Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Video: Cherokee Elder Betty Sixkiller Talks Herbal Medicines and Old-Time Toys

Cherokee Elder Betty Sixkiller talks about growing up in Leach, Oklahoma, the toys they had, and the medicines they used.
Author:

Cherokee Elder Betty Sixkiller talks about growing up in Leach, Oklahoma. Her mother died when she was a baby, so she was raised by her grandparents.

She talks a lot about how kids played when she grew up. She remembers having dolls to play with.

“We used to play marbles, or little cars,” she says in the video. And all the kids would use an old car parked in the woods like a playground. They would play grownup and pretend to drive while holding their dolls.

They didn’t have any running water—“we didn’t have an outside toilet either, we used to just go way out in the woods,” she says laughing.

She talks about catching crawdads by hand, and cooking by the creek.

Making medicine involved boiling roots in her day. She mentioned hickory being good for cough. “They say sassafras is good for everything—I like sassafras tea.”

“A long time ago we had little country stores around here, we didn’t have to go to town, but now there’s no little stores around here anymore,” she says she used to walk to the store.

Watch the full video below: