Monday, July 11, 2011

July 4th

This year I think we might have had the most unusual and unpatriotic Fourth of July ever. Ha! It wasn't intentional, but just the outcome of our vacation schedule at Lake J. Mom, Lindsay, Allie, and I visited the Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee, NC. Allie had really wanted to come here and be on real Native American territory!

There are many things to see and do in Cherokee, but we spent our time exploring the village and doing a hand-building pottery class.

Mom, Lindz, and Allie at the village gift shop!
At least Lindsay wore a little red, white, and blue! (The necklace she made herself!)
Buried in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, the Cherokee Village is vibrant with texture and natural colors. The underbrush is dense, the air is smoky due to the burning of small fires, and light is sparse as it filters down through the tall, tree canopy.
The village exhibits demonstrate Native American life, culture, skills, craftsmanship, and history through building techniques and various materials. We learned a ton about how they made pottery, baskets, beadwork, weapons, wood-carving, etc.

You can buy some of the Cherokee hand-made pottery. The clay actually comes from their own river banks nearby.
 Tools for decorating pottery include shells, corn cobs, sharpened rocks, and the like.
Original materials used to create decorative beadwork - wood, bone, rocks, etc
Cherokee women weaving traditional patterns

 The basket-making exhibit
Reeds soaking in water
 Demonstration of various techniques

You can also buy Cherokee baskets, but they are very expensive! This one below sells for $800!
Wood carving
A type of shelter
Clay used as building material

Me and Allie lovin the village
Learning about instruments and traditional dance while sitting alongside the ceremonial square

Mom, Lindz, and Allie waiting for the ceremonial dancing to begin!
 Around the ceremonial square are seven pavilions for each of the Cherokee clans. Allie said she wanted to be in either the "Longhair" clan
or "Wolf" clan!
Allie and Lindsay doing their best wolf face!
A Cherokee ceremonial dance wouldn't be complete without a box of Nerds. Ha!
Cherokee dancing!

Hooray for the Oconaluftee Village!

After lunch Allie did a kids pottery class at the village. She used real Cherokee clay and traditional techniques and tools to make her pot. 
The finished pot!
Beautiful Allie
After our day at the village, we went back and joined family for dinner and fireworks over the lake. 
All in all we had a great, but weird, Fourth and are thankful for so many things!

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