‘The lady behind the scenes’: Carmaleta Monteith named Beloved Woman

Carmaleta Littlejohn Monteith has worn an impressive number of titles over the course of her life. 

The right path: Beloved Woman Ella Bird reflects on life marked by family, tradition

For the past 79 years, Ella Wachacha Bird has lived a life defined by seasons and relationships rather than months and days.

Bird, the daughter of Rily Wachacha and Ancy Walkingstick, was born in a log cabin in the remote West Buffalo area of Graham County’s Snowbird community in 1939. She was delivered by her grandmother Maggie Wachacha, a midwife at the time who would later become a clerk to Tribal Council and, like Ella, a Beloved Woman in the tribe. 

Committee works to establish guidelines for Beloved titles

Traditionally, the title of Beloved Man or Beloved Woman was reserved for Cherokee people who had proven themselves valiant warriors in battle but had grown too old to fight anymore. They would come home to an honored place in their tribe, serving their community in new ways, off the battlefield. 

Cherokee loses treasured tribal elder

Cherokee has lost its second honored member in the space of a month with the Nov. 24 death of Amanda Swimmer, 97. 

Cherokee from the heart: Beloved Woman reflects on a wandering life rooted in Cherokee language

If anyone ever had an excuse to leave her hometown and never return, it would be Myrtle Driver Johnson. 

Born May 21, 1944, to a mother who didn’t want her, Johnson had a hard upbringing in the Big Cove community of the Qualla Boundary. While her younger siblings — one brother and four sisters — lived with her mother and their father, Johnson, who never knew which of two men her father was, was sent to live with her grandparents. 

‘Spirit of the Cherokee woman’: Swayney honored for life of service to tribe and country

A courageous leader. An empathetic caretaker. A driven taskmaster. An intelligent, resilient and love-driven organizer. A person who had no trouble telling other people what they ought to be doing, and who conversely had no trouble pouring herself out to help other people do better. 

Amanda Swimmer named Beloved Woman

A lifelong potter, storyteller and keeper of Cherokee traditions, 97-year-old Amanda Sequoyah Swimmer was given the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ highest honor last week when Tribal Council named her a Beloved Woman. 

Oswalt becomes Cherokee’s third living Beloved Woman

Shirley Oswalt (pictured above, left, with sister Geraldine Thompson) was named a Beloved Woman of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians on Tuesday, Feb. 2, the highest honor that can be given to a Cherokee woman and one that’s held by only two other living people.

Cherokee laughter: Tribe’s newest Beloved Woman reflects on life full of love for language and community

Shirley Jackson Oswalt can still remember the first words she said in English. 

Her older siblings had prepped her before she headed off to her first day of first grade at the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Snowbird Day School in Robbinsville, and when the teacher came over to greet her, Oswalt knew her line.

Tribal council names Snowbird resident a ‘beloved woman’

fr belovedElla Wachacha Bird has joined the ranks of a small and revered group last week after the Eastern Band of Cherokee Tribal Council named her a “beloved woman.”

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