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Few writers portray Native American life and history as richly, authentically, and insightfully as Robert J. Conley. Conley represents an important voice of the Cherokee past. The novels in his Real People series combine powerful characters, gripping plots, and vivid descriptions of tradition and mythology to preserve Cherokee culture and history. War Woman spans the late 1500s to mid-1600s.
War Woman, a brave, headstrong, clever Cherokee, is believed by many in her town to be a witch. Having heard stories about the Spanish, and believing there is great profit to be made by trading with them, she leads a small band of youths on the treacherous road to La Florida. This journey, blessed with success and marred by terrible tragedy, marks the beginning of War Woman's own personal journey as she leads her people by example and by guidance through terrifying times.
Gaming and chiefing. Imposters and freedmen. Distinguished novelist Robert J. Conley examines some of the most interesting facets of the Cherokee world. In 26 essays laced with humor, understatement, and even open sarcasm, this popular writer takes on politics, culture, his people's history, and what it means to be Cherokee. As provocative as it is entertaining, Cherokee Thoughts will intrigue tribal members and anyone with an interest in the Cherokee people.
"A Cherokee Encyclopedia" is a quick reference guide for many of the people, places, and things connected to the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees, as well as for the other officially recognized Cherokee groups, the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokees.
From "A Cherokee Encyclopedia"
Set against the tragic events of the Cherokees' removal from their traditional lands in North Carolina to Indian Territory between 1835 and 1838, Mountain Windsong is a love story that brings to life the suffering and endurance of the Cherokee people. It is the moving tale of Waguli ("Whippoorwill") and Oconeechee, a young Cherokee man and woman separated by the Trail of Tears. Just as they are about to be married, Waguli is captured by federal soldiers and, along with thousands of other Cherokees, taken west, on foot and then by steamboat, to what is now eastern Oklahoma. Though many die along the way, Waguli survives, drowning his shame and sorrow in alcohol. Oconeechee, among the few Cherokees who remain behind, hidden in the mountains, embarks on a courageous search for Waguli. Robert J. Conley makes use of song, legend, and historical documents to weave the rich texture of the story, which is told through several, sometimes contradictory, voices. The traditional narrative of the Trail of Tears is told to a young contemporary Cherokee boy by his grandfather, presented in bits and pieces as they go about their everyday chores in rural North Carolina. The telling is neither bitter nor hostile; it is sympathetic but unsentimental. An ironic third point of view, detached and often adversarial, is provided by the historical documents interspersed through the novel, from the text of the removal treaty to Ralph Waldo Emerson's letter to the president of the United States in protest of the removal. In this layering of contradictory elements, Conley implies questions about the relationships between history and legend, storytelling and myth-making. Inspired by the lyrics of Don Grooms's song,"Whippoorwill", which open many chapters in the text, Conley has written a novel both meticulously accurate and deeply moving.
Few writers portray Native American life and history as richly, authentically, and insightfully as Robert J. Conley. Conley represents an important voice of the Cherokee past. The novels in his Real People series combine powerful characters, gripping plots, and vivid descriptions of tradition and mythology to preserve Cherokee culture and history.
In Cherokee Dragon, the tenth novel in the series, Robert Conley explores the life if Dragging Canoe, the last great war chief of the united Cherokee tribe. In the late eighteenth century, as the English settlers begin steadily encroaching upon the Cherokee lands, the Nation divided among several towns and many chiefs?unites in a series of battles. But the united front is not one that lasts: Dragging Canoe's belief that they must fight the settlers to preserve their lands and their culture is far from universal.
In The Peace Chief, one young Cherokee must be reborn to lead his people through the difficult early days of sixteenth-century European expansion into America. Conley tells the story of Young Puppy, a member of the Long Hair Clan who mistakenly kills his best friend, Asquani. To avoid being killed--the usual remedy for restoring balance between the two clans--Young Puppy flees to the sanctuary of Kituwah, where, after a year in exile, his offense will be forgiven. Spiritually reborn as Comes Back to Life, he becomes the ceremonial leader of his people: the Peace Chief.
Half Cherokee and Civil War veteran Captain Skylar Garret returns to the home of Phillip Garret, his white father, seeking an inheritance that he believes to have belonged to his late mother. Intertwined now into the lives of his three half brothers-one a vocal atheist, one an aspiring minister, and the other a black slave boy who Phillip Garret doesn't claim-Skylar finds himself in more than a quarrel for money, but also in the middle of a love triangle with his own father, and ultimately on trial for patricide. Will Skylar Garret be the next hanging from Judge Parker's court?
The Cherokee husband-and-wife team who recorded and translated these folktales in 1961 helped to preserve the lore of seventeen elder Oklahoma Cherokees. This volume includes a wide variety of folklore; talking-animal stories, tales of a dragon-like creature and other monsters, accounts of little people inhabiting the hills of eastern Oklahoma, variants of European tales, fragments of Cherokee mythology and cosmology, and legends and lore of historical personages and events. The authors present the stories exactly as they were told, adding brief comments to place the stories clearly in the context of Cherokee life and thought. Musical notations are included wherever a song formed part of a story.
When recent Harvard graduate George Tanner returns home to Tahlequah in the Cherokee nation, he finds the town bustling and accommodations scarce. The council is in session and everyone is in town. Captain Go-Ahead Rider, the district sheriff, offers Tanner immediate employment as a deputy. Rider senses trouble as some key issues come up for vote before the Council. The big issue and the most controversial one is whether the railroad should be allowed to come into town. Mix Hail, the swing vote on the issue, suddenly disappears, and Tanner finds himself smack in the middle of big-money politics and his own nation s concerns. As the two lawmen sort through a pile of blackmail, revenge, and bootlegging, they uncover a nasty plot by some of the town s leading citizens. Tanner learns how to be a lawman, while at the same time experiencing the joy of being home, in his own land, with his own people, speaking his own language."
For many years Oliver Colfax worked as a hired killer. But after he developed a friendship with one of his targets, Colfax lost heart in that line of work and quit. A few odd jobs keep body and soul together, but until Colfax decides what to do with the rest of his life, he s content sitting in his St. Louis hotel room and drinking fine whiskey. When a rancher from Colorado asks him to deal with some cattle rustlers, Colfax declines, thinking it is just one more case of a big landowner wanting it all. But when Colfax learns that a production of Titus Andronicus is playing in nearby Pullman, Colorado, he has a change of heart. He has always longed to see someone play Titus. Dealing with the cattle rustlers proves to be a routine job, but investigating the tragedy that hits the touring Shakespearean drama troupe turns out to be a tough assignment. It may be the hardest case he s ever taken on, one that is certain to change his life forever."
"A modern medicine man portrayed through the words of the people he has helped"
Robert J. Conley did not set out to chronicle the life of Cherokee medicine man John Little Bear. Instead, the medicine man came to him. Little Bear asked Conley to write down his story, to reveal to the world "what Indian medicine is really about." For Little Bear, as for the Cherokee ancestors who brought their traditions over the Trail of Tears to Indian Territory, the medicine is about helping people. Visitors from neighboring states and Mexico come to him, each one seeking help for a different kind of problem. Each seeker's story is presented here exactly as it was told to Conley.
Little Bear has cured problems involving health, relationships, and money by uncovering the source of the problem rather than simply treating the symptoms. Whereas mainstream medicine and counseling have failed his patients, Little Bear's healing practices have proven beneficial time and again.
Based on Cherokee history, oral storytelling, and personal experience, these stories, taken as a whole, reflect the depth of Cherokee historical experience and the range of contemporary Cherokee life. Several stories, including the one from which the collection takes its name, deal with the spiritual world. In the title story a man and his family are devastated by the evil powers of a tsigli, a witch. In other stories "medicine" is used to more constructive ends. Some of the stories feature human-animal transformations, the ability to become invisible, and the power to manipulate events. In the context of the Cherokee world such stories are not fantasies. They are stories about reality-the reality known to Cherokees. The collection also includes tales of Cherokee "outlaws," one of the most intriguing aspects of Cherokee history to Cherokees and non-Cherokees alike. Set in the days of Indian Territory, before Oklahoma statehood, these stories provide a taste of the wild West, seasoned with Cherokee cultural experience. Still other stories describe modern-day Cherokees confronting the past and the present and continually struggling to find a place in the white people's world while maintaining a Cherokee belief system and way of life. Some Cherokees confront ignorant whites, others confront ignorant Cherokees, and still others simply make their own way, dealing with each other, with outsiders, with their environment, and with their spirituality in uniquely personal, albeit Cherokee, ways. Clearly, these stories differ from stories that grow out of a European tradition, for behind them lie completely different cultural referents; different notions about interpreting events, time, and language; and a different view of the purpose and art of storytelling. Their author speaks with a clear Cherokee Indian voice to show how these cultural characteristics have survived centuries of abrupt change and to give readers an understanding of the fullness and humanity of the Cherokees as a people. As Wilma P. Mankiller, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, says in her foreword to the stories: "Much has been written about the Cherokee people. Not enough has been written by the Cherokee people. The subtle nuances of language, the memories of tribal life, and the strong sense of the past and its integration with the present are lost even to the most gifted non-Cherokee writer. There is a movement among contemporary Cherokee writers to produce more indigenous literature. Robert Conley is a leader of that movement." Robert J. Conley is the author of ten novels in the Real People series, The Witch of Goingsnake and Other Stories, and Mountain Windsong, all available in paperback from the University of Oklahoma Press. A three-time winner of the Spur Award and Oklahoma Writer of the Year in 1999, Conley was inducted into the Oklahoma Professional Writers Hall of Fame in 1996. He was named Writer of the Year by the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers & Storytellers in 2000 for Cherokee Dragon.
The thrilling saga of a boy turned gunslinger, and the legend that would chase him across the West...
The Creek Nation has undergone numerous changes since its ancestors began thriving along the Mississippi River around AD 800. Today, the Creeks are commonly referred to by their ancestral name, the Muscogees, and they continue to work hard to keep their rich traditions alive. In this book, readers discover the landmark events in the history of these proud people. They see how the Creeks battled to maintain their unique identityfrom suffering along the Trail of Tears to taking important roles in the modern Native American activist movement. Fascinating facts are presented about Creek family life, mythology, and art, giving readers an informative look at this thriving culture.
The Cherokee Nation is the largest Native American nation in the United States. Inside this compelling account, the history of the Cherokees is presented in detail, including their devastating journey along the Trail of Tears. Despite the struggles they have had to overcome, the Cherokees are a proud people. Readers are introduced to the language, legends, and people that play important roles in the rich tradition of the Cherokee Nation. Fascinating facts about Cherokee life in historical and modern times are presented alongside detailed artwork and eye-catching photographs.
The Blackfoot people make up an international confederation of tribes from both the United States and Canada. Readers discover the deep history and rich traditions of the four tribes of the Blackfoot Confederacy in this engaging volume. They see the journey these people once took across North America as they hunted migratory buffalo as well as their struggles with the American and Canadian governments. The lively culture of the Blackfoot people is also detailed, examining their religion, social structure, and artistic endeavors. Historical artwork and captivating photographs highlight both the past and present of the Blackfoot Confederacy.
The Shoshones are an incredibly diverse group of Native Americans with a complex history. In this valuable resources, readers discover the events in both the past and present that have had a major impact on the Shoshone Nationfrom battles against the Mormons to protests against nuclear testing on their lands. The rich culture of the Shoshones is also explored, including their language, rituals, and myths. Historical and contemporary images accompany stories of the people and places that are vital to understanding the Shoshones and their way of life.
He lit out of Texas with ten dollars and a swayback horse, a wanted man at age 13. Kid Parmlee's crime--he shot the man who shot his dog, Farty. Now, in the town of Fosterville, the Kid has found a hideaway--until his legend finds him. The West's scrawniest gunslinger has just been recruited onto a bounty hunt for a gang of criminals. For the Kid, it's the beginning of an explosive adventure of both sides of the law, in the company of bank robbers, back-shooters, friends, traitors, and one very beautiful woman named Doc--with a pot of gold waiting at the end of the trail.
There is far more to the world of the Inuits than cold temperatures and snow. In this book, readers discover the incredible ways these people have learned to thrive in their harsh climate. Readers explore Inuit history from the first Arctic dwellers to the present. The cultural struggle faced by the Inuits is presented as they work to survive in the modern world while still trying to preserve the traditions of their past. The talents of the Inuit people are on full display in this bookfrom hunters to artists and even professional hockey players. Detailed photographs take readers on a journey to the frigid but beautiful landscape the Inuits call home.
The rich history of the Hopis is still being celebrated today throughout the Arizona lands they call home. In this book, readers explore the events that shaped the Hopis as a peoplefrom their battles with the Spanish in the 1600s to their present-day struggles balancing tradition with economic growth through tourism. Readers discover the Hopi settlement of Oraibi, the oldest surviving settlement in the United States, and see what life is like on the desert mesas where the people of the Hopi Nation live today. Detailed photographs of Hopi artwork, homes, and ceremonies bring readers into the world of this unique culture.
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