Cherokee Medicine Men and Women

The knowledge used by medicine people comes from other medicine people who came before them and handed down their 'medicine' to chosen ones. They train for many years and the medicine formulas, songs and other rites are handwritten in ledgers which have been handed down over time. We are told that the Cherokee Medicine People travel to the rock caves to meet with the Little People and share in their secrets. Medicine people are still today an integral part of the traditional Cherokee lifestyle.

It is unwise to try to interpret the Cherokee writing in these books and use them without the proper training. Most are written in cryptic fashion, leaving out major portions that the practitioner has learned verbally, written in code or even written backwards.

Traditional Cherokees consult with medicine people for help with medical problems, dilemmas in their lives, or other problems. There are fewer Medicine People alive and practicing today, but those few are still known by traditionalists and others in Cherokee communities. It is not accepted for medicine people to advertise or make their services known in other ways. The proper way to find a medicine person is to be part of a Cherokee community, ceremonial ground or family and to come to know this person through those connections.

Information provided by the Cherokee Nation Cultural Resource Center. For information regarding culture and language, please contact: culture@cherokee.org.