Thunderpig’s Mirror

Archive for May 17th, 2008

Dedication of Cherokee Heritage Trail Marker

Posted by Thunder Pig on May 17, 2008

I attended the Nikwasi Celebration in Franklin, NC today, and it was a good event.
Gordon Mercer, of the Public Policy Institute, was the Master of Ceremonies and Cherokee Chief Michell Hicks the Featured Speaker.

There were more speakers, songs, dances, craft demonstrations, Cherokee food, and a stickball exhibition game that was quite intense.

I have a lot of video to edit my way through, and since I lost my MP3 player, my options are limited, as I was using it to catch audio when I had to change memory cards in my camera and when I changed batteries. I plan on having an hour and a half to two hour show out of it by Tuesday afternoon.

Here is what is inscribed on the main marker beside the mound:


You are standing on land that has been part of a town for about three thousand years. This mound was the spiritual, political, and physical center of the Cherokee town of Nikwasi. A council house or town house on top of the mound held the sacred fire, and everyone gathered there to hear news, make decisions, dance, and participate in ceremonies. Surrounding the mound were about one hundred houses, a field for playing stickball, and a dance ground, as well as hundreds of acres of crops, orhards, and gardens.

The Cherokee dominated the southern Appalachians for thousands of years. When Alexander Cuming visited Nikwasi in 1730, the Cherokees had men and women leaders in autonomous towns that functioned democratically. Cuming called a council here that was attended by more than two thousand representatives from Cherokee towns. Cuming chose an Emperor, and took a Cherokee delegation to London. In 1761 the British, former allies of the Cherokee, destroyed Nikwasi. After theCherokees rebuilt, the Americans destroyed it in 1776. The Cherokees rebuilt again and lived here until this area was taken by the Treaty of 1819.

A Cherokee legend tells that spirit warriors came out of the mound to help defend the Cherokee against an attack when the Cherokee men were away hunting. The legend goes on to say thst the spirit warriors also saved the town of Franklin from destruction during the Civil War.

The Nikwasi mound is one of the largest surviving mounds in the original Cherokee territory of 140,000 square miles. In 1946, the schoolchildren of Macon County saved their pennies and bought the mound through the Macon County Historical Society to save it from development. It is now owned by the Town of Franklin.

And here are some pictures to look at until tomorrow:

**update** May 19th Another local blogger has graciously linked to this post, and has more to add regarding the history of Nikwasi. It is well worth reading.

Posted in Event, Festival, Franklin, history, photos | 2 Comments »

Niwasi Celebration Today

Posted by Thunder Pig on May 17, 2008

I will be away from the computer most of the day, at the Nikwasi Celebration in Franklin, NC.

The Nikwasi Celebration, a community event of cultural exchange to recognize the inclusion of the Nikwasi Mound on the Cherokee Heritage Trails, will be held this Saturday, May 17, at the Big Bear Park in Franklin.

The Nikwasi Mound, located in downtown Franklin, is one of the best-preserved ancient Native American mounds in the country. Long ago, Franklin was the village of Nikwasi, and the village townhouse sat atop the mound. Here, the village people would gather to welcome visitors, hold ceremonies, and tell stories.

Saturday’s celebration will begin at the Nikwasi Mound at 10 a.m. The Cherokee Elementary School Choir will sing “Amazing Grace” and the “Trail of Tears Song.” The featured speaker will be Cherokee Chief Michell Hicks. The Macon County Historical Society will speak on Native American site preservation, and a new heritage trail marker will be unveiled.

Source: Macon News

I’ve been meaning to post about it this week, but I let myself become overwhelmed with other projects I am working on. I hope to have a teaser piece up about it later tonight, and may experiment with putting the whole thing together as on big pre-recorded two hour episode of Thundercast on Monday.

Posted in Event, Festival, Franklin | Leave a Comment »

Old Glory Radio Live Video Show

Posted by Thunder Pig on May 17, 2008

Here is an excellent show you should be watching on Friday nights at 9pm Eastern:

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Old Glory Blog and Podcast

Live Show Page

Tom will put up the new call-in number to the studio just before the show begins.

I am also scheduled to appear on this show for a segment next week to report on the political scene in western North Carolina for Tom.

Posted in conservative talk, entertainment, Humor, Live Event | Leave a Comment »