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Video: Cherokee Elder Bruce Ross Talks Whip Braiding and Rock Throwing

Cherokee Elder Bruce Ross talks about growing up on a farm with animals, a cornfield and orchard. He also listened to his father speak Cherokee.
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Cherokee Elder Bruce Ross talks about growing up on a 50-acre farm with animals, a cornfield and orchard. “I think it was probably the best place in the world to grow up, I got to help my mother out, I learned a lot of the history of our people,” Ross says in a video about growing up in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

His father, who was one of nine children, and his siblings all spoke Cherokee. “Whenever they got together, it was always in Cherokee—I hung around because I wanted to learn,” Ross says.

“Boys being boys” when Ross was growing up was playing marbles, spinning tops, and riding stick horses—his was named “Trigger.” “Some of our favorite toys were rocks… we’d throw them at each other,” Ross says.

Listen to Ross tell about braiding their own whips, and what it was like living next to the George Murrell Home.

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