Cherokee Myths and Legends

Thirty Tales Retold


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About the Book

Retelling 30 myths and legends of the Eastern Cherokee, this book presents the stories with important details providing a culturally authentic and historically accurate context. Background information is given within each story so the reader may avoid reliance on glossaries, endnotes, or other explanatory aids. The reader may thus experience the stories more as their original audiences would have. This approach to adapting traditional literature derives from ideas found in reader-response and translation theory and from research in cognitive psychology and sociolinguistics.

About the Author(s)

Terry L. Norton is professor emeritus of education at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, where he taught courses in literacy education and children’s and adolescent literature. He lives in Rock Hill.

Bibliographic Details

Terry L. Norton
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9460-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1811-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Introduction: Considerations in Adapting Native American Traditional Literature 9

Guide to the Pronunciation of Cherokee Words 55


The Three Worlds 57

Fire 60

Corn and Game 62

Disease and Medicine 70

The Bear and the Bear Songs 74

Tobacco 76

The Pleiades and the Pine Cone 78

Killing the Great Monsters

The Great Yellow Jacket Ulagu 81

The Leech Place 82

The Uktena and the Shawano Conjuror 84

The Red Man and the Uktena 88

Ustu-tli, the Great Snake of the Cohutta Mountains 90

The Great Hawks 92

The Hunter in the Dakwa 95

Supernatural and Animal Adversaries and Helpers

Spear-Finger, the Nantahala Ogress 97

The Stone Man of the Mountains 100

The Raven Mockers 102

The Immortals and the Water Cannibals 105

The Man Who Traveled to the World Below 108

Judaculla, the ­Slant-Eyed Giant of Tanasee Bald 112

Legends of Pilot Knob 117

Yahula 121

The Unseen Helpers 123

Legends from History by or About the Cherokee

The Lost Cherokee 130

Ga’na and the Cherokee 133

The Mohawk Warriors 147

The False Warriors 152

Jocassee 156

Some Heroic Acts in Wars with Whites 165

Cateechee of Keowee: A Ballad of the Carolina Backcountry 169

Sources Used in the Retellings 189

Notes 205

Bibliography 211

Index 217

Book Reviews & Awards

“a culturally and historically accurate context”—Carolina Country.