Traditional Songs

Cherokee Homestead Exhibit

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John Grant, Jr.

Cherokee musician

Cherokee, NC (Qualla Boundary)

John Grant, Jr., comes from a family of accomplished traditional artists. His own interest in Native American music began when he was a young teenager, and heard a drum group from Lamedeer, Montana. As he told the Knoxville News Sentinel, "The power and beauty of it made me want to do it for the rest of my life."

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James "Bo" Taylor

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Marie Junaluska

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Walker Calhoun

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James "Bo" Taylor

Cherokee dancer and storyteller

Cherokee, NC (Qualla Boundary)

James "Bo" Taylor's programs include Cherokee dancing, powwow dancing, dance songs, and discussion of Cherokee history, culture, and stereotypes. He adapts his presentations to audiences of all ages and sizes, and always encourages them to participate in dancing and discussion. Taylor also teaches Cherokee language in intensive ten-day immersion classes.

Raised in the Wolftown community on the Qualla Boundary, Bo Taylor danced as a boy in downtown Cherokee with Leroy Tramper. His grandfather Larch Taylor sang to him in the Cherokee language and danced with him.

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Marie Junaluska

Cherokee language specialist

Cherokee, NC (Qualla Boundary)

Marie Junaluska speaks Cherokee fluently and writes the Sequoyah syllabary. In her presentations, she introduces the Cherokee language, incorporates activities based on Cherokee history and culture, and teaches songs in Cherokee. She enjoys working with groups of all ages.

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Walker Calhoun

Cherokee singer, dancer, banjo player

Cherokee, NC (Qualla Boundary)

Walker Calhoun, respected Cherokee elder, sang the traditional sacred dance songs of the Cherokee, and played an important role in maintaining and passing on these traditions to the next generation. In his later years, he led two traditional dance groups that accompanied him to performances, The Raven Rock Dancers and the Warriors of AniKituhwa. Walker Calhoun also demonstrated how to make the Cherokee blowgun from river cane and how to make blowgun darts from wild thistle.

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