The Bowl (Cherokee chief)

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The Bowl (also Chief Bowles); (Cherokee: Di'wali) was one of the leaders of the Chickamauga Cherokee under Dragging Canoe (and later John Watts), who fought against the United States of America during the Cherokee–American wars.

The Bowl led the first large Cherokee emigration west across the Mississippi River in 1809, where he and his followers settled in what later became Arkansaw Territory. When the government was organized the next year, he was elected Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation–West, serving until his departure for Spanish Texas in 1813. He was succeeded by Degadoga.

The Bowl became leader of the Cherokee in Spanish Texas, along with Richard Fields, and ultimately died at the outbreak of war in 1839 between the Texas Cherokees (or Tsalagiyi nvdagi) and the Republic of Texas. That war, which later claimed the lives of both Fields and The Bowl's son, John Bowles, did not end until the Treaty of Bird’s Fort in 1843.


  • McLoughlin, William G. Cherokee Renascence in the New Republic. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992).
  • Mooney, James. Myths of the Cherokee and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee. (Nashville: Charles and Randy Elder-Booksellers, 1982).
  • Wilkins, Thurman. Cherokee Tragedy: The Ridge Family and the Decimation of a People. (New York: Macmillan Company, 1970).
Preceded by
Title nonexistent
Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation West
Succeeded by