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...In some cultures snakes were fertility symbols, for example the Hopi people of North America performed an annual snake dance to celebrate the union of Snake Youth (a Sky spirit) and Snake Girl (an Underworld spirit) and to renew fertility of Nature. During the dance, live snakes were handled and at the end of the dance the snakes were released into the fields to guarantee good crops.
...The circle was particularly important to Dahomeyan myth where the snake-god Danh circled the world like a belt, corsetting it and preventing it from flying apart in splinters. In ancient Egypt, the snake biting its tail symbolised the sea as the eternal ring which enclosed the world.
The Cherokee called the Nantahala the "Land of the Noonday Sun" because the walls on either side of the River towered so tall that the direct light of the sun could only shine into the Gorge during the middle part of the day when it reached its highest point in the sky. James Mooney, an early ethnologist who lived among the Cherokee at the turn of the century, recorded in his "Myths of the Cherokee" that the name Nantahala is a mispronunciation of the Cherokee word "Nun-daye-li" meaning "middle sun". The Nantahala Gorge was an established trail of the earliest Cherokee when they traveled back & forth between their villages from the Valley areas of Andrews to the Middle Towns along the Tuckaseegee and Little Tennessee Rivers. The Cherokee considered the Nantahala Gorge a spiritual place. Their legends told of of Uktena, the giant horned serpent, and the mischievous "little people" who lived in the Gorge.