The Artifact (Book 2, Time Trilogy)

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Epilogue: The Legacy of Adatlisvi Wahya Begins

AD 274
The Tsalagi Village
Eastern Piedmont Region, North America

}}}-----> WAHYA <-----{{{

“Grandfather, how are you today?” Amonsoquath nonchalantly asks, though it’s apparent he’s got something weighing heavy on his mind.

Wahya smiles up at his oldest great-grandson and pats him on the shoulder as the youth crouches down next to the eldest member of their family, relaxing outside of his home.

“Amonsoquath, it is good to see you. I am just fine. It is you that I am wondering about!”

The twenty-three-year-old laughs nervously, as Wahya continues, “You should be preparing for your wedding right now, not coming to check on me! What is on your mind, grandson?”

“It is just that most of my friends have married someone who lives in the village. So, when they move to their wife’s clan, they don’t really leave their own families behind.”

Wahya nods, his silver hair shining in the sun as he waits for the young man to continue.

“I know your family moved to the village together when you were young and when you married grandmother, you still had your father and grandmother nearby. But what was it like to be new to a whole different village?”

Wahya chuckles, knowing the strapping man next to him was nervous about his new in-laws and not having the support of the tight-knit family that Uwonidi Tsisqua was the matriarch over. Amonsoquath’s soon-to-be wife was from the neighboring village a few days away and he would be joining her clan as is the Tsalagi custom.

Wahya sits forward in his seat, resting his elbows on his thighs. “I won’t promise that things will be easy or perfect, and they will do things differently. But you have spent much time with your beautiful bride’s family while you courted her. When you marry, you become part of her clan, and they will treat you as one of them, so long as you strive to be the same good man that you are now.”

Amonsoquath nods his head in comprehension. “Thank you, Grandfather. I think I will miss our conversations the most when I leave. You seem to understand me more than anyone else - well besides Guque.

Patting his great-grandson again, Wahya laughs, then teases, “Well, then I suppose you are marrying the right girl. You are as hard headed as your great-grandmother’s younger brother, Wohali, was.”

Even though Wohali passed away several years ago, the child of Wahya’s eldest granddaughter reminded him more of Wohali than any of his other children and grandchildren. “You will be fine, Amonsoquath. Trust me, the love between you and Guque will grow and expand to those in your new family, and soon you will feel equally connected with your new village and clan. And the people of their village are good. You will be happy there, and I am very happy for you!”

The young man thanks his grandfather again and strides off to continue his wedding day preparations. Wahya takes a deep, satisfying breath and thinks back on his young student, Wohali. Had it really been almost sixty years ago since he’d moved to the village and a year later began his life with Uwonidi Tsisqua?!

He reflects on his early instruction with Wohali - his first, and still one of the most challenging students he’s ever taught. Not long after the youth began showing marked improvement, others who needed assistance with their own archery skills came to Wahya for instruction and advice. Not that he was the very best archer in the village, but his method of instruction was unique to the individual, thus making it easier for each to understand. In turn, he learned from those around him, building his own knowledge and the respect of people throughout his new home.

His attention is averted by the calls of Amonsoquath’s aunt - one of his many grandchildren - as she tries to get little Dawatsilv to come back for the final touches to his ceremonial outfit in preparation for the wedding.

“I no more stand still!” The four-year-old shouts impatiently, looking back at his young mother with a frown.

As the little boy runs further from his exasperated mother, he nears Wahya who gently corrals the boy in with his outstretched arm. “Whoa, young man! Where are you going?”

“I want to play Grandfather. No more clothes!” Dawatsilv pleads.

Wahya laughs, knowing how torturous being fitted for clothes was. Holding out Dawatsilv’s arms, so he can examine the mostly-finished outfit, he whistles, “My, you are looking very grown up in your regalia. Do you remember what this is for?”

The boy nods. “Amonsoquath is going to get married.”

“Yes, that is right,” Wahya nods. “And do you remember your part in the ceremony?”

Dawatsilv’s eyes light up and he proudly proclaims, “I been practicing!”

Patting him on the shoulder, Wahya continues kindly, “That is good! You are an important part of the ceremony and everyone will see you. But no matter how much you practice, if your regalia is not right, it just will not do.”

The boy’s eyes grow large and he looks down at his unfinished top frowning, as his great-grandfather continues, “Do you think you can be brave enough to go back to your mother and let her finish? Then you can play all you want after it is done, okay?”

“Yes, Grandfather,” Dawatsilv agrees, slowly walking back to his mother, a little begrudgingly, but bravely facing his task regardless. The boy’s mother smiles, telling him that they’re almost done as she waves her thanks to Wahya.

He calls to her. “Bribery with grape dumplings works wonders, Granddaughter. If you happen to send some my way, I would not be displeased, either!”

~~~~~

The next day Wahya and Uwonidi Tsisqua wait with their youngest daughter, her daughter, and her daughter′s three children, as the wedding party, consisting of Amonsoquath’s immediate family, files out on their three-day journey to Guque’s village. The weather is perfect, and the atmosphere is happy as the groom comes to say his farewell to his great-grandparents. “I wish you could come for my ceremony, Grandmother and Grandfather. I will think of you often!”

The elderly Uwonidi Tsisqua cups her grandson’s face in her hands and gives him a loving kiss on the forehead. “You will come back to visit on trading trips soon enough. Be well, Amonsoquath! I love you very much!”

The young man gives Wahya a fierce embrace, and the old brave feels a bit emotional at the idea of the eldest of the youngest generation in his family leaving to begin a family of his own. Wahya looks around at all the smiling faces busily checking supplies, kissing and hugging loved ones, and several children running around. His heart swells as he realizes that all these people are his family - his descendants.

Finally, his eyes rest on Uwonidi Tsisqua, and his heart melts - to him, she looks just as beautiful, inside and out, as she had to him sixty years ago. She had grown from a like-minded friend to a passionate lover and wife, and finally, into the compassionate soul mate that she still is today.

She feels his eyes on her and gives him her signature, though aging, beautiful smile. “What are you thinking, my love?”

Returning her smile, he replies lightly, “Oh, just how grateful I feel to be here with you now, watching our children’s, children’s, children’s lives.”

She glances back at the crowd consisting of daughters and sons, of mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends, and then back at Wahya, giving him a knowing grin. “None of them would be here if I didn’t have such an excellent lover for a husband.”

Wahya chuckles, remembering many nights of passionate lovemaking spent together. And despite the ups and downs over the years, there’s no one else he would have rather created seven beautiful children with. He pulls her into his shoulder, and she looks up into his also aging face, and they can’t help but still find themselves lost in the other’s gaze. Kissing her sweetly on the lips, the two wrap their arms around one another and watch as Amonsoquath and the rest of his traveling party step off on their journey.

~~~~~

Later, Wahya walks to the village longhouse and steps inside the large building used for ceremonies and other community gatherings. Today he’s giving a lesson on the Tsalagi clans to some of the tribal youth. He’s early, so takes a moment to go over his lesson before the children arrive. He wasn’t sure if it was due to the Traveler’s prodding, but Wahya had quickly learned that he loved teaching the youth many years ago. After his archery lessons were popularized, he eventually branched out to other topics he knew well and was good at. Eventually, as he aged and was unable to do as many physical tasks anymore, he took the opportunity to begin his own school for the village.

Wahya gathered knowledgeable and talented people throughout the village to better teach others their skills and it became a huge success. While not mandatory to attend, many people would pop in to learn about something they either needed help with or were interested in learning. Wahya often thought about James when entering his lessons, recalling that Tracie had explained his and Samantha′s work as teachers and remembering how the university professor had been so helpful in his adjustment to the 21st century. James had been the one to find out what language Wahya spoke and had been a good friend, if only for a few short days.

Once the few young students gather, he moves the class outside to take advantage of the warm, sunny early summer day. Sitting on the ground, Wahya asks them to list the seven clans of the Tsalagi people. Multiple hands go up as the children initially rattle off the clans that they belong to: Long Hair - Deer - Blue - Bird - Wild Potato - Paint - Wolf

“Very good!” The old man smiles at the children. “And how is your clan chosen?”

Utsisdalugi pipes up. “It is whatever clan your mother belongs to.”

Wahya smiles at the serious young girl. “Yes, Utsisdalugi - you are correct. Tell us which clan you are a member of.”

“I am of the Wild Potato Clan. We are known as gatherers and keepers of the land.”

“That is also correct, young one. Do you know what clan your father belonged to before he married your mother?”

She thinks for a moment, then remembers. “His mother and father belong to the Long Hair Clan. But I do not remember what they are known for.”

“Ah, the Peacemakers Clan. Did you all know that someone who is orphaned or adopted into our tribe is often given membership in the Long Hair Clan?”

All the heads shake a resounding ‘no,’ and Wahya continues explaining what each clan represents. Finally, Utsisdalugi chimes in again. “You are named Adatlisvi Wahya [Running Wolf], and are of the Wolf Clan now, and you say that it is the clan of protectors and teachers. Is that why you teach us lessons now?”

Wahya laughs at the girl’s astute assumption, remembering that when he’d joined Uwonidi Tsisqua’s clan - Wolf Clan - the fact that it was the clan of teachers had escaped him until later on. He’d often wondered if it were fate that the Traveler had not only chosen him to go to the future to educate the people of his own time about that future, but that he should fall in love with and marry a woman of this particular clan as well.

“No, that is not the reason I choose to teach, but it seems to have worked out that I find great enjoyment in teaching. Perhaps it was all meant to be, as desired by the Great Spirit and fate, huh?!”

She looks at him contemplatively and nods her head, satisfied with the answer. Furthering the discussion to other aspects of clan membership and customs, Wahya explains, “In a few days, my great-grandson, Amonsoquath, will be married into the Blue Clan. Between my seven children and many grandchildren, I now have someone in each of the seven clans!”

He goes on to explain that while clans don’t consist purely of blood relations, the clan you belong to is considered your family, and therefore when you marry, you must marry outside of your own clan. Wahya’s three daughters thus remained Wolf Clan and their husbands joined the clan on their wedding days. But his four sons had married girls from three other clans - two of them joining the Deer Clan.

As he speaks, he feels grateful that this village is large enough to encompass so many people, and therefore two of his sons found their wives here, so didn’t move far away. The two younger sons, on the other hand, had fallen in love with women they’d met during trips further north, and now live too far away to visit.

Another little girl asks with disgust what happens to a man when his wife divorces him, and Wahya remembers that her parents had divorced a couple years ago when she was very little. The girl’s mother had become fed up with her husband’s laziness and cruel ways, and finally moved his things outside of their home in the traditional Tsalagi means of divorce.

He tactfully addresses her, “In those cases, he would return to his original clan, and go back to live with his mother’s people. Then, if he marries again, he will join the new wife’s clan.”

Growing tired now, Wahya closes his lesson with a reminder, “Be proud of your clan and do what you can to be a productive and honorable member. But be equally respectful of those inother clans, as each clan is equally important to the entire Tsalagi people. It is the way of our people to be understanding and welcoming of those without Tsalagi clans as well.”

Ending his lesson with words that he repeats as often as possible, regardless of what he’s instructing, Wahya says, “A long time from now, when your great-grandchildren are old, there will be a time when very different people will come along. While some will be friendly, others will become enemies of our people. They will have different ways of doing things and will rule the land. The best thing to remember is that you should try to make peace when possible with others, but always remember who your people are and do the honorable thing when caught in a conflicting situation. That is how the Tsalagi will remain strong and continue for numerous generations.”

The children have all heard the story of Wahya’s Visit to the Future. A story they all assume had been a spiritual dream or vision that he encountered while lost from his people for several days so many years ago. In unison, the children ask him to retell them the story about what he saw.

His eyes sparkle with life, a smile crosses his face, and he no longer feels weary.

“When I was a young man on a great journey to find a new home with my people, I found myself cornered in the forest by a band of Haudenosaunee braves...”

~ The End ~

}}}-----> * <-----{{{

CHEROKEE [TSALAGI] WORDS TO KNOW:
Amonsoquath = Bear
*Wahya’s eldest great-grandson

Anidonav Wohali = Standing Eagle
*Uwonidi Tsisqua’s little brother

Dawatsilv = Elm Tree
*Wahya’s younger great-grandson

Guque = Quail
*Amonsoquath’s bride-to-be

Utsisdalugi = Firefly
*A girl in Wahya’s classroom

Uwonidi Tsisqua = Magpie
*Wahya’s wife

}}}-----> * <-----{{{


Osiyo Readers!
Wado/Thank you so much for reading my story, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

This story has been a great experience for me to learn more about the Cherokee [Tsalagi] culture and history, while also putting a few Cherokee words under my belt! While I used a lot of creative license, I tried to make the cultural aspects as authentic as possible, despite my limited knowledge.

The Cherokee Nation, based in Oklahoma, is the largest tribe in the United States with more than 370,000 tribal citizens worldwide! While many non-native people assume that the hundreds of different native groups inhabiting this land for thousands of years ‘died out’ after colonization, as was promoted by the US government for many decades, the truth is that they are very much alive and well.

For more information regarding the Cherokee tribe specifically, you can check out their website at http://www.cherokee.org.

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Now that you’ve made it this far, if you haven’t already, please read the prequel to The Artifact, titled The Archaeologist.

Follow Samantha Harrison and James Warner’s story as they incidentally meet after being separately transported to Neolithic England, five-thousand years ago. Of course, at this point you know that they live happily ever after in the present, but it will give you the background you need to read the third book in the series, The Time Traveler!

}}}-----> * <-----{{{

The Time Traveler is a work in progress at the moment but is the third and final installment in the Time Trilogy. It ties both of the first two stories and characters together, as future Time Travel Scientist, Jonas Falco, must use his knowledge of time travel to not only escape from the clutches of those out to kill him, but to set history straight as the government attempts to take control of the Time Travel Science sector for their own gain.

His journey leads him not only to various time periods, ensuring the posterity of the world, but directly into true love. Perhaps fate rules, regardless!

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