By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Morgan Hernandez, a member of the Deer Clan from the Big Y Community, was named 2018-19 Little Miss Cherokee during a pageant at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 4. She was also named Miss Congeniality and Most Photogenic.
Hailey Winchester, from the Birdtown Community, was named first runner-up, and Aria Toineeta, from the Wolftown Community, was named second-runner-up.
For their talent, Winchester performed a contemporary dance from the 2007 production of “Unto These Hills”, Hernandez performed the Cherokee Bear Dance, and Toineeta told the story of the first flute. Kennedy Moore, of the Big Y Community, did a presentation on the three sisters (beans, corn, and squash) and performed the Cherokee Corn Dance; and Genevieve Raya, a member of the Bird Clan from the Wolftown Community, told the Cherokee story of Spearfinger.
During the opening introductions, the young ladies wore outfits of their choice and each described their reasons. Winchester, a student at New Kituwah Academy, wore a traditional Korean outfit to honor part of her heritage and encouraged everyone to be proud of who they are and honor each other. Hernandez, a student at New Kituwah Academy, wore a litter pick-up outfit and told of the importance of recycling and keeping a clean community. Toineeta, a student at New Kituwah Academy, wore her softball uniform and spoke of the game and its importance to her. Moore, a student at New Kituwah Academy, wore her football uniform to make the point that “girls can do anything – even play football”. Raya, a student at Swain East Elementary, wore an outfit supporting the Wolftown Stickball Team and spoke of the team and its importance in her life.
Former junior pageant title holders were honored during Thursday’s pageant including: Keyonna Hornbuckle Owle, Little Miss Cherokee 1989; Consie Blankenship Girty, Little Miss Cherokee 1986 and Junior Miss Cherokee 1991; Sharon Queen, Junior Miss Cherokee 1992; Amanda Wolfe Moore, Little Miss Cherokee 1993, Junior Miss Cherokee 1997, and Miss Cherokee 2008; Kara Martin, the only person to hold all four titles, Little Miss Cherokee 1996, Junior Miss Cherokee 1999, Teen Miss Cherokee 2004, and Miss Cherokee 2007; and Samantha Crowe-Hernandez, Junior Miss Cherokee 1998, Miss Cherokee 2005.
Like the other junior pageants, Hernandez was crowned with a former Miss Cherokee’s crown – that of Miss Cherokee 1984 Mollie Grant.