Arts + Entertainment

(Editor’s Note: Readers should be cautioned that several of the descriptions of scalping and related practices presented in this column are graphic.)     

When I was a boy, incidents of scalping by Native Americans were a staple in the old-time movies about the “Wild West.” And there is no doubt whatsoever that the western tribes utilized that practice. But what about the Cherokee, Creek, Catawba and other southeastern tribes — to what extent was scalping a part of their warfare and ritual?

The time had come.

Last Friday, right around noon, I received a message on Facebook. It was a fella looking to purchase my old pickup truck. Though the engine had died in October, the beloved truck itself was still sitting in front of my apartment in Waynesville. Partly due to my longtime and sentimental history with the vehicle, partly, due to the mere fact nobody had shown any interest (yet) in taking it off my hands.

The Tribal Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission gained its first-ever director with the hire of Terri Henry, who began work on Monday, Jan. 22.

A recent hearing on a congressional bill that would transfer 76 acres in Tennessee to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has spurred hope that a long-fought battle to bring that acreage into permanent trust could soon come to an end.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has filed a federal lawsuit seeking damages from 23 companies that manufacture or distribute opioid drugs. Listing a total of seven counts, the suit alleges violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act as well as negligence, conspiracy, fraud and creation of a public nuisance.

Principal Chief Richard Sneed is now under investigation following the Cherokee Tribal Council’s unanimous vote Jan. 4 to look into a settlement agreement he signed off on to pay seven former tribal employees a total of $698,000.

War hero and former Principal Chief Robert Youngdeer received the highest honor available in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians when Tribal Council voted unanimously during its Jan. 4 meeting to name him a Beloved Man.

An alcohol commissioner who was removed from his post last month will get a hearing following the Cherokee Tribal Council’s unanimous decision to grant A.J. Bird’s request to protest the decision.

Cherokee inched closer to holding a referendum vote asking how widely available alcohol should be on tribal land with a vote during December’s Tribal Council meeting, but exactly what the implications of such a referendum might be is still unclear.

Note: This is the second of a two-part series about Christian Priber, an utopian socialist whose beliefs — including free love — caused him in the mid-1730s to “flee” from Germany and eventually into the Southern Appalachians, where he intended with the aid of the Cherokee, to establish a Kingdom of Paradise in which those beliefs could be implemented.

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