October 22, 2009

Medicine man ends Talladega curse

Creek medicine man lifts "curse" from Talladega Superspeedway

By Doug DemmonsMany, many years ago President Andrew Jackson forced the Creek Indians who lived around Talladega to give up their land and relocate to the west. The Indian removal policy was a shameful episode of American history that included the infamous Trail of Tears.

There is a legend that as the Creek were leaving the valley the tribe's medicine man looked back on their home one last time and placed a curse upon it.

Fast forward more than 100 years to the time when Talladega Superspeedway was built in 1969. Over the 40 years since then various calamaties have befallen various drivers at the track and an urban legend arose that the cause was the curse placed on the land.

On Thursday, officials at Talladega Superspeedway decided to do something about it.

They brought in Robert Thrower, a medicine man from the Poarch Creek band who lives in Atmore. Thrower, who is also an ordained Southern Baptist minister, performed a ceremony at the start-finish line at the speedway to "restore balance" to the land.

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