Appalachia Folklore

Legend of the Moon-eyed People

legend of the mooneyed people in cherokee county nc

After reading my post about fairy crosses, Blind Pig reader Johnny Hurt sent me a link to the following video from Channel 5 WRAL. You can go here to see the fascinating video and then click your back button to come back to this post.

I’ve heard the story about the gentleman who found the statue, but I didn’t recall the connection between the moon-eyed people and the fairy crosses.

If you’d like to read more about the statue and the moon-eyed people go here.

If you’re ever in Murphy drop by and visit the Cherokee County Historical Museum-and if you do be sure to tell them the Blind Pig and The Acorn sent you.


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  • Reply
    March 30, 2017 at 5:38 am

    Wow, that is interesting. I’ve never seen anything like it. My Wife has been reading about the Melungeons in and around Appalachia.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 29, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    A couple of years ago I bought the book “James Mooney’s History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees”. It is in small print and has 800 pages or more. I tried to read it but didn’t get very far. I did scan through it and when I read today’s post I thought I remembered reading something about the Moon-Eyed people.
    First I had to find the book. That took until after dinner what with everything my wife had for me to do. Then my brother came and I had to help him. I started looking but everything seemed to stop me as is the norm in my world. Anyhow here it is 10:20 PM and I have nothing to add. But, if it is in there I will find and I will copy or scan it and send it to you. If not I guess I’ll just have egg on my face.
    PS: Today is my cousin Bill Burnett’s birthday. I won’t tell his age but I am 66 and he is about 18 months older than me!

  • Reply
    March 29, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    Tipper, the fairy crosses and moon-eyed people stories are so very interesting. I was blown away upon listening to one of my favorite preachers, Perry Stone, Cleveland, Tn. just days after seeing your post. I was watching him on Youtube and he was teaching about the fairy crosses and the move of God in Applachia and a link to the Cherokee! Wow!

  • Reply
    March 29, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    To Sheryl Paul: Malungeons?

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 29, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Oh my goodness…I must be a descendant of a Moon-eyed person…I am short, have round face, blue eyes, light skin, from hills of NC but family traversed to TN…oooooh! Also, my short blue eyed grandmother used to say to me when I was little, “Don’t stay out in that bright sun too long!” and when I come in she’d say, “B, what are you moonin’ about?” Yep, I must be kin! HA
    I’ve heard these stories at one of the NC porch sittin’ relative talkin’ sessions when visiting Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents….Dad swore he heard some in the Laurel Hells when he was hunting as a young man!
    Thanks Tipper,
    Loved this post…

  • Reply
    March 29, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Interesting! This story reminds me of a time my brother went to the doctor when he noticed his perspiration and blood was a bluish color. Extensive medical test were performed and nothing was found to explain the rare occurrence that didn’t last very long. The doctor told him to research the blue-blooded people who used to live in the part of Kentucky where we were raised. While his skin color was never blue, he did have the fair skin and blue eyes often found in the blue-blooded people from long ago.
    We still have a few blue-blooded people around here during KY Wildcat Basketball season. Just wait till next year Tar Heels!

  • Reply
    Myra Richmond Henry
    March 29, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Love this story as well as the one about fairy crosses. Living in northeastern KY the majority of my life didn’t really lend itself to these types of stories. While I have a couple of generations of Irish ancestors, for some reasons stories such as these were kept to themselves. Quite interesting and enjoyable. Keep them coming.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 29, 2017 at 9:22 am

    That’s really pretty amazing. I am assuming the statue is pre- Cherokee and the crosses as well. I’ve seen some of the crosses and thought they were some natural formation.
    Wouldn’t you like to know all of the real story behind both the crosses and the statue? I would!
    Pretty cool, Tip!

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    March 29, 2017 at 9:19 am

    That’s something I’ve haven’t heard in a while. Fort Mountain Sate Park in Murray County Ga is part of the Cohutta Mountain range and very near where I grew up in Ellijay Ga. There is an ancient rock wall around 900 ft long at the top of the mountain that according to Cherokee legend was built by the moon-eyed people who were white skinned and blue eyed. I’ve been aware of the legend most of my life but never knew about the the same legend in Murphy.
    Very cool!

  • Reply
    March 29, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Very interesting. I have heard of having moon eyes for someone whom you love. Also refered to as mooning over someone. Of course there is mooning that is related to another part of the body. In more recent usage,when you silence an annoying person online it is called mooning. Many politicians need to be subjected to this latter type mooning.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 29, 2017 at 8:17 am

    This is so interesting, there is another group of people with darker skin, can’t think of their names right now. Also fascinating. What a dissertation.

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