Cherokee Indian Legend of The Cedar Tree

By
Real Estate Agent with Murphy and Hayesville, NC; Hiawassee, Blairsville, Blue Ridge GA and Copperhill TN

The Cherokee Indian Legend of The Cedar Tree

A long time ago when the Cherokee people were new upon the earth, they thought that life would be much better if there was never any night. They beseeched the Ouga (Creator) that it might be day all the time and that there would be no darkness.

The Creator heard their voices and made the night cease and it was day all the time. Soon, the forest was thick with heavy growth. It became difficult to walk and to find the path. The people toiled in the gardens many long hours trying to keep the weeds pulled from among the corn and other food plants. It got hot, very hot, and continued that way day after long day. The people began to find it difficult to sleep and became short tempered and argued among themselves.

Not many days had passed before the people realized they had made a mistake and, once again, they beseeched the Creator. "Please," they said, "we have made a mistake in asking that it be day all the time. Now we think that it should be night all the time." The Creator paused at this new request and thought that perhaps the people may be right even though all things were created in twos... representing to us day and night, life and death, good and evil, times of plenty and those times of famine. The Creator loved the people and decided to make it night all the time as they had asked.

The day ceased and night fell upon the earth. Soon, the crops stopped growing and it became very cold. The people spent much of their time gathering wood for the fires. They could not see to hunt meat and with no crops growing it was not long before the people were cold, weak, and very hungry. Many of the people died.

Those that remained still living gathered once again to beseech the Creator. "Help us Creator," they cried! "We have made a terrible mistake. You had made the day and the night perfect, and as it should be, from the beginning. We ask that you forgive us and make the day and night as it was before."

Once again the Creator listened to the request of the people. The day and the night became, as the people had asked, as it had been in the beginning. Each day was divided between light and darkness. The weather became more pleasant, and the crops began to grow again. Game was plentiful and the hunting was good. The people had plenty to eat and there was not much sickness. The people treated each other with compassion and respect. It was good to be alive. The people thanked the Creator for their life and for the food they had to eat.

The Creator accepted the gratitude of the people and was glad to see them smiling again. However, during the time of the long days of night, many of the people had died, and the Creator was sorry that they had perished because of the night. The Creator placed their spirits in a newly created tree. This tree was named a-tsi-na tlu-gv {ah-see-na loo-guh} cedar tree.

When you smell the aroma of the cedar tree or gaze upon it standing in the forest, remember that if you are Tsalagi {Cherokee}, you are looking upon your ancestor.

Tradition holds that the wood of the cedar tree holds powerful protective spirits for the Cherokee. Many carry a small piece of cedar wood in their medicine bags worn around the neck. It is also placed above the entrances to the house to protect against the entry of evil spirits. A traditional drum would be made from cedar wood.

Does the author believe this? Well, lets just say that there is a piece of cedar in my medicine pouch and I wear it always. The Creator did not make the people because of loneliness, but because the Creator wanted to show generosity and love to the people. Accept the blessings and the gifts given and always give thanks for them.

- As told by Jim Fox

 

If we can assist you in finding your mountain home or land in the
NC, GA or TN Mountains visit us at www.Mou
tainLivingTeam.com

 

 

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lee and carol barbour realtors 

Lee & Carol Barbour
"The Mountain Living Team"
info@mountainlivingteam.com


             

 

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Rainmaker
287,863
Cherry Wings Realty
Cherry Wings Realty - Traverse City, MI
Your Traverse City Michigan Realtor

Lee & Carol:

What a wonderful story.  I had never heard that Cherokee tale before.  Perhaps that is why so many brides always had a cedar chest - to protect their marriage from evil spirits.  It is off to the store for some cedar for me.

Have a great day and thanks for sharing.

Feb 17, 2010 10:23 PM #1
Rainer
342,609
Katie McBride
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
The McBride Team

I really enjoyed reading that story.  Cedar will be flying off the shelves now.

Feb 17, 2010 10:27 PM #2
Rainmaker
859,117
Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind
KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate - Tucson, AZ
Broker/Owner

GOOD MORNING LEE & CAROL!  I'm with Christine - this is a new story!  But it does shed some light on why people still have cedar chests and closets in their homes! -- Gab

Feb 17, 2010 10:29 PM #3
Rainmaker
1,106,967
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

Another interesting story in the series, Carol.  Huh, and I thought cedar was to keep the moths away.

Feb 18, 2010 07:25 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,118,212
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Lee & Carol--Interesting twist on cedar chests.  We loved to touch my mother's.  Now my sister will be protected from evil spirits and moths, too.

PS  I have pieces of cedar in a few closets.

Jan 07, 2011 11:10 PM #5
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Rainmaker
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