Itse Selu: Cherokee Harvest Festival

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In the Blue Ridge Mountains, a young child and his family prepare for Itse Selu, the Green Corn Festival.

 

 

In a woodland village in the original Cherokee homelands in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a southeastern region of what we now know as the United States, a young child and his family prepare for Itse Selu, the Green Corn Festival. Itse Selu is a time of giving thanks for the corn harvest and a time of putting out the old hearth fires and lighting new ones to mark and celebrate the new year. It’s a time of feasting and wellbeing, a time of playing games and listening to stories, a time of watching and learning, a time of dancing the sacred dance until sunrise, a time of forgetting past quarrels and beginning with a happy spirit. There is a lot of cultural information here, but it is not overwhelming, nor is it forced. What we see are happy children, secure among their families and friends. Stewart’s illustrations are amazing.

 

 

Author: Daniel Pennington (Cherokee)

Illustrations: Color illustrations by Don Stewart

Binding Availability: Paperback or Hardcover

Published: 1994

Tribes/Ethnic Groups: Cherokee