a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation

Performances Song History

Che Hun Ta Mo

Music: Chief Jim Billie

Original Artist: Chief Jim Billie

Original Album: Alligator Tales (1998)

Debut: 1999-12-30

Historian: Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo)

From the liner notes of Alligator Tales on “Che Hun Tah Mo” – “In the Miccosukee tongue, the phrase means ‘welcome.’ The Seminoles’ friendliness is described here in a Latino/blues style. It is also known as the ‘welcome song’ inviting all peoples to the swamps for a good time ‘down where the trade winds play.’”

A warmer welcome we will all be lucky to have in our lifetimes. Emphasizing the inclusiveness of the invitation, “Che Hun Tah Mo” offers: “We Seminoles are friends to the earth... Shalom... Moshi Moshi.” Chief Jim offered a wonderful bit of perspective on the events of 12/30/99 during his welcome to the 80,000 assembled guests: “There are folks just a few short miles away that don’t have any idea that you are even here!”

The magic that occurred on those days in Big Cypress could never have happened without the warm invitation by Chief Jim Billie and the Seminole Tribe, and for that we are all in their debt.

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