Tag Archives: Cherokee myths

The story of the Wampus Cat

In Missouri they call it a Gallywampus; in Arkansas it’s the Whistling Wampus; in Appalachia it’s the just a plain old Wampus (or Wampas) cat. A half-dog, half-cat creature that can run erect or on all fours, it’s rumored to be seen just after dark or right before dawn all throughout the Appalachians. But that’s […]

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How the Partridge Got his Whistle

In days long gone, when the world was new, the Terrapin had a very fine whistle, of which he was quite proud; but the Partridge had none. The Terrapin was constantly going about, whistling and showing his whistle to the other animals, until the Partridge became jealous; so one day when they met the Partridge […]

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The Rattlesnake’s Vengeance

The hunter said he was very sorry, but they told him that if he spoke the truth he must be ready to make satisfaction and give his wife as a sacrifice for the life of their chief. Not knowing what might happen otherwise, he consented. They then told him that the Black Rattlesnake would go home with him and coil up just outside the door in the dark. He must go inside, where he would find his wife awaiting him, and ask her to get him a drink of fresh water from the spring. That was all.

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How Cherokee stone crosses came to be

Early one day long ago from time out of memory the people of a Cherokee town awoke and faced east to say their morning prayers to the Creator in heaven (Ca-lun-la-ti). In the distance could be heard the cry of an owl, a sign of death and bad luck. The eastern sky began turning many […]

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Jocassée. A Cherokee Legend from Upcountry South Carolina

Special thanks to Sonja Crone Eddleman of Williamston, SC,  for steering me back to the wonderful old 19th century tales of the South from William Gilmore Simms:   The Occonies and the Little Estatoees, or, rather, the Brown Vipers and the Green Birds, were both minor tribes of the Cherokee nation, between whom, as was not unfrequently the […]

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