Monday, August 8, 2011

Cherokee in a Changing World

Well, Kind Hearts, it was a fantastic show. On August 4th, the Mountain Heritage Center auditorium was SRO and our Cherokee show got off with Garfield Long singing "Amazing Grace" in Cherokee. Lloyd Arneach and I told the story of the Nunnihi and talked about the "old Cherokee" of the '50's which had a carnival atmosphere. This was back when Fess Parker came to town with a Disney film crew for "Davy Crockett" and a lot of Cherokees go bit parts in the movie. Dr. Eastman from the Cherokee Studies Department at WCU did a powerpoint presentation on the excavation of an ancient village beneath the WCU campus (1950's) and Paul Igrussi
provided some distraction by delivering a series of claw hammer renditions, like "Down in the Willow Garden." Davy Arch, a noted Cherokee carver and storyteller, discussed the role of masks in Cherokee tradition and displayed a remarkable collection. He also discussed the significance of The Booger Dance. Barbara McRae, the editor of the Franklin Press, talked about her research on the Nikwasi Mound in Macon County. Barbara Duncan from the Museum of the Cherokee Indians played three Cherokee-related songs (including "Junaluska") and
Robert Conley read his hilarious "Plastic Indian" story that brought the house down. The show ended with Garfield Long singing another Cherokee hymn.

I am pleased to note that this show was filmed by the University. Our next show is on September 1 and the Liars Bench will also be doing a show on Mountain Heritage Day.


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