Published: July 15th 2010July 15th 2010
A Cherokee Clock
This clock was in the museum in Tahlequah. I took about 20 pictures of it, none of which came out clear! Inhabited by a spirit, maybe?
July 7—After resting yesterday, I took off today to roam around some more. I drove to Tahlequah, which is the capitol of the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee Heritage Center is on the grounds of an old Cherokee school for girls. There is a great museum there, and a living Cherokee village representing the way they lived in the 1700s before they were forcibly removed from the East Coast to Oklahoma. The Cherokee were the first native Americans to have a written language and they are considered one of the five Civilized Tribes.
There were about a dozen tourists like me who walked in the rain through the living village. Our guide was a young Native American who is a sophomore in college. He conducts and narrates these tours as his summer jobs. He was very knowledgeable and spoke well about the ways of the Indians in their village. We saw some of the “villagers” playing a game similar to lacrosse. I can't remember what our guide called it. We also watched a basket weaver, a bow maker, a demonstration of a blowgun, a maker of arrowheads and knives and a pottery maker. We learned about the seven Cherokee clans of
These Indian youth are playing a game at the living village of the Cherokee Heritage Center.
this area and saw the inside of a council house. Other than getting fairly wet, I enjoyed the tour.
After leaving Tahlequah I drove north to some of my old haunting grounds. I took back, winding roads up to a little town called Jay and then to Spavinaw. Many people think of Oklahoma as being in the plains and flat. Actually, almost half of it is hilly and consists of many trees and lakes. I used to love going to Spavinaw because the road was like a roller coaster with so many twists, turns, ups and downs. I must have gotten a little carried away while I was driving it because a bottle of syrup turned over in one of the cabinets and lost its lid. I sure had a sticky mess to clean up when I got back!
July 7—I rode with Joy and Day to Tulsa, actually to Owassa, a suburb of Tulsa, to see Aunt Betty and Uncle Eb. They have moved to an apartment in a beautiful retirement home there and seem to be very happy. I took pictures, but since the ones of Betty and Eb did not come out well, I will
Cherokee Council Fire
Our guide explained the seven shelters were for the seven Cherokee clans. They hold a council fire about once a month. It is a sacred time and no outsiders may observe.
have to take more at the family reunion when we see them there.
July 10—I spent the last two days just puttering around and am now ready to move on. I said good-bye to my new friends, Ken and Brenda and hit the highway. I had planned to go on Route 66, but decided at the last minute to go to Enid instead. I attended Phillips University in Enid from 1960 to 1964. I knew Phillips no longer existed and that another college now used the campus, but I wanted to continue my trip down memory lane. Since its initials were PU our unofficial mascot was a skunk! We had a lot of fun about that. One graduate used to tell the story that she had gotten the rare degree of a Bachelors on Oratory. She said she was the only person in the world with a B.O. from P.U.! The campus hadn't changed a lot, but I was saddened to see my old dorm was all boarded up. Some of the happiest days of my life were spent on that campus. I think it might be bad to get too bogged down in memories, even the good ones.
A woman demonstrates how the Cherokee make baskets.
I started feeling old again! I have to remember how good my life is now.
July 11—I left college days behind and drove on down to Anadarko. I have always wanted to visit this town and one of its attractions, Indian City, USA. Unfortunately, I waited too long. Indian City has closed for lack of funds and may never reopen. It was a living village and museum of various tribes of the plains Indians and a place for them to display their arts and crafts. I think this is a great loss for visitors to the state as well as to Oklahomans themselves.
July 12—I visited the Indian Hall of Fame here in Anadarko. It serves as a tourist information center for the area and also features sculptures of famous Indians. The sculptures are set on a walkway for people to explore at leisure. The volunteer at the center told me there had been a tornado just a couple of months before and it had damaged many of the sculptures. Consequently, many of the busts were missing from their bases, sent to be repaired.
I am staying at a lovely city park in Anadarko that has many
The Cherokee youth who was our guide explains the construction and use of the council house.
places for RVs and offers electricity. It costs only $5 a day for senior citizens! I have chosen to stay for a few days to get some much needed writing done.
Spending this time here has allowed me to catch up on my blog! I sure will try to stay more current now!!
There are more photos below