Folkmoot-Cherokee bond grows tighter in 2015

Long a good relationship, the Folkmoot-Cherokee bond grows tighter – especially following the success of the Folkmoot Summer Festival 2015.

Writing in the Cherokee One Feather of her July accomplishments, Taylor Wilnoty – the currently reigning Miss Cherokee, called Folkmoot Summer Festival 2015 “an amazing opportunity!”

The Tsalagi Touring Group is shown (left-right) at the Folkmoot Parade in Waynesville – Byron Locust, James Wolfe, Miss Cherokee Taylor Wilnoty, Leslie Lossiah, Jarret Wildcatt and Program Director Lisa Wilnoty.
The Tsalagi Touring Group is shown (left-right) at the Folkmoot Parade in Waynesville – Byron Locust, James Wolfe, Miss Cherokee Taylor Wilnoty, Leslie Lossiah, Jarret Wildcatt and Program Director Lisa Wilnoty.

“I not only went as Miss Cherokee but as a part of the Tsalagi Touring program,” Wilnoty pens. “We were able to showcase many of our traditional dances, as well as participate in the Folkmoot USA Parade of Nations in downtown Waynesville, where we were also announced honorary citizens of Waynesville!

“We all had such a great time experiencing the different cultures through songs, dances, and even their traditional foods. It was so neat to see all the differences in other people’s cultures, but also all the similarities!

“The group and I did a lot of mingling between all the different cultures, but we got especially close with the Philippine group from San Francisco called the Parangal Dance Company. They all were amazing, and it was an honor to watch them perform and even learn some of their dances.”

Our Cherokee friends and neighbors, the Tsalagi just over the Plott Balsams, have for all three decades of its existence been an important part of Folkmoot.

At the core of our mission is, of course, the promotion of peace and understanding through cultural exchange and community-building.

At the same time, we feel it important to promote (and, even, brag about) the rich, beautiful and complex cultural blend and heritage of Western North Carolina, which is unique in all the world. The Cherokee are most certainly a huge and immensely valued part of our region’s distinctiveness.

Over the coming years, as Folkmoot grows into a year-round center for cultural engagement, community development and economic enrichment, the Cherokee will play a vital role and be a vital partner.

Tsalagi Touring Dancers bring in audience members to dance with them the Friendship Dance:

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Folkmoot-Cherokee bond grows tighter