Cherokee is an Iroquoian language, and the only Southern Iroquoian language spoken today. Linguists believe that the Cherokee people migrated to the southeast from the Great Lakes region about three thousand years ago, bringing with them their language.
This week’s word, “Osiyo,” is how we say “hello” in Cherokee. It’s a deeper spirit of welcoming and hospitality that has been a hallmark of the Cherokee people for centuries.
The Cherokee Nation is committed to preserving and growing the Cherokee language in both spoken and written forms. It is spoken fluently by an estimated 2,000 people worldwide today, with several thousand more being considered beginner or proficient speakers. The Cherokee syllabary is the written form of the language.
The Cherokee syllabary is a syllabary invented by Sequoyah in the late 1810s and early 1820s to write the Cherokee language. His creation of the syllabary is particularly noteworthy as he was illiterate until the creation of his syllabary.
What is the symbolism of the Cherokee Nation seal? The seal of the Cherokee Nation was created by an executive Act under Chief Lewis Downing in 1869. The Act calls for the seal to contain a seven-pointed star inside of a wreath of oak leaves, symbolizing the eternal flame of the Cherokee people.
Cherokee is one of the most difficult languages to learn, according to Barbara Duncan, the education director at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, N.C. But a new language program — “Your Grandmother’s Cherokee” — is changing that.
Language drift There are two main dialects of Cherokee spoken by modern speakers. The Giduwa (or Kituwah) dialect (Eastern Band) and the Otali dialect (also called the Overhill dialect) spoken in Oklahoma.
A bit of History. Up to the 1820s, the Cherokee language was a spoken language only, and had suffered a severe downturn due to massive population decline, warfare, and influence from newly arrived European languages. It was in the 1820s that a writing system was first developed by a Cherokee silversmith called Sequoyah
Today, three Cherokee tribes are federally recognized: the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians (UKB) in Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation (CN) in Oklahoma, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) in North Carolina.
Cherokee women did most of the farming, harvesting crops of corn, beans, squash, and sunflowers. Cherokee men did most of the hunting, shooting deer, bear, wild turkeys, and small game. They also fished in the rivers and along the coast. Cherokee dishes included cornbread, soups, and stews cooked on stone hearths.
The Cherokee were southeastern woodland Indians, and in the winter they lived in houses made of woven saplings, plastered with mud and roofed with poplar bark. In the summer they lived in open-air dwellings roofed with bark. Today the Cherokee live in ranch houses, apartments, and trailers.