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.
Describing himself as “big into the old ways,” Bo Taylor feels he has earned his Cherokee name of Come Back Wolf. Bo has “come back” to the traditional Cherokee ways from a time when he was a high school football star, but ashamed to be Indian. He has studied, practiced, and promoted his Cherokee heritage.
Greatly influenced by his time spent with elders Walker Calhoun and Robert Bushyhead, Bo Taylor has learned the Cherokee dances and can read and write the Cherokee language. He has also learned songs and dances from wax cylinders that Will West Long recorded in the 1930s, and has taught these dances to children. He earned a degree in anthropology with a minor in Cherokee Studies from Western Carolina University and now serves as Archivist at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
His presentations to schools and other groups have covered the Southeast, and he also participates in the Educational Outreach Program of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. He has studied immersion teaching techniques used by tribes across the U.S. and by the Maoris in New Zealand, and has developed a Cherokee Language Immersion Course for adults sponsored by the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. The course uses methods developed at Berkeley and Dartmouth but also incorporates Cherokee culture through collaboration with elders.
Bo Taylor is available for programs on dance, music, storytelling, and Cherokee culture for groups of all ages and sizes. He is willing to travel anywhere if reimbursed for travel expenses. His fee is negotiable. For larger audiences, amplification will be needed.