Monday, March 5, 2012

About the Cherokee Indian Medicine Dance


The Cherokees have a dance known as the Medicine Dance, which is generally performed in connection with other dances when a number of people assemble for a night of enjoyment. It possesses no features of special interest and differs in no essential respect from a dozen other of the lesser dances. Besides this, however, there was another, known as the Medicine Boiling Dance, which, for importance and solemn ceremonial, was second only to the great Green Corn Dance. It has now been discontinued on the reservation for about twenty years. It took place in the fall, probably preceding the Green Corn Dance, and continued four days. The principal ceremony in connection with it was the drinking of a strong decoction of various herbs, which acted as a violent emetic and purgative. The usual fasting and going to water accompanied the dancing and medicine-drinking.