Monday, March 14, 2011

Cherokee Indians -- Smoky Mountains (Tennessee & North Carolina)

Beliefs of the Cherokees

The Cherokees had a belief that there were certain beings who came down from on high and formed the world, the moon and the stars. It was believed that the world was created at the time of the new moon of autumn, when the fruits of the earth were ripe. The sun seems to have been the principal object of worship to whom they prayed to bring abundant crops, to prevent sickness and so forth. The moon was also considered to be important in religion and at every New Moon Festival special honor was paid to the moon. Fire was supposed to have been appointed by the sun and the moon to take care of mankind. It was considered as being intermediate to the sun and the smoke is symbolized as the messenger of the fire that would make known the petitions of the people to the sun. The Cherokees believed the morning star was once a wicked priest who killed people by witchcraft. When the Indians planned to kill him, he took all his shining crystals and flew away to the sky where he appeared as the morning star ever after.

The Cherokees believed that those who had been good went to a place where it was always light and pleasant and those who had been bad would go to a place where they would be tortured. It was also believed that a soul lingered about a place where a body had died for as long as a period of time as the body had lived there and then went back to the place where the person had previously lived for a similar period of time and so on to each place, staying there as long as the body had stayed. When this regression process was completed at the person's birth place the soul took its final leave to meet its eternal fate. It was believed there were seven heavens, with the Supreme Being residing in the first heaven.

Come visit the lands first settled by the Cherokee Indian.  You can visit the town of Cherokee, where much of this Indian Culture is exemplified and celebrated.  While you are in the Smokies, make sure to grab a log cabin and experience the beautiful mountains of Tennessee first hand.  These luxury log homes put you right in the mountains that are perched just outside Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the Smoky Mountains.

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