By DAWN ARNEACH
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Tourists and Cherokee all joined together at the old Stecoah School, now their Art Center, on Friday, Aug. 6 for a special event known as Cherokee Days. With the help from EBCI tribal member Lloyd Arneach Sr., Cherokee artists Paula Maney Nelson, Kathi Littlejohn, the Raven Rock Dancers and Deer Clan Productions joined together for an evening of song, stories and dancing.
The evening started with a dinner provided by the Center followed by outdoor entertainment. Taking the stage at dusk was Nelson who sang songs in several different tribal languages including Kiowa, Dine and Cherokee. Love songs, lullabies and how to say Hello moved the audience to feel what she was singing.
Littlejohn took the stage and shared some Cherokees legends including “Why the Turtle Shell is Broken”, “How the Opossum Lost His Tail” and “Trickster the Rabbit Stealing Fish from Fox.”
For the opposum tail story, she had several children from the audience join her on stage to play out the story. With a minute or two in between entertainers, Arneach told a few stories of his own to keep the audience laughing.
The Raven Rock Dancers performed some of Cherokee’s more traditional dances including the Quail Dance, Bear Dance, and Corn Dance. They then asked the audience to join them on stage to do the Friendship Dance.
The finale of the evening was the Deer Clan Production Dancers including: Hoss Tramper, Daniel Tramper, John Leroy Tramper, Theresa Reed and Scrappy Sherrill. Hoss sang pow wow songs to showcase each style of dance present including Grass Dance, Men’s Fancy Dance and Jingle Dress Dance. An unexpected and pleasant surprise dance was Daniel Tramper, former World Champion Hoop Dancer, performing the Hoop Dance. To end the evening, the dancers invited the audience once again to join them on stage for the Friendship Dance. After the dancing and singing was over, the audience had a chance to meet and take pictures with the dancers.
Cherokee Days is held twice a year at Stecoah, one weekend in July and one weekend in August. Friday nights are usually the entertainment night followed by Cherokee arts and crafts on Saturday.
To keep up with the next years activities, check their website at www.stecoahvalleycenter.com