Ecotales
The Cedar Tree
-Retold by Rani Iyer

Long time ago, when the Cherokee people were new upon the earth, they thought that life would be much better if there was never any night. They beseeched The Creator that it might be day all the time.
The Creator heard their voices and heeded. Soon, the forest was thick with heavy growth. In the gardens people toiled for long hours. It got hot, very hot, and continued that way day after long day. People became sleepless and short-tempered.
People realized their mistake and begged the Creator; "We made a mistake in asking that it be day all the time. Now we think that it should be night all the time.

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" Even though all things were created in twos: day and night, life and death, good and evil, times of abundance and famine, the Creator loved the people and decided to do as they had asked.
The day ceased and night fell upon the earth. Soon, the crops stopped growing and it became very cold. People spent much of their time gathering wood for the fires. They could not see to hunt meat. Before long, the people were cold, weak, and famished. Many starved to death. Those remaining gathered once again to beseech the Creator. "Help us, O Creator," they cried, "We have made a terrible mistake! From the beginning you had made the day and the night perfect, and as it should be. We ask that you forgive us and make the day and night as it was before."
Once again the Creator listened to the request of the people. The day and the night became, as the people had asked, as it had been in the beginning. Each day was divided between light and darkness. The weather became pleasant, and the crops thrived again. Game was plentiful. The people had plenty to eat and were healthy. The people treated each other with compassion and respect. It was good to be alive. People thanked the Creator for their life and for the food they had to eat. The Creator accepted the gratitude of the people and was glad to see them smiling again.
However, during the time of the long days of night, many of the people had died. The Creator placed their spirits in a newly created tree. Cedar tree.
The Cherokee believe that Cedar wood holds powerful protective spirits. Many carry a small piece of cedar wood in their medicine bags worn around the neck. It is also placed above the entrance to the house to protect against the entry of evil spirits. The traditional drum is made from cedar wood.



User's Comments                     
Agnies Calkoen
Beautifull story ! Would you by any change know the Cherokee name for cedar ?
Editor
LAPU in Hopi tongue means Cedar bark. I am not aware of the Cherokee name. Please share it with me if you have it! Thanks.
fghj
I can't see the leaves of the cedar tree
Joe
The only thing I know about cedar wood is that it makes a fantastic flavour when using your bbq. It can be found at the lumber yard, but do not use treated wood [oiled]. You can also find stores that sell special made planks of cedar to lay the meat or whatever on it and cook it that way. Not too high a flame or it will burn up. Western indian tribes used this method for smoking to flavour their meat and we owe this wonderful flavor to them. Happy eating.
HS.1099
The Cherokee name for "cedar tree" is: A-Tsi-Na-Tlu-Gv pronounced: ah-see-loo-guh Creator: Ouga Cherokee: Tsalagi
Nikita
Its interesting. But maybe you should add some information on the Characteristics and adoptions of cedar trees.
van eden
How does The Cedar fit into the ecology of the southern great plains.
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