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Warriors of AniKituhwa 

Warriors of AniKituhwaThis dance group brings to life the Cherokee War Dance and Eagle Tail Dance as described by Lt. Henry Timberlake in 1762. Designated as official cultural ambassadors by the Tribal Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, they have performed at Colonial Williamsburg, the National Museum of the American Indian, and throughout the Southeast.

The War Dance was used when men went to war, but also when meeting with other nations for diplomacy and peace, and within the Cherokee nation was also used to raise money for people in need. It conveys the strength of the Cherokee nation.

The Warriors of AniKituhwa also perform Cherokee social dances including the Bear Dance, Beaver Hunting Dance, and Friendship Dance. They talk about the significance of the dances, their clothing, and Cherokee history and culture, and can provide other programs as well.

For more information contact Barbara Duncan at bduncan@cherokeemuseum.org or use the links below.

 

Press Release || Past Appearances || 2007 Appearances

 

Warriors of AniKituhwa

Warriors of AniKituhwa

 

PRESS RELEASE

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 in 2005 include: Ty Oocumma, David Owle, and Jeremy Sequoyah.

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.

Warriors of AniKituhwaIn 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 1920’s 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 Nation, 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 R. Duncan, Ph.D., Education Director at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian 828 497-3481 or bduncan@cherokeemuseum.org.

WARRIORS OF ANIKITUHWA 2005/06 APPEARANCES: Warriors of AniKituhwa

  • 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

COMMUNITY OUTREACH Warriors of AniKituhwa

  • 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

RESEARCH

  • Eastern Frontiers Conference, Akron Ohio
  • University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology
  • National Museum of the American Indian
  • Cherokee Language Immersion Class

FILM

  • Huber Corporation
  • Emissaries of Peace exhibit video
  • Agee Films documentary on the Appalachians for PBS
  • Rabun Gap Nacoochee School promotional video

 

SCHEDULE 2008

March 30

May 17

Southeast Tourism Conference, Asheville, NC

Nikwasi Mound, Franklin, NC

June 1

June 14

Ethnobotany Conference, Duke University, Durham, NC

Cherokee Voices Festival, Cherokee, NC

June 21-22

1758 Cherokee Council Reenactment, Conococheague, PA

July 17-19

Festival of  Native Peoples, Cherokee, NC

September 6-7

Sequoyah Birthplace Museum Festival, Vonore, TN

September 18

September 19-20

Trail of Tears Ride Kickoff, Cartersville, GA

Southeastern Tribes Cultural Arts Celebration, Cherokee, NC

September 27

Mountain Heritage Day – Cullowhee, NC

First wk. October

Cherokee Fall Fair – Cherokee, NC

October 24-25

Colonial Williamsburg, VA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


For additional information, please email Barbara Duncan at BDuncan@cherokeemuseum.org

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