This story is the Cherokee tribe's story that explains why their tribe participates in the Sun dance. The Cherokee are a American Indian tribe located mainly in the states of Tennessee and North Carolina.
Every day as the Sun traveled across the sky she would stop at noon to have dinner at her daughter's house. The Sun was said to hate people because every time they looked at her they would always squint and screw up their faces at her. She would always complain to the her brother the moon about how unfair it was that they should not like her but he would always reply "I like them, they always smile at me.". At this the Sun became jealous and decided to kill the people who made such mean faces at her so she sent a great fever. Many people began to die of the fever and those that remained decided they would have to kill the Sun.
With some magic one of the people was sent as a rattlesnake to wait by the Sun's daughter's front door and bite the Sun when she stopped for dinner. But when the daughter opened the door to look for her mother, the snake bit her instead. When the Sun discovered what had happened she retreated into the house to grieve. She came out neither night nor day. The people on earth no longer had the fever but were now very cold. So seven people were appointed to journey to the land of the ghosts and return with the Sun's daughter.
They went and captured the Sun's daughter, placing her in a box.The daughter complained that she couldn't breathe and asked them to open the lid a bit. They opened the lid just a crack but even so she turned herself into a redbird and escaped back to the land of ghosts.
When the Sun saw the people return empty without her daughter she began to cry. This caused a great flood which the people decided must be stopped. To amuse the Sun and stop the flood, the people danced. And this is why the Cherokee people do the Sun dance to this very day.
©Copyright 1998 Elizabeth
Beckett, Holly Bernitt, and Vishwa Chandra.