ArtTour International Magazine|Spring 2020
Water, Mooney discovered during his season with the Eastern Band, appeared at the very beginning of Cherokee cosmology. In “Myths of the Cherokee,” published in The Journal of American Folklore, he recorded the nation’s origin story, in which the Cherokee conceived of the earth as “a great island floating in a sea of water, and suspended at each of the four cardinal points by a cord hanging down from the sky vault. . . . When the world grows old and worn out, the people will die, and the cords will break and let the earth sink into the ocean, and all will be water again.” We begin in water, and we return to the water.
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