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~The Origin of Strawberries~

When the first man was created and a mate
was given to him, they lived together very
happily for a time, but then began to quarrel,
until at last the woman left her husband and
started off toward "Nundagunyi" the Sun land,
in the east.

The man followed alone and grieving, but the
woman kept on steadily ahead and never looked
behind, until "Unelanunhi," the great
Apportioner (The Sun), took pity on him and
asked him if he was still angry with his wife.
He said he was not, and "Unelanunhi" then
asked him if he would like to have her back
again, to which he eagerly answered yes.

So "Unelanunhi" caused a patch of the finest
ripen huckleberries to spring up along the path
in front of the woman, but she passed by
without paying any attention to them.
Farther on he put a clump of blackberries,
but these also she refused to notice.

Other fruits, one, two, and three, and then
some trees covered with beautiful red service
berries, were placed beside the path to tempt
her, but she went on until suddenly she saw
in front a patch of large ripe strawberries,
the first ever known.

She stooped to gather a few to eat, and as
she picked them she chanced to turn her face
to the west, and at once the memory of her
husband came back to her and she found
herself unable to go on.

She sat down, but the longer she waited the
stronger became her desire for her husband,
and at last she gathered a bunch of the finest
berries and started back along the path to
give them to him. He met her kindly and they
went home together.

From History, Myths and Sacred Formulas
of the Cherokees by James Mooney..

The Cherokee word for strawberry is "a-ni."
The rich bottom lands of the old Cherokee
country were noted for their abundance of
strawberries and other wild fruits.

Today strawberries are often kept in Cherokee
homes. They remind us not to argue and are a
symbol of good luck..


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