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.