Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cherokee Testing, Browser Wars, and Is Your Family Weird?


Joyce Rheal of Illinois is the second student to pass Test #2. Congratulations!


Earlier this week, Firefox released an update for their browser. After I downloaded it, I noticed that Firefox could no longer see the Cherokee font or the audio controller in either the free pages or the course material. However, Internet Explorer works just fine.

If you encounter a problem after updating your Firefox, just switch to Internet Explorer, which probably came installed on your computer. If it didn’t, don’t worry, it’s a free download.


Getting back to our game, Is Your Family Weird?

I received a few responses, but I was really looking for any memories of “strange” customs dealing with [1] doorways, [2] mirrors, [3] potted plants, and [4] fruit bowls. I’m gathering few threads together, don’t want to suggest anything.

Just leave your comments where it says "comments."


-Brian Wilkes
The Fastest and Easiest Way to Lean the Cherokee Language

Cherokee Calendar, Birthdate Analysis Available Soon

A few weeks ago, I mentioned to the mailing list that I might not produce a 2009 Cherokee Calendar unless there was some response. Most of the response was, “I didn’t know a calendar was available.”

Fair enough. Creating the Calendar is many hours of work, but I’m willing to do it again because this is a part of our traditional heritage that’s fading fast.

For the past year now, I have been making a service available to healing professionals. According to the oral traditions, one of the main purposes of the calendar was to schedule community ceremonies to maintain the balance between heaven and earth; in other words, between the natural cycle and the course of human events. Another was to analyze a person’s future prospects based on their birth date. This wasn’t seen as ‘fortune telling,” but rather as looking to which of the 260 archetypal personalities or “roles” the person had most likely inherited. Since each of these is understood to have emotional and physical strengths and weaknesses, it was considered an important tool for health care.

I have provided analyses to healers over the past year, which proved amazingly accurate and were most helpful in dealer with their clients. I make no medical claims, this is what they tell me.

Because of the stigma attached to horoscopes and “Indian Tarot Cards,” I had not planned to go public with this service, but rather to work primarily with professional caregivers.

I’ve been getting requests for this, and so I’m going to open it up to the people on my lists for a brief time as a trial. Producing each of these reports, run 12 , 20 and even 30 pages in length, is very time consuming for me. My normal hourly rate would put it out of the range of many people. So I’m going to make it a reduced, fixed price of $52.

You’ll receive the report as a fully-illustrated PDF file, which you can print and bind.

If you want to be put on the advance notification list (I can only do a few dozen of these before Christmas), please contact me at

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cherokee Hair Styles

Just had a question from a student about the Cherokee language.

Let me be clear in case I wasn’t clear enough before: when you enroll in Speak, I’m available if you have a problem. I want this experience to be as two-way and interactive for you as possible; as they used to say, “The next best thing to being there.”

On the sheets of vocabulary “stickers” I give you as a gift just for coming onto the mailing list, one of the words is “bow.” He wondered if this meant an archery bow, or a ribbon bow. It hadn’t occurred to me that this word has a double meaning in English. The word on the vocabulary sheet means only an archery bow. I’ll make that clear in the audio/video I’m doing for the free members.

He also had a question about hair. He wants to donate his long hair to Locks Of Love, a charity that makes wigs for children who lose their hair from chemotherapy, allopecia, or other medical conditions. He has also heard that some nations place a great value on the length of a man’s hair.

Historically, Cherokee men have worn their hair a little on the short side, ranging from a pudding bowl – Amish looking cut, to shaved or plucked with a single hair lock. Short hair makes good sense in dense forests full of parasites. Out traditional hairstyles are still found in the Amazon.
The long, full hair style so popular today was actually borrowed from European settlers, who considered shaved or plucked scalps to look too “savage.” It also has an historic pedigree, and is also a legitimate alternative. Older men might wear it to show off their gray and white hair, and thereby their status as an elder.

Not only would there be no prohibition against a Cherokee man cutting his hair, we would salute that man for sacrificing a part of himself to help a sick child.

By the way, the word for the old Cherokee scalp lock is gidla. Good luck finding that in any Cherokee dictionary!

-Brian Wilkes
Keep the Culture Alive! Enroll Now!