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Old 07-14-2008, 07:38 PM   #1
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Cherokee Marriage

After 15 years of raising my children on my own they are grown and I am now getting remarried. We would like to include some traditional elements of marriage such as the blue/white blankets etc. I was not raised in the traditions of my Cherokee ancestors so I know very little about Cherokee marriage ceremonies. Any help will be most appreciated.
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:29 PM   #2
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Just do a google search for Cherokee marriage. I found a bunch of traditions such as the wedding vase, the blankets and the actual ceremony. I don't still have the sight bookmarked though. Sorry!
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:32 PM   #3
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Actually, another thing that you could do would be to call the Museum of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Cherokee NC and ask them. They have all kinds of info on things like that.
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:32 PM   #4
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I didn't think of that. Good idea, timmy tiger!
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:39 AM   #5
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Actually the wedding vase is not Cherokee, the vase was not introduced to Cherokee till I think the 70's

you can ask the pottery guild about that, but that is who I got that info from
it came from out west
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Old 07-29-2008, 03:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawksfollow View Post
We would like to include some traditional elements of marriage such as the blue/white blankets etc. I was not raised in the traditions of my Cherokee ancestors so I know very little about Cherokee marriage ceremonies. Any help will be most appreciated.

Depending on how traditional you want to get and how far back you want to go, Cherokee men AND women both went topless.



Just something to consider.......
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe View Post
Depending on how traditional you want to get and how far back you want to go, Cherokee men AND women both went topless.



Just something to consider.......
ROFLMAO GAWWWW WhoMe thanks for the giggle..
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okwataga View Post
Actually the wedding vase is not Cherokee, the vase was not introduced to Cherokee till I think the 70's

you can ask the pottery guild about that, but that is who I got that info from
it came from out west
Ohhh Dont blame us (Western Cherokee)
I heard it comes from the North
LOL
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Last edited by Josiah; 07-29-2008 at 08:21 PM..
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe View Post
Depending on how traditional you want to get and how far back you want to go, Cherokee men AND women both went topless.



Just something to consider.......
Ahh the good ole days
Got to "see" what you were getting into well before the
"date"
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
Ahh the good ole days
Got to "see" what you were getting into well before the
"date"
LOL! Not sure some of us would get married if that was the case!
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawksfollow View Post
After 15 years of raising my children on my own they are grown and I am now getting remarried. We would like to include some traditional elements of marriage such as the blue/white blankets etc. I was not raised in the traditions of my Cherokee ancestors so I know very little about Cherokee marriage ceremonies. Any help will be most appreciated.
I am not sure how far back you want to go... Traditional marriages have not been done in many many years

Basically you announced that you were married and a feast was done
The notion that it was done before God is a Christian custom with a priest

Here is an example:
A priest escorts the groom to one end of the open space in the council house (north or south)
A priest escorts the bride to the opposite end of the space.
The couple meet at the center, near the sacred fire ( the sacred fire is the gift of light, knowledge, heat ... the bedrock of civilization)
The priest stands, facing the east, toward the door of the council house ( groom on one side, bride on the other)
The groom’s mother stands beside the groom. (children belong to the mother, and her family) She holds the gifts of venison and a blanket (food and a warm bed for his wife - symbols of his ability to support her)
The brides mother stands beside the bride. She holds the gifts of corn and a tanned skin (food and clothing for her warrior/husband to be)
The brides brother stands behind his mother. The brother accepts responsibility for his sister and her children (he will be the godfather if the husband is killed)
The bride and groom wear blue blankets over their shoulders (traditional symbol of their Old Ways - single life)
The priest says a prayer blessing the sacred fire and the marriage union. (thanks to God for his blessings)
The priest asks the Great Spirit for a long and happy life for the couple.
The bride gives the groom a red and black (cloth) belt that she has made.
The groom accepts and puts on the belt. (accepts the union) (replaces the wedding ring in modern society)
The mothers give their gifts to their children. The bride and groom exchange these gifts. (marriage is acceptable by the mothers)
The bride and groom join their blankets, symbolizing mutual support ( both under the double blue blankets)
The bride and groom share a corn drink from a double sided vessel. (Share the fruits of their labors - crushed dried corn and water)
They drink East, West, North, South (declaring their marriage to all the earth)
The priest drinks Up toward the Heavens, Down to Mother Earth, and toward the couple (Only the priest can ‘address’ the spirits of Heaven and Earth to bless the union. After the spirits of heaven and earth have been asked to bless the union, the priest directs the spirits attention to the bride and groom. They are the ‘center’ of the union, and must constantly reflect on their inner thoughts to make the marriage work. )
The vessel is thrown down and broken, to seal the wedding vows.
The broken fragments are buried (returned to mother earth)
The blue blankets are shed and a white blanket is wrapped over the shoulders of the couple, symbolizing the union. (symbol of happiness)
A wedding feast is held (traditionally by the whole village, but not practical today)
The couple walk silently and alone to their dwelling place, among the bride’s family
(the groom goes to live with the wife’s clan and the house belongs to her. The children also will belong to the wife's clan, having her brothers more responsibility and control over them than the father).

This is describing how the old custom massively modified as Christianity came to the Americas and was observed in the 1700 early 1800's
But after that it fell out of favor as more and more were "converted" then they were full church weddings
Alot of the rituals that are described above already have European influences such as the shattering of the drinking vessel And calling the one overseeing the ceremony a priest.

About the only custom that survives today it the use of a blanket
You join each piece together
Can be any color, nowdays is a quilt that the women made beforehand from things that have meaning to both
It is sewn together and placed over the shoulders of the bride and groom

And if it were to come to pass....
Its where the old saying comes from "split the blanket"
Means divorce
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Last edited by Josiah; 07-29-2008 at 08:38 PM..
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:38 AM   #12
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Why not just have your ceremony be centered around things that you and your groom know about? I understand you wanting to honor your heritage, but if you really don't know much about it yet, then why not just have your wedding be about something you are connected to?
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Old 08-01-2008, 01:07 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the replies. She won't go topless and I’m sure her grandmother wouldn't approve.(lol) We are planning a wedding around things we know and care about, in the wilderness by our favorite river, a few miles from where a pow-wow is going on the same day which we will be going to after our wedding. Our Mothers will only be there in spirit watching from above. My brother is doing the music. He is a talented native flute player, drummer, and piano player. She still likes the vase even though it was introduce in the 70s, the blankets and our Fathers will accept our marriage. Thanks again for the replies.
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Old 08-01-2008, 01:35 PM   #14
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Josiah the vase is not Western Cherokee
but southwest art
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Old 08-01-2008, 04:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Josiah the vase is not Western Cherokee
but southwest art
I know, was just kidding you
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:06 AM   #16
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OKAY was just making sure you weren't being serious....

I figured you knew that.....
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
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OKAY was just making sure you weren't being serious....

I figured you knew that.....
Oh beleive me I do
LOL
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:16 AM   #18
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Josiah: I have also seen the "Ceremony" performed in a circle of Cedar branches. This circle is large enough for all to stand. The Mothers, Bride and Groom, the Priest(Person performing the "Rites").

I have also, seen the bride and groom have a strap binding their wrist. Not really binding just wrapped around the wrist with teh ends being held by the two. This is done after or as teh blanket is wrapped over the couple. I have recently seen a pendelton used in a few

I kinda like the TOPLESS idea, though I haven't seen this done. (yet). You guys realize now that this has been entroduced here, this will now be a resurrected Tradition.
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:16 AM   #19
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Josiah: I have also seen the "Ceremony" performed in a circle of Cedar branches. This circle is large enough for all to stand. The Mothers, Bride and Groom, the Priest(Person performing the "Rites").

I have also, seen the bride and groom have a strap binding their wrist. Not really binding just wrapped around the wrist with teh ends being held by the two. This is done after or as teh blanket is wrapped over the couple. I have recently seen a pendelton used in a few

I kinda like the TOPLESS idea, though I haven't seen this done. (yet). You guys realize now that this has been entroduced here, this will now be a resurrected Tradition.
ROFLMAO--you do have a good point there Cherosage.LMAO

But now, even though the wrists may be bound, I have never heard of the wrists being cut. I have to say that again.LOL It's not funny, but a couple actually did that a few years back and had to have EMS run them to the emergency room, they almost bled to death, they somehow thought that that was a Cherokee Marriage tradition, not one that I've ever heard of.
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:42 AM   #20
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Okwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond reputeOkwataga has a reputation beyond repute
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: cherokee
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WOW cut wrists.....
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