Cherokee Earth Dwellers
Stories and Teachings of the Natural World
- PUBLISHED: March 2023
- SUBJECT LISTING: Native American and Indigenous Studies, Nature and Environment
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 296 Pages, 7 x 10 in, 66 b&w illus.
- ISBN: 9780295750187
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
Ayetli gadogv—to "stand in the middle"—is at the heart of a Cherokee perspective of the natural world. From this stance, Cherokee Earth Dwellers offers a rich understanding of nature grounded in Cherokee creature names, oral traditional stories, and reflections of knowledge holders. During his lifetime, elder Hastings Shade created booklets with over six hundred Cherokee names for animals and plants. With this foundational collection at its center, and weaving together a chorus of voices, this book emerges from a deep and continuing collaboration between Christopher B. Teuton, Hastings Shade, Loretta Shade, and others.
Positioning our responsibilities as humans to our more-than-human relatives, this book presents teachings about the body, mind, spirit, and wellness that have been shared for generations. From clouds to birds, oceans to quarks, this expansive Cherokee view of nature reveals a living, communicative world and humanity's role within it.
Authors & Contributors
Christopher B. Teuton (Cherokee Nation) is professor of American Indian studies at the University of Washington. He is author of Cherokee Stories of the Turtle Island Liars' Club. Hastings Shade (1941–2010) was deputy chief of the Cherokee Nation (1999–2003) and named a Cherokee National Treasure in 1991. Loretta Shade (1946–2021) was a master level speaker of the Cherokee language and named a Cherokee National Treasure in 2018. Larry Shade (Cherokee Nation) is an educator and cultural traditionalist. MaryBeth Timothy (Cherokee Nation) is an accomplished artist noted for depictions of Native life and the natural world.
Cherokee Earth Dwellers imparts a full, rich, and exciting vision of a living Cherokee cosmos that fosters balance, health, maturity, and awareness of the interconnection of all that is.- Foreword Reviews
Found throughout the book are stories and illustrations that are of immense value in Cherokee culture and that are still told today.- Cherokee Phoenix
A collaborative effort rooted in Indigenous thought, Cherokee Earth Dwellers shares knowledge of our world as a relational realm that includes humans but does not center them. Works like this are direly needed to counteract an increasing global deficiency in ecological morality.- Clint Carroll (Cherokee Nation), University of Colorado Boulder
With signature wit and clarity, Teuton and Shade help Cherokee people to practice Keetoowah ways in and through our language. These are the Keetoowah teachings we need at just the right time.- Ellen Cushman (Cherokee Nation), Northeastern University
Thoughtfully considered, beautifully written, and artfully organized, Cherokee Earth Dwellers stands as an exemplar of ethically engaged and community-grounded scholarship for Indigenous Studies. We need this book and more like it.- Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee Nation), University of British Columbia