The Liars Bench will perform the third of the Balsam Chronicles series with the story of Osley Bird Saunooke, colorful chief of the Cherokee, at 7 p.m., May 17, at WCU’s Mountain Heritage Center.
Supported in part by a grant from the Grassroots Arts Program of the Jackson County Arts Council and the North Carolina Arts Council, the story is about a young Cherokee man’s rise from Indian boarding school, entry into and success in the world of professional wrestling, and finally becoming the elected leader of his band during a turbulent period in their history.
“Chief Osley Saunooke had a reputation for honesty and was quite popular all over WNC. Historical accounts say he was the most approachable, the most well known — and in terms of being chief and politics, he was the most amenable,” said Gary Carden, host and storyteller.
The Liars Bench is a two-year old program featuring authentic traditional Southern Appalachian storytelling, music, poetry and drama.
In addition to Liars Bench regulars Carden; Lloyd Arneach, the Cherokee storyteller; Paul Iarussi, claw-hammer guitar specialist; William Ritter, vocalist and musician; and Karen Barnes, the May 17 performance will also feature Dave Waldrop singing home-spun vocals.