“Nvdo walosi ugiso.”
What makes the Darkening of the Sun special?
This is a sanctioned Northern Cherokee Nation Heritage Event. The owners of this beautiful land are of Cherokee ancestry, and the Nation has always had a special relationship to both solar and lunar eclipses. Here we tell their eclipse story, which also inspires our event artwork.
Retelling from www.yourgrandmotherscherokee.com :
“Cherokee words for Eclipse of the sun/moon. Remember, the sun and the moon are both called Nvdo. Adding another phrase distinguishes between them: Nvdo svnoyi ehi = The sun/moon that lives at midnight. Nvdo iga ehi = the sun/moon that lives in the daytime.
“The following is taken from the 1838 Cherokee Almanac from Fort Gibson, Oklahoma:
The oldest is “Nvdo walosi ugisgo.” The literal translation is “Sun/moon frog it-eats-the-round-thing-habitually,” or “The frog eats the sun/moon.” This refers to the traditional belief that the eclipse is caused by a giant frog swallowing the sun or moon. To scare the frog away, people made loud noises for the duration of the eclipse.
James Adair was with the Cherokees in 1736, during a lunar eclipse. “During the continuance of it, their conduct appeared very surprising to one who had not seen the like before. They all ran wild, this way and that way, like lunatics, firing their guns, whooping and hallooing, beating of kettles, ringing horse bells, and making the most horrid noises that human beings possibly could. This was the effect of their natural philosophy and done to assist the suffering moon.”
“Another Cherokee name for eclipse appears in the Cherokee Almanac of 1838, which was printed at Park Hill, Indian Territory. This year included a lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse, as well as the forced removal of 15,000 Cherokees from their homeland in the southern Appalachians. At this time the word used for eclipse was simply “Nvdo Tsulisihvsgiyi,” literally translated as “Sun/moon it-to-be-dark-more-than-once-time/place,” or “The time when the sun and moon get dark.” The Almanac was written by the missionary Rev. Samuel Worcester and printed at his direction, so perhaps he did not want to refer to the older, pre-Christian myth of the giant frog. Or perhaps Cherokees also used this more direct descriptive word as well.”
Members of the Northern Cherokee Nation will be onsite and active throughout the event. Some of the tribal citizens will be in their full regalia walking throughout the festival grounds, others will be drumming & dancing around the sacred fire and onstage Others will be creating art and crafting goods, which will be available for purchase.