Tag Archives: Appalachian Legends and Myths

Mystery of the Moon-eyed People

According to Cherokee legend, there was a race of small white people living in Appalachia before the Indians arrived. They were described as being very pale, with blond hair and blue eyes. Their eyes appeared too big for their heads. As a result, they couldn’t see during the daytime and only moved about at night. It was believed that they lived underground.

The Moon-eyed people are said to have built ancient structures in the area. One of them is called Fort Mountain. It’s an 850 foot long stone wall that is 12 feet thick and up to seven feet high.

fortmountain

The age of the wall has never been properly determined, but according to some sources it was built around 400 – 500 AD.

There are several theories surrounding the origin of this strange race, but their true history remains clouded.

One legend tells us that the Cherokee defeated the Moon-eyed people during a full moon and drove them from their homeland. Another version says that the Cherokee chased the Moon-eyed people away from their home at Hiwassee, a village that is now Murphy, North Carolina.

While clearing land near Murphy in the 1840s, and ancient soapstone sculpture was discovered. It depicts two creatures, three feet tall, conjoined like Siamese Twins. Are they images of the Moon-eyed People?

What’s your theory or what legends have you heard about this mysterious race?

moon-eyed people

*Sculpture on display at the Cherokee Country Historical Museum

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