On a bright, sunny day, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian was one of four sites in North Carolina to celebrate International Archaeology Day on Saturday, Oct. 15.
The Museum, with help from the Tribal Historic Preservation Office; Miranda Panther and Johi Griffin; Jeff Marley, an EBCI tribal member, Brett Riggs Ph.D., the Sequoyah Distinguished Professor at Western Carolina University; Cherokee Friends, Sonny Ledford, Mike Crowe Jr., Jarrett Wildcatt; and Museum Staff Tyra Maney and special assistance from Johnny Miller – had displays focusing on archaeological digs and information pertaining to the Eastern band of Cherokee Indians. Demonstrations of blowgun shooting, chunky game, and the use of an atlatl were also held.
Maney helped visitors write their first name in the Cherokee Syllabary, and there were sifter boxes set up so visitors could try their hand as if they were at a dig site.
The event did not solely focus on historical Cherokee, but modern-day life of EBCI tribal members as well. “It hopefully showed that we are more than just bones, beads and forgotten,” said Dawn Arneach, Museum Box Office manager, who helped plan the day’s activities. “Our stories, traditions and language that we carry on today are just as important to us, as what archaeologist uncover in their digs about our past.”
Several visitors tried their hand at throwing the atlatl and playing chunky. The Museum reported that over 300 people attended Saturday’s event.
– Museum of the Cherokee Indian