Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Smallpox
[added: paid by R.J. [illegible]]
Stekoa Nov [November]
Dr Jno [John] Mingus
If you have assafeotida [asafetida] I want you to send me an ounce by the first
opportunity. Also procure me at least two gallons purified whiskey and [unclear: inform]
The small pox is coming so close [illegible] that it becomes necessary to use assafeotida
[asafetida] and whiskey as a preventative,
[Signed] Wm H [William
Source: Museum of the Cherokee Indian (see original "smallpox" letter)
Notes: The Cherokees that joined the Union Army not only fought against their brothers, but after the War are credited
for returning to Western North Carolina with the dreaded smallpox. Captured Confederate Cherokees, however, were held
in Federal prisoner of war camps. After the War, the paroled Indians immediately returned to the North Carolina mountains and, also, most likely with smallpox. Smallpox is considered biological warfare and is currently deemed a Weapon
of Mass Destruction or WMD. Not combat, but mumps, measles and, after the War, smallpox were responsible for killing hundreds of Cherokees.
Recommended Reading: Medicine
of the Cherokee: The Way of Right Relationship (Folk Wisdom Series). Midwest Book Review: Medicine of
the Cherokee: The Way Of Right Relationship is the story of the physical, mental, spiritual, and natural aspects of humans
as told through many generations of elder teaches of Native American medicine. With stories that tell about the "four directions"
and the "universal circle", these ancient Cherokee teachings also offer wisdom on circle gatherings, herbs, healing, and ways
to reduce stress and find harmony and balance in all our relationships. The way of our modern world can separate us from nature
and make us prone to disease, signs of being on the wrong path.
About the Authors: J.T. Garrett,
Ed.D., and his son, Michael Garrett, Ph.D., are members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee from North Carolina. As students and
teachers of Indian Medicine, they draw on the ancient wisdom teachings of their Medicine Elders on the Cherokee Reservation
in the Great Smoky Mountains. The Garretts have developed ways to present the "old teachings" to effectively guide people
today to appreciate and understand living the "Medicine Way."
Editor's Choice: The Cherokee
Full Circle: A Practical Guide to Sacred Ceremonies and Traditions. Description: The Cherokee Full Circle
gathers techniques representing Native American cultures from across America--stories, exercises, and individual and group
rituals--to teach the inherent dynamics of right relationship and apply them to the healing path. The authors provide a comprehensive
overview of Native American spiritual principles and traditions and demonstrate how these ideas and methods can be applied
universally to deal with life's situations--from depression and grieving to finding purpose and establishing positive relationships.
For Children: Children's Reiki Handbook: A Guide to Energy
Healing for Kids. Description: Reiki is an Japanese system of energy healing
through the "laying on of hands" that is simple enough for children of all ages to learn. The Children's Reiki Handbook is
a guide to energy healing that provides kids with the information they need to prepare for their First, Second and Master
Reiki Attunements, and shows them how to use their new skills to heal themselves and others. This guide also includes: healing
with Reiki, attunements; how to prepare for them and what to expect, handpositions for healing, chakras and auras, and more.
Mooney's History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees (768 pages). Description: This
incredible volume collects the works of the early anthropologist James Mooney who did extensive studies of the Eastern
Cherokee Nation (those who remained in Appalachia) at the turn of the century. The introduction is by Mooney's biographer and gives
a nice overview of both Mooney and the Cherokee Nation, as well as notes on Mooney's sources. It then goes straight into the
first book "Myths of the Cherokee", which starts with a history of the Cherokee Nation. Continued below...
It progresses from the earliest days, through de Soto, the Indian wars,
Tecumseh, the Trail of Tears, the Civil War and ultimately to 1900. Continuing, it explores Cherokee mythology and storytellers.
This book is truly monumental in its scope and covers origin myths, animal stories, Kanati and Selu, the Nunnehi and Yunwi'Tsundi
(little people), Tlanuwa (thunderbirds), Uktena (horned water snake), interactions with other Nations and numerous other myths,
as well as local legends from various parts of the Southeast (North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, etc). There is also a section
of herbal lore. Mooney closes with a glossary of Cherokee terms (in the Latin alphabet rather than the Sequoya Syllabary)
and abundant notes. We advance to the next book, Sacred Formulaes of the Cherokee, which covers a number of magical texts
amongst the Cherokee Nation. This book does a wonderful job talking about such manuals, mentioning how they were obtained,
going into depth about the Cherokee worldview and beliefs on magic, concepts of disease, healing ceremonies, practices such
as bleeding, rubbing and bathing, Shamanism, the use of wording, explanations of the formulae and so forth. It then gives
an amazingly varied collection of Cherokee formulae, first in the original Cherokee (again, in the Latin alphabet) and then
translated into English. Everything from healing to killing witches, to medicine for stick ball games, war and warfare. Both
books include numerous photographs and illustrations of famous historical figures, Cherokee manuscripts and petroglyphs and
a map of Cherokee lands. Again, this is a truly massive book and even today is considered one of the essential writings of
Cherokee religion. Anyone with an interest in the subject, whether anthropologist, descendant of the Cherokee or just a curious
person interested in Native culture, should definitely give this book a read. I highly recommend it.
Try the Search Engine for Related
Studies: Native American Medicine Treatment, American Indian Medical Treatments, Cherokee Healing For Disease
or Diseases, Spiritual, Physical, Natural, Nature, Indians Herb and Herbal Traditions, Health Care, and Smallpox