Ghighau (Beloved Woman), Wild Rose of the Cherokee, War Woman, and Granny ____ are a few of the names and titles given to ____, the most powerful and influential woman of the Cherokee Nation in recorded history. She ruled over the Council of Women and had a voting seat in the Council of Chiefs.
____ was born in 1738 at Chota and was given the name Nanye-hi that means "one who goes about." The name of her father is not known, but Cherokee society was matrilineal. Nanye-hi's mother was Tame Doe, of the Wolf Clan, a sister of Attakullakulla, civil chief of the Cherokee Nation.
By age 17 she had two children, Five Killer and Catherine. Her husband was killed in a raid on the Creeks, where she fought by her husband's side, chewing the lead bullets for his rifle to make them more deadly. When he fell in battle, she rallied the Cherokee warriors to fight harder. Taking up a rifle, she led a charge that unnerved the Creeks and brought victory to the Cherokees.
Because of her valor, the clans chose her as Ghighau, "Beloved Woman" of the Cherokees. In this powerful position, her words carried much weight in the tribal government because the Cherokees believed that the Great Spirit frequently spoke through the Beloved Woman. She was loved and respected by the settlers as well as the Cherokees. She had absolute power over prisoners and on numerous occasions saved the lives of white people. On at least two occasions during the Revolutionary War period she sent warnings to John Sevier at the Watauga settlements of planned Indian attacks, thus giving them time to prepare a defense or counter-offensive.
Enormous changes took place during her lifetime as the Indians adopted the commercial agricultural lifestyle of the nearby settlers and pressed for a republican form of government. Unlike the old system of clan and tribal loyalty, the new Cherokee government provided no place for a "Beloved Woman."
The Hiwassee Purchase of 1819 forced ____ to abandon Chota. She moved south and settled on the Ocoee River near present-day Benton. There she operated an inn on the Federal Road until her death in 1822. The last "Beloved Woman" is buried nearby on a hill beside the graves of Five Killer and her brother Long Fellow.
She chewed lead bullets for her husband's rifle to make them more deadly.
She was respected and loved by both the settlers and the Cherokees.
She led a charge against the Creeks with her dead husband's rifle.
The clans chose her as Ghighau, "Beloved Woman" of the Cherokees.
Who is this woman?
Elizabeth Blackwell Amelia Mary Earhart Nancy Ward Indira Gandhi Sor Juana InÚs de la Cruz Maya Lin