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The Nunnehi and Other Spirit Folk
From Myths of the Cherokee by James Mooney

From Nineteenth Annual Report of the
Bureau of American Ethnology 1897-98, Part I. [1900]


The Nunnehi (nn'h) or immortals, the "people who live anywhere," were a race of spirit people who lived in the highlands of the old Cherokee country and had a great many townhouses, especially in the bald mountains, the high peaks on which no timber ever grows. They had large townhouses in Pilot knob and under the old Nkws' mound in North Carolina, and another under Blood mountain, at the head of Nottely river, in Georgia. They were invisible excepting when they wanted to be seen, and then they looked and spoke just like other Indians. They were very fond of music and dancing, and hunters in the mountains would often hear the dance, songs and the drum beating in some invisible townhouse, but when they went toward the sound it would shift about and they would hear it behind them or away in some other direction, so that they could never find the place where the dance was. They were a friendly people, too, and often brought lost wanderers to their townhouses under the mountains and cared for them there until they were rested and then guided them back to their home. More than once, also, when the Cheroke