Rhode Islanders Visit Cherokee - Rhododendron. Photography & Text by Keith R Wahl
A sacred plant
Over the summer, my wife, sons and I visited the land of the Cherokee nation in North Carolina. If I were to pick a set of photos that helped tell the story of the lives of the Cherokee, it would be of the Rhododendron. It is everywhere and it picks up the tint and color of the soil in pale pinks.
The Rhododendron is a sacred plant to the Cherokee people of North Carolina. It is known as "tsalagi úñtsaa" in the Cherokee language, which means "Cherokee flower." The Cherokee believe that the Rhododendron is a gift from the Great Spirit and that it represents the beauty and power of nature.
The Rhododendron is used by the Cherokee for a variety of purposes. The leaves and flowers are used to make medicine, and the sap is used to make dyes. The Cherokee also believe that the Rhododendron can be used to communicate with the spirits.
During the springtime, when the Rhododendrons are in bloom, the Cherokee hold ceremonies to celebrate the beauty of the plant and to give thanks to the Great Spirit for its gift. These ceremonies are often held in the mountains, where the Rhododendrons grow in abundance.
The Rhododendron is a symbol of the Cherokee people's connection to the land and to their culture. It is a reminder of their heritage and of the importance of respecting nature.
Here are some specific ways in which the Rhododendron is significant to the Cherokee people:
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Keywords: Cherokee, Keith R Wahl, Made From RI Gallery, Native Plant, North Carolina, Photography, Plant, Rhododendron, storytelling
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