A new book by English professor Sandra Muse Isaacs, entitled Eastern Cherokee Stories: A Living Oral Tradition and its Cultural Continuance, is the first book published by Oklahoma University Press to focus on the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation.
“Cherokees are mountain people,” says Dr. Muse Isaacs. “Their land is located in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.”
Their territory originally included land in North and South Carolina and northern Georgia. For the descendants of those Cherokees who evaded forced removal by the U.S. government in the 1830s, storytelling has been a vital tool of survival and resistance.
In Eastern Cherokee Stories, Muse Isaacs uses the concepts of Gadugi and Duyvkta to explore the Eastern Cherokee oral tradition, and to explain how storytelling in this tradition — as both an ancient and a contemporary literary form — is instrumental in the perpetuation of Cherokee identity and culture.
A gifted storyteller in her own right, Muse Isaacs will talk about Eastern Cherokee oral tradition and tell some origin stories with moderator Gord Grisenthwaite, a grad student in English, on Thursday, Sept. 26, at an event hosted by Biblioasis to launch the book locally.
The free public reception gets underway at 7 p.m. Biblioasis is located at 1520 Wyandotte St. E.
Muse Isaacs is of Eastern Cherokee and Gaelic descent, and joined the UWindsor faculty hired the President’s Indigenous Peoples Scholars initiative.