Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Elder Joan Jumper Spade tells us about back then games, school, and the chores she and her siblings had to do after school.

Video: Cherokee Elder Talks Back Then Games, Chores and School


Cherokee Elder Joan Jumper Spade was one of five children. She remembers playing a game like dice with her siblings. “They were kind of like dice, but they were flat and they had dots on each piece, and I believe there were seven of them.” They were thrown down, then added up and that was your score. She says they would play to a previously determined number.

Another game with numbers on a board was also made at home. “My dad really liked playing that game,” she says.

They weren’t allowed to speak English at home, Cherokee only. “I’m so glad now because I know how to speak my language,” she says.

They didn’t go to school as much in the winter, since they had to walk a mile to catch a ride. School was difficult at first because Spade didn’t speak English. She and her siblings all had after-school chores, hers was to get the water. “Back then you didn’t gripe, you just did what you were told to do,” she says.

Hear more from Spade below:

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