Published on October 26, 2010 by John
From the time since the 1st sounds of a native people echoed through the hills and valleys of the Cumberland Plateau, the native people lived, held sacred, and died amongst the greatest wonders this side of the Mississippi River.
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For 100,000 years the Native American culture existed over this huge continent of the Americas including southeast Kentucky and Wayne County. And from their existence came the most advanced civilization to ever take on the meaning of life itself. From the most accurate calendar system in the world to the highly advanced study of the stars and nature, the Native culture gave unto human beings a shining star for wisdom.
Many Chickamauga Cherokee and KY Cumberland River Shawnee inhabited Wayne/Pulaski/McCreary Counties as permanent dwellers, building upon themselves a social sophisticated society that marvel scholars today. And in the middle of their existence roamed other tribal hunters and gatherers who came from many different lands as far as Canada to the tip of South America, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. They interchanged cultural bonds, traded in extensive commerce, and lived a life of deep respect between their discrete Indian Nations.
From the Totelo Sioux to the southern River Shawnee and Chickamauga Cherokee, the greatest of all Indian Nations placed their historical mark in Kentucky at the sacred lands of Wayne County and at all its mighty sacred geological wonders of the Cumberland Plateau. A mark to forever be remembered in Native American history as the Land of Lightning, the Land of the Thunderbolt. The counties area and the lands surrounding it became the center of the universe for many Chickamauga Cherokee and southern River Shawnee and most holy sacred grounds to many other Indian Nations east of the Mississippi River, especially to the River Shawnee and Chickamauga Cherokee Nations who became its guardians and protectors. The painted and crafted Lightning Bolt was worn by these Chickamaga protectors and guardians of the sacred mirror, crescent moon, double sun, and paradise Bear mountains. The Cumberland River was called Ta-Eache, River of the Blue Flute by the ruling Chickamaugans whereas the southern River Shawnee called it the River of the Shawandasse. Burnside KY became a huge Chickamauga Cherokee commerce center. This commerce center was called Salachi by the Chickamaugans, later Fort Somerset was built by the invading settlers which became a disgrace to the whites. And Wayne County KY at “Doublehead’s Cave” (Hines Cave) near present day Mill Springs in Wayne County became the most used diplomatic center for the Chickamauga Cherokees northern provincial capital. Chickamauga Cherokee and southern River Shawnee performed GREAT ceremonial bonding there. This was an area dominated, controlled, and ruled by the Chickamaugas on which the southern Cumberland River Shawnee and Chickasaws allied their support. The GREAT honored burial chambers at Doublehead’s Cave were the resting places of a GREAT PEOPLE, the Chickamauga Cherokee! The 3 Great falls area of McCreary County became the most holy of sacred grounds: Yahoo Falls, Cumberland Falls, and Eagle Falls. All was the Land of the Thunderbolt People, the Cherokees, THE THUNDER PEOPLE of the northern territorial nation of Chickamaugas, and on the other side of the Cumberland River the mighty territory of the southern River Shawandasse. Both Shawnee and Chickamauga Cherokee lived on both sides of the Cumberland River yet both understood this territorial marker between the two mighty nations. The KY Cumberland River was the traditional northern marker of the mighty Cherokee Nation. This was the Cherokees in the north.
Out of the Cumberland Plateau (Ky-Tenn) including the counties of southern and eastern KY walked the most mighty of Chiefs, War Women, and medicine people of the Cherokee and Shawnee Nations. Of the Cherokees walked Moytoy, War Chief Doublehead, War Chief Gilala (who fought with the Miami with Tecumseh (Account of his visit among the Chickasaw), War Chief Dragging Canoe, Warrior Middlestriker, War Chief Peter Troxell, Beloved Woman Cornblossom, War Woman Standing Fern, William “Little Loud Wolf” Troxell, and many more. Other mighty famous leaders also walked and visited the area such as Chiefs Black Fish, Blue Jacket, Walking Bear, Broken Stick, and Tecumseh of the Shawnee, Pontiac of the Ottawa, and Mad Dog and “The Mortar” of the Creeks, to name a few. All who defended and protected their people, their culture, their land, and their sacred sites to the end. All of the mirrored Thunder Bolt and sacred tree of beginnings.
In ALL the areas of the Cumberland Plateau, at all the trails you walk in southeast Kentucky, at all the geological wonders you see and encounter along the many Rivers of the Plateau, all the sounds you hear in the darkest wood to the brightest meadow, to all the wondrous land you encounter in the area, all still have the essence of a Native people that will touch the hearts and minds of everyone who rendezvous with its most greatest wonders. The essence of the mighty Chickamauga Cherokee and River Shawnee. Everyplace you go, there was the footstep of a people. Earth, Sky, Wind, Water, and Fire. Listen closely, for the Land of the Thunderbolt, the Land of Lightning, the Land of Wayne County, the Land of the Kentucky Cherokees is speaking for all to hear its story. For all to feel its design. For all to remember its culture. Forevermore. Listen closely, for within the essence of the land is the beating heart of a people. The beating heart of the Chickamauga Cherokee and River Shawnee.