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.

Multimedia

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