October 17th, 2017 Last Updated on: October 17th, 2017
The 65th Annual Cherokee National Holiday was held in Tahlequah, Oklahoma the first weekend in September. The festival is a celebration of Cherokee heritage, cultural awareness and reuniting families. The holiday has been observed annually since 1953 to commemorate the signing of the 1839 Cherokee Constitution and the Act of Union reuniting Cherokees both East and West after the Trail of Tears.
My good friend Glenda Harjo (Mvskoke) was at the pow wow and caught some great images of the pow wow dancers. Take a look below!
The 65th Cherokee National Holiday theme was “Water is Sacred. ” ᎠᎹ (“a ma” or water) has long been a symbol of healing for Cherokees. Seven sycamore leaves floating upon the water symbolize the sycamore tree where the water spider received our first fire. It also represents the Cherokee medicinal practice of immersing yourself in the river or creek one last time before winter while it is still warm and the autumn leaves have fallen into the water. The fabled guwisguwi, a water bird, connects us to our ancient past. Its graceful neck mimics the gentle curve of a moving stream. In contrast, mountains in the background symbolize the longevity, strength and permanence of our culture.
Artist Dan Mink created the design and you can still find it on official t-shirts in the Cherokee gift shops and online at www.cherokeegiftshop.com.
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