http://www.cherokeephoenix.orgMagicians Bobby Neugin, right, and Jeramy Neugin prepare to do a trick using a monster replica with the help of Cherokee Phoenix Intern Dillon Turman at the Cherokee Phoenix Studios in Tahlequah, Okla. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Magicians Bobby Neugin, right, and Jeramy Neugin prepare to do a trick using a monster replica with the help of Cherokee Phoenix Intern Dillon Turman at the Cherokee Phoenix Studios in Tahlequah, Okla. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Cherokee magicians add tricks to entertain audiences

Magician Jeramy Neugin, right, prepares to do a trick using a voodoo doll with the help of Cherokee Phoenix Intern Dillon Turman at the Cherokee Phoenix Studios in Tahlequah, Okla. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Some of the items used by “Lost City Magic” magicians Bobby and Jeramy Neugin include a cornhusk doll and tarot cards. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Magicians and illusionists Jeremy, left and Bobby Neugin offer magic and illusion acts that incorporate the Cherokee culture and local lore. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Magician Jeramy Neugin, right, prepares to do a trick using a voodoo doll with the help of Cherokee Phoenix Intern Dillon Turman at the Cherokee Phoenix Studios in Tahlequah, Okla. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
11/01/2012 03:42 PM
Video with default Cherokee Phoenix Frame
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Using their Cherokee heritage, father and son magicians Bobby and Jeramy Neugin are entertaining people with their magic and illusion act not just during Halloween but year round.

The professional magicians own and operate “Lost City Magic” based in Lost City, a small Cherokee County community. They are in their third year of being professional magicians but have been doing magic as a hobby for most of their lives, said Jeramy, the younger half of the show.

“Magic has always been a hobby of ours. One day we were sitting around wondering what we could do to emphasize our Cherokee culture,” Jeramy said. “We researched and checked every magic act and book that we could find because we wanted to be different. We wanted to something that not only made our act unique by being Native American but make it something you would actually want to come and see.”

Researching their Cherokee roots they found that Cherokee people employed magicians along with medicine men who were called conjurers. Jeramy said they learned that in 1901 missionaries living among the Cherokee tried to erase the history of Cherokee conjurers, so the father-son team are working to bring that history back.

He added their show evolves annually and new tricks and acts are on the way as they add to their repertoire.

One upcoming trick will include the story of the Cherokee Little People.

“We’re working on something where we’ll actually produce one of the little people of the Cherokee, and then they’ll do a trick with us,” he said. “Like I said our act is growing. Whenever we get back home he (Bobby) is going to stake me in the chest with a metal spike and then heal the wound. The first trick we ever built to perform he set my head on fire, burned my head to a skull and then brought it back.”

He said the burned head trick now seems quaint compared to the tricks they now use in their shows.

“Now in our average show, I’m swallowing needles and razor blades and sticking fish hooks in my arm and acting like ‘oh, I got caught’ and rip it out and heal it and the kids go, ‘yay, do it again’” Jeramy said.

Also, sometimes the magicians use live wasps and scorpions they catch the day of the show and release following the show. Wasps are used to help tell an old story about how giant wasps were attacking an Indian village. Jeramy will have a hive of live wasps come out of his hand while telling the story.

“We never had a problem doing that except for one time when were being filmed on camera, and I got stung four times by those wasps before they said action,” he said. “Last year, for our Halloween show we had a kid draw snakes on a piece of paper and then we pulled snakes out of the paper, and they were live snakes.”

He said Bobby has a trick where he turns a caterpillar into a flock of butterflies.

Tourist attractions such as Branson, Mo., have “Ripley’s Believe or Not” shows, but Oklahoma did not have that type of show until the Neugins filled that niche with the help of magicians from who lend their expertise and help build props for the Cherokee entertainers.

Some of the props they have utilize local legends such as the Fort Gibson Lake Mermaid; the Illinois River Monster; the Ravenmocker, which is a Native American vampire; and a finger from a Bigfoot creature that has odd properties. When the finger is brought near metal, it bends it.

The Neugin’s next goal for “Lost City Magic” is to build a Branson-style show in the Tahlequah area.

“We’ve got all the ingredients to make a ghost show, why not make it a cultural one,” Jeramy said. “Our goal is once we get it built that you’ll be able to come out to where we are and we’ll produce a ghost. You’ll be guaranteed to walk away with ghost photographs and ghost pictures.”

The men have done a lot of research about magic, the origins of voodoo magic and conjuring. Jeramy said they have learned that a lot of voodoo magic practiced by people in the southeastern United States originated from Cherokee conjurers.

Bobby said a voodoo practitioner in New Orleans told him the items voodoo doctors use for their magic came from Cherokee and other Native people. An “untold amount” of Cherokee conjuring tricks have been lost since ancient times, he said.

“We learned a lot of the voodoo magic was actually Cherokee magic like this little voodoo doll…that was actually a cornhusk doll they used. And a lot of the voodoo spirits that they used, what they call greegree bags, was actually medicine bags,” Jeramy said. “So we were not only learning about magic, but we were also learning a lot about our heritage and history.”

They have also learned, Jeramy said, that Cherokees were mediums who could speak to dead ancestors using crystals. When white missionaries asked the mediums if they believed in gods the Cherokees told them “we don’t believe in gods, we believe in our ancestors. We talk to our ancestors.”

For more information, call 918-772-2378 or 918-453-3994, or email neugin@yahoo.com or visit www.neugin.vpweb.com.

will-chavez@cherokee.org


918-207-3961

About the Author
Will lives in Tahlequah, Okla., but calls Marble City, Okla., his hometown. He is Cherokee and San Felipe Pueblo and grew up learning the Cherokee language, traditions and culture from his Cherokee mother and family. He also appreciates his father’s Pueblo culture and when possible attends annual traditional dances held on the San Felipe Reservation near Albuquerque, N.M.

He enjoys studying and writing about Cherokee history and culture and writing stories about Cherokee veterans. For Will, the most enjoyable part of writing for the Cherokee Phoenix is having the opportunity to meet Cherokee people from all walks of life.
He earned a mass communications degree in 1993 from Northeastern State University with minors in marketing and psychology. He is a member of the Native American Journalists Association.

Will has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 20 years. He has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a reporter and a photographer for the Cherokee Phoenix for more than 18 years. He was named interim executive editor on Dec. 8, 2015, by the Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board.
WILL-CHAVEZ@cherokee.org • 918-207-3961
Will lives in Tahlequah, Okla., but calls Marble City, Okla., his hometown. He is Cherokee and San Felipe Pueblo and grew up learning the Cherokee language, traditions and culture from his Cherokee mother and family. He also appreciates his father’s Pueblo culture and when possible attends annual traditional dances held on the San Felipe Reservation near Albuquerque, N.M. He enjoys studying and writing about Cherokee history and culture and writing stories about Cherokee veterans. For Will, the most enjoyable part of writing for the Cherokee Phoenix is having the opportunity to meet Cherokee people from all walks of life. He earned a mass communications degree in 1993 from Northeastern State University with minors in marketing and psychology. He is a member of the Native American Journalists Association. Will has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 20 years. He has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a reporter and a photographer for the Cherokee Phoenix for more than 18 years. He was named interim executive editor on Dec. 8, 2015, by the Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board.

News

BY STAFF REPORTS
06/27/2017 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – At a June 26 special meeting, the Election Commission amended the contract of Commissioner Carolyn Allen by adding $15,600. The commission also voted to give EC clerk Kendall Bishop its Employee Appreciation Award for Employee of the Year. She will receive it during the Cherokee Nation’s employee appreciation picnic on June 30. The EC also approved minutes from the June 13 regular and June 5 special meetings.
BY STAFF REPORTS
06/26/2017 12:00 PM
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – According to a U.S. Attorney’s Office release, 12 people, including some Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians citizens, were charged with marriage fraud conspiracy and related charges, for entering into sham marriages for the purpose of evading U.S. immigration laws. Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, said the indictments were unsealed on June 21 naming Ruth Marie Sequoyah McCoy, 54, of Cherokee; Timothy Ray Taylor, 41, of Cherokee; Golan Perez, 38, of Cherokee; Ofir Marsiano, 41, of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Kaila Nikelle Cucumber, 27, of Cherokee; Jessica Marie Gonzalez, 26, of Cherokee; Jordan Elizabeth Littlejohn, 28, of Cherokee; Kevin Dean Swayney, 36, of Cherokee; Ilya Dostanov, 28, of Panama City, Florida; Ievgenii Reint, 26, of St. Simons Island, Georgia; Shaul Levy, 26, of Norfolk, Virginia; and Yana Peltz, 30, of Israel. The release states all defendants are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud. Marsiano is also charged with four counts of marriage fraud, and McCoy and Perez are each charged with three counts of marriage fraud. Taylor, Cucumber, Gonzalez, Littlejohn, Swayney, Dostanov, Levi and Peltz each face one additional count of marriage fraud. According to allegations in the indictment, beginning in or about June 2015, and continuing through December 2016, in Swain and Jackson counties, the defendants engaged in a fraudulent marriage scheme, in which foreign nationals paid to enter into fraudulent marriages with U.S. citizens to secure lawful permanent residence in the U.S. The indictment alleges McCoy, Perez and Marsiano arranged the marriages by connecting U.S. citizens, including Cucumber, Gonzalez, Littlejohn, and Swayney, with non-citizens, including Dostanov, Reint and Peltz. The non-U.S. citizens typically would pay $1,500 to $3,000 in exchange for the services. The indictment alleges once paired, the U.S. citizens and non-citizens would travel to Sevier County, Tennessee, and enter into fraudulent marriages with each other. The indictment states that, in most cases, after obtaining their marriage certificates, the non-citizens applied for adjustments to their immigration statuses based on their marriages to their U.S. spouses. The indictment further alleges that, at times, McCoy and Taylor also acted as “sponsors” for the non-citizens’ applications for adjustments to their immigration statuses, and in exchange, they received additional monetary compensation. Of the 12 defendants charged, seven were arrested on June 21 and appeared in federal court on the charges. Littlejohn, Dostanov, Reint, Levy and Peltz had not been arrested as of publication. The marriage fraud conspiracy and marriage fraud charges each carry a maximum prison term of five years, per count.
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
06/25/2017 02:00 PM
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge won't decide until later this year whether to shut down the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline while federal officials conduct a more thorough environmental review. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg on Wednesday approved a schedule under which both sides in a lawsuit over the pipeline will submit written arguments on the matter in July and August. "We would expect a decision sometime after that, probably September," said Jan Hasselman, an attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux, which filed the lawsuit last summer that was later joined by three other Sioux tribes. The Standing Rock tribe sued because it believes the $3.8 billion pipeline built by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners threatens cultural sites and its water supply. The company disputes that and maintains the pipeline is safe. The long-delayed project was finished earlier this year after President Donald Trump took office and called for its completion. On June 1, the pipeline began moving North Dakota oil to a distribution point in Illinois, from which it's shipped to the Gulf Coast. But Boasberg last week ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which permitted the pipeline, didn't adequately consider how an oil spill might affect the tribe. He ordered the agency to reconsider parts of its environmental analysis. About 50 anti-pipeline protesters rallied outside the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., during Wednesday's hearing. They sang, chanted, held signs with messages such as "water is life" and gave speeches in support of the tribe. "If that (pipeline) spills, it means game over," said the Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., president and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus activist group. "It means they can't wash, they can't clean, they can't feed their children. It means their way of life ends."
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
06/24/2017 02:00 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — State environmental officials say elevated mercury levels in fish have been found in 14 more lakes in Oklahoma than last year. The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality plans a public meeting for Tuesday to discuss the mercury levels. The agency says a total of 54 lakes have mercury advisories — which is up 14 since the last advisory in 2016. The advisories deal with mercury levels in fish and do not affect drinking water safety or lake recreational activities like swimming or boating. The 14 new lakes added to the advisory are: Arcadia Lake, Birch Reservoir, Boomer Lake, Copan Reservoir, El Reno Lake, Greenleaf Reservoir, Lone Chimney Lake, Lake McMurtry, Lake Murray, Pawnee Lake, Lake Ponca, Lake Raymond Gary, Shell Lake and Waurika Reservoir.
BY STACIE GUTHRIE
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
06/24/2017 11:00 AM
HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. – While traveling the Trail of Tears’ northern route “Remember the Removal” cyclists visited sites where Cherokees stayed during their forced removal in the winter of 1838-39, with several sites housing graves of Cherokees who died along the trek. The Trail of Tears Commemorative Park in Hopkinsville acted as a camping spot and gravesite during the removal. Alice Murphree, Kentucky Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association president, said the site contains Chief Whitepath and Chief Fly Smith’s graves as well as a grave with unknown remains. She said Whitepath, an assistant conductor with the Elijah Hicks detachment, died about 10 days after arriving at the site. “He come sick coming out of Nashville, and as the trail proceeded he felt sicker and sicker. By the time they got to the spot at Hopkinsville he was so ill that the Elijah Hicks detachment had to leave him here and go on,” she said. Murphree said Smith was “sickly” for most of the journey before dying at the site. “Stephen Foreman (minister serving as assistant conductor of the Old Field detachment) and his wife stayed behind with him and that (Old Field) detachment moved on,” she said. “I guess it was just within a day or two. I don’t know exact dates, but they (chiefs) died within hours of one another. They (Foremans) went to the city and asked if they could bury him in the city. The city would not allow them to be buried there. The Latham family owned all of this property and agreed to let him be buried here.” It is said that Cherokees are buried in Union County, Illinois, at the Camp Ground Church and Cemetery. Sandra Boaz, Illinois Chapter of the TOTA president, said it was determined by ground penetrating radar that there are around 10 ground anomalies the sizes of graves at the site. “After 1834 a man by the name of Mr. Hileman took out a land patent and brought his family here. Sometime in the winter of 1837-38 he had two small preschool-aged children who passed away and he buried them, as family oral history says,” she said. “Then when the Cherokee came through…they had made arrangements for them to camp on this site. As they were stopped here due to the ice flows on the Mississippi River, naturally some of them passed away. So story says that Mr. Hileman had them buried out in the field by his little boys. So that was the basis for getting this site certified as a National Trail of Tears site with the National Park Service.” For more information, visit www.nationaltota.com.
BY STAFF REPORTS
06/23/2017 04:00 PM
TAHELQUAH, Okla. – The American Indian Resource Center has received a $30,000 Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative grant from the Colorado-based First Nations Development Institute. According to First Nations, the funding will help build a sustainable food source (fruits/vegetables) for three tribal communities with the aim of increasing consumption of healthy foods. Families will be reintroduced to growing/gathering their own foods while making healthier lifestyle choices. The award was one of 15 program grants to Native American tribes and organizations under First Nations’ Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative. According to First Nations, each funded project aims to strengthen local food-system control; increase access to local, healthy and traditional foods; and/or decrease food insecurity and food deserts, all with an emphasis on serving Native American children and families. The release states it is hoped that the projects will noticeably improve a tribe or community’s effort to increase access to healthy and fresh foods for vulnerable children, families and communities. Additionally, the efforts will help increase awareness of and involvement with where the community’s food comes from, and expand knowledge of the linkages between foods, Native cultures and/or contribute to tribal economic growth and the development of entrepreneurially-related food ventures. First Nations serves Native American communities throughout the United States, according to the release. Its states that for more than 36 years, using a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating for systemic change, and capitalizing Indian communities, First Nations has been working to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage, or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.firstnations.org" target="_blank">www.firstnations.org</a>.