On the other hand, they seem to readily embrace the fanciful stories and legends about Chekota, the Mediavel Cherokee Capital City. As a result, Chekota has turned into a kind of Cherokee Camelot. And many dreams and wishes have been intertwined with what scant facts might be found about both cities.
SO WHAT ARE THE FACTS???
Well, that is a good question! And, unfortunaely, it is hard to answer. For the facts are few and far between--and some, who refuse to acept the FACTS of the Mediavel Cherokee Empire, will also deny whatever facts you may also turn up with, about Chekota!
But, we believe we have fairly well documented the GREAT EXTENT of the Mediavel Cherokee Empire in Our Article on the OLD CHEROKEE. Consequently, we think that it is safe to assume that the Capital City of such an Empire was probably a lot larger (and grander) than most historians think!
Now, a lot of the problem in gathering the facts here, is that the City seems to be known by several names. We have stuck with Che-Ko-Ta because that has a ring to the ear, that sounds about right. But, we have seen Chote frequently used, to. (Yet, is this the same, or a different city?) And, if you are open to speculation, is this the 7 Cities of Cibola, that the Spanish sought, as they were suppose to be cities of gold??? (7 being a popular number with the Cherokee.) As a said, the facts are few and far between!
CONSTRUCTION and ARCHEOLOGY:
Well, so far, the actual site of CheKoTa has not been found, so we cannot turn to archeology, this time. However, some facts of this Era make the image of CheKoTa clearer. For the architecture of this time and place was in WOOD not stone. Thus, there will be no rock ruins to find (making archeological location harder). Moreover, from details of other construction, we get an picture that has a real Viking slant to it--wooden palisades surrounding the settlement, with some mounds topped by other wooden palisades (making a kind of wooden "castle").
HISTORY or LEGENDS:
Of those who claimed to have been to CheKoTa, we get some very interesting details (if they be true). The City covered an area of several square miles and held thousands of Cherokee! (Not your backwoods shanty town, as some have pictured it!)
This City was surround by a wooden palisade (with a possible moat, canal, or river protecting it on some or all of its sides). The Wooden Wall apparently had Gates with mounds of earth, topped by smaller palisades. And the entrance through was some kind of twisty turning maze--so that enemies would come under fire from the palisade mounds, if they tried to enter the City.
NATIONAL HEPTAGON and PALACE:
Now, we have documented the Judeo-Christian Nature of the Old Cherokee and the Mediavel Cherokee Empire in Our Article on MEDIAVEL CHEROKEE. And that Culture (and Theological viewpoint) comes through abundantly here! For the City was laid out around a GREAT TEMPLE or Wooden Cathedral called the National Heptagon. It was built on a mound, so that it was usually visible from all over the City. And was made of 7 sides, hence its name: Heptagon (and 7 being a Sacred Number for the Cherokee). It faced East, like most Jewish Temples. And in front of it was a large field or parade ground, where many of the outdoor religious celebrations took place. (Moreover, reportedly, this design served as a model for other Mediavel Cherokee towns, as many of them were suppose to have smaller Heptagons, as well.)
Across this "Field" from the National Heptagon was the Palace or Wooden "Castle" of the Uku ("oo-koo') who served as the Empire's King and Monarch, as well as the Great High-Priest of the Mediavel Cherokee Theocracy. The Palace, like the National Heptagon, was built on a mound of earth, apparently with a small palisade around its base, and a smaller palisade around its top--making it look like a multi-layer "castle". (And making it look like a Viking Fort!)
Consequently, the picture that realistically begins to emerge here, is one of a Great Capital City--perhaps like that of the Incas or Mayans (only it was not of stone, but of wood).
TALES AND LEGENDS:
Now, the tales and legends of Chekota abound! Some of which are very fanciful (and have little basis in reality). Others, are obviously short-sight, in light of the facts that we have assembled here, and paint the City as more of a mud-hut, backwater village.
See Our CONTACTS PAGE Section . (Please put CHEOKTA in the subject box!)
Moreover, like Our INDIAN CHESS, we will be using this with Our Regathering Meetings. So, if you are interested in learning how to play this Game, we will be giving demonstrations of it, here and there, throughout the year. Check the posting to find out when and where it may be played near you at CHEKOTA TOURNAMENTS.
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