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Old Cherokee Architecture

Pacific Coast Cherokee Woodworking Heritage

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One of the most intriguing things about the Old Cherokee is how the heck did they get what they had?

For, as best as we can tell, they had no metals, up until the coming of the British. And yet, according to legend, extensive building and construction went on. (And how did they build their Great Capital City of Chekota?) It must have been a long and tedious labor of love--and patience.

And if you don't think so, then obviously you have never attempted to work with flint tools!

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The Mysterious Old Cherokee Blowguns

Now, as we have been trying to tell you, elsewhere, the Mediavel Cherokee were NOT like other Native Americans! And here, in weaponty, we have a big difference. For, while other Native Americans used the bow and arrow, or clubs with stone heads (axes or maces), the Old Cherokee used Blowguns with poisoned darts!

Hey, Blowguns do not have a great range, as an arrow does. But, in the Dense Forest where the Cherokee lived, they did not need great range. Only stealth to keep concealed. And as Blowguns were almost silent, they allowed that concealment to continue, even in Battle.

So, how did they make these Blowguns? Well, they did not have the metal tools to bore out a wooden shaft, so they must have found reeds, somewhere in the local swamps, that were hollow (something like bamboo)? Then it would not have been that hard to find thorns to use as darts, and perhaps feathers, to wrap about the ends of the thorns to seal the Blowgun tube around the dart so that a blast of breath would send the dart scooting at good speed. And there were verious plants and herbs around to smear on the thorn to make the target die or just fall asleep. Simple!

(OKAY, at this point, I have to take a side trail for a bit. And I hope you have read the Article on the Azomari! For, the legends of them are full of tails of men being bitten by STINGING BEES THAT CAUSE SLEEP, and then waking up as either slaves to these American Amazons--or slaves to the Tribes that these women sold them to. Well, most people consider Azomari just fanciful imagination. However, here, in Blowgun technology, we have an explanation for just how their mysterious "powers" seemed to have worked!!! So, perhaps they were far more REAL then most people think???)



And a Viking style of Construction

Now, at the danger of repeating myself, let me remind you again, that as we have been trying to tell you, the Mediavel Cherokee were NOT like other Native Americans. And this shows up in their housing. For, while other Native Americans lived in Teepees (or circular tents of animal hides) or wigwaums (crude huts made of brush), the Old Cherokee lived in wooden houses!

Moreover, these were topped by wooden shingles, apparently split off fromchunks of trees (and with flint axes!). The roofs were well angled (to held rain run off, as well as snowfall) and supported by large wooden beams or logs (to carry the weight of snowfall). These posts and beams were apparently notched, in a Viking style, to fit together (though not quite as tightly as the metal sawed locking notches of the Vikings)--and then lashed to each other for added strength, in case of wind storms.

And while cheaper walls just had simple sapplings woven together and daubed with mud or clay, some of the better buildings had logs split in two (like crude planks), and then set end to end (like crude boards), and pegged and/or lashed into place, with the cracks daubed with clay and moss (to seal out the wind).

Yep, very close to the Viking style of architecture and buidling techniques of that Time.

The typical Old Cherokee houses had two rooms. One was the family and living room, with a ggod sized fire pit in its center (for heat and cooking), with a trap door over it (in the shingled roof) to allow the smoke to escape.

The second was a bedroom or more accurately a bunk room--for the Old Cherokee slept in bunks, off of the floor--sometimes even 3 high! (While other Native Americans slept on the floor.) The bunks had one end anchored in the wall, and then to an inside post, the "bed" being attached between. (Yes, just like the Viking bunkhouses that have been found in America!)

Larger houses had 3 rooms. With the 3rd Room position on the end (making a long-house) and serving as an entry and storage room. Which would help keep the cold out (and the heat in) during the Winter seasons. (And again, a Viking kind of style.)

Moreover, while other Native Americans sat on the ground, the Old Cherokee followed the custom of Europeans--and though the common houses usually did NOT have chairs and benches (as such), boards or half-logs were attached to the walls, so that you could sit on these and lean your back against the wall.

Larger house, and meeting halls (including the National Heptagon) had crude log benches made of half-logs, with some kind of peg leg to keep them in place. And these would accomodate the sitting of lots of people. (Thus, yes, the Uku, or Old Cherokee Monarch, really did have an actual THRONE or ottoman like seat, so the TURTLE THRONE was not just a myth or legend! It was REAL!)

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Old Cherokee Settlements - Cities

As noted in Our Lessons on History, the Mediavel Cherokee Empire was quite extensive, and heavily populated!

Thus, to accomodate all those People, numerous small settlements were typical, and mostly of these common houses grouped close together, along some kinds of street network, and then surrounded by a palisade or wooden wall (for protection against the raids of other Native Americans). Thus, lots of village-forts could be found.

Larger settlements or "cities" had more of the larger, fancier houses. And along with the palisade or wooden wall were a few mounds, topped with another palisade, forming strongholds. Thus, these towns became fortresses (with breastworks), and on a very strikingly similar style to Viking forts of this Era!

Moreover, the cities each had a Heptagon (7-sided Temple) of their own (a smaller version of the National Heptagon at the Capital City of Chekota), which was presided over by a Cherokee High-Priest or Bishop (who was assisted by other Cherokee Priests and laymen--including camay or accolytes.)

Thus, larger cities, and even fancier wooden houses (mansions or palaces) did, apparently, exist.

And if you want to boggle your brain, then look up Our Article on CHEKOTA, the Mediavel Cherokee Capital City--and let your fantasy take flight, as to what must have been there, once upon a time! (The lost "Camelot" of America!)

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Old Cherokee Architecture Resembled Viking Works

Now, while the Traditionalists may revel in going back, and living in the Primative Conditions of those Times, most of us among the Pacific Coast Cherokee relish our modern comforts (and TV and Cell Phones)--and indoor plumbing (though legends of Chekota suggest that it did have running water from some kind of flume or aqueduct).

Yet, there is a lot to be learned and gleaned from studying these early works of Our Fore-Fathers and Ancestors. For one thing, we can see that they were NOT that primative (at least in comparison to the Times--and what the other Native Americans did). For the Mediavel Cherokee had a high level of civilization! And for another, it is becoming more and more obvious, that some kind of Viking Heritage has to been accepted in connection with the development of the Old Cherokee.


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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.

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Copyright 2007 by Daniel Shaddox
(All Rights reserved!)

Filed 04-14-07