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The sacred formulas here given are selected from a collection of about six hundred, obtained on the Cherokee reservation in North Carolina in 1887 and 1888, and covering every subject pertaining to the daily life and thought of the Indian, including medicine, love, hunting, fishing, war, self-protection, destruction of enemies, witchcraft, the crops, the council, the ball play, etc., and, in fact, embodying almost the whole of the ancient religion of the Cherokees. The original manuscripts, now in the possession of the Bureau of Ethnology, were written by the shamans of the tribe, for their own use, in the Cherokee characters invented by Sikwâ´ya (Sequoyah) in 1821, and were obtained, with the explanations, either from the writers themselves or from their surviving relatives.
Originally posted by coyotepoet
It has been said that part of thew reason they were driven off their land during the Trail of Tears because they derived power from the place.
but what exactly is survival related in there?
SELECTED LIST OF PLANTS USED.
1. UNASTE´TSTIYÛ=“very small root”—Aristolochia serpentaria—Virginia or black snakeroot: Decoction of root blown upon patient for fever and feverish headache, and drunk for coughs; root chewed and spit upon wound to cure snake bites; bruised root placed in hollow tooth for toothache, and held against nose made sore by constant blowing in colds. Dispensatory: “A stimulant tonic, acting also as a diaphoretic or diuretic, according to the mode of its application; * * * also been highly recommended in intermittent fevers, and though itself generally inadequate to the cure often proves serviceable as an adjunct to Peruvian bark or sulphate of quinia.” Also used for typhous diseases, in dyspepsia, as a gargle for sore throat, as a mild stimulant in typhoid fevers, and to promote eruptions. The genus derives its scientific name from its supposed efficacy in promoting menstrual discharge, and some species have acquired the “reputation of antidotes for the bites of serpents.”
2. UNISTIL´ÛnISTÎ8=“they stick on”—Cynoglossum Morrisoni—Beggar lice: Decoction of root or top drunk for kidney troubles; bruised root used with bear oil as an ointment for cancer; forgetful persons drink a decoction of this plant, and probably also of other similar bur plants, from an idea that the sticking qualities of the burs will thus be imparted to the memory. From a similar connection of ideas the root is also used in the preparation of love charms. Dispensatory: Not named. C. officinale “has been used as a demulcent and sedative in coughs, catarrh, spitting of blood, dysentery, and diarrhea, and has been also applied externally in burns, ulcers, scrofulous tumors and goiter.”
3. ÛnNAGÉI=“black”—Cassia Marilandica—Wild senna: Root bruised and moistened with water for poulticing sores; decoction drunk for fever and for a disease also called ûnnage´i, or “black” (same name as plant), in which the hands and eye sockets are said to turn black; also for a disease described as similar to ûnnagei, but more dangerous, in which the eye sockets become black, while black spots appear on the arms, legs, and over the ribs on one side of the body, accompanied by partial paralysis, and resulting in death should the black spots appear also on the other side. Dispensatory: Described as “an efficient and safe cathartic, * * * most conveniently given in the form of infusion.”