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Cherokee Indian Burials
Alyssa Griffinon 15 October 2012
Transcript of Cherokee Indian Burials
During the service the shaman prays on the behalf of the deceased
and offers spiritual lessons to the living. The funeral ends in prayer and the
body is carried to its final resting place on the shoulders of the funeral procession.
Cherokee tradition is that the funeral should take place either on
the day of, or the day after, the person's death;
however, if circumstances do not allow
for a swift burial the funeral can be delayed. Customs of Burial Music was also a way for the Cherokees to express emotions.
Drums of different types were used to express these emotions,
along with dances to follow the music.
Food is present for after the ceremonies in order
to praise mother earth, which they revolve most of their beliefs around. Materials Needed : As part of the burial, the Cherokees dance around in celebration
of the people who has passed, they spread lavender oil over the
deceased body. With traditions extending back for 500 years they have buried their dead under
huge piles of stones. They had at one point the remains of 600 warriors under one pile,
but a normal grave was made by a pit being dug, the corpse was then placed in it face up,
then over it was a molded covering of mortar, fitting the form and features.
On this was built a hot fire, which formed an entire shield of pottery for the corpse.
The tomb gives a perfect cast of the form of the occupant.
After the death the mourners are considered unclean,
so they are rejected by the tribe and only the Shaman may speak to them.
The Indians have a 7 day grieving period also called the cleansing period.
After seven days of cleansing, the shaman takes the mourners to a river
and instructs them to immerse themselves in water seven times,
alternating direction of facing east and west. After the immersing
ceremony the mourners are presented with fresh clothes, an
offering of tobacco and sanctified beads. After the ceremony the mourners are welcomed back
into the tribe. Burial Methods