Sacred Texts  Native American  Cherokee 

The Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees.



This is an ethnographic description of Cherokee shamanistic practice. Based on several manuscripts written by Cherokee shamans of the 19th Century, this includes the actual text of the rituals to treat various diseases, information on herbs used, love spells, hunting rituals, weather spells, as well as a spell for victory in the Ball game.

Title Page


How the Formulas Were Obtained
The Swimmer Manuscript
The Gatigwanasti Manuscript
The Gahuni Manuscript
The Inâli Manuscript
Other Manuscripts
The Kanâheta Ani-Tsalagi Eti
Character of the Formulas--The Cherokee Religion
The Origin of Disease and Medicine
Theory of Disease--Animals, Ghosts, Witches
Selected List of Plants Used
Medical Practice
Illustration of the Tabu
Neglect of Sanitary Regulations
The Sweat Bath-Bleeding--Rubbing--Bathing
Shamans and White Physicians
Medicine Dances
Description of Symptoms
The Pay of the Shaman
Ceremonies for Gathering Plants and Preparing Medicine
The Cherokee Gods and Their Abiding Places
Color Symbolism
Importance Attached to Names
Language of the Formulas

Specimen Formulas

Note on the Orthography and Translation
Formula for Treating the Crippler (Rheumatism)
And This Also is for Treating the Crippler
This is to Treat Them if They are Bitten by a Snake
To Treat Them When Something is Causing Something to Eat Them
To Treat Gûnwani'gistû'nï
This Tells About Moving Pains in the Teeth (Neuralgia?)
To Treat the Great Chill
This is to Make Children Jump Down
To Treat the Black Yellowness
To Treat for Ordeal Diseases
Concerning Hunting
This is for Hunting Birds
To Shoot Dwellers in the Wilderness
Bear Song
This is for Catching Large Fish
Concerning Living Humanity (Love)
This Tells About Going into the Water
Song for Painting
To Attract and Fix the Affections
For Separation (of Lovers)
To Fix the Affections
To Shorten a Night-Goer on this Side
I Have Lost Something
This is to Frighten a Storm
What Those who Have Been to War Did to Help Themselves
To Destroy Life
This Concerns the Ball Play--To Take Them to Water With it