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Cherokee chief opens Highland Games in Scotland

By Harald E.L. Prins & Bunny McBride

The orange flag with yellow stars symbolizing the seven Cherokee clans swayed brightly among swinging kilts and skirling bagpipes at the Highland Games in Nethy Bridge, Scotland.

On Aug. 14, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chadwick “Corntassel” Smith served as honorary chieftain of the Abernethy Highland Games during Clan Grant’s annual gathering in the Spey Valley. Heading a delegation of 30 Cherokee from Oklahoma, Smith paraded in the colorful opening procession alongside their host, Lord Strathspey, the 33rd Hereditary Chief of Clan Grant. Behind them came a dozen standard bearers, representing the clan from distant corners of the world, including a tribesman carrying the Cherokee Nation’s flag. More than 150 pipers and drummers dressed in kilts accompanied them as they marched through this small Scottish town where these games have been held since the 1800s. Reaching the game grounds, they circled within the vast grassy arena, surrounded by thousands of spectators.

Lord Strathspey had invited these Cherokee after receiving a traditional ceremonial staff from a senior tribal representative at a clan gathering in Stone Mountain, Ga., two years ago. But what had moved this Scottish nobleman to ask them to attend his clan’s international gathering in Scotland and participate in these Highland Games ceremonies? It turns out, they represent just a fraction of the Cherokees who have Scottish ancestry.

Read the original article at: Indian Country Today

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