Archive for July, 2009

Chinese Dragon Robe

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009


by Mary Lee, Assistant Registrar

I love Chinese Dragon Robes. Combining the inherent coolness of dragons with rich color, exquisite detail and an excess of symbolism, they present a visual overload that always attracts my attention. Working at the Oklahoma History Center I never expected to find a dragon robe in our textile collection. I was so excited by the chance to physically examine this robe that I lost control and my obsessive tendencies overwhelmed me, resulting in more information and photographs than needed for a normal blog entry. Acknowledging that everyone does not share my fascination with dragon robes, I have omitted the section where I counted all of the stitches in the dragon’s scales and told the origin of every symbol on the robe. I hope you appreciate this concession and are not afraid to continue reading. (more…)

Cherokee Certificates

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

by William D. Welge, Research Division Director

Bill Welge here. One of the disconcerting aspects of looking for Indian ancestors is the lack of census data. The Cherokees began compiling decennial census records beginning in 1880, but prior to that time, census taking was very sporadic.

One way to hopefully locate family members is to search through records other than census materials. As an example, among the court records of the Cherokee Nation there is a list of individuals who were issued certificates for payment for services rendered for the quarter ending December 31st, 1875.* Some 41 men are listed and why they are being paid.

This is just one way to locate family when census records are not available.

* Cherokee National records – Courts document # 532. See microcopy CHN-70.