Cherokee Artworks

[Historical Literature (Scroll) Shield] [Women Issues (Heart) Shield]


Indian Art Abstract and Symetric Designs

As I recall, when I was real young, the Old Timers in my mom's Family would load me up with all kinds of leather gifts, COVERED IN BEADWORK. (Of course, these were the Old Folks, who also said we were Cherokee. But, we don't talk about them now, as we are supposed to be ALL WHITE! So, where did all the "Indian" stuff come from, then?) And I remember belts, wallets, vest, and jackets of leather--and either covered or holding large patches of BEADWORK. I even had moccasins with beadwork on the toes, and a necktie holder of beaded leather. And I can recall that one of my favorite colors was the sky-blue torquoise, often found in these "Indian" beadworks.

That is, before I started school. Once I began learning with the WHITES, all the fancy beadwork disappeared, and I was forbidden to wear any of it in Public. I had to be WHITE, now. And I always wondered why I had to put WHITE on all the school forms, when all my older relatives told me we were Cherokee? (Weren't we suppose to respect our elders?)

Well, in any case, putting the following article together, brought back many childhood memories.

Now finding Old Cherokee Beadwork is next to impossible. The best we can do, is find descriptions of it in older texts.

[One Eyed Bead Panel]


Next to the SNOWFLAKE (see previous Article), another common pattern found in Old Cherokee Bead work was the EYE. This was usually formed by a square panel of beadwork, with progressively smaller squares within the other ones. (That is for masculine eyes. Feminine eyes had the corners of the squares filled in, making them more octagonal--and the internal squares more like octagons, than squares. Thus giving a feminine roundness to their shape and form.)

Now, the single EYE was usually a sign and symbol of GOD, especially if it was in the Black and White color scheme.

In addition to the square eye (which signalled that the person or being behind it was looking directly at you), eyes were also made in spirals--and that the direction that the spiral opened, was the the direction that the person or being was looking towards.

Morevoer, good thoughts (and "love") were expressed by the eye looking up, whereas bad thoughts (and "anger") were expressed by the eye looking down (i.e. "evil eye").

[Eyes Right Bead Panel] [Eyes Right Bead Panel]


Use of Colors and Their Meanings

Now, to show PEOPLE, two one-eyed bead panels were combined together, making a set of eyes. Usually this was in the Black and White color scheme (showing that Man was made in God's Image)--though blue was also used, especially for female eyes. (And, coincidently, while other Native Americans have brown eyes, Cherokee often have blue eyes, especially those of the Pacific Coast Cherokee--another good indicator of Our Viking ancestors!)

Yellow eyes were used for cats and most animals.

Green eyes were used for reptiles and most fish.

[Eyes Left Bead Panel] [Eyes Left Bead Panel]


The Cat Eyes of the Azomari are watching you!

By combining these eyes, and their looks, with other symbols in the beadwork, a story or tale could be told (or recalled). Perhaps, something like the carved faces in the Totem Pole?

However, of recent date, I haven't seen much of this kind of Old Cherokee patterns being used in current beadwork art. Perhaps now that we have dug it up, and uncovered it, more artists will be inspired to use these pictorgrams.

[God's Law - 10 Commandments Shield]


THE DUO TOTEM and the Twin Poles of Purity

Now, one of the tales that the Mediael Cherokee told was that back earlier, in the Old Cherokee Era, there used to be two giant wooden pillars, which stood out in Public for all to see. And on these twin pillars were apparently 10 symbols that reminded the people of what each of the Commandments of God had told them to do (and not do). And, so the tale goes, the people were much more moral and holy back in those days, when the people did what God told them to!

Now, by Mediavel Cherokee Times, the wooden pillars had long since rotted away. (And, apparently, the people were not so moral then, either?) But for me, my greatest loss is that no description of the symbols on those pillars has yet to be found. For, could it be, just by chance, that those figures were VIKING RUNES? For the Vikings wrote in stick figures on wood (hence many of their written works have long since rotted away). And, if such a find could be made, it would more than CONFIRM what we have long figured to be the Truth--that the Vikings founded the Old Cherokee Nation.

In any case, this would make a good tale to be told by these bead panels--perhaps in a bracelet or belt or headband? (For, just as Jews wore a ribbon or stripe of blue in their garments to remind them of the 10 Commandments, and that they are to keep them DAILY, we, as Cherokee could use a good daily reminder, too--that we could look at every now and then, and remember that God is looking down on us, so that we should do what HE has told us to.)

[Eyes Right Button] [Eyes Right Button] [Single Eye Button] [Single Eye Button] [Single Eye Button] [Eyes Left Button] [Eyes Left Button]

7-Eyes of the 7-Spirits (Holy Ghost):

While not documented, it is reasonably assumed that the Great Spirit (or Holy Ghost) was depicted by the use of 7 eye panels put together (even as the Holy Scrpitures represents HIM by the number 7). This would be the Old Cherokee U-Sqa-Hu-Lau or as Pocahontas would say: THE HOLY SPIRIT OF THE WIND. And while it could be depicted of all Black and White Eyes (looking in differing directions--as God is ALL Seeing), it could be also seen with eyes in differing colors (like the spectrum of a rainbow).

[Viking (Ship) Shield]

Vikings and Cherokee Beadwork:

Common Symbols and Designs

While I am not a real expert on Beadwork (I just happen to like it), those who are better than I tell me that there is a good deal of carry over from the beadwork styles and patterns used back in Viking Times (and still in some places in Scandinavia today) with what the Old Cherokee used. It seems to be one of those other indicators that the Vikings did, indeed, found the start of the Old Cherokee.

(Moreover, I must confess that I think my own personal fascination with the Old Cherokee SNOWFLAKE symbol is that it bears a striking resemblance to VIKING RUNES! See Our Page on the SNOWFLAKE ART.)

If you are a Cherokee Beadworker or have some kind of Beadwork business (or other Art) that you would like others to know about, please let us know. Use Our CONTACTS PAGE Section. And we will post it in the The MARKET.

Be sure to include the following information:

Your Name
Your Business Name
Mailing address
Street address(for UPS)
Brief description of item(s)
Your Web Site
Your Business Phone

And please put BEADWORK or ARTWORK in the subject box of the e-mail.

NOTE: We reserve the right to edit (or not post) anything that we think would be inappropriate to Our Pacific Coast Cherokee readership.


1. Much of the information on the Early or Mediavel Cherokee comes from the book THE CHEROKEE PEOPLE--The Story of the cherokee People, from Earlest Origins to Contemporary Times; by Thomas Mails, published by the Council Oak Books of Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1992 (where Payne, Adair, Butrick, and Haywood are extensively quoted).

2. Supplemental information supporting Mail's work may be found in HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS and Their Legends and Folk Lore; by Emmet Starr which was orginally published in Oklahoma City in 1921 but was reprinted by the Genealogical Publishing Co, Inc. of Baltimore, Maryland in 2004.

3. Several other modern books on the Cherokee give mysterious hints and clues to this hidden Hebrew-Viking-Cherokee origination.

Well, not everything the Old Cherokee taught were Myths or Legends (or blonde babes in bikinis--i.e. Azomaria). There were some pretty good Bible Stories too!

Judeo-Christian Teachings

So, then, just what did the Old Cherokee teach? And how much of it was Judeo-Christian? Well, we don't know exactly, and only by second hand--from what others wrote about it. However, for Our JChIN Tribal Membership Course, we have tried to collect and assemble the Main Teachings or what we call Our CORE CULTURE into a series of lessons for Our JChIN Program. If you are interested, that a look at The ANI SYLLABUS.
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Filed: 04-11-07