By Jeff Goss, President/CEO
Well, there’s selling baskets in the gift shops, and then there is telling the story of a basket and having people buy it. We chose the latter as we focused on the lifestyle of the Cherokee civilization to build the brand by increasing interest and intrigue — from the bloodroot plant and bear fat mixed for war paint, to the cedar that was made into flutes and river cane into blowguns used to kill small game, to the finely split strips of the mighty white oak for weaving into various sized and shaped baskets for different purposes.
I was on a TV commercial shoot for Cherokee in the Pisgah National Forest. The TV spot involved a couple of warriors dressed in full regalia discussing in native Cherokee language whether one of the warriors should go home or not. Also on the set was a female elder of the Tribe. I won’t name any names, but she was an authority on the Cherokee language. She was there by the cultural authority to ensure that the spoken and recorded pronunciation of the Cherokee language was, in fact, spoken correctly.
As we sat in between scenes, a few robins began to hop around us. She told me that the Cherokee believed the birds were spiritual messengers, and the robin was also dinner.
The Cherokee women would shoot the robins with their blowgun and roast them on a stick over an open fire — very tasty, she assured me, like the dark meat of a chicken. If you think about it, they are quite plump.
Ever since then, I have had a different view of the robin in the yard — as a potential meal.
To see more of the work that The Goss Agency created for the Cherokee, please click here.