Friday, November 20, 2009

Cherokee Star Myth

What the Stars are Like

A Cherokee story, told by Swimmer.
This tale can be found in James Mooney's, History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee.
Original publication dates of 1891 & 1900

One night a hunting party camping in the mountains noticed two lights like large stars moving along the top of a distant ridge. They wondered and watched until the light disappeared on the other side. The next night, and the next, they saw the lights again moving along the ridge, and after talking over the matter decided to go on the morrow and try to learn the cause.

In the morning they started out and went until they came to the ridge, where, after searching some time, they found two strange creatures about so large (making a circle with outstretched arms), with round bodies covered with fine fur or downy feathers, from which small heads stuck out like the heads of terrapins. As the breeze played upon these feathers showers of sparks flew out.

The hunters carried the strange creatures back to the camp, intending to take them home to the settlements on their return. They kept them several days and noticed that every night they would grow bright and shine like great stars, although by day they were only balls of gray fur, except when the wind stirred and made the sparks fly out.

They kept very quiet and no one thought of their trying to escape, when on the seventh night, they suddenly rose from the ground like balls of fire and were soon above the tops of the trees. Higher and higher they went, while the wondering hunters watched, until at last they were only two bright points of light in the dark sky, and then the hunters knew that they were stars.


Suzie said...

How wonderful! I love Native American stories, and hadn't heard this one!

Thanks SO much for sharing it!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Wow -- close encounter of the third kind!

Mother's Moon's Message said...

thanks so for sharing..

Bridgett said...

What a beautiful story.

Thanks for sharing with us.