One Of The Most Powerful Walks From Tuscumbia Landing

by Staff
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Photo Courtesy of Leslie Yancey

Photo Courtesy of Leslie Yancey

TUSCUMBIA-The 2013 Walk of Life began at Tuscumbia Landing. This is a memorial that remembers and honors the Native American

Photo courtesy of Leslie Yancey

Photo courtesy of Leslie Yancey

that were forcibly removed in the 1830’s …from Tuscumbia Landing.  This Walk was the 11th year and Robert Thrower of the Poarch Creek Band of Atmore, Alabama has made each Walk. He is a traditional medicine man and told the crowd why we are here and left a feather tied in a tree. The friendly winds will blow it here and there for all to see in the next year. Curious ones will ask about the feather and we can explain it’s a remembrance to honor the elders.

Before we walked, someone asked for a show of hands of newcomers. About half the crowd held up their hands; some came from as far

away as Canada.  This day was also the annual meeting of the Natchez Trace Parkway Association and some of members walked with us.

 

 

Photo courtesy  of Leslie Yancey

Photo courtesy of Leslie Yancey

The City of Sheffield owns the land but the Walk follows the old Tuscumbia railroad 2.2 miles and ending as a celebration at the Oka Kapassa Festival in Spring Park, Tuscumbia. This year the entourage was followed by two shuttles and Sheffield’s fire engine to provide first aid.  None was needed. Because Colbert County used to be Chickasaw Homelands, the Chickasaws led the throng with elder Rose Jefferson out front.  Each year something different seems to happen

Photo courtesy of Leslie Yancey

Photo courtesy of Leslie Yancey

all by itself. This year a Choctaw brought his drum. He explained his drum song gathered people for all occasions. The drum set the pace that included John and Shelia Baker, two descendants of the Chickasaw Colberts.  John carried a brand new infant on the walk in its “cradleboard.”

After stopping at the halfway point to be served cold water by the area Cub Scouts, Rose

Robert and Annie Perry

Robert and Annie Perry

Jefferson led the walkers into the Spring Park Arena. The Chickasaw musicians “Ingenuity” were playing their rendition of a Trail of Tears song. The Chickasaws then sang Amazing Grace in the Choctaw language and everyone in the park joined in English. Lastly, the Choctaw drum group singers sang their Choctaw Removal song.  The tribal groups offered their ideas to make this celebration great.

The Walk of Life was powerful and inspiring and will continue to bring back the Native People each year to experience the famous hospitality of Tuscumbia , as well as bring attention to Tuscumbia Landing

By Bob and Annie Perry

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