Nacoochee was the 16-year-old daughter of Wahoo, a Cherokee chieftain, who fell in love with Sautee, the young and handsome son of the Chickasaw chief, one of the neighboring tribes with whom they were constantly at war.
They eloped and fled to nearby Yonah Mountain, where they found refuge in a cave. After a few days they decided to face Wahoo and ask for his consent but instead, he ordered Sautee to be thrown from the high cliffs of Mount Yonah, while Nacoochee was forced to look on. Seeing that, Nacoochee also leaped to her death from the same cliff.
Story & photo courtesy of Celia Durand.
You can see Yonah and other original works by Celia Durand during her Hallway Invitational show at the Sautee Nacoochee Center Gallery March 9 – April 22, 2012.