A Cherokee 4th of July

Annual 4th of July Powwow, photographed by nan wyatt, Cherokee, North Carolina:

“John Ross embraced real democracy and the Cherokee do today as they celebrate this country. i was struck on the 4th of July last year by what seems to be such an incredible paradox. i am constantly in awe of the dignity and grace, the humanity, the memory of what was, the knowing of what is, the joining of cultures, and also, independence. This particular powwow is held annually, now for 40 years, by The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, NC within the Qualla Boundary.”

The Qualla Boundary is a name for territory in the far western mountains of North Carolina. After most Cherokees were removed from the region in 1838, some remained hidden in these mountains, or claimed US citizenship, and eventually won formal permission to stay.