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Native American Culture/Cherokee wall hangings used for protection

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Question
I was just wanting to know, was or is there anything that was used by the Cherokee or any native tribe used for protection against evil spirits, something like a dream catcher, something that you could hang up. Thank you for you time. I hope you can answer this for me.

Answer
Miranda -- Sorry, but I'm not as informed upon Cherokee traditional religious teaching as I should be. I suggest you direct your question to the Cherokee Nation's cultural offices in Tahlequa, OK, or in Cherokee, NC, although traditional people frequently prefer not to speak about religious subjects with those not raised in the tradition. You also might not want to use the expression "Evil Spirits" which always reminds em at least, of nineteenth century anthropologists with clip boards or open tent revival preachers. Rather, look for a connection to lucky symbols -- symbols of harmony, symbols of plenty, symbols of continuity. Hope this helps.

By the way, Dream Catchers were originally used as aids to memory in spiritual quests, by the Ojibway. The idea of them as a "trap against evil" was established long after the fact. More, they are considered objects of luck and given as gifts.

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Richard Sutton

Expertise

As a direct reservation trader in all aspects of American Indian arts since 1985, I've answered questions regarding cultural property issues, origins of traditional crafts, materials and techniques, collecting, authenticity, symbols and, of course, repairs! We have operated a retail gallery since that time, bricks and mortar until 2007 and online since 1996. Our online operation closed in 2/2015, to allow me to finally write full-time. My writing site can be found at www.sailletales.com I'll be adding a book or two from our trader experiences under the pen name of W.T. Durand and the rest of my fiction is under my own name. We are not "New Age" practitioners of adopted American Indian religious ceremonies or combined philosophies. If you are seeking such knowledge for spiritual reasons, we will only provide answers that address factual information on these subjects. Unless one is raised in a traditional, American Indian family with language, culture and religious belief intact, we don't believe that simply applying the trappings or cultural property of a given traditional group will give a non-Indian (Native if you prefer)any insight other than the academic.

Experience

My primary focus is on Southwester American Indian Nations and their people, but I also have experience in Plains and Northeastern traditions, having engaged in active trade and retail since 1985 and study for most of my life. I am not claiming any expertise at all in the work, techniques, lifeways or crafts that are made by the Native People of Mexico. They are not the same, either linguistically or culturally but certainly their crafts deserve discussion and appraisal by those who are able to provide real information.

Publications
I was a guest on Fox Network "Lifestyles" program, during the 1990s, to discuss how to tell forgeries, and authenticating jewelry as Native American work. I have also written extensively for our website, www.kivatrading.com and our Ebay Store.

Education/Credentials
UofO, 1970 active in the Authentic American Indian Arts business and direct Trader since 1985. Graphic Designer and published novelist.

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