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Cherokee Stories of the Past

Roy Cantrell

Bandit Books
$8.95 paperback
6 x 9
80 pages
Over 25 b/w photos
July 2010

The Cherokee Indians of Western North Carolina have endured both hard times and good in a world that changed dramatically around them. Author Roy Cantrell lived and worked among these Native Americans, collecting stories of the people he knew and loved. Artisans like Pauline Junaluska, Hayes Lossiah, and June Welch kept alive traditional skills like making baskets, bows and arrows, and blowguns. There are colorful characters like Sarah Bradley, a feisty elderly lady who fought off dogs, bears, and rattlesnakes, and Amoneeta Sequoyah, one of the few remaining medicine men. Chief Tom Jumper sported an outfit of leather, beads, and a richly feathered headdress, not because that’s what Cherokees really wore, but because tourists expected it. Cantrell writes of the time before the casino came to town, when his subjects frequently struggled to stay alive but never lost sight of nature’s gifts.


"Cherokee Stories of the Past is an amazing collection of stories and memories from the author's ministry among the Cherokee of western North Carolina in the early 70's. Each of the individuals whose offering is shared is from an era of about a century ago. These are priceless memories, including making Indian blowguns, honeysuckle basket weaving, making beaded neckties, making bean bread and chestnut bread (Winnie Raby), the Cherokee medicine man (Amoneta Sequoyah, the herb doctor), making hand-carved Indian dolls (Ted and Amy Roberts), building a log cabin (Martha Owl and her grandfather, David Partridge) and more. Each essay about an individual's life experiences of creating includes black and white photos of that person working on their craft. Cherokee Stories of the Past is a priceless bundle of precious memories preserved for future generations." —Midwest Book Review