The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is hosting a day of free fun activities celebrating Cherokee traditions on Saturday, Sept. 9. All activities are free of charge to the public, sponsored by the North Carolina Arts Council and the Museum. Activities are suitable for all ages and will be happening from 11am – 4pm.
This event will celebrate Dulisdini, the Nut Moon, when the fall harvest of nuts begins. Traditional Cherokees used chestnuts, hickory nuts, and walnuts in cooking chestnut bread, hickory bread, kanuche, and more. They made oil from the nuts by pounding them on stones that can still be found near old village sites.
It will also feature Cherokee fiddling, a tradition that goes back to 1762. Jake Blount will be presenting a program of old time Cherokee fiddle tunes, including those of the Eastern Band fiddler Manco Sneed. His tunes are held in high regard by old-time fiddlers today. The Museum will be working with the Cherokee Youth Center to start an after school program teaching fiddle and guitar to interested youth and community members if people are interested.
“We hope that people will come and bring their families to enjoy the day and learn a little more about Cherokee culture,” said Barbara R. Duncan, education director at the Museum. “They can meet Cherokee people who know a lot about their traditions, who really enjoy talking with visitors.” The day includes hands-on activities, demonstrations, sessions of storytelling and traditional dance, and will end with a fiddle concert.
At 11am and 1pm, kids (and grown-ups) can learn to make traditional Cherokee pottery in a workshop with Jarrett Wildcatt. It will be limited to 15 participants, and sign-up will begin on the day of the workshop. The workshop is free. At 12pm, the Cherokee Friends will tell stories and lead traditional dances involving the audience.
Throughout the day, EBCI tribal members will be demonstrating cultural arts, food preparation, and more. Jerry Wolfe, EBCI Beloved Man, will demonstrate carving stickball sticks. Richard Saunooke will demonstrate moccasin making and wampum making. Preparing traditional food with nuts will be demonstrated. Food from Toni’s Fry Bread will be available 11am – 5pm.
At 3pm, Jake Blount will present a program of Cherokee fiddle tunes, including those of Manco Sneed, and will talk about fiddle traditions in Appalachia, including Cherokee and African influences on Scots Irish fiddling. Blount is an ethnomusicologist and fiddler.
– Museum of the Cherokee Indian