Tradition: Gadugi (ga-doo-gee)
The word gadugi means "working together." Originally, the gadugi were a group of people in a Cherokee community who helped others in a time of need. The gadugi planted and harvested crops and cut firewood for their neighbors. During an illness or the death of a loved one, the gadugi comforted people with food and company.
Today, the Snowbird Cherokee still practice a form of gadugi. They work together to build schools, playgrounds and other shared facilities. When a person needs a new roof, neighbors help with the task. The Snowbird community also raises money to pay for funerals, a rescue squad and the elderly.
Photo: Bud Jones works with other members of the Snowbird Community to fix the roof on a house. Work groups such as this one are part of the Gadugi tradition.