Updated:
Original:

Video: Cherokee Elder Talks About Her Traditional Upbringing

Cherokee Elder Nadine McLemore Mahaney grew up an only child, and was raised by her grandmother so her mother could join the workforce.
Author:

Cherokee Elder Nadine McLemore Mahaney grew up an only child, and was raised by her grandmother so her mother could join the workforce.

She talks about spending time playing in the woods, and all the things her grandmother taught her.

“My grandmother also taught me what trees were what, which ones were medicine… grass or weeds had medicinal uses. She taught me how to hunt mushrooms,” she says in the video.

Cherokee was her first language, but she “learned pretty quick how to speak English.” And her grandmother bought her a penmanship book for school.

Nadine recalled the first time she went to school, a journey she thought would never end: “We walked and we walked, I kept saying ‘are we there Jane?’” she says in the video. “It was three miles.” She would walk with a neighbor, so she had some company.

Nadine enjoyed reading books while perched in a tree, and went to the movies a lot because she earned movie tickets for perfect attendance at school.

She talks about the toys she had, which were homemade, and some of the foodstuffs she enjoyed.

“We had the forerunner to Kool-Aid back then, and it was a little package, it was called Penny Drink,” she says. “It was a penny a package… but we’d walked over to [the store] and pick up some Penny Drink… that was our treat.”

Watch the full interview with her below: