Leisure Recreation and the Arts

Women were the farmers, cooks, and manufacturers, and had little free time. What spare time they had was spent at the homestead with other women. Cherokee men were hunters and, when not hunting, they spent their time playing games to keep fit and improve their hunting skills. Some of these games were arrow-shooting contests, hurling sticks at a rolling stone, and stickball. Preparing to play stickball required the same rituals as going to war, which were fasting and scratching the skin. Villagers liked to watch these contests and often placed wagers on them (Perdue, 1989).

Crafts included plaited basketwork, stamped pottery, carved wood and gourds, masks (Booger masks represented evil spirits), and animal figure stone pipes (Waldman, 1999). The task of furnishing the house was the responsibility of women. Benches were crafted for sleeping and sitting from saplings, and baskets were made from river cane and strips of maple, oak, and honeysuckle. To decorate their baskets, the women created dyes from bloodroot, butternut, walnut, and other plants. Baskets had many uses and some had double layers to make them strong. Pottery was made from native clay and hardened in open fires, which darkened it (Perdue, 1989).

Men used bows and arrows, traps, blowguns, darts, hooks, and nets to hunt and fish. These had to be crafted by chipping flint, other stones, bone, and other materials.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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