Several times we've asked locals for directions to mounds, who came up blank—only to discover they lived within a mile of the mound. Seeing how many signs were up and how many activities happened at the mound, I find it amazing how a neighbor down the street had never heard of Kituwah.
The mound, located near a fork in the Tuckasegee River, contains the sacred, eternal fire (Pluralism). Kituwah is the location where God gave the sacred fire and laws to the Cherokee people (Curry). The site was a village that was razed by British soldiers in the late 18th century. The Cherokees lost the mound in a land cession treaty with the United States in 1823. In 1996, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians successfully purchased the mound and surrounding lands. In a ceremony in 1998, Cherokee children began rebuilding the mound by adding a small patch of red dirt (Pluralism).
|Stickball pole next to the mound|
|Cherokee children's gardens near the ceremonial grounds|
Some frankly shocking proposals for development of the mound site have been put forward, even from members of the tribal council (Pluralism). Currently there's a Cherokee children's garden and a substantial amount of corn cultivation, which seems appropriate use of the land. The tribe and local community successfully fought the construction of a major Duke Energy power substation in the area, so hopefully they will be successful in keeping the sacred site intact in the future.