Lore for March

"ARTNAME is UNKNOWN "....Artist: Jerry Crandell

All Art work is copyrighted © by the Artist and may not be used without permission

O'siyo, Welcome to my Lodge, come, come in and have a seat and we will pass the pipe as friends and then I will tell you a story of our Ancestors and thru this story you may learn of our ways and our culture. These Legends are of our life and tell us how to live with all life in this our world, and Id like to share these with you. This month I will tell you of the secret lake of the Cherokee...... "Atagahi"



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ATAGAHI-THE SECRET LAKE

Somewhere in the high ridges of the Great Smokies there was believed to be a lake called Atagahi, the Secret Lake. Few people had heard of it, and this is a story of a young Cherokee brave and his sister who enjoyed the secret of this beautiful lake nestled in the Great Smokies.

Utani placed his bright, shiny, new knife on the ground next to his new moccasins and admired the gleaming of the blade in the sun. He was a young Cherokee brave, rather tall for his age but very powerfully built and with sharp penetrating black eyes. He was too busy admiring the glint of the metal in the sun to notice the approach of Netani, his sister, until the shadow of her body crossed the knife blade and shut off the sun.

"Get out of the way of the sun," cried Utani. "You are blocking the rays from shining on my knife.,, Netani made no effort to move and so Utani repeated his request.

Netani could not understand Utani's demand that she move, but he was her big brother and so she must- obey. As she stepped aside she inquired of Utani why he watched so intently the blade of his knife in the sun.

Utani, of course, now being a man, did not want to give a childish answer such as, "I am watching the blade shine in the sun." So he quickly gave another answer: "I am receiving a message from the sun."

"What sort of message?" asked Netani.

Oh, the sun is telling me where Atagahi is and maybe if I study the blade long enough the sunwill tell me just where to find it."

This Utani thought, would satisfy his little sister. But her curiosity was too great, and she asked that Utani take her to the secret lake, Atagahi.

Now, Utani realized he had gone a little too far in his bragging; but being very stubborn, he refused to tell his sister that he really could not find the secret lake by looking at the knife blade in the sun. Utani made up his mind that he would have to find the secret lake, Atagahi. He rose and placed his knife carefully in his belt and, taking his sister's hand, started toward the ridges of the Great Smokies. For two hours, Utani and Netani climbed higher and higher into the mountains; but as the day wore on, Utani began to feel a bit frightened, for they were a long way from home and had come upon nothing that looked like a lake. Finally Netani stopped a few feet behind Utani and called out.

"Let us rest here for a while, big brother. I am getting tired. Besides it is late and I am hungry. Let us go back to the village and look tomorrow."

Of course, Utani secretly thought that was a wonderful idea, for he was tired and hungry too. He agreed to follow his little sister's idea.

As he grasped his sister's hand to start home, his foot kicked a small stone which rolled off the side of the trail and down a small embankment of earth and landed at the bottom with a splash. Utani and Netani looked at each other with great surprise and then carefully stepped to the edge of the path. Utani pushed aside the branches that grew along the side of the trail, and they both peered down into the waters of a beautiful blue green lake nestled among the trees and rocks that hid it from human eyes along the trail. They had found it! They had found Atagahi! It was fast growing dark, so the two children decided to return to their village and come back the following day to the secret lake. When they returned to their village the older braves wanted to know where they had been. Netani said, "We looked at Utani's knife blade in the sun, and the sun told us where to find Atagahi."

The older Cherokee braves all laughed and laughed very loudly. But Netani and Utani did not laugh , for they knew where Atagahi was and they could go there any time they pleased. They never told anyone their secret, but every once in a while if you looked very carefully up the trail into the mountains, you might see two Indian children kicking stones off the side of the trail.

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As always, I ask everyone to make prayers for World Peace and Kindness for all Living things on our Mother, The Earth. I ask all Pipe Carriers to make smoke with me in prayer also for Leonard Pletier and others like him who have been imprisoned unjustly. And here is the story of how I got my Pipe


News about Leonard Peltier case and to view his art work....click here for details!!!

Monthly Lore For 1997

December ++ The Deluge (Cherokee)

November ++ How The Rabbit Stole The Otter's Coat (Cherokee)

October ++ The Rabbit Goes Duck Hunting (Cherokee)

September ++ What The Stars Are Like (Cherokee)

August ++ The Moon And The Thunders (Cherokee)

July ++ The Journey To The Sunrise (Cherokee)

June ++ How They Brought Back The Tobacco + a second version (Cherokee)

May ++ The Origin Of The Pleiades And The Pine (Cherokee)

April ++ A NEW BOW FOR TANI (Cherokee)

March ++ ATAGAHI-THE SECRET LAKE (Cherokee)

Febuary ++ Kanati the Hunter and the Cave of Animals (Cherokee)

January ++ BEAR'S RACE WITH TURTLE (Seneca)

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