Tsalagi Rose

Tiny - Posted on 08 April 2015

Ever heard of the Tsalagi* Rose?
Well, the U.S. government
Had gotten greedy
Again in 1828.
They'd found out
There was gold
Underneath the Southern
Land called Georgia.
Ten years later,
The U.S. Army
Was sent down
There to evict
The Tsalagi Indians
From mountain homes they'd
Held on to for
Thousands of years.
At gunpoint,
The only
Notice ever given.
The original
The Tsalagi Indians
Were made to take
A long cross-country
Walk west, all 1200 miles,
From Army stockades to some
Barren land, later called Oklahoma.
Whole families marched through
Mississippi winter snow
Without moccasins on their feet.
Four thousand died from
Starving, freezing, disease.
Mothers cried for their young
As numbers of their tribe
Fell on the way westward.
Tribal elders saw that and
Asked the Great Spirit
High in Galunti** for a sign,
Anything to lift up the saddened
Spirits of their women.
Each time a mother
Would shed her tears,
They'd feed the ground along
Nunna daul tsuny.***
Another trail would form:
A trail of snow-white roses grew,
Starting from one, white as tears,
An answer to the tribal elders' prayers.
A sweet-smelling gift
From Pachamama.
Something to show, across
Several states, that 10,000
Tsalagi Indians had survived
Now you know about the Tsalagi Rose.
Old Indian legend. Real talk.
W: 2.26.15
[ For the students at Decolonize Academy. ]
*What the Cherokee Indians called themselves.
**TSALAGI: "Heaven".
***TSALAGI: "Trail Of Tears". Literal translation: "The trail where they cried".


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