The Singing River

Pontoon boat eco-tours on the Rainbow River & Withlacoochee River in Dunnellon, Florida
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Your tour guide, Jon Semmes, is a professional boat captain and musician. Jon shares his knowledge of Florida's ecology and history through story and song. What sets Singing River Tours apart from other river cruises is Jon's talent with guitar and voice. As a professional musician and entertainer, Jon has spent many years sharing music and stories with audiences large and small.

Legend of the Singing River

Our beliefs play a very large part in our lives. Natchez Trace. When a fox barks or an owl calls, another will answer from a distance away. One after another every man, woman and child in the village walked into the river and were never seen again. Health Benefits The implementation of a well-designed, connected trail system in Madison, Morgan, and Limestone counties would encourage a shift from inactive modes of transportation such as cars and trucks to active modes such as bicycling and walking that help promote active lifestyles.

To protect ourselves from evil spirits and assure success in battle, each of we men, upon reaching his manhood, must make for himself a totem or medicine bag, which we carry upon our person at all times. Each medicine bag is different, being made up of items the individual feels will word off evil or bring good fortune The warrior never tells another the contents of his medicine bag, and if asked what the bag contained, he will answer "You would not be any wiser thereby.

We do not possess a "soul" in the way Christians think. Instead we possess an inner shadow or spirit, "Shilup" which now means ghost , and an outer spirit, "Shilombish" which now means soul. Upon our death, the Shilup or inner shadow immediately begins its long trip to the west toward the "Happy Land. The Shilombish generally remains around the home until funeral ceremonies have been completed, and then if all is well with its family it will slowly fade away.

However, if the body to whom the Shilombish belonged has been troubled in life or was murdered, the outer shadow will remain around the family until the problem is solved. In this event, the Shilombish will let the family know at night that it was still about by issuing pitiful moans or barking like a fox or hooting like an owl near the house.


They are like your ghosts. How did you know that a Shilombish was about your house? When a fox barks or an owl calls, another will answer from a distance away. However, when a Shilombish cries, there is no answer from another fox or another owl.

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In the meantime, the Shilup or inner shadow has made the long journey westward toward the "Happy Land. However, to enter the Happy Land, the Shilup has to cross a deep, dark canyon by means of a freshly-peeled and therefore slick "footlog. If the Shilup is brave and ignores the guardians, it will reach the other side of the canyon. Here was the Happy Land, where exist one continual day and a world where trees are always green and bear fruit and nuts eternally, where the sky has no clouds and where there are fine and continually cooling breezes.

Is there a music muse in Muscle Shoals? Read this and decide for yourself [pictures & video]

Feasting, dancing and rejoicing go on always, there is no pain or trouble and people never grow old but live forever young, enjoying all of the peaceful pleasures throughout eternity. However, if you are a bad Shilup or fearful of the guardians of the gateway to the Happy Land and try to dodge the stones and sticks tossed at you, you will fall off the log into the canyon below. Here you will land in water which is dashing over rocks and is stinking with dead fish and animals. There you are carried around and brought back to the same place again and again by whirlpools.

The trees are all dead and bare and the waters are full of toads, lizards and snakes. The dead in the water are always hungry, but have nothing to eat; are always sick, but cannot die; are always in the dark smelly waters where the sun never shines. From this place, the dead may look into the beautiful country which makes up the Happy Land, see the sunshine from afar and hear the laughter and singing of the souls who reached there but then can never reach it themselves.

To get back to the ways of my people: we were farmers and hunters. Our women did most of the farming, harvesting crops of corn, beans, squash, potatoes, melons and sunflowers.

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Our men did most of the hunting, shooting deer, wild turkeys, and small game. Men also caught fish in the rivers, lakes, and seacoast. Our meals included cornbread, soups, and stews cooked on stone hearths dried fish and dried meat.

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The Pascagoula were an indigenous group living in coastal Mississippi on the Pascagoula River. The famous Singing River is known throughout the world for its mysterious music. The singing sounds like a swarm of bees in flight and is best . After being awarded the commission to create the New Deal-era mural Legend of the Singing River in Pascagoula, Thompson, would gain most of his artistic.

We also enjoyed sassafrass tea, what you call rootbeer. Our hunters primarily used bows and arrows. Fishermen generally used fishing spears and nets. In war, we used our bows or fought with tomahawks and war clubs. Our women wore dresses made of deerskin decorated with things like beads.

They were not as long as those of other tribes. Shirts were not necessary in our culture, but men and women both wore poncho-style capes in cool weather. We also wore moccasins on our feet. Our mothers, like many Native Americans, carried their babies in cradleboards on their backs--a custom which many American parents have adopted now. We didn't wear long head dresses like the Sioux tribes. Both men and women wore their hair long, but some men cut their hair in the Mohawk style, decorating the fringe with feathers.

We often painted our faces and bodies bright colors during battles, lacrosse games, and festivals.

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Some men also wore tribal tattoos on their arms and legs. Many of our games are similar to the ones you play today. We played a game called toli stickball which actually is similar to your La Crosse and we played against other tribes instead of waging war. Another popular game was called Chunke in which a flat disk was thrown down an alley and the object was to be the first to hit it with a stick.

The Legend of Singing River

Twist that around a bit and you have your modern game of bowling. Dances were very common and we had elaborate wedding and funeral ceremonies. We also enjoyed guessing games and playing with beaded dolls. Chunkey, football, swimming, and footraces were also popular pastimes among the kids. Everyone took part in storytelling, artwork and music, and traditional medicine. Story telling was a very important part of our lifestyle. Now, I will return to the tragic sad tale of my people.

We lived along a gentle flowing river a few miles from the ocean. We were a happy contented and peaceful tribe and never made war on any of our neighbors because our women were good gatherers and growers and our men great hunters so we had no need to take from others. Grandpa retired from TVA. Beautiful place. Love living here. I wish the dam did not have to be built and all the natural beauty was still here for me to see.

That would be awesome. You will be well pleased. West from the falls and dam area just a piece is a small boat ramp and a trail to the water. On the south side off the river. That spot is a honey hole for sure. The water rushes by and the bank comes out making a circle area I suppose is the best easy to describe it.

The water is only about ankle deep and it is running over rock bed and has some little falls.

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But a lot of diggers too destroying what was left off the natural beauty. Ppl were digging burial ground etc. One man got caught one night coming outta there with an entire skeletons etc…So disrespectful.

So laws got set. I think needed to be set. I hate that part of that trail is off limits period. Just visit if you ever get the chance.

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We started about the first of December, by way of the Mussel Shoals, thence down the Tennessee to the Natchez Trace, down which we proceeded within twenty miles of […]. God Bless Mr. He lives near my granddaughters, they love him, and he has given them both native american names. He is a treasure to Alabama. Amazing the way those guys influenced the golden age of music. I met Tom a few years ago with his friend and mine Bill Parkhurst.

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He kindly showed all the wall he had built and told me his story about his ancsstor. I bought a stone bench from him which is in my yard today, and then flew over his wall with my small airplane And took pictures of it from the air which I sent him to help him promote his great accomplishment.

I hope the public could see them for him. I was very saddened to see in our Wednesday paper that Tom had passed. It is truly magnificent. Tis true Lynne Milstead McWhorter….

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Have to admit there is a sound that you can only get here in Muscle Shoals. Musicians come from all over to record here. Been to his wall many times and heard his stories. If you never had the pleasure of. Upon turning our horses out of the road a few steps, we saw the river—a most sublime picture it […]. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.