxv] Mooney, James. "Improved Cherokee Alphabets," American Anthropologist, Volume V, p. 63, 64.

[xxvi] Mooney, James. "Cherokee Theory and Practice of Medicine," Journal of American Folklore, Volume III, 1890, pp. 44–50.

[xxvii] Mooney, James. "The Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees," Seventh Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1891, p. 307.

[xxviii] Ibid., page 311.

[xxix] Ibid., page 311.

[xxx] Ibid., page 313.

[xxxi] Ibid., page 314.

[xxxii] Ibid., page 315.

[xxxiii] Ibid., page 316, 317.

[xxxiv] Ibid., page 317.

[xxxv] Ibid., page 318.

[xxxvi] Mooney, James. “Myths of the Cherokee,” Nineteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1900, Part I, page 229.

[xxxvii] Ibid., page 236.

[xxxviii] Ibid., page 237.

[xxxix] Mooney, James, and Frans Olbrechts. “The Swimmer Manuscript,” Bureau of American Ethnology An­nual Report 99, 1932, page 3.

Meet the Author

James Mooney was born February 10, 1861, in Richmond, Indiana. His first publication, a fifty-five-page pamphlet titled A List of Linguistic Families of Indian Tribes North of Mexico, quickly became an indispensable reference book for the Smithsonian staff and other anthropologists. In 1886, he joined the Smithsonian Institution’s Bureau of Ethnology. He made his first field trip to Cherokee, North Carolina, the following year. On September 28, 1897, he married Ione Lee Gaut. He died of heart disease in Washington, D.C., on December 22, 1921.

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Myths of the Cherokee 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Sweet-Ole-Bob More than 1 year ago
I am extremely interested in the first few chapters of this book for the history that it presents of the Native Americans that lived in the south eastern United States. It focuses on the Cherokee but brings in the Spanish incursion into the area starting in 1540, and other indigineous tribes. I found that the local trading and especially eating habits most interesting.
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