The Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees

The Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees
Seventh Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1885-1886, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1891, pages 301-398

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The Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees by James Mooney

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1891

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The Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees
Seventh Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1885-1886, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1891, pages 301-398

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(0 Reviews)

Book Excerpt

f his secret knowledge and commanded a high price from the hunters, who sometimes paid as much as $5 for a single song, "because you can't kill any bears or deer unless you sing them."

He was told that the only object in asking about the songs was to put them on record and preserve them, so that when he and the half dozen old men of the tribe were dead the world might be aware how much the Cherokees had known. This appeal to his professional pride proved effectual, and when he was told that a great many similar songs had been sent to Washington by medicine men of other tribes, he promptly declared that he knew as much as any of them, and that he would give all the information in his possession, so that others might be able to judge for themselves who knew most. The only conditions he made were that these secret matters should be heard by no one else but the interpreter, and should not be discussed when other Indians were present.

As soon as the other shamans learned what was going on they endeav

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