"Cherokee Hunters"

In the eighteenth century, the Cherokee people’s homeland was in the southern Appalachian region, which has now become much of the southeastern United States. Before the Revolutionary War, their strength as a native nation was unsurpassed by any other.  William Barton, who observed and recorded much about them during this time, stated that they were the largest people he had ever seen.  Tattooing was important and young boy’s tattooing began when they were first named.  Face and body painting was used extensively by men and more conservatively by women, especially during important events or ceremonies.  Clay containing iron oxide, blood root, sumac and wood ashes mixed with gunpowder in a base of bear grease or buffalo tallow were some of the natural ingredients for making paint.  By the mid to late eighteenth century, commercial colors from Europe became an important trade item.  Paint was not always “War Paint” as it was utilized for every important event.  Paint was applied very carefully and some colors or designs were used by individuals because they were their good luck colors.  The meaning of each color varied somewhat in many tribes, but usually white meant peace or happiness, black meant death or mourning, blue for defeat and red (the most sacred color) denoted war or success.  A side benefit of paint was that it was also a protection from the sun and biting insects.  Split ears and copper or silver jewelry was also common among the men. The hunters in this painting, are typical of the mid to late eighteenth century period.  They would normally be traveling lightly, with only the barest necessities needed for their hunt, not wearing or carrying any unnecessary jewelry or accoutrements.  They are members of the Deer Clan, one of seven Cherokee clans. Men of this clan were very proud of their endurance and were frequently utilized as messengers.  They considered themselves to be the best hunters and trackers of their nation.  Membership in the Deer Clan (as was membership in all the clans) was inherited from the mother’s side of the family.  All clan members were considered to be brothers and sisters, therefore marriage within the clan has always been forbidden.

Available As A Limited Edition Canvas Print
Ten In The Issue
Size - 14" x 18"     Framed Price - $395.00     Unframed Price - $225.00