Sovereign Amonsoquath Band of Cherokee

Scratching

From the book TSALAGI BEGINNINGS AND CUSTOMS be Chief Hicks can be bought by sending a check or money order for $7.50 ($5.00 for the book and $2.50 S&H) send to Red Man 505 E. Mckay, Troup,Tx 75789

SNAKE-TOOTH AND FISH -BONE SCRATCHERS BY D.L. HICKS
 

When a person broke a sacred law or custom, they were scratched about the body, arms and legs with a snake-tooth scratcher, for the snake had supernatural powers. When a person broke a social law or custom that was not punished by clan law, they were scratched by a fish-bone scratcher. The severity of the scratching would correspond to the severity of the transgression, but it would alway bring blood.

After each scratching, the person would perform "go to the water." The person was scratched by the Anidawehi to remind him or her that a rule of the tsalagi has been broken and the scratching would remind him or her in the future not to break that rule.

Scratching was an important ceremony for the ball play and most all other sports. Ball play, in particular, was religious as well as social event and was conducted as such. Each and every participant, whether man or woman, would be scratched before game......

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