The Warriors of AniKituhwa

education-warriors6This dance group brings to life the Cherokee War Dance and Eagle Tail Dance as described by Lt. Henry Timberlake in 1762. They are designated as official cultural ambassadors by the Tribal Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and are sponsored by the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. They have performed at Colonial Williamsburg, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Montreal, and throughout the Southeast.  See some of their dances here.

The War Dance was used not only 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. They can provide living history demonstrations and programs in flute, storytelling, Cherokee language, beadwork, quillwork, and more.

For more information, or to book them for an event, contact Barbara Duncan


March 26,27,28 – Southeastern Festival Poarch Creeks, Atmore AL
May 10 – Lake Eden Arts Festival Performance, Black Mountain NC
May 11 – Lake Eden Arts Festival Informance, at Orange Peel, Asheville NC
June 6-7 – “Return of the Cherokees”, Colonial Williamsburg VA
June 13 – Cherokee Voices Festival, Museum of the Cherokee Indian
Sept 12-13 – National Folk Festival, Greensboro NC
Oct 6 – Cherokee Fall Fair, Cherokee NC
Nov 21 – American Indian Heritage Celebration, Raleigh NC


Warriors of AniKituhwa on Facebook



Over the past ten years, the Warriors of AniKituhwa have inspired Cherokee people and the public with their image of strength and pride, bringing back dances from the 1700s, when Cherokees were a world power, making treaties with England, France, Spain, South Carolina, and Virginia. They broke the old stereotypes of Trail of Tears and Plains feather warbonnets, and provided a new image for Cherokee people.

They first performed for the Inter-Tribal Timber Council which met in Cherokee in 2003. In December 2004, they danced on the Palace Green in Colonial Williamsburg, where the last Cherokee delegation had danced in 1777.  Since then they have danced, participated in historical dramas, and presented living history at Colonial Williamsburg every year.  In February 2005, the Tribal Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians recognized them as cultural ambassadors with the Museum of the Cherokee Indian as their sponsor.

Since then, they have performed for Cherokee students here and in Oklahoma. Their clothing has inspired the Miss Cherokee pageant to adopt Cherokee clothing of the 1700s, and they have helped revive old clothing styles at the Oconluftee Indian Village and Unto These Hills outdoor drama. They have inspired other dance groups to bring back the dances of their grandfathers and grandmothers. Their faces became the “new face” of advertising for Cherokee as a destination, bringing visitors who were looking for an authentic Cherokee experience.

The Warriors of AniKituhwa have given more than 250 performances, for more than 300,000 people, and they have traveled thousands of miles. In addition to performances in Cherokee for the Cherokee Central Schools, Fall Fair, Kituhwa Celebration, and Red Clay Reunion, they have taken Cherokee culture to nine states, Washington DC, and Montreal Canada. They have been welcomed at the National Museum of the American Indian, and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. They have performed for cultural events for other tribes, including the Seminoles, Creek Nation, and the Poarch Creek Band. They have been an important part of Cherokee historical events, including the 2009 Red Clay Reunion, the 2010 Cherokee Victory Celebration at Fort Loudoun in Tennessee and the 2012 celebration of Emissaries of Peace, with seven events in four states. They have danced for meetings of the United South and Eastern Tribes and the National Congress of American Indians. Their ten year partnership with Colonial Williamsburg has led to the establishment of a full-time Cherokee person there, with Cherokee programs every week. This fulfilled a long-time goal of the American Indian Initiative at Williamsburg.

“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.



Mountain Heritage Award 2007

Best of the Mountains 2006



  • National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC
  • Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Washington DC
  • Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg VA
  • National Folk Festival, Greensboro NC
  • American Indian Heritage Celebration, Raleigh NC
  • Cherokee Fall Fair, Cherokee NC
  • Cherokee Voices Festival, Cherokee NC
  • Kituhwa Celebration, Cherokee NC
  • Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, Cherokee NC
  • Red Clay Reunion, Red Clay TN
  • Cherokee National Holiday, Tahlequah OK
  • Mountain Heritage Day, Western Carolina University
  • Southeast Tribes Festival, Cherokee NC,  Atmore AL
  • Native American Festival, Moundville Archaeological Park AL
  • Sequoyah Birthplace Museum Festival, Vonore TN
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN
  • First Nations Festival, Montreal Canada
  • University of North Carolina at Asheville NC
  • Charles George Veterans Hospital, Oteen NC
  • Stone Mountain Park, Stone Mountain GA
  • Decatur Book Fair, Decatur GA
  • Rabun Gap Nacoochee School, Dillard GA
  • Irish-Cherokee Cultural Exchange
  • Fulbright Scholars Cherokee Experience
  • North Carolina Humanities Council Cherokee Seminar
  • Cherokee Visitor Appreciation Day
  • Cherokee Preservation Foundation Community Event
  • 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
  • Opening of Emissaries of Peace: the 1762 Cherokee/British Delegations


  • Dance workshops for the community
  • Pucker Toe Moccasin Making workshop
  • Performances for Cherokee Central Schools
  • Appearance at CHS football games


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


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

For additional information, email Barbara Duncan at