The Cherokee people, like all Native American tribes, possess an extensive, ancient oral history. Before European contact and the creation of the Cherokee syllabary, the only way history could be passed on was by word-of-mouth. Storytelling is still an important part of Cherokee life. Stories are used for entertainment, to teach morals and values, and to keep Cherokee history and culture alive. The Cherokee stories told today have been passed down for many generations. James Mooney, a white man who lived with the Cherokees for several years in the late 1800s, recorded Cherokee stories that are still told today. These stories are a great way to learn more about Cherokee beliefs and culture.
Below is the Digital Heritage Moment as broadcast on the radio:
Folk Festivals Folk festivals occur regularly in western North Carolina. Their origins go back to the 1920s. Asheville’s Mountain Dance and Folk Festival was one of the first. Their popularity has grown […]
Oconaluftee Indian Village In 1952, the Cherokee Historical Association opened the Oconaluftee Indian Village, a recreated Cherokee village set in the 1750s. . .
Craft Guild In 1892, Frances Goodrich, a New England educated Presbyterian Missionary, moved to the Madison County community of Allanstand. Her goal: to improve the quality of life for mountain […]
Coverlets and Quilts
Essay by Timothy N. Osment
"Quilts tell stories; they illustrate history; they express love and sorrow; they link generations together; they are community; […]
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Shape notes were invented in the late 18th century to simplify teaching people to sight-read unaccompanied sacred musical scores. They were called shape notes because, [...]
About The Digital Heritage Project
DigitalHeritage.org includes essays, video interviews, and other materials created by the students of Western Carolina University. It also includes regional lesson plans created by teachers participating in the Adventure of the American Mind project sponsored by the Library of Congress. Radio spots created by WCU faculty and students may be heard on stations WKSF-FM, WMXF-AM, WPEK-AM, WWCU-FM, and WWNC-AM. A print version is available each month in the Laurel of Asheville.
Tonya Carroll (B.A., 2007 M.A., 2009) with Bruce Frazier (Carol Grotnes Belk Endowed Professor in Commercial & Electronic Music) in the recording studio.