Cherokee Female Seminary

We have before us an engraving of this pleasant-looking structure, where a large number of Indian girls are now educated. There is a neat and really interesting paper A Wreath of Cherokee Rose-buds published by the scholars; from this we copy the following, written by an Indian girl. The descriptions convey a clearer notion of the great change wrought by the missionaries among these wild children of the forest than anything we could say :—


Scene I.

Ox a hillside, by a merry little brook, stood a rude but inhabited by a Cherokee family. There was no fencing to be seen about it; no neat grass-plot bordered with flowers ; no shrubbery or rose-bushes to add the beauty of cultivation to the wild scenery of nature. No vine bad been taught to twine its delicate tendrils over the doorway. A few large trees were standing about. Here might be seen broken mortar, and there a pestle, while the ground was strewn with rocks, skins, rags, and a few spears of yellow-looking grass, straggling for life. Everything about the habitation made it look more wild end desolate.

Now, if you have no objection, we will take a peep within. In rudeness and uncivilization, we find the Inmates bearing a striking resemblance to their little hut. In one corner is a roll of buffalo skins, which doubtless serve for beds. The floor is the earth upon which the but stands.

A woman is seated by the fireside, smoking a pipe. Stretching along over her bead are a few strings of dried venison ; and on the sides of the but are fastened some beads, feathers, &c. No little stand of books, no vase of flowers, filling the room with fragrance, no neat papers are to be seen; nothing but the mere necessaries of life.

Several large, swarthy-looking boys in one corner are repairing their bows and arrows for a bunt. In another corner stand two girls, with mortar and pestle, preparing to beat Conihany. They are dressed in calico skirts, with red jackets fastened with silver brooches; their feet are covered with moccasins; their hair is plaited and banging down their backs.

A whoop starts the boys. They gather up their bows and arrows, get some dried venison, and parched corn-meal, and other necessary articles, and go out where a large company of banters are waiting for them. Soon the woods seem to be alive with their whoops, yells, and the barking of dogs.

In the mean time, the girls have finished beating the conihany. A large kettle, filled with the conihany, is placed on the fire; the little ones of the family sit watching it with great eagerness. When it is done, it is taken up in a large earthen bowl of home manufacture. Each member of the family then partakes of it with a wooden spoon until their hunger is satisfied.

After two or three weeks of absence, the company of hunters return loaded with the game of the forest, which they throw down for the females to cut up and dry for food. Thus pass the days of their wild life, without any intellectual pleasure or enjoyments, only varied from the same monotonous round by some great gathering or public festival. The most noted of these were the "green-coru dances," as they were called. They were a kind of religious festival, held at the time when the corn began to "silk." At them were gathered young and old, male and female. After making merry several dap, they returned to the same passive, uninteresting life.

Na-li, the Indian name.

Article Types: 
Native American Tribes: 
Article Locations: 
609 N Grand Ave
74464 Tahlequah , OK
United States
35° 55' 13.8252" N, 94° 58' 7.4964" W
Oklahoma US