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The Cloud People
The Cloud People

“The Cloud People” represents various legends of the Cherokee regarding “The Thunders” that are represented in the painting as clouds and mist; as well as legends of the moon, hawk, and water.

According to Cherokee legend, “The Thunders’ lived high in the sky and were known to be kind and helpful. There were also Thunders that lived lower down around mountains, cliffs, and under waterfalls. They traveled on invisible bridges from one mountain to another, and were in contrast known to be mischievous.

Long Ago, Moon would visit Sun’s house each month during the dark of the moon. Sun could not see Moon’s face and was curious to see what he looked like. Then one night; Sun took ashes from her fireplace and rubbed them on Moon’s face. When Moon arose the next night, his face was covered in spots and Sun was able to recognize the face of her brother.
Some say that the moon is a ball which was thrown up into the sky. It lodged there permanently in the sky vault during a ball game long ago. In the Cherokee language, Sun was called “Nunda” that dwells in the day. Moon was called “Nunda” that dwells in the night.

Many years ago animals were divided into tribes, bands, and clans much like humans are today. The Hawks were some of the proudest of animals and were strong and great in number. They would hold tribal councils and dances and the sound of their drums and wings filled the Earth.
As time passed, a great enemy came in the form of a very large and powerful bird that would fly overhead and make the sky dark as night even in the middle of the day. Many hawks were driven away, killed, and separated from their tribes and clans. They fled to many different places and began to live with other birds. The separated hawks began thinking they belonged to other bird tribes. But slowly, as time passed, the separated hawks began to realize they were not regular birds and yearned to return to their original Hawk tribe. Then; one day they learned that the old enemy of the Hawks had returned and the fate of their original tribe was in jeopardy. The separated hawks rallied together gathering their power and energy. They returned to their homelands and defeated the old enemy of The Hawks. And so now, The Hawk again live together as one tribe.

The belief that sacred ponds, streams, wells, lakes, and rivers were entryways to the “otherworld” was a significant and ancient belief among many peoples and this is also true of the Cherokee. Tales of water lore and the close association between water and the control of weather has been the subject of many Native American legends, and is particularly important to the Cherokee, whose homeland was surrounded and dominated by waterways.
The use of water as a healing agent is also prominently featured in some of the earliest Cherokee beliefs. The Cherokees believed that moving water could purify and strengthen an individual and to “go to the water” for purification was a significant part of many traditional Cherokee rituals. Thus Cherokees lived by the water spiritually, psychologically and physically.
Original: $1200
Limited Edition Prints Available of This Image
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Limited Edition Prints Available.