The Cherokee Community of Central California (CCCC) is a community of
Cherokees and of other people who are interested in Cherokee culture,
heritage, tradition, and fellowship. We are a non-political non-profit Native
American organization whose members reside outside the boundaries of the
Cherokee Nation and Bands. We have organized on the foundation of our shared
heritage and history and because of our love for the Cherokee Nation and its
We purpose to educate ourselves and others about Cherokee culture and
history, to encourage community, to make connections with other Native
Americans and with people who love Native American culture and history, and to
facilitate the continuity of our traditions and of our people.
Our community was organized by Julia Coates of the Cherokee Nation and
founding members include, Pam Peterson, Charles Twist, Rick Westbrook, Van
Landingham, Dixie Flynn, Nietra Thomas and Linda Chambers. While not all these
founding members are still active in the Community, most are and have been
joined by new members. Together we are moving forward and growing into a
Mission and Purpose
Working with the Cherokee Nation is as follows:
In 1858, in what would become a Kern Valley legend, a Cherokee man
with the poetic name of Lovely Rogers was chasing his mule in the
area of what is now Wofford Heights. When he paused to pick up a
rock to throw at the animal, but before he could throw it his eye
caught sight of the gold flecks in it. Soon there was Rogersville,
adjacent to the newfound Big Blue gold mine.
Then an enterprising fellow threw a plank across two barrels and
opened a whiskey bar, which prompted the name of the gold mining
encampment to be changed to Whiskey Flat. A few years later, in 1864,
the name was changed by the people of the growing town to the less
wild and woolly name of Kernville. The rush for gold had supplanted
the Indian village of Tulonoya, next to the site of the original Kernville.
In 1852, Richard Keys, a Half-Cherokee '49er discovered lode gold at
Keyesville. In its heyday the town of Keyesville consisted of 5 or 6
stores, 3 hotels, 4 saloons, a brewery, two livery stables, a
wagon-making shop, 2 blacksmith shops, a barber shop, 2 butcher
shops, a shoemaker's shop, express and post offices. There were
boarding houses and saloons at the individual mines. After the
high-grade placer deposits had been exhausted, the Euro-Americans
moved on to other areas, however, Chinese miners continued to work
the gravels in Keyesville well into the 1860s.
There were several famous Cherokees in American history, including
Sequoyah, who invented the Cherokee writing system. Sequoyah is
one of few people in history to invent a widely used writing system
singlehandedly. Sequoyah never learned to speak, read or write the
English language. Nancy Ward was a "Beloved Woman" of the
Cherokees and a major political figure.
Famous Cherokee politicians include Chad "Corntassel" Smith, Wilma
Mankiller and Ross Swimmer. American blues-rock guitarist Jimi
Hendrix was of Cherokee descent via his paternal grandmother, Nora
Rose Moore. Oral Roberts, twentieth century evangelist and founder
of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a card-carrying
member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, but many say he is also
The Nation has constructed health clinics throughout Oklahoma,
contributed to community development programs, constructed
learning facilities and universities for its citizens, instilled the
practice of Gadugi and self-reliance in its citizens, revitalized
language immersion programs for its children and youth, and is a
powerful and positive economic and political force in Eastern
The Cherokee Nation Warriors Memorial and Pavalion in Tahlequah,
The Cherokee Nation hosts the Cherokee National Holiday on Labor
Day weekend each year and 80,000 to 90,000 Cherokee Citizens travel
to Tahlequah, Oklahoma each year for the festivities. The Cherokee
Nation also publishes the Cherokee Phoenix, a tribal newpapers
which has operated continuously since 1828, and publishes editions
in both English and the Sequoyah Syllabary. The Cherokee Nation
hosts and sponsors historic foundations concerned with the
preservation of Cherokee Culture, including the Cherokee Heritage
Center which hosts a reproduction of an ancient Cherokee Village
which is open to the public. The Cherokee Heritage Center has
numerous museum exhibits which is also open to the public.
The Cherokee Nation also supports the Sundance and Cherokee Film
Festivals in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and Park City, Utah, and provides
programs and resources for Native American film makers to
particpate in the motion picture industry. Many famous Native
American actors are members of the Cherokee Nation, such as Wes
MODERN CHEROKEE NATION
Cherokee Nation Historic Courthouse in
The modern Cherokee Nation in recent times
has excelled and has experienced an
uprecedented expansion in economic growth,
equality, and prosperity for its citizens under
the leadership of Principal Chief Chad Smith,
with significant business, corporate, real
estate, and agricultural interests, including
numerous highly profitable casino operations.
The Cherokee Nation controls Cherokee
Nation Enterprises, a very large Defense
contractor that creates thousands of jobs in
Eastern Oklahoma for Cherokee Citizens.
The Cherokee Nation Warriors Memorial and
Pavalion in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
THE SEVEN CHEROKEE CLANS
Ah-ni-ga-to-ge-wi or Wild Potato Clan - Were known to be farmers and
gatherers of the wild potato plants in swamps (hence the name
gatogewi = "swamp"), along streams, and swamps to make flour or
bread for food, and were so named after them. They are keepers and
protectors of the earth. The Wild Potato Clan have also been known
as the Bear Clan, Raccoon Clan and even "Blind Savannah" in
different regions. The Clan color for the AniGatogewi is Green and
their wood is Birch.
Ah-ni-gi-lo(la)-hi or Long Hair Clan - This Clan, also known as Twister
Clan, Hanging Down Clan or Wind Clan. Gilahi is short for an old in
fact very old ancient Gitlvgvnahita, the warrior women's society,
meaning something that grows from the back of the neck". Those
belonging to this Clan wore their hair in elaborate hairdos, walked in
a proud and vain manner twisting their shoulders. They are teachers
and keepers of tradition. Peace chiefs usually came from this clan at
one time in Cherokee history and wore a white feather robe. The
Clan color for the AniGilohi is Yellow and their wood is Beech.
Ah-ni-(k)a-wi or Deer Clan - Those belonging to this Clan were the
keepers of the deer, deer hunters and trackers, tanners and
seamers, as well as keepers of the deer medicines. They were
known to be fast runners and foot messengers. The Clan Color for
the Ani Kawi is Brown and their wood is Oak.
Ah-ni-tsi-sk-wa or Red Tailed Hawk Clan - Those belonging to this
Clan (also called the bird clan) were the keepers of the birds, sacred
feathers and bird medicines. They were messengers and were very
skilled in using blowguns and snares for bird hunting. Their color is
Purple, and their wood is Maple.
Ah-ni-sa-ho-ni or Blue Holly Clan - Those belonging to this clan were
keepers of all children's medicines and caretakers of medicinal herb
gardens. They became known for a medicine from a bluish colored
plant called a blue holly, and were so named after it. This Clan has
also been known as the Panther or Wild Cat Clan, in some regions.
Their color is Blue and their wood is Ash.
Ah-ni-wo-di or Paint Clan - Those belonging to this Clan made red
paint. The tribe's medicine men, Dida:hnvwi:sgi (healers) and
Adawehi (wise men), traditionally came from this clan at one time in
Cherokee history. The Clan Color for the AniWodi is White and their
wood is Locust.
Ani'-Wah' Ya or Wolf Clan - The Wolf Clan is the largest clan today and
the most prominent clan, providing most of the war chiefs, and
warriors. True Ani'-Wah' Ya are protectors of the people. The wolf
clan are keepers and trackers of the wolf and the only clan who
could kill a wolf through special ceremonies and wolf medicines. The
Clan color of the AniWaya is Red and their wood is Hickory.
"I would sooner be
His political career
he supported the
Cherokee, he left
Washington D. C. and
headed west to Texas.
Send local lore to "Van" VanLandingham, at email@example.com