Oconaluftee Indian Village

Fascinating tour of this Village with Cherokee performing or describing their crafts, and lifestyle.

Started the tour observing craft demonstrations of weaving, pottery, mask making, and weaponry.

These weaved garments are worn around the waist and can be used in ceremony or with normal dress.

Pottery Maker
Mask Maker

Medicine Man House

This House could be used for storage or as a hospital. The Cherokee planted medicinal herbs on the roof of the house and used the herbs for teas or vapor to cure the ill.

Inside the medicine man’s house

The 1540 House

This was the earliest house on the tour. Used only for sleeping or when cold, it was constructed by a weave of sticks with clay, and animal fat packed on top of the weave. Construction time was from 1 day to 1 month.

I found the most interesting part of the tour were lectures by the Cherokees. Some points they made:

  • Dancing was not done for fun, it was to give thanks, or if going to war for protection.
  • The Eagle Dance conducted in Unto the Hills was for peace, victory, and thanks to the bird who gave its wings.
  • When the man married he joined his wife’s clan.
  • Females married at 15 or 16, males at 17.
  • Should the marriage not work, the wife put the husband’s clothes outside the cabin and he returned to his mother’s clan.
  • Cherokee never lived in tepees.
  • Smallpox took half the Cherokee population when the European’s arrived.
  • Democracy began with the Cherokee. They have a president, vice president, and 14 council members. They vote every 2 years for council members, and every 4 years for president. Currently, they are undergoing a campaign, and signs for those running were posted throughout the area.
  • The Council House was built in the middle of the Village to fit the entire community. Each clan had its own section.
  • If a feather is dropped someone will, or does die according to their beliefs.
  • The Cherokee is the most peaceful of all tribes.
  • The diet of the Cherokee is agricultural with the main crop the 3 Sisters – corn, beans, and squash, only 20% meat.
  • In 1924, the Cherokee became American citizens. They are a Sovereign Nation, however, do vote in American elections.

Other Attractions at the Village..

Due to covid the dances at noon and 3 have been cancelled as have evening bonfires. Masks remain encouraged at the Village. There is a gift shop on site with Cherokee made products. Prices are reasonable, however some items, such as baskets, are expensive due to the handwork involved.

Call for updates on Village changes 828-497-2111.

Unto the Hills

Since 1950, the Cherokee have done this outdoor play describing their life from the 1780’s when Europeans arrived till present day. It is conducted in a 2100 seat open air theater. This year’s season lasts from May 29th through August 14, 2021, with doors opening at 7 pm for the 8 pm performance. Free parking is available and tickets range from $20 to $30. Bring a jacket as it can get cool at night. The performance lasts till 10 pm. It is held on Cherokee grounds, google Cherokee Mountainside Theater for directions.

The play is mesmerizing, and well acted by local Cherokee members. It was an amazing production, however, quite frankly, I left extremely upset learning how mistreated these indigenous people were.

It is a must see.

The performance began with country songs.

The Play

The European Arrival
The Eagle Dance
Lighting of the Eternal Flame – the Cherokee believe if this light goes out this is the end of the tribe.

A must see.

Cherokee, NC: Kid Stuff

There is much family stuff to do in Cherokee. Besides hiking, biking, golf, and minature golf, there is tubing.

And local tubing as well at the Oconaluftee Islands Park. They have life guards at this area. The bottom of the river is stone so recommend water shoes for kids.

These kids were having a wonderful time. Love this picture…

Another picture.

Then there’s panning for gold.

Or.. a game of finding all the bear statutes in town,

Fishing is available, however a permit is required. Recommend accessing this site for further information. http://www.cherokeesmokies.com OR info@cherokeesmokies.com

Next: Unto The Hills

Cherokee, North Carolina

On the way to Cherokee the Waze AP placed me on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Look what was grazing along the Parkway,,,,, ELK

Aren’t they beautiful??

Better view of these 2 gals, sorry about the lighting..

Cherokee is a fun town with many shops. Stayed in this town as it was close to many sites, however, there are campgrounds, and other venues nearby.


Nice men – bought a lamp at the flea market and discovered no knob to turn it on, guys here found the knob and didn’t even charge the 55 cents..
Great Place – helpful staff, wonderful prices of quality merchandise and more Xmas presents done..

After retail therapy, take a walk on the Oconaluftee River Trail..

Or if energized, a short hike to Mingo Falls, which is 3 miles off Big Cove Road.

200 steps to the top, then .1 mile walk to the Falls. Wear sneakers and stop every 25 like I did.. 🙂

The Falls – worth the hike

Next .. things to do with kids in Cherokee

Maggie Valley: St. Margaret of Scotland Church

Took a 2 day jaunt to Cherokee, North Carolina, to visit the Cherokee Reservation, see the outdoor play, Unto the Hills, and visit Harrah’s Casino. Traveling through Maggie Valley found several beautiful sites..

While on the road came across this sign and decided to make a visit. Have been praying for fertility on several of my daughter’s friends, let’s hope St. Margaret heard..

During covid the Church streamlined services on line as did many churches.

The Church

The interior – one side of the church is entire windows. Even if not religious what a view.

Front View
Side View

Chapel to Mary – lit a candle. Visiting a new church one is allowed 3 wishes. Made mine.

The Church also has a retreat center.

During the Pandemic many have found their faith. What a beautiful spot for reflection.

Who couldn’t reflect in this beauty?

The Hickory Art Museum: Paul DeLongpre Paintings

Paul DeLongpre, (1855-1911), was born near Lyon, France, to a Creole heiress and a father who squandered his wife’s fortunes. One of eight now impoverished children he often skipped school to paint the flowers around his home. His love of flowers continued even after joining his older brothers in the silk trade. He married in 1874 to Josephine, a seamstress, and they had three daughters.

Though he had little formal training, his passion for painting flowers continued and he became well known in France. The French government even adapted his models for state art schools. As his prominence grew he decided to leave his homeland for America.

In America his first place of residence was New York City where he acquired a decorative painting commission. From his commissions he gained notoriety and became well known throughout the United States.

Frustrated by the cold weather of New York City, and missing his flowers, he relocated to California. There he had flowers all year long. He built a large mansion with gardens attracting tour groups to his estate.

The Moorish Mansion he built in Los Angeles
Room in the Mansion where he displayed and sold his work

Hollywood was attracted to his estate and work. At the exhibit a silent movie clip of Mary Pickford acting at the mansion is present. It is said she even purchased a work during her filming.

Known as The King of Flowers, and in some circles Hollywood’s First Celebrity he died in 1911. His family returned to France and tragically his mansion was torn down to make way for a street.

Thanks to the museum placards for this information.

Now, let’s drink in these beautiful still life works.

Spring Floral Spray with Lilacs and Roses, 1881
Red Roses on a Doily, 1899
Hanging Basket, 1897 here the artist places the flowers among a backdrop of fencing
Still Life with Roses and Three Vases, 1886 The Artist won a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 for this painting.
Peonies with Butterflies
Pink Orchids – the definition of these paintings are akin to a photograph, what precision..

And let’s close with a burgeoning Paul DeLongpre, who knows where this gal will go??

Another phenomenal exhibit at the Hickory.

Thanks to Barbara and Randal Williams for sharing these works.

Hickory Art Museum: Kids

With the Museum’s summer camp many kids were at the museum enjoying art.

What a great summer camp inspiring creativity and thought. Can’t let those little brains stagnate over the summer…

Here’s a look at one of the fun places at the museum.

And an exhibit to provoke thought..

What a fun summer camp

Hickory Art Museum: Mishmash


The Museum had a fascinating collection of BEE apparel and accessories. This is something on my Bucket List to become a BEE keeper. Take a look..

Next – some celebrity portraits. Hey, I said it was a mishmash.

These black and whites were taken by photographer Philippe Halsman, and gifted to the museum by William Solotkin.

Red Skelton, 1952
Peter Ustinov, 1952

The Museum also had an Art Nouveau collection of vases in this exhibit area. Lovely.

Can’t wait to see the next exhibit at this Museum..

Saved the best till last.. Next.. The Paul De Longpre Exhibit

Hickory Art Museum: Betty Bowles Garou

The last stop on this Hickory tour was the Hickory Art Museum. There was much change since last visiting several months ago starting with the Betty Bowles Garrou collection. Ms. Garrou was a Hickory artist who started painting and drawing at age 5. She studied art throughout her life and has paintings in the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

Check out the following paintings and enjoy.

Ms. Garrou had an art gallery in Valdese, North Carolina for several years. If you follow my blog you will recognize a Waldensian woman in this painting. Waldensian Widow, 1975, is a haunting portrayal of great depth.
Ice on a Mountain, 1985
Summer Landscape, 2010
Grass and Light, 1977
Fall Colors, 1980 In this work Ms. Garrou worked in paper creating a collage. Throughout her life she worked in many mediums, watercolors, oils, and inks. While Ms. Garrou is no longer with us she definitely left a legacy.

Hickory Furniture Mart

Open Monday-Saturday 9 to 6

Busy Hickory Day, and we aren’t done! Since Hickory was once, or possibly still is, the Furniture Capitol of the World sought out this spot to see the latest furniture designs. This Mart attracts folks from all over the world and I can understand why. The variety and selections are extensive in this 4 level building of the best names in furniture.

And, if you don’t have the time or desire there are the Designing Women.

Let’s take a look around, starting with the living room. Chatted with one salesgal and she said beige was this year’s color. Like the color accents, don’t you??


My favorite, the chaise, it’s on my bucket list in a floral print. I’m sure the perfect print is in this wall of fabrics below.

Interesting to see the construction of the chairs..

Next on to Amish furniture – great display of baby and young children furniture

Dining Rooms

Could just see this in a NYC high rise. Lovely..

Liked this table and it’s wood was something I’d never seen.

Furniture for enclosed patios

Business Furniture

Bedroom Furniture

Looks like a bedroom for Madonna with its fur covers and glossy pillows..
What a lucky little girl to have this bedroom furniture.

And let’s close with some levity.

If only I had a house or office to decorate.

What a fascinating place!