James Mooney's History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees

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9780914875192: James Mooney's History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees

Originally published as two separate volumes by the U.S. Bureau of Ethnology, James Mooney's History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees has enduring significance for both Native Americans and non-Indian people. The book contains the full texts of James Mooney's Myths of the Cherokee (1900) and The Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees (1891), with an exclusive biographical introduction by George Ellison, James Mooney and the Eastern Cherokees. Mooney's exhaustive research preserved essential Cherokee history, lore, and rituals in a time when such knowledge was dying because younger Cherokees were accepting Western education, commerce, and medicine. The first section of this text covers Cherokee history from the time of DeSoto's search for gold in the 1600s to the late 1800s when the tribal consciousness nearly came to an end. The second section reveals the rich Cherokee mythology, detailing how the earth was made, how all "people" (both two-and four-footed) came about, and how they could all converse with each other. The third section of the book provides 28 sacred formulas from a mass of over 600 prayers, formulas, and songs. These formulas are centered on such things as medicine, hunting, love, finding lost articles, and frightening away storms. Exclusive to this edition, George Ellison's biographical portrait of James Mooney emphasizes the ethnologist's timeliness and his empathy for the Cherokees and their rich heritage. Completing this book are photographs of many of the chiefs and shamans, a glossary of terms, an index, and an immense section on notes and parallels to the Cherokee myths.

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From the Publisher:

During the 1800s, the U.S. Bureau of Ethnology published James Mooney's reports on the culture of the North American Indian tribe known as the Cherokees. Mooney's study has since become the standard by which we understand these people and their way of life. Many consider his writings to be the definitive text on Cherokee life. Appalachian author and historian Wilma Dykeman calls Mooney a "gifted anthropologist," for whom the words unique and genius are "genuinely appropriate." His acceptance by the Cherokees gave him an intimate look at the workings of the tribe. Both accurate and exhaustive, Mooney's research chronicled the full scope of this people's history and mythic structure. This reprint of the classic study of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee by James Mooney is enhanced by the addition of a bibliography of Mooney's writings on the Cherokees. Mooney's historic work is valuable for both the layman and the scholar, whether for casual reading or professional resource material--definitely a standard for anyone interested in the Cherokee tribe or Native American history.

Review:

A rich mine of information. -- Library Journal, February 15, 1993

You owe it to yourself to become informed about these neighbors, their background, hopes, and problems. --The State: Down Home In North Carolina, March 1993

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