These include the reports of Payne, Butrick, and Adair. And Bartram (1701) presented the Cherokee as unique among the other Native Americans as they were NOT idolatrous, but seem to have some kind of God-fearing religion, and belief in a ONE TRUE GOD!
Now, while modern historians tend to laugh at these claims, the records of this Era, seem to be rather convincing--at face value. And thus the Early or Mediavel Cherokee had some kind of Jewish, if not Messianic (Jewish-Christian) Religion. So, let us take a brief look at some of the facts in the historical record and consider: 1- the Mediavel Cherokee Temple, 2- the their Religious Calendar and Holy Dayss, 3- the Jewish "Indian" myths and legends that they taught, and lastly, 4- their amazing Cherokee Combat Routine. And, thus, we should get a reasonable picture of just what the Old Cherokee Religion was like.
The Cherokee Hebrews built a 7-sided Temple for the place of their main worship. It faced East, as did the Temple in Jerusalem. Inside, was a Sacred Fire, that was kept buring all year, and was re-lit on an Indian Festival Day like Yom Kipper--as was the Menorah of the Temple in Jerusalem. Moreover, they had a variety of Temple purification rituals and activities, that seem to resemble those used in the Temple in Jerusalem.
And there is NO WAY that this is just "coincidental". Somewhere in the Cherokee Origins, the Old Cherokee must have had Jewish contact!
And for a brief summary, these Mediavel Cherokee Festivals were:
Now, the mathematical odds on these connections happening just by "accident" are ATRONOMICAL! Therefore, the Old Cherokee, back in Cherokee History somehow, had to have Jewish contact! And since they were observant of Jewish Festivals, they have to be Jews of some sort! (Though, perhaps, not "Orthodox"! For they ate pork and were not circumcised. Maybe, Sadduccean Jews, then?)
But, most dramatic of all, is the story of the First Man and First Woman. For the ONE CREATOR made the world in 7 Days, similar to the Biblical account! And, the First Cherokee Man was Kayanty (the hunter) and the First Woman was Sheluva or Shelu (Sele is "corn"). Moreover, the First Corn Woman was bitten by the evil snake, and thus brought death to all the Redmen! (And there are MORE parallel tales!)
However, the Mediavel Cherokee also belived in the Trinity, and that while God was ONE, according to their legends, HE could, at times, be in 3 parts: the Father or Creator being UHaloTayQua, the Son or Uniter being ATaNeVTy, and the Great Spirit or Holy Ghost being USQauHuLau. Moreover, they used the emblem of the Cross as the focus of the main dance for the Bonding Bush Festival. Consequently, if the Mediavel Cherokee believed in the Trinity and used the Cross, then they must have been Christians of some sort, too. Thus, our Messianic label of them.
And the odds that they just developed this "coincidently" are out of this world--especially when you consider with other correlations of indicators which say they were Jews.
OK, but how in the world could this have happened? Well, we will cover that in our next article, on the CHEROKEE-VIKING HERITAGE.
1- Much of the information for the early or Mediavel Cherokee comes from the colonial works of Payne, Butrick, and Adair, a lot of which is quoted in THE CHEROKEE PEOPLE--The Story of the Cherokees, from Earliest Origins to Contemporary Times; by Thomas E. Mails, published in 1992 by Council Oak Books of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
2- Supplemental information confirming Mails work can also be found in The HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS and Their Legends and Folklore by Emmet Starr from Oklahoma City in 1921 but was reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Company of Baltimore, Maryland in 2004.
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Filed: 02-12-05 . . . Updated 04-02-07