Cherokee Heritage Center

The Center consists of a living history Cherokee village, a museum, and small township of historical buildings. Dedicated to the perservation of Cherokee culture and history, it is one of the most widely visited Native American sites in Oklahoma.

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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

"You Hit the Fish" Club

Ladies and Gentleman, it is the moment you have all been waiting for… it is time to announce the inaugural members of the You Hit the Fish Club!

You may be curious, how can I get into this exclusive club? It takes hard work, dedication and extreme concentration. When visitors go on the tour, we basically make them apart of a pre-European contact Cherokee village. They learn about housing, food, government, culture and more through a guide who talks with individual villagers performing daily activities. One of the games visitors are encouraged to play is stick ball. Rules vary, but ultimately one would use specially made sticks to throw a ball at the carved fish that sits atop a 2 story pole. If you were one of the visitors who hit the fish, you got in the club! I asked Robert Lewis, a tour guide in the ancient village, “What are the benefits of this elite club?”

“This year we have 40 people who got into the You Hit the Fish Club. We didn’t start taking addresses and email addresses until after the first few. But, these people will get a little something special. Next year I want to have pre-made membership cards with a description and art for visitors show off to friends and family.” Robert said people always ask what happens if the fish gets knocked off?

“I just say that it will NOT get knocked off. We have to get a new pole for next year, but we will probably use the same fish.”

Les Williston, creator of the fish and other native works, said, “The fish is made from bois d’arc, which is used widely in traditional crafts. It does not rot, so it will last.”

If you would like more information about traditional native crafts, please contact the Cherokee Heritage Center, or you can contact Les Williston directly at tsigeyu@yahoo.com.

Posted by Victoria

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