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

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.