||Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA
||Cherokee Voices Festival - Cherokee, NC
||Festival of Native People - Cherokee, NC
||Sequoyah Birthplace Museum - Vonore, TN
||Cherokee Fall Fair, Cherokee, NC
||American Indian Heritage Celebration, Raleigh, NC
The Warriors of AniKituhwa, a Cherokee dance group, have been making history by recreating Cherokee dances described in 1762, including the War Dance and the Eagle Tail dance. They are revitalizing Cherokee dance by bringing back other dances from the past, by doing research, and by offering dance workshops for their community. In the past year, they have danced at the National Museum of the American Indian, Colonial Williamsburg, and at events in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia.
"I’m proud of our young men who have taken the initiative to dance traditional Cherokee dances. It’s assurance that our people will keep dancing and keep alive our authentic dances," said Marie Junaluska, Tribal Council member from Painttown and one of the founders of the group.
Designated as official cultural ambassadors by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the original dancers include: John Grant, Jr., Daniel Sonny Ledford, John Bullet Standingdeer, Bo Taylor, Daniel Tramper, Robert Tramper, and Will Tuska. Their singer is Walker Calhoun, respected Cherokee elder and recipient of many awards for his role in preserving Cherokee music and dance. The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is their official sponsor. Men who have joined the group include: David Seay Owle, Ty Oocumma, Micah Swimmer, Eric Bird, Antonio Grant, and Ernest Grant.
In December 2004, they danced on the Palace Green in Colonial Williamsburg, where the last Cherokee delegation danced in 1777, and they returned there in October 2005. At that time they participated in a reenactment of a Cherokee delegation that presented Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia with a wampum belt in 1755. Colonial Williamsburg created a wampum belt made entirely of quahog shell, the original material, for this presentation. They also danced again on the Palace Green.
In October, a new exhibit opened at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian describing Timberlake’s visit to the Cherokees and Ostenaco’s visit to England in 1762. “Emissaries of Peace: the 1762 Cherokee and British Delegations” was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and given special presidential recognition as a “We the People” exhibit. The Warriors of AniKituhwa were part of the opening ceremonies for the exhibit in Cherokee, and will travel to perform at the exhibit’s openings at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in October 2006, and at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. in April 2007. They bring to life the “Warrior Dance” and the “Eagle Tail Dance” as described in the Memoirs of Lt. Henry Timberlake. Timberlake witnessed these dances in the Cherokee capital of Chota, in the Overhill Towns, in the fall of 1762, and he described these dances in his Memoirs, published in 1765.
The dancers began in the summer of 2003, when Marie Junaluska asked Bo Taylor to help recreate historic, authentic Cherokee dances. Taylor, who is the Archivist at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, obtained copies of songs recorded from Will West Long in the 1920s on wax cylinders. These songs, descriptions of the dances, and the survival of traditional knowledge, enabled the group to recreate these dances.
The Warriors of AniKituhwa have been supported by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, and by their sponsor, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. For more information on the dancers, or to book them for your event, contact Barbara Duncan, Ph.D., Education Director at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian 1-828-497-3481 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WARRIORS OF ANIKITUHWA APPEARANCES:
- Irish-Cherokee Cultural Exchange
- Mountain Heritage Center Folklife Program, Western Carolina University
- Fulbright Scholars Cherokee Experience
- Rabun Gap Nacoochee School Cherokee Experience
- North Carolina Humanities Council Cherokee Seminar
- Cherokee Visitor Appreciation Day
- Cherokee Preservation Foundation Community Event
- Cherokee Voices Festival, Museum of the Cherokee Indian
- Kituhwa Mound Annual Celebration
- Maggie Valley Civil War Reenactment
- Cherokee Fourth of July Powwow
- Huber Corporation Documentary Film
- Harrah’s Grand Opening of the Soco Tower
- Bele Chere, Asheville
- Stone Mountain Park
- Sequoyah Birthplace Museum Festival
- National Museum of the American Indian-First Anniversary Celebration
- Festival of Native Peoples, Cherokee
- Mountain Heritage Day at Western Carolina University
- Cherokee Fall Fair
- Colonial Williamsburg--historical reenactment and dance
- SAMAB Conference, Cherokee
- Warren Wilson College
- North Carolina State
- First Army, Atlanta
- Cherokee High School Football games (2)
- Opening of Emissaries of Peace: the 1762 Cherokee/British Delegations
- Dance workshops – three months of weekly workshops free to the community
- Pucker Toe Moccasin workshop
- Appearance at CHS football games
- Available free of charge to Cherokee Central Schools
- Eastern Frontiers Conference, Akron, Ohio
- University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology
- National Museum of the American Indian
- Cherokee Language Immersion Class
- Huber Corporation
- Emissaries of Peace exhibit video
- Agee Films documentary on the Appalachians for PBS
- Rabun Gap Nacoochee School promotional video
For additional information, please email Barbara Duncan at email@example.com