Seven Nations Ceremonies
Cherokee ceremonies are held in concert with cycles of Mother Earth. During ceremony, positive attitudes are far more important than rituals. Ceremonies offer opportunities for community worship, socialization, and bonding.
Ceremonial musical instruments used for dancing and festivals included drums, gourd rattles, and turtle-shell rattles (leg-shackles). As part of worship, stomp dancing was held around the sacred fire and was accompanied by drums, singing, and leg-shackles worn by women. Other dancing occurred in a 'square', a social area, usually around a center pole or social fire. This was usually an area near the Council House, or the Long House. Our Cherokee ancestors tried to make each ceremony unique in some war--they were creative. Music, dancing, feasting, stick-ball and storytelling were joyous expressions of thanksgiving and occasions for Cherokee bonding at all cyclical ceremonies.
A sacred fire containing seven different types of wood, to represent the seven clans, was prepared and lit prior to ceremony according to sacred rites. Direction of movement around the sacred fire during Cherokee ceremony is counter-clockwise. A complete, unbroken circle of 'Red Heart' people around the fire produces powerful energy of Creator's presence, carried by the positive attitudes in the hearts of the participants.
Great New Moon Ceremony
Propititation or Cementation Ceremony
Bouncing Bush Ceremony
First New Moon of Spring Ceremony (New Fire Ceremony)
Green Corn Ceremony
Ripe Corn Ceremony
The Chief Dance (UKU Ceremony)
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