Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies
Spirit Folk Of Cherokee Legends
Among the Cherokee peoples of the Southeastern United States there are many legends told of the spirit folk who live near them. Some of these spirit folk are great warriors who protect the people, others are quite small, being at full growth just knee-high to a man. Some spirit folk are kind, yet can be very mischievous. Then there are some who could be quite dangerous.
The Nunne'hi, who live under Nikwasi mound in North Carolina, are warrior spirits and protected the Cherokee of the old days, who lived in the house on top of the mound. The Nunne'hi were immortals and friends of the Cherokee people. These warriors who live under the mound were invisible and showed themselves only when necessary.
There was an elder man out chopping wood one day. All the warriors had gone hunting and this old man was alone with the women and children who were in the house. An enemy tribe came on the attack and the old man threw his axe at one of them, then ran to the house to get his gun, hoping to fight the best he could. When he came back out to face the enemy, there were many warriors fighting the enemy and forcing them to retreat. Joining these strange warriors in the fight, the old man stood with them in battle till the enemy had turned and ran in defeat. When the old man turned to thank the warriors who had helped him, none were there. Then he realized it was the Nunne'hi who had come to save their Cherokee friends on the mound.
There are other legends of the Nunne'hi coming forth from the mound to protect the people. In one battle, when the Nikwasi men were overpowered by an enemy band of warriors, the Nunne'hi warriors, hundreds and hundreds of them, kept coming out from beneath the mound and pushed the enemy back in defeat. All but six of the enemy were still alive after the battle. The Nunne'hi sent those six back to their homes with the news of disastrous defeat.
The Nunne'hi lived in many places in the old country of the Cherokee. Often, when hunters were out in the mountains, music and drums could be heard as the Nunne'hi danced and sang, yet none could be seen.
The Yunwi Tsunsdi' are called "The Little People" by the Cherokee people. The Little People, when full grown, only come up to a man's knee -- some are smaller. They have lovely hair that reaches to the ground. They are rather shy, yet do not like to be ignored. If they are not acknowledged, they will become mischievous and play tricks. They do have kind hearts and are very diligent workers.
When strange or unusual things begin to happen at a gathering of the Cherokee, and there is no logical explanation for these occurrences, then one must take on the responsibility of making sure the Little People are given special treats -- thereby, letting them know they are acknowledged and appreciated. To put a plate of berries and cake or other goodies out at just the edge of the camp will appease the Little People. When they are happy with their treats, then odd jobs around camp will be done quite well during the night.
There are many legends told of those who lost their way in winter storms. The Little People found them, cared for them, and nursed them back to health if they had been sick or injured. Then the one who was lost would be taken back to the path to their own home.
Often, at night, people in their settlement will hear the voices of the Little People outside, but no one dares to go out there, for the kind-hearted Little People are working in the fields or cleaning up the area. They do not like to be watched or seen at those times. They also do not like to have anyone coming uninvited to their own homes in the mountains. One must be careful not to do this, or a spell may be cast on them which makes one forgetful and dazed for quite some time.
The Yunwi Amai 'yune'hi are water dwellers. They are faeries who live under the waters. Many fishermen will ask the water dwellers for help, by praying to catch enough fish to feed their families.
There are many stories and legends of the spirit folk who are helpful to the Cherokee people. Yet, there are some that cannot be trusted and may even be dangerous -- like the Fire Carriers who come upon lone travelers and follow a ways behind them. It is not known if the Fire Carriers are good folk or witches, but many have been frightened by a spirit carrying fire and following them. No one wants to hang around long enough to find out what these spirits really are.
| Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map
Content copyright © 2013 by Phyllis Doyle Burns. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Phyllis Doyle Burns. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Phyllis Doyle Burns for details.
Website copyright © 2013 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.