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Cherokee Language & Alphabet
Sequoyah, also known as George Gist.
A member of the Cherokee Tribe, he was the inventor of the Cherokee syllabary, (a set of written symbols, each of which represents a syllable, used to write a given language). This image was copied from a lithograph in McKenney and Hall's, "Indian Tribes of North America", 1836-44 and subsequent editions. The source for the lithograph is thought to be an original painting by Charles Bird King, Washington, D.C. 1828. Smithsonian National Anthropological Archives Photo #991-a. Copyright 1993 Smithsonian Institution.
Vowel Soundsa, as a in father, or short as a in rival
e, as a in hate, or short as e in met
i, as i in pine, or short as i in pit
o, as o in note, approaching aw as in law
u, as oo in fool, or short as u in pull
v, as u in but, nasalized
g, nearly as in English, but approaching to k
d, nearly as in English, but approaching to thkimngstwy as in English
Syllables beginning with g except qa have sometimes the power of k
go, du, dv are sometimes sounded to, tu, tv and syllables written with ti except tia sometimes vary to di.
Links to the Histories and Stories
There are many histories and stories of Sequoyah and the alphabet he created. In most cases they all have the same basic information. In researching this subject I find that they all have basically the same information, but no two are alike. Such as the place of Sequoyah's death, was it Texas or Mexico, was he lame at birth or was he injured during the war. Only a couple of differences that I have found. So I have put together a list of links that you can read and make your own decision as to what is fact or fiction.
The following links are all pertaining to Sequoyah, the Syllabary and the history, and other sites related to the Cherokee language.
Sequoyah's Original Syllabary - This is a great page, show copies of the original papers of Sequoyah
Introduction to Sequoyah - Several pages about the life of Sequoyah