I normally present on archaeology and the trail, but I’m shifting focus to a community-based mapping project with the Eastern Band called “Jogging You Ad,” which means “ancient Cherokee” in Cherokee. It refers to the old Cherokee territories before relocation to Oklahoma. This project emphasizes what was left behind in the East—things that couldn’t be replaced after forced removal. We explore the concept of “Jogging You Ad,” which can refer to the entire ancestral Cherokee territory or specific areas within it.

Cherokee leaders historically emphasized the importance of ancestral graves, which were seen as essential ties to their land and heritage. These sites are fundamental proofs of the Cherokee’s claims to their lands. The significance of these ancestral lands is echoed in Cherokee speeches and writings, highlighting a deep connection to the land that goes beyond mere ownership.

The discussion includes the concept of “Jogging You Ad” as the core of Cherokee identity, where the first fire of the Cherokee was set—a sacred place central to Cherokee spirituality and culture. This place still holds significant cultural and spiritual value for the Cherokee today.

Moreover, the presentation touches on the invisible elements of the Cherokee world—the realms of immortals and ancestors who live in the mountains and waters, integral to Cherokee cosmology. These beings are believed to protect and maintain the balance of the natural world, making their presence a living part of the Cherokee landscape.

This project aims to map these traditional landscapes interactively, involving the community in documenting and preserving the narratives and significance of various places. Using historical maps and stories, the project seeks to bring awareness to these culturally significant sites, ensuring they are recognized and respected in modern contexts.

Ultimately, the project not only aims to preserve the physical aspects of these ancestral lands but also to revitalize and maintain the spiritual and cultural connections that define the Cherokee people. It is a step toward healing and reclaiming the deep ties to a land that was forcibly taken from them, reconnecting the people with their ancient heritage in meaningful ways.

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Dr. Brett Riggs – Cherokee Families During the Removal

I normally present on archaeology and the trail, but I’m shifting focus to a community-based mapping project with the Eastern Band called “Jogging You Ad,” which means “ancient Cherokee” in Cherokee. It refers to the old Cherokee territories before relocation to Oklahoma. This project emphasizes what was left behind in

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